Whoever came up with the clever phrase that a rising tide lifts all ships clearly did not have Section 8 housing in mind.

In the currently red-hot East Bay real estate market, we’ve seen a growing number of Oakland landlords that want to opt-out of Section 8 housing. When buyer’s remorse sets in and rental property owners want to jump ship, these owners get discouraged to learn that it’s not so easy to part ways.

A landlord’s participation in Section 8 has always been a trade-off between the appeal of rent security through guaranteed subsidies, shorter vacancies and lower turnover, among other benefits, and less endearing aspects of the program such as onerous regulations and oversight. The calculus changes in rising real estate markets, when the bad outweighs the good.

Take a look at one landlord’s harrowing experience with subsidized housing. Although this video is from Omaha, the frustrations of this owner should resonate with rental housing providers everywhere.

Closer to home, Oakland landlords cannot unilaterally opt-out of the Section 8 program. The Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) will only sever ties when the lease has been terminated, and this begs the question how to terminate the tenancy. The answers are found in Oakland’s Measure EE, the Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance that delineates the legally recognized grounds for eviction.

As the foremost practitioners in just cause evictions and managing landlord-tenant relationships, Bornstein Law is happy to engage and answer any questions related to Section 8 and assist Oakland rental housing providers transition away from the program if permissible reasons exist.

Bornstein Law