What are the Room Requirements For Section 8 Tenants?

A useful article from property manager Mark Ainley

We know many of you have or will have, buildings with Section 8 tenants. We thought it would be helpful if we shared the room requirements (for both bedrooms and rooms in general) for a home/unit occupied by a Section 8 tenant.  There is a lot more required to be approved, however, these are some requirements that you need to consider when looking for or rehabbing properties.

Section 8 Bedroom Requirements 

Many owners will estimate their potential rent based on the number of bedrooms in a home, and because of this, it is important to make sure all of your bedrooms qualify as a bedroom under section 8 guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:

  • Each bedroom must have a window that opens to the exterior of the building. Exception: Bedroom windows can lead to an enclosed porch as long as the porch has a window that opens to the exterior.

  • There must be at least two working outlets, or one working outlet and one working light fixture, in each bedroom.

  • Each bedroom must have a minimum of 70 square feet of floor space

  • Each bedroom must have at least 53 square feet of the ceiling with a height of 7 feet or above

  • Bedrooms in basements or attics must have finished ceilings. In addition, for ceiling height requirements, the floor-to-ceiling height will be measured to the bottom of exposed joists or beams.

  • Carbon monoxide detector must be located within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • Smoke detectors must be present and working within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • If mounted on the wall, the top of the detector cannot be more than 12 inches from the highest point of the ceiling.

  • If mounted on the ceiling, the detector can be placed anywhere on the ceiling.

  • Smoke detectors cannot be mounted under a soffit.

  • Smoke detectors installed on open joist ceilings must be mounted flat on the bottom of a joist but cannot be mounted inside the joist space.

OTHER ROOMS

Here is some information on the rest of the rooms within a house that Section 8 will account for:

  • There must be a window present that opens to the exterior.

  • There must be at least two working outlets, or one working outlet and one working light fixture

  • Carbon monoxide detector must be located within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • Smoke detectors must be present and working within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

  • If mounted on the wall, the top of the detector cannot be more than 12 inches from the highest point of the ceiling.

  • If mounted on the ceiling, the detector can be placed anywhere on the ceiling.

  • Smoke detectors cannot be mounted under a soffit.

  • Smoke detectors installed on open joist ceilings must be mounted flat on the bottom of a joist but cannot be mounted inside the joist space.

  • No ceiling height or size requirement.