5 Reasons Why You Should Rent To Section 8 Tenants

by | BiggerPockets.com

Real estate investors have a love/hate relationship with Section 8, a financial housing assistance program provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). I’ve heard horror stories about tenants completely wrecking properties, tenants moving large numbers of adults and children into the home, and other flavors of major drama.

There are certainly some downfalls to renting under Section 8, but for my husband and I the positives far outweigh the negatives.  Particularly in these tougher economic times, we are enjoying the benefits of Section 8 and here are 5 key reasons why we will continue to leverage this government funded program:

1: On-time and convenient payments

I receive my rents (either full or a large percentage) from HUD on time every single month via direct deposit into my business checking account.  I don’t get excuses from HUD about why the rent is late.  The money is there.

2: Protection from tenant’s financial hardships

I’ve had a tenant go on an unpaid leave of absence from work for 4 months due to health issues…if this tenant wasn’t on Section 8 she likely would’ve been evicted unfortunately due to non-payment of rent (and we’d be faced with a short term vacancy).  Instead, HUD picked up 100% of the rental payment until the tenant could get back to her job.

3: Higher Rents

Not only are our rent payments guaranteed and stable despite a tenant’s hardship, but HUD is like the best the game in town when it comes to the rental rates.  We’re able to get $1200-$1600/month in lower income neighborhoods (we don’t do war zones though….) where the purchase prices are less than $75K.   In higher end areas, we’d pay twice as much for the house, but still only be able to get $1400-$1600/month in rent.  There would likely be higher and faster appreciation in those nicer areas, but we always look at appreciation as icing on the cake anyway.  It’s worth researching in your own local area!

4: Free access to a pool of potential tenants and low-cost marketing

With GoSection8.com, I’m able to list our properties and review tenant profiles.  For a small fee, I’m able to do a premium listing to get more attention on my property when tenants are searching.  I used to think that perhaps the applicant pool was unlikely to have internet access to review profiles, but that doesn’t seem to a problem and I believe that HUD also provides paper listings in the offices for those without internet access.

5: Short Vacancies

Perhaps not every city has a list a mile long of Section 8 participants with vouchers who are seeking housing, but ours certainly does.  Filling a vacancy is a pretty quick process once your property has already been inspected and approved for the program.

These are just a few reasons why I believe investors should take a very good look at the Section 8 programs in their respective cities.  The horror stories that you may have heard could happen even with non-Section 8 tenants and I feel that with careful screening, landlord references, and a general attitude of respect for your tenant and pride in the condition of your property, you will reduce the probability of experiencing your own horror story.

About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog, GoodFaithInvesting.com, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!


  1. I’ve rented to both Section 8 and market rate tenants for 40 years. I’ve probably dealt with thousands of tenants over the years. Everything you say is true. As long as you screen your applicants (and this goes for all applicants, not just Section 8 ) I can verify there is no difference in quality of the people, or the condition the property is kept or left in. I often play a mental game in which I pick 3 tenants who I’d want to live with in a 4-unit building. Every one of my top 3 was a Section 8 tenant — out of thousands.

        • Salome Dcunha

          Hi Mary, since you’ve got so much experience, I’m assuming you stayed on top of market rents and increased accordingly over time. What advice do you have for new real estate investors who are evaluating properties that have current section 8 tenants with really low rents? The low rents make the analysis of the property’s numbers show that it’s not a deal at the listed price, but would/could this be a missed opportunity of just drastically increasing rents?

      • Thank you Shae the kind words and support for those of us trying to get back on our feet is nice in a world were we are persecited and harassed for being” on the program”. Even now my family which consits of me my wife who is disabled my daughter and son have such a difficult time renting and finding properties that are safe. I have seen posts online where people talk about burning the house down with sec 8 tenants in it to,”solve the problems”. I always wonder why the rent from the state is different from rent I would earn myself. Since if I was stable and had a good job people have no problem renting to you, but mention sec 8 and suddenly its “oh no we dont take that anymore”. Why are we so discriminated against? We are looking to move now and are still having a hard time because it seems easy to get to the inner city where all the drugs and crime is. I dont want my kids around that. I applaud your words and your faith thank you.

    • i have been in the business for 20 years and that is not true, I would say about half section 8 tenants can be considered human beings the rest are just animals. I am shocked at the level of savagery they will go to to avoid paying their utility bills but of course they will pay their cable bill

      • you are being too kind to say half. We took a chance on one more recently. We held the house over a month for her while HUD took their time oking it. Then we only got 100.00 deposit as that was all she ‘said’ she had. (normally it would have been 800.00). For all the kindness we showed her, she lost her voucher because she moved in an ex con, they both defecated in all rooms for meaness before they moved and tore out the screens in the windows. She was there only a month and we were nice to her. She was the last we will take a chance with. There is no upside and the damage they do is horrendous.

        • It is truly a shame that tenants like the one you had for a month that defacated on the floors ruin it for people like me who deserve nice housing. I am a single mother of 2 boys that are both very well-behaved and they are both in the gifted program at school. Granted you don’t have to be smart to be clean and respectful. However, I am on the waiting list for Section 8 and will be for a couple more years. I am getting my B.S. in Health Science and hope that I will be able to find a nice home in a decent area. I’m the best tenant anyone could wish for. I pride myself on keeping a clean home that smells good and looks nice. It makes me feel good to be that way. I just wanted you to know that, for what it’s worth, there are still some good Section 8 families out there. I understand that low-income sometimes warrants low-morale and desperation but I just thought I’d put it out there that there are still people out there that are respectful and appreciative.

        • I have a house I would like to rent to a section 8 what steps do I need to take or contact I am new to this thanks

        • I second the fact it is a shame that some of the section 8 voucher holders ruin it for the rest of us who are so extremely grateful for the assistance this voucher gives us. I speak for all the disabled persons who absolutely must accept help from section 8 in order to live on the income social security disability provides, which is not much, especially if you do not have children, or they are all grown. If it were not for the assistance with housing I don’t know how I would make it. The disabled did not choose this, it was forced on us due to the condition of our health. It is so hard to find decent housing in a safe neighborhood that accepts section 8 vouchers due to the stigma that some voucher holders have given section 8. If I owned property and were renting it, I would feel safer renting it to a section 8 holder due to the strict rules voucher holders must follow in order to keep their assistance. Granted, there are those who will never appreciate help when given to them, and you can eliminate this type by just asking to visit them where they currently live, this will show you how they keep house and care for the home they live in, and will give you a good idea how they will care for your property. A disabled person with a section 8 voucher will not likely move either, it is difficult and expensive to do this when disabled, and usually have help from the county and family in caring for their homes. I hate to see the words “absolutely no section 8” in a rental ad. Property managers and owners should be open to decent section 8 voucher holders.

