Section 8 Success Story

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One of our members, Jason Barnett decided to share a success story about his experience with Section 8 that we wanted to share below:

“I posted here a few weeks ago about a problem that I was having with a Section 8 tenant. For those that don’t know my situation, here it was:

I had mold damage in an apartment and a tenant that had complained to the health department about it (2 days after she notified me of the problem!). I read the complaint letter from the health department and I agreed to do everything that was asked of me (and then some).

During this time my tenant harassed me saying that I didn’t care about her health and that she wanted to move out of the apartment. She called Section 8 several times and asked them if they could break the lease, but they said the only way out was for me to agree to let the tenant go. However mad this women made me, she had a financial obligation (a lease) and I refused to break the lease because it is not easy to get new tenants this time of year.

The tenant made several trips to doctors and had the doctors write letters to me declaring she should not be around mold. Yet I never agreed to break her contract all this time because I agreed to clean up all of the mold problems.

Then last Friday I received a phone call; it was the Deputy Director of the local Section 8 office. We spoke for some time over this issue and I reiterated that I had cleaning crews ready to go and that I would do everything that the health department recommended. At this point the Deputy Director told me, “Well we want her out of the apartment and we are willing to pay rent on the apartment if you are willing to break the lease.” After some negotiation we agreed in principle that Section 8 would give me everything that they owed to me through the end of this month and they would also give me 4 months’ worth of rent. Yesterday I received the paperwork for this agreement and the rest is history.

The moral of this story? Know your rights and keep your cool no matter what a tenant says to you. People can say whatever they want, but legal documents are binding. In my case I was able to get rid of a PROBLEM TENANT (no prior history though… hmmm….) and I actually made money off of the deal. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!!!

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, publisher, educator, and co-author of How to Invest in Real Estate. He started BiggerPockets to help democratize the real estate investing landscape for himself and others, aiming to make it accessible for everyone, regardless of income or education. Today, BiggerPockets is the premier real estate investing website online with over one million members and reaching over 70 million people with the message of financial freedom through real estate investing. Joshua, along with his wife and three daughters, make their home in Denver, Colorado, and spend any time they can traveling, exploring, and adventuring. Read more about Joshua’s story in 5280 and


  1. WELL DONE!!! I have good Sec.8 tenants right now but 1 wants to move out b/c utilities are too much. I trying do everything I can to screen my prospective tenants to prevent any home wreckers from getting under my roof, under my skin, and into my bank account. Any recommendations?

  2. John Billinsworth on

    That is a good one! I like you. You managed to get paid for allowing someone to exist in this space that was ‘yours’ as you say. Then when that person no longer wanted to be in this space that is yours. You forced them to stay, or keep paying you for renting ‘your’ space.

    Now the government (The U.S. public) has to give you 4 months of rent, for ‘your space’ that you aren’t even renting.

    -They say that when the bomb is dropped, only the cockroaches would survive. But sometimes I have a hard time telling the two species apart

  3. Joshua is in the right here, people. He had a contract (lease). He performed and was willing to perform more, the other party needs to do the same, regardless of who is paying for it.

    I think you’d feel differently if it was you on the other end of a lease and had the screws applied to you.

    – C

  4. I live in garden complex that took section 8. These low lifes don’t work, they hang out ALL Day drinking, smoking and roaming the premises watching every move working people make. THey are into criminal mischief, dirty, continually drop cigarette butts ll over the place and they leave filth and problems everywhere they go. They all know each other very well and reek havoc on on the people that work all day.And as far as sleep goes these night crawlers roam the grounds as soon as it gets dark until the sun comes up, then they go to bed!

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