In Maryland, the section 8 process can take up to a few weeks. The housing department sends out an inspector to inspect the property. In many cases, the inspector will require some repairs to be made. The timeframe of getting a section 8 completed will depend on how quickly the inspector can get out to the property for the initial inspection. Then if any repairs are required to be made, it will depend on how quickly the homeowner can get the repairs done. Once the repairs are done, the housing inspector will need to go back out to re-inspect the property to be sure every repair on the list has been completed.
In regard to pre-screening tenants, here at DeHanas once we receive an application, we immediately pull their credit report. We also verify employment, contact present and previous landlords to make sure they have paid their rent on time, etc. We also look at their current debt to income ratios based on what is on their credit report to make certain that they make enough to cover the rent each month. Then once we finish gathering all of that information, we present to the homeowner for a final decision.
I hope I have answered your questions. Please feel free to contact me for further information :)