        • I think she wasn’t taken it out you.. Section eight is a full time job for this people . Now what poor thing couldn’t get a break .. We should all look to the sky . Look at the moon , it’s almost always around ,, sorry that happened . But we all have bad days , even you miss kindness , try to not let that one moment , put a bad taste in your mouth . That could of been anyone of us ,, be kind jules

  2. I have had trouble with the housing authority. Make sure you have your ducks in a row with them and document everything. I have had to send in paperwork 3 times because they lost it the first two. They still owe me several months rent. Reason #32 to have reserves.

    That said, I still enjoy the benefits of sec 8. One powerful benefit is landlord protection. If you have proof a tenant is not taking care of your property, you can use the housing authority to straighten that tenant out before problems get really bad. No tenant wants to lose that sec 8 voucher. They will often shape up.

    Good post Shae.

    • Hi Jason, sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with the housing authority in your area. There was one incident where my husband had to physically go to the office to get some fixed that was screwed up (because all the emails and phone calls didn’t help)…this was an instance when we purchased a property that already had a Section 8 tenant in there.

      By the way, I agree with you 110% regarding the need for reserves. I think you’ve inspired another blog post 🙂

    • Same here. My wife was handling the paperwork with them and we got the green light – a verbal contract a few days before the written contract. My wife made the mistake of letting the tenant move in, then a previous landlord complained and they suspended the tenant from the program pending investigation. Needless to say we didn’t get paid and held out for several weeks waiting to get paid until I finally coaxed the tenant to just leave.

      My friend who had a contract and had been renting to a section 8 tenant is still owed a months rent. The tenant and contract are long done with but the balance remains. I dont know all the details.

      In my experience it is the different City housing authorities that you need to worry about, not the tenants. Get a good competent housing authority and you will be happy. Get a bad one full of incompetent staff and you will be very sad.

  3. I have yet to venture into real estate investing but I can tell you as a Realtor I take several call a week (sometimes a day) from potential clients looking to rent using a section 8 voucher. Unfortunately the pickings are slim here in Charles County Maryland. I wish more landlords were as opened minded as you are.

    • Yeah, I really do think that the program gets a bad reputation and that many investors are concerned about property damage, and other issues. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just haven’t seen any compelling proof that properties will have significantly decreased risk of damage with non-Section 8 tenants.

    • Hi Liz, I live in Charles County and I am considering putting my home in the section 8 program. I think is a good way to have someone rent your house and get a guaranteed check every month. I just need to look into the program and requirements more.

    • Hey Liz,

      I am looking at renting my property with individuals that under the section 8 voucher. I am doing a lot of research on this, but there is a lot of negative responses on the net. If you would like to send me any information, I would greatly appreciate it.


  4. I agree in general that whether a tenant will be a good one or not does not equate to whether they are a Section 8 tenant or not. I’ve had great and horrible as both Section 8 and non-Section 8 tenants. One thing I must disagree on, though, is that Section 8 will assist (to any great degree) with a “problem” tenant. I was told that originally, but have since learned first hand that that is not the case. I have had at least five Section 8 tenants totally trash my different houses, and Section 8 basically said there was nothing they could do, and issued them a voucher to go trash the next house. One purposely damaged the house because Section 8 at the time was only issuing moving vouchers if it was considered an emergency. She was in the middle of her lease, but decided she felt like moving. They proceeded to do things like stand on and rock the new toilet until it was literally ripped out of the bathroom floor, and then proceeded to call the Section 8 inspectors and the City. They suceeded in getting the house kicked off the program and also condemned! (That was only one of many things they did.)

    I do like getting my checks automatically in the mail each month, but please be aware that apparently not all Section 8 programs are created equal!

    • Thanks for your comments, Dawn. I think that’s a solid point…the fact that not all Housing Departments are created equal. That’s a terrible story regarding the tenant who trashed a place just to be able to move..ugh.

    • I guess it makes sense that not all housing authorities are created equal. In my experience in Lafayette, IN the section 8 folks are very helpful for straightening out a bad tenant.

      I had one tenant that was being very rough on my property. Only 6 months into the lease the carpets needed cleaning, a few walls needed repainting, a window sill was torn up and a cabinet door was torn off. Secion 8 threatened to remove the tenant from the program if they didn’t straighten up and take care of the damage.

      Since the tenants are unemployed and play X-box all day getting removed from the section 8 program would be a big life changing event that they didn’t want. So they took care of most of the damage that they could do on their own and then reimbursed me for a few of the repairs that we hired out. Section 8 reps came out to reinspect the property after the repairs were made to ensure compliance. I was very pleased with this outcome as normally I would have to evict and then pay for the repairs myself.

      • I just had another closing thought since it looks like section 8 varies from area to area. Just contact some of the larger property managers in your area and ask them how secion 8 is to work with. They should be able to tell you what their opinion is and give you a recommendation.

        • Thanks for sharing your experiences as well! I think it is a great idea to ask property managers and/or other landlords to provide some insight into the local housing authority.

    • My mother has over 40 properties and rents to Sec 8. For a year I’ve been handling them for her. I’ve thrown many of them out. A ..VERY…few are good renters. The deal is some of these people are in this position because they are deadbeats. They will not work and do nothing bud sit home all day and tear the place to ribbons! Of the ones I’ve thrown out, I’ve replaced them with good hard working people that pay their rent on time and keep the places clean.
      Yesturday, I went in 2 places that made me cry. 1st one we had had 3 different plumbing companies. For the past 6 months we have had to send a plumber out every 2 weeks to 1 mo, all come back same story. Woman won’t flush toliet till full of paper n stops it up. I state to her the future plumbers were on her. She went nuts, tore the place up, including burning holes in carpet with a hot iron, then called for an emergency inspection. The inspector found bogus things, such as mold on a wall. We went to look and the ‘mold’ was where she had tore the paint n top off the sheetrock. I told her to get a new voucher n get out! One of the plummers was familiar with her n stated she had tore up several properties around town.
      The 2nd was a neighbor who tipped us off saying get out there quick. When we drove up, pieces of the wood paneling was laying in the yard along with broken furniture. We found 9 windows knocked out, the 2 outside doors pulled off. All the screens tore out. When we went inside it was even worse!
      We have nice properties and we paint n put in new carpet with most renters. A stove and ref. We also have a full time handyman and several plummers. I’m getting rid of these people. I would say 1 in 10 ..may..make a good renter. The rest need to be in cages and hosed down daily like in a zoo!

        • “if your expectations are that 9 out of 10 of your tenants will be people who should be caged and hosed down daily”

          You are making light of my experience with them. As I stated we have over 40 properties. What I mentioned was just what happened the day before. I have more horro stories. To say my …EXPECTATIONS.. should be replaced with …my EXPERIENCE.. with them. I’ve had a lot of it with that many properties. How many do you own?

          I know HUD tries to get people to rent to them and may have even asked you to write this. We have nice properties and we expect them to be tried that way. The ones I’ve found that will…ARE NOT HUDDERS!!!!
          People don’t want them cause they tear the places apart. You are trying to encourage novice investors to do this. My Mother’s company has been there over 30 years. This is nothing new with them.
          The only way it will work is if you buy in an area where no one would live and because of the crime, can buy cheap. Then you fix it up just to get buy code. Next you wouldn’t make inspections. Just ride it out for the year to get the money and accept the damage.
          The problem with that theory is they would give you back a pile of saw dust within 5 years. We are not slum lords. I would tell anyone, stay away from Hudders. I don’t lie.

        • I’m sorry, Gail. I don’t mean to make light of your experience and I don’t think you were lying at all. I was reacting to what I considered to be pretty hateful language, but I’m not looking for a fight here. I think the experiences you’ve had really suck…and I know you’re not the only one to have experiences like that. The reason why I wrote this article was because I wanted to bring some balance to this topic. My personal experience is nothing like yours and I also know many investors who have Section 8 tenants, have had more good than bad experiences, and would disagree with the 9 out of 10 statement. Anyway, wish you the best with your real estate investing.

      • OMG!!! She sounds INSANE!!!

        I am a Section 8 tenant and have been for 2 yrs and it has been such a blessing!! My husband, me, our 14 yr old daughter, 7 yr old son, 3 dogs and kitty have very good rental history with our proper owner! We LOVE the house and have taken very good care of it. We pay our rent like we should, we have never been in trouble and they come in once a month to change the air filter and they never gave us warnings or anything. It might be a little cluttered b/c of our kiddos but never ever trashed or anything like that. The house is so gorgeous we want to keep it nice! We always comply with them and have only had to have them out to our house 3 times in 2 yrs (plumbing issues & a ceiling fan started to break from the ceiling not by us) We hate to leave but soon are porting and we absolutely LOVE the property owners.

        Im so sorry you had such bad terrible people.. I look at this as a blessing and we make sure to always follow rules, we are married so CHOOSE to NOT have anyone live with us. I personally do not want anyone else living with us. We got on Section 8 a month before Christmas 2 yrs ago and they even said in that meeting: IF YOU ARE HERE, YOU HAVE JUST RECEIVED A BLESSING

        It has been such a great blessing and we are so thankful!

        • Kira,
          Hateful is dodoing in the floor for the landlord to clean up, hateful is taking a crowbar to the walls and calling Sect 8 for an emergency inspection because the landlord told you for the past 6 months you have stopped up the toilets every 2 to 4 weeks with baby toys and the next plumber you are going to have to pay for!

          The truth is, landlords or going to rent based on their past experiences with Section 8 tenants.

  5. Oh no you are so wrong about section 8 people. I lived next door to two different section 8 people and they are mental cases. One was a couple and always fighting and did damage to my car. The other one was a young man I think it was mentally ill. He would pick on my car as I was the only one around near his apt and would throw garbage around the front of my place and in my parking space.

    • I just want to say that I happen to have a section 8 voucher. I had to go through absolute HELL to get it. I am a single mother and I have severe depression, and also Fibromyalgia. I’ll have you know that I take BEAUTIFUL care of my apartment and my children. My house is ALWAYS spotless, we are considerate of our neighbors and I don’t allow my kids to destroy the property. You really need to watch out about generalizations. There may be some people who get section 8 that don’t respect their landlord’s property and aren’t good tenants, but in my last apartment, my neighbors were the ones who were destructive, disrespectful animals, NOT ME. Most people who get their section 8 voucher have had to wait a long time for it and don’t want to jeopardize their housing so they take care of the apartment they are renting. I’m sorry you may have had negative experiences, but not all “hudders”, (which someone else on this thread referred to section 8 tenants as and which sounds pretty derogatory, how would all landlords like to be called slum lords just because there are some out there?) fall into the category of being irresponsible and disrespectful tenants.

  6. Shae — what do you find the financial “sweet spot” (i.e. best rental rates per purchase dollar and highest quality tenants) in terms of #s of BRs or other aspects of a property.

    Thanks, David

    • Hi David, I bet everyone would have a slightly different answer for you, but for me personally I only deal with 3 or 4 bedroom single family homes at the moment. 2 bathrooms is always good and avoiding war zones is helpful too 😉

      I actually like the idea of owning duplexes (because often the rental income from one unit covers the expenses of both units) but I’ve had difficulty finding them in neighborhoods I’d be willing to hold properties in….at least in my city. If I chose to invest in another market at some point, I’d do more with multi-family properties.

  7. There is a provision in Section 8 leases re Section 8 reimbursing landlords for damages. It’s best to document via a Move-In Unit Inspection Report, which is signed by both tenant & landlord. It’s also easy these days to take a bunch of dated pictures and store them on your computer, in case you need them. Personally, I’ve never tried to collect damages from Section 8, but the point is to document as much as you can on move-in, so you won’t be scrambling later if a problem develops. But always, the most important thing is to screen applicants thoroughly before move-in.

  8. I agree Mary about the screening process. At the time, I was leaving it to my property manager (which I fired a long time ago). Now I do it myself and it goes a lot better.

    I will check the Section 8 paperwork I have, being that I currently have a Section 8 tenant (not the same one I referenced before) who we know has broken windows, broken closet doors, ripped up new flooring, thrown her trash and debris in the back yard instead of in the trash where it belongs, etc. This was documented in her annual inspection, and was all marked down as a LANDLORD issue to be addressed, not as a tenant responsibility! Meanwhile, the house was just reconstructed and passed a Section 8 inspection a year earlier, when none of the items were broken, otherwise we wouldn’t have passed the initial inspection in the first place! So everything is documented by Section 8. (I also do have a Move-In/Move-Out Condition report that also indicates everything was 100% when she moved in.) It would be hard for them to argue with themselves, but knowing the Section 8 I deal with, they probably would find some bizarre logic!

    I will check the Section 8 contract I have, and write a letter citing the section that talks about damages, if it’s in there, so that both the tenant and Section 8 is put on notice. At the very least I know it’s in my lease that she is not supposed to damage the house.

    • With the broken windows it sounds like there is more damage than the security deposit will cover. Hope you’re able to get things resolved, Dawn. Frankly, I always anticipate that I’ll have to change carpeting (only once the tenants leave) and I’ve definitely had the issue with doors too (but fortunately that’s inexpensive to fix).

      • I should have specified. The flooring was a brand new linoleum floor in the kitchen that they somehow tore up (probably dragged furniture or something heavy across it). Either way, her $500 security deposit isn’t going to cover this month’s rent (Section 8 disqualified the house – I wasn’t about to fix everything and then have her damage it again before moving; she had already given notice and was “supposed” to be out by the time her lease expired on 10/31), her damages, etc.

  9. I have section 8 tenants so for people considering Section 8 here’s a few warnings. As a government agency they are slow and not reasonable

    In Los Angeles, Section 8 cut their expenses early this year so they lowered the maximum rent they pay across the board, my maximum Section 8 rent is lower than my market rent . Also, they’ve chosen to double/half occupancy, so before 6 occupants get 5-6 bedrooms, the new rules are 6 occupants max 3 bedrooms

    One thing that irks me is the yearly inspection. I’m fairly handy and I do an inspection a month before my section 8 inspection to fix a lot of stuff but if I wasn’t, I’d pay $500-$1,000 every year for repairs and after the first inspection you only get 3 weeks to fix everything. They even make you pay for things that are tenant responsibilities and you don’t want to fight with section 8 over who should fix something. If it says landlord replace burned out light bulbs and wash all the dishes, you do it or you loose your rent

    Also, next year, they will require proof of RRP certification . For me that was a $1,000 expense ($200 class, $300 registration, $400 hepa vacuum) It will catch most landlords by surprise and you probably only get 3 weeks to fix everything and get your proof of RRP

    • ‘”In Los Angeles, Section 8 cut their expenses early this year so they lowered the maximum rent they pay across the board, my maximum Section 8 rent is lower than my market rent . Also, they’ve chosen to double/half occupancy, so before 6 occupants get 5-6 bedrooms, the new rules are 6 occupants max 3 bedrooms ”

      I ran into the same thing. THEY ARE NOW PAYING BELOW MARKET VALUE. They will try to argue you down on the rent. I’ve asked where/how they come up with ‘their’ market average and they can’t give me a good answer.
      I rented a 4 bedroom to them and the got 3 bedroom pay. On calling them on it, what they explained to me was that even though it was 4 bedroom the woman in charge at HUD, due to the most recent budget cut, decided that one of the girls should sleep in the same room with the elderly, dying, grandmother who was on oxygen. Therefore after they were in, HUD decided to pay for 3 bedrooms. The only alternative I had was to throw a dying woman in the street which I wouldn’t do. She died in our house under those conditions.

      I’ve also experienced HUD adding people to …THEIR… copy of the lease and I knew nothing of it. The more people, the more wear and tear. One large house of ours looked like a army barracks.

      I can say my experience with HUD has not been good. I also think it VERY unwise to have anything above a few, if you must have any. When you rent to HUD, you have put a middleman between you and the tenant and you have lost a degree of control of your own property.They are going to side with the tennant. That is who they are working for with your tax dollars.
      I can see no upside at all to renting to them. Most tear the place up, The rent is below market value, no, or very little deposit, so when they tear it up, the money comes out of your hide. The only thing left to argue about is a steady rent check. I have found after talking to many other landlords, a good strong lease takes care of that. If rent isn’t there by the 5th, start eviction and late charges. Don’t fall for the sob sad stories. What you have started eviction, don’t accept part of the rent. If you do, you have to start the eviction all over again. Have in your lease, how much they are libel for a foot for damaged carpet, knocked out windows, etc. That way when you go to court,you already have a final damage amount before rehabbing. I found this out the hard way. If we didn’t own our properties outright, we would have been ruined.. Give your phone number to neighbors and encourage them to call you if they see anything bad going on. They don’t like to be abused either.

      • So you know most of the hud tenents? WOW,,,your popular ! My girlfriend has been on hud in the same place for six years now,,shes a working teacher and takes excellent care of her place. You don’t know jack Jack.

  10. With Section 8 tenants make sure they can get the utilities in their name or someone’s name. Watch when the section 8 tenant wants to move make sure the utilities are up to date . If not send a letter to the caseworker indicating the tenant is not in good standing.

    • That’s a great tip, Ann Marie! Although with public utilities like water and electricity, even if they are in the tenant’s name (Section 8 or otherwise), you’ll still get stuck holding the bill as the owner if the tenant chooses not to pay. Ask me how I know. LOL!

  11. Shae, for some one interested in building a rental portfolio that includes section 8 tennants, where do you start? Is there a link you can provide with info about who to contact?
    My experience with government agencies is not so good. My wife and I were foster parents to our grand children. It was like after we suffered all of the humility and jumped through the hoops to get certified, we dropped off the face of the earth with DHS here in Little Rock. I know the two departments are not related. But, I hope they are not managed the same.
    I do have a funny story about qualifying a tennant…..during the completion of a rehab a couple of years ago, a fellow rehabber and I were visiting in the driveway. A young man walked up to us and announced he was ready with a deposite to move into my house. Then he asked me what he had to do to qualify. I told him, “Nothing. No applications. If you have a deposite and 1 month’s rent you qualify….after I inspect how you have treated your current landlord’s property.” I try not to be judgemental. But, with some you just know.

    • Hey Don, as you can see from the comments not all Housing Departments are created equal, so I think you’ll find that some are run rather smoothly and others are a bit of a mess. If you do a Google search on “(Whatever city name) Housing Authority” you’ll find information about the local program. For example, I think you live in Little Rock… when I did a search on Little Rock Housing Authority it led me here: http://www.lrhousing.org/.

      Hope this helps!

  12. Hi Shae!

    Hope you are doing well.

    The numbers you give under point #3 look pretty awesome. Especially with a purchase price of $75,000 and under with those market rents. .. Pretty fantastic indeed.

    As an aside, it is always interesting to read about and make comparisons between the similarities and differences between real estate investing in Canada and in the USA.

    There are a lot of differences for sure!

    All the best,

    • Hey Neil, always great to see you here 🙂 Yes, the numbers are pretty sweet and while I’m not sure how long they will last, we will enjoy them for as long as they do.

      My market is not the norm in U.S. It has gone through some serious declines (not as much with rental rates, but certainly with property values) and while long term prospects are good for appreciation, I expect in the short term the buying opportunities at these low values will be plentiful.

      Thanks for your comments!

  13. Part of the reason why the section-8 pickings are so slim in Charles County is because it takes entirely too long for the inspector to come out and inspect the property. Apparently they only have 2 inspectors for the entire county. We called on the 19th of the month, the inspector came out on the 3rd of the next month, we failed the inspection 3 days ago and have no clue why or what failed. When you try to contact the inspectors they never answer the phone and don’t call you back. We have been calling to get a copy of the inspection report and have received nothing. We don’t know when we will receive the report or even when a follow-up inspection can be done. For prospective landlords it’s a huge hassle while your property sits vacant, and for tenants it’s a huge hassle to figure out if they will get in before their voucher expires. The blank inspection report is completely online, but the items that are considered failure items seem pretty basic and straight forward; apparently they are not. We will just has to see what our report says, whenever we receive it. This is our first time and not a very good experience at all.

  14. I have a good idea. If yo’re going to write an article and make up the impoortant parts then at least use numbers that make sense.

    “We’re able to get $1200-$1600/month in lower income neighborhoods (we don’t do war zones though….) where the purchase prices are less than $75K. In higher end areas, we’d pay twice as much for the house, but still only be able to get $1400-$1600/month in rent.”

    Anyone buying investment properties today knows that you’re not collecting $1200-$1600 a monh in rent. Nice try. Shame on this website to allow you to write an article. That shows me the people running this site don’t invest either.

    • Jon –
      I have a better idea. Before you start getting nasty, you might want to do YOUR homework (here’s a great place to start: http://www.huduser.org/portal/) and verify that you know what you’re talking about. Here’s a look at HUD’s Fair Market Rents for 2011: http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr2011f/FY2011F_ScheduleB_rev2.pdf

      I believe that in Stamford/Norwalk, CT, Section 8 Fair Market rents are over $2,800. You’ll note that rents in many parts of the country fall into the range that Shae mentioned.

      We’ll both be looking forward to your apology . . .

      • LOL! Wow….someone needs to give Jon a hug.

        Josh, excellent reference document to show the HUD values across the country. Sure, not everyone is going to get $1200-$1600 for a 3 bedroom in their market, but we are fortunate to do so in ours.

      • Yes i do need a hug and to learn how to spell.

        However the 1st link you sent me has no information on it. The 2nd link doesn’t mention anything close to $2,800 a month. The highest rent on the 2nd link is $1,013 for a 3 bedroom inBaldwin county. Now you’re saying $2,800 a month? I’m hoping i’m an idiot and have come across the greatest gold mine ever.

        If so i’ll write about how i’m a moron and bigger pockets is the greatest.

        However i’ve been a full time investor since 2004. I’ve owned section 8 in Jackson, Mississippi ( i just wanted to spell that for fun) and Memphis TN. I’ll put some possible embarrasment on the line.

        I’m calling Shae full of it. If i’m wrong i’ll admit it and you can make fun of me all you want. ( To be honest i hope i’m wrong and i’ll go buy one of these properties) So i’m calling you out Shea. I’m saying you read some numbers online or heard what someone else said they we’re doing and you don’t truly rent section 8, 3 bedroom single family houses for $1,600 a month!

        I’m willing to do homework. What city is this in? Zip code? I can figure the rest out from there. I’ll post my true findings. With links, verifiable information and my report on whether i’m the moron or Shea is full of it.

        On top of all that- MERRY CHRISTMAS!

        • Jon, the first link has an error, just remove the trailing ) or type in the website manually.

          Here is the data set from the second link.

          Stamford-Norwalk, CT HMFA……………………. 1190 1449 1811 2360 2851 Fairfield County towns of Darien town, Greenwich town, New Canaan town, Norwalk town, Stamford town, Weston town, Westport town, Wilton town

          $2,851 for a 4 bedroom. It says it right there in the HUD data set. I believe this information is the most that Section-8 will pay. It does not mean that the tenant is necessarily going to pay it. In fact, I would be willing to bet for a tenant with a voucher large enough to cover this rent that they would not be wasting it on on some $75K sh!t-box.

          But Shea is saying she gets $1,600, not $2851 which the data would seem to support assuming it is a 3-4 bedroom. I too find it hard to believe. Perhaps we should all start investing there. The best I can get in the greater Dallas area from Section-8 is $1,100 for a 3 bedroom with a FMV of a little under $100K. The HUD data set says $1,160 so maybe it’s time to raise the rent.

        • Oh I forgot to mention. I think what Shae was trying to point out is that wherever you are you can get above market rents with section-8. At least that has been my experience.

        • Hi Robert…yes, that was the indeed the point. I gave an illustration of my local market in South Florida, but in my conversations with investors in other markets, it seems that the HUD rates are competitive in their areas as well.

        • Jon, I’ve found in my area of upstate NY, there are various Section8 vouchers. Aside from those tied directly to the apartment, (where the tenant is qualified and gets the assistance only for as long as he lives in the apartment, and then it goes to the next tenant upon move-out), depending on when the funding was obtained by the local municipality, how much was available at funding, and other variables, the amounts differ. I’ve had apartment-based vouchers (the most $), enhanced tenant-based vouchers (more $), certificates and regular vouchers (less $). That’s 4 different types of Section 8 money in just the small geographic area I work in, with potentially 4 ceiling rents I could charge for the same apartment. The amount was a function of money available at the time the program was implemented, as well as the market rents in the area at the time the money was funded. Some vouchers I’ve had were above market rent, some comparable, and some under — all in the same town.

          And here’s that hug you need. (( )) You might also want to try something for that itching. It’s making you crabby.

  15. Love love Section 8! As a real estate investment firm, we have to protect the investments of our clients… so we typically seek working class section 8 tenants. In addition, we’ve never had a problem collecting late rents from the tenants portions, usually all it takes is a call and say that we will have to notify their caseworker if we don’t receive your payment asap. Check always follows shortly. And like you stated, because HUD typically pays more, the value of your property will be worth more as well. Horror stories come with free market renters as well as section 8 but we feel the pros definitely out-way the cons…It’s a win win situation – provide a safe living environment for your tenant, and having low turnaround, guaranteed rents.

  16. Can’t be quite as effusive as Ed Sanchez, but in our town (where I could only dream of Section 8 rents as high as Norwalk, CT) it’s also allowed me to keep more than one good tenant who fell on hard times and needed help. Section 8’s weirdness, as in all of HUDWorld, is that it makes up the rules as it goes along. It makes random changes to inspection requirements each year. We’ve learned to just shrug, do whatever new thing they’ve decided must be done this year (CO alarms? A smoke detector every 10 feet? Popcorn makers in all the kitchens?) & get on with our lives.

  17. Well, here’s reality for you all. I just bought a 2-unit in a lower income area for 65k. Total rent with Section 8 tenants will be $1,778/mo. You can run the numbers because, um, they’re the numbers.

    • Hey Mike! What part of Central PA are you from? I’m from York, PA. Your Section comment aroused my interest to say the least…then to find out you might be getting those numbers close to my area!! ; ) Looks like I might have to take a big look at Section 8 investing here in Southern/Central PA. Even before reading Shae’s great article, I had an interest in Section 8 rentals, but those numbers are just de-lic-ious!!! Thanks for putting yourselves out there, Shae and Mike!

  18. I think a key with Section 8 is being mindful when you run your numbers that you’re typically dealing with older property that may not be greatest shape to begin with (which is totally fine as that’s where you can get good buys). You’ve got to look for potential high cap ex in the early years and this can eat up your cash flow (which is the primary benefit with this scenario).

    Another thing is to become versed about the Payment Standards and the utility allowances. Learn the system of determining ‘rent reasonable’ and get these numbers in your head (not just on paper) for your target area. It will make you faster and more confident with your offers.

  19. I currently rent to section 8, but I run a full background check to make sure they don’t have a felony so they don’t lose their voucher. It’s insurance for myself. I have excluded many people by doing this.

  20. Hi Shae,

    What would be you definition of a war zone? Are there specific numbers to that definition such as murders per 1000 people?

    When investing in lower income (maybe higher crime) area, do you have concerns for your safety while visiting or going to maintain the property? If yes, what steps do you take to increase your personal safety?


    • Hi Bob! I’m sure that some people think of “war zone” based on numbers, but personally for me, I define war zone as an area that has police patrolling through nearly every night, either because there’s a problem in the neighborhood or because they are anticipating one.

      I don’t invest in those areas so I have no concerns regarding safety. Some of the neighborhoods we invest in are lower income, but they aren’t dangerous.

  21. I used to live in an apartment complex behind a section 8 building. from the looks of it, the building was beautifully-maintained, and as my roommate and I forked over almost $1600 every month, I envied my neighbors.

  22. Great article Shae! I’m new to properties & I’ve just recently purchased my first duplex. But sometime in the near future I’m looking to start my journeys into becoming a section 8 landlord. Do you think I should get more experience on the free market before I deal with section 8? I’m going to purchase a book named THE SECTION 8 BIBLE, to see if I really want to pursue this dream. Any advice?

    • Hi Ralph, congrats on purchasing your first duplex! In response to your question, I don’t think it makes a difference one way or the other. You may want to first talk to some others who do Section 8 in your area to find out what their experiences have been — as many have indicated in the comments, not all HUD offices are created equal and some may be more of a headache to deal with than others. Then you can make a decision, but my personal experience has been that the pros outweigh the cons.

  23. This is a great conversation. I currently don’t have any Section 8 tenants, but my first tenant was S8 and she rented from me for 2 years (and for 6 months on temporary rental assistance before S8).

    She had a good landlord reference and was a superb housekeeper. She was also demanding and belligerent, but generally took good care of the house. However, she had no fear of losing her voucher and got a pit bull despite the no pets policy. She also moved in her mother and brother against the lease policy. Her caseworker tried to help when possible with communication, but the only thing the tenant showed respect for was my attorney’s threat of eviction. Eventually, when her lease ended, she told me she’d renew if I let her have 2 pit bulls and installed a new kitchen floor. Despite the clockwork rent check, I was glad to see her go.

    I bought that book, the Section 8 Bible, and found some items very helpful and others way over the top. As for utilities, I make the tenant put them in their names, but water/sewer is lien-able in my state and I’ve been stuck with water bills more than once.

    My SFR investments are in a low/no income inner city area but not a war zone. I define war zones as asking my contractor if he would go there for repairs. If he wouldn’t go there, I wouldn’t buy there. And although I would go to all my rentals during the day, I’m not sure I’d walk around there at night.

    • Aly, thanks for adding to the conversation here! I really liked your last statement there about war zones…”if he wouldn’t go there, I wouldn’t buy there” Pretty solid rule of thumb (assuming your contractors care about their safety!) 😉 Have a great day!

  24. I have come up with a reason NOT to have Section 8 in California.
    I just gave my tenant notice. She is NOT section 8, and since she’s been there less 1 year and is on a month-to-month rental agreement I can to do a 30 day “no fault” notice. According to my research, if she WERE section 8 it would take 3 months to do the same thing. This particular tenant doesn’t understand why “no one told her” 5 domestic disturbances in 6 months and teen parties ’til 2 am were a problem, and of course everyone is “lying”, nothing is her fault and it’s so “unfair” that she is being considered “guilty until proven innocent” and “the girls said there were no guns — did the police report say that?” — YIKES!
    I realize that if she were Section 8 I might have more leverage to get her to behave, but my dealings with her have shown she tends to lie/deny until she gets caught, then she just plays dumb, which gets just plain annoying after a while (“What? “No pitbulls” means I can’t keep my son’s pitbull here for a week or two? “No pets” means two dogs and a couple cats loose in the house is a problem?)

  25. I think Section 8 really varies by the area. We had Section 8 for a while and it was OK, but the local housing authority seemed to loosen up their standards and we started getting some really shady characters, so we’re not taking Section 8 tenants anymore. If you’re thinking about doing Section 8, I would urge you to talk with other investors in the area that take Section 8 to find out how their experiences are. Some areas seem to be good, but other areas not so good.

    • As many have stated some section 8 agencies are better then others. In NH I have the state Section 8 which means I can move anywhere in the state of NH and out of NH if another state will accept my voucher. We also have towns with Section 8 housing. I have seen more problems with the town run ones. Like favoritism over who is next in line and I had to write the state when a disabled man was passed over many times. It was straightened out after that. I was a professional woman before becoming disabled in my 40’s and owned 2 homes so I treat my rental as if it were my own home. I have never had trouble finding an apartment because most landlords check with your last landlord anyway. It is a very stable way to get the rents each month in a floundering economy. Still there will be bad apples and as a landlord you really need to check on references. If they have none then don’t rent to them. Also first time renters can have trouble if they don’t know how to pay bills and clean up after themselves. If you have a quiet bldg rent to older folks, If you have college students keep it filled with young people. Same goes for children because they can be loud. No pets will save you a lot of rehab work but if the tenant proves to be responsible a neutered indoor cat is no big deal. I have a small Boston terrier and he is good company for me and I take care of him and his poo every time he goes and it goes into a lined can and then out with trash. There are the slum lords who buy cheap properties and don’t want to invest the money into making them habitable. They should not use section 8 tenants because landlords are required to have a yearly inspection and everything needs to work. You need railings on stairs and no broken windows, toilets, appliances, outlets, fire alarms etc. I had to move because my landlord would not replace old windows that you could push on and they would fall out of the house! He eventually replaced them after having a few tenants that did not pay their rent. All in all I think it is a smart way to go for landlords provided they check references. It is also good for the community because section 8 landlords have to keep their rentals up and have the money coming in to invest in their properties. My landlord only has 2 rentals and anything that breaks is fixed ASAP. I pay my rent early every month and keep everything immaculate so we both do our part. The types of people that use section 8 vary and there are low life’s and there are very nice people who have a disability or have a child and a low paying job. Some landlords just charge the highest rent they can get and don’t even care if the tenants even pay their lousy 100.00 dollar portion! They are still making out getting that 1,200 rent check from Section 8 for a junky rental not worth half of that. Just as there are good landlords and slum dog landlords and you sometimes can’t tell until the first time something breaks. It’s basically a crap shoot and sometimes you get lucky and find a nice apartment like I have now in a quiet neighborhood with quiet neighbors in the building.

  26. Renting to the Section 8 sector can make a lot of sense, despite the horror stories out there. No method of investing is hassle free unfortunately, particularly when it comes to renting out property. As has been mentioned, some areas are better than others, and some will change over time – for first timers entering the market, research is the key – and plenty of it!

  27. Shae – Seems like you have a great following. lol.

    I have a client here, in Corona, who wants property for section 8 renters only. He has a number of properties in another county but wants to expand. He said “there is no better tenant to rent to”. I would say there probably is a better client to rent to but… I do see his point.

  28. Hi, I’m new to real estate. I’m thinking about going in section 8 business. The target area will be Norwalk and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Can anyone here give me some suggestion? Usually how many people you need to interview to find a good tenant? Since the S8 voucher can be used in any town, if I buy a property in Bridgeport, it may not attract the good section 8 tenants, right? Any input will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Kim, welcome to the wild world of real estate 🙂 There’s no magic number in terms of the number of people you need to interview to find a good tenant. With Section 8, you want to check with the last landlord the person stayed with to see how they treated the property. You don’t have to do the same exact screening you’d do with a non-Section 8 tenant. For example, doing a credit check won’t be very meaningful.

  29. Hello Shae, I’m new to the section 8 side, after I lost my house, recently. I will be taking my 3 hour class and receive my Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher the same day on Nov 10th. How and when will I know how much I qualify for? How can I get approved for the maximum amount, if there is one? I’m currently looking for a house in the Georgia area on the gosection8 website. I’m a single male individual. Thanks

  30. Shae – You nailed it with this article… lots of great responses too. Some people jumped the gun by letting people in early. Section 8 is no different than any other real estate transaction where the golden rule is “everything in writing”. If you play by the rules it’s a very rewarding way to invest and hold.
    Keep up the good work 🙂
    Your’s in real estate, Allen!!

    • Thanks Allen….I agree with your comments and even as I type we’re about to have another Section 8 tenant move into one of our properties today. It’s been a year since I wrote this article, and I still stand by each of these points 🙂 Happy investing!

  31. Hi Shae first I would like to thank you for posting such positive experiences with sec.8! I am a section 8 tenant been on the program since 2000. I ported from NC in 2006 to Va it has been a nightmare trying to find housing. I’ve been in my current apt for 6 yrs never had any issues. However I’m now looking to move only for space issues but the landlords here are so against section 8 its like when you ask if they accept it the response is “oh no”! Click! But the properties that are listed under section 8 its like a rat race to contact the landlord. I just want to thank all the landlords that have said positive things about their section 8 experiences because not every one on section 8 is a bad tenant. There are actually some people who value where they live! I just wish more landlords would take a chance

  32. I grew up in a Section 8 apt. I ask you to think of the societal benefit of helping our nation’s poor, 1 in 6 now. It is the only answer that has any heart. Otherwise, we just vanquish people of ALL heritages to cement and brick-laden institutionalized genocide of the soul and/or body found through, for a lot, not for all of course, incarceration or warfare by showing them no other way but public housing that too often, is marginalized. I went to a half-decent school in a pretty town and I saw intact hard-working families all around me. I also sensed societal compassion that formed a trust in my government. The apt. may have been crowded and none-to-fancy, but the keys to my future were in my hands. This value of community involvement cannot be underrated. It is the foundation of sustainability and progress. The wealthy to working-class people surrounding me taught me through example and an awareness of opportunity. The other poor people nearby, disabled, veterans, single mothers, etc. taught me through their perseverance. My mother only complained for a few months about how the landlord was slow to make repairs before she did fix-ups on her own actually improving the apt. I spent one whole summer when I was eight plucking vicious weeds and throwing out rusted swing set parts broken down with my own little hands and a screwdriver, and planting grass seed, and I was glad to do it for nothing but sweat because I lived there and I had pride. My well-off neighbor saw my work and mowed my little pet lawn ever after. Every subsidized apt. I’ve ever set foot in was immaculate, and the residents were always talking about owning their own place through God’s grace, working their butts off one way or another through school, or babysitting or whatever, LEGALLY.

    • Thanks for sharing, Sophie. I’ve found that many of our tenants are hard working and striving for more for their families. A good friend of mine told me a story a few months ago about an investor friend of hers that bought a large apartment building in a low-income neighborhood and totally turned the place around. He added a community center, a break room for local police officers (he kept coffee and doughnuts there 24/7), and even started providing classes on personal finance and English (it was a largely Hispanic community). His focus was helping people to help themselves and I’ve heard that the apartment building is thriving now as a result.

  33. Got to love the section 8 Housing. Spend half your life saving your hard earned money to afford a house slightly away from the riff- raff in town and section 8 comes along and moves them in right next door so they can put a couch on the porch and their trash in your yard. Could not sell my home if I tried.

    So your inflating rent prices because section 8 (i.e. tax dollars) will pay this. Great. You should be real proud of yourselves.

  34. Carnita Mickle on

    I am new to the section 8 family:) lol. I have just been issued my section 8 voucher and I cannot find a decent place for my children and I to live. I work, have been on my job 8 years and I am also a sophomore in college studying Computer Science, and have a good rental history. I am used to struggling paying 750-800 a month without the help of section 8 for years, and have lived in some very nice places. However every since I was issued my voucher the landlords with the nicer homes won’t give my application a second glance. Its really sad. I appreciate this blog maybe more landlords will read it an be more openminded.

  35. As a tenant on Section 8 for the last 3 years; I find it unfair the reputation we get. I only moved becasue my last landlord foreclosed on their home and didn’t have the human kindness to inform me. So in the middle of the school year; my kids had to be uprooted and relocated. I would appreciate if there were more screenings done on behalf of the landlords. As tenants, the section 8 program screens us heavily – I feel the same needs to be done for landlords. I was told there was no help with moving fees nor the rent I had paid (up front and on time). However, there is a new law that helps tenants section 8 or not that if your landlord forecloses you may still have the option of renting the home til your lease expire.

  36. Hi I am new here , my first time renting the house I have been live there for 8 yrs, what are good and bad between section 8 and pay market??? Please, I heard sec 8 when they write down on the application only 4 single mom when move in 7 people , how can we stop it.

  37. been waiting for an inspector given 4 appointments waitng 13 hour each day with tenant feel horrible for her as they haven’t shown they cant get in contact with them and section 8 says its out of their hands hence the tenant losing subsidy ..I think its a conspiracy and they do this on purpose so to lesson the people on its program !

  38. I am thinking of investing in a duplex with two very nice upgraded 5 bedrooms in Los Angeles and was wondering what my chances would be in getting section 8 tenants. My fear is that there will be very few people who have 4 or 5 bedroom vouchers. Would you say my fear is justified?

  39. I just wanna say THANK YOU for this post. I am a section 8 tenant and finding a place is difficult. I also like the ppl who are willing to allow a smaller rental amount for a bigger place. I used to have that but had to move when the landlord decided they wanted to rent to family 🙁 Its hard being crammed in a small 2 bedroom apartment with 3 boys. But at least it something.. AGAIN thank you for sharing this post to shed some light for us tenants

  40. If there was no section 8, rent prices would have to be lower. You would just have to deal with whatever the market dictates. Tough breaks, but true. No one forced you to take financial risks in investment properties, so why should you benefit financially from government subsidization that’s supposed to help low income folks who are having a hard time? Unfortunately, the hugest of huge numbers of people who use these programs are not having a hard time – maybe not in your area, but check out the real urban areas of this country. The only hard time these folks are going through is they have to keep their (often criminal) incomes undocumented and sneak all the extra non-working family members into living under their same roof.

    If there was no section 8 less of us hard-working people would have to compete against government-subsidized tenants for vacancies that can charge waaay above what the current market is dictating. Our wages just don’t match up, but their vouchers do… More hideous squeeze play that us middle class people have to deal with due to meddling government agencies.

    I’m sure you all seem to have a very different perspective on this than I do, as one person even said they stay away from “war zones.” How nice that a federal law helps all of you out in your nice clean small cities while hundreds and thousands of us in urban areas watch our lifestyles get destroyed by it.

    As a renter in Los Angeles, I lived in a lovely little 12-unit apartment for ten years. I kept it clean, quiet and always paid my rent on time or early. Always. I have excellent credit, but my income has never become high enough to afford decent home-ownership in Los Angeles. I’ve enjoyed the low-maintenance lifestyle renting affords, so I have done this most of my adult life. I always liked my building’s owner, and didn’t mind playing my little role in the economy of things. My money bought her Mercedes, and my low-overhead simple lifestyle was something I was glad to choose and enjoyed. My husband and I maintain a modest savings or around 10K and thought someday we’d have enough saved up to get a house if we desired.

    Unfortunately, with so many loiterers and disgruntled teens that never seemed to move up and out or get their own places, the neighborhood went from giving the daily homeless cart-wheelers going by a buck or two, to downright grand-auto theft and dangerous behavior all around. The homeless guy even stopped hanging around. There was a gang-related fight on CHRISTMAS MORNING in the MIDDLE of our street so we could not pull out of the driveway and get to our holiday festivities. Random gunshots and incredibly loud tuba &/or gangsta rap music now fill the nighttime quiet. People are standing in groups in the streets, not even on the sidewalk, and sitting on stoops all day and night. How are they affording the rent? I would wonder…

    I could tell that some 1-bedroom units housed several people, and no one thought twice about inviting 30 “guests” at a time into the common courtyard areas. My apartment manager, a sweet hefty Romanian immigrant lady who had been strong as a horse, nearly went bonkers within a couple of years and retired due to threats and exhaustion.

    Soon after she left, I chose to move out, but found the renter’s market in my area untouchable. I could not believe that rents had gone way up in the area in spite of the obvious downfall in quality. We’re talking $1400-1600 for these absolute DIVES. Trying to move to the outskirts of LA to commute in has come up completely dry because the rents even 60-75 miles from our workplace would require such a high income that those of us without vouchers can’t even show appropriate proof of income. I need to make 2.5X a rent as much as $1500-1700 to live 45 minutes out from LA, and that’s for a junky place with either my husband or me having to street park, no amenities including a/c and surrounded my pretty much the same unattractive behavior that we just left. Some of the owners even had the audacity to throw a few hideous-colored ceramic or granite remnant tiles on the tiny, falling apart counters to somehow pretend to themselves they were offering advertised value for that kind of money, which just made me laugh. Most didn’t bother, though. Nor was anything well-cleaned before being shown. It’s truly horrendous the slum-lord mentality over there from people who live literally five miles away in the mansion areas. Those areas don’t accept section-8 renters…Go figure…

    We really tried to stay in Southern Cali, because that’s where we call home. That’s where friends are, that’s where our jobs are and our job-related networks of contacts. Looking to stay, I spent about 18 months searching. I went north: it’s like a giant mob up there in Canyon Country (a 45-60 minute commute to LA) where once-beautiful and spacious apartments are bursting with extra people, all day there are so many about it’s insane, smoking weed in circles, yelling at cars, kids that look as young as toddlers running around without any supervision. In Antelope Valley, CA (a 75 mile commute), I hear that if I were a homeless parolee, I could get in the front of the line for a section-8 voucher because there are a special certain number of them set aside just for those folks. Isn’t that nice?

    Too bad I made all the wrong choices. Like to work hard, save money, and do my best to take care of my own business.

    For a time went due east and went for a 12-month lease in that area. We’ve been commuting 50 miles, paying $1540/month plus utilities and living in a very lovely apartment complex that was built like a resort. It’s stunning! It’s almost brand new. The potential here would be to live in luxury, but it’s not appreciated at all by our section 8 neighbors. After 8 months, I don’t bother with the amenities anymore because there are teenagers walking on top of the barbecue grills, the soda machine gets smashed weekly, the flatscreen in the fitness room got smashed and I don’t blame anyone for not replacing it. The business center can’t keep any more supplies on hand due to stealing and there are always loud unsupervised kids in there. I watch ten year old boys smoke joints on the sidewalk outside my window, often before school early in the morning. Turnover in the leasing office is non-stop, no doubt because dealing with these non-working loiterers who can still somehow magically afford to live here while the government ties resident managers hands from being able to do much of anything must be a nightmare.

    So, hey, landlords. Enjoy your above-market-value profits and timely payments that people like me have paid dearly toward over the years with our meager tax dollars. Thank you for perpetuating this section-8 situation in these hopeless urban areas by using it to your advantage. And thanks for continuing to support it politically while those of us who have to live amidst the fallout of these programs are watching our quality of life go down the toilet.

    • I feel for you. I have found I can get more from people who are …not.. section 8 on the smaller units. The reason is the section 8 deducts these people’s light bill from what they are paying you. I know this because I called n asked about it. So you are getting fair market value minus the lights. Of the houses that I’ve had destroyed by HUDers, I’ve moved people who work in, got more rent, and beccause they are working, seem to not destroy the property. They also pay on time and I’m much happier.

      The larger units, 4 or 5 bedrooms, I feel to be an albatrose. Those I want to sell as those are the ones we wind up renting to HUDERS and they for the most part, destoy. They also move in more people than what they are suppose to have.
      In the future, any properties that we rent to HUDERS will be inspected by me every one to two months. That is the only way to keep the damage small.

  41. I must say most of you are under the wrong impression of people on section 8. Not everyone one lives like there homeless and are unemployed. I myself used to own my own property’s and then lost everything. I had no where to live. I used to rent out to section applicants and some do take advantage of the assistance that the federal government gives them. I now receive section 8 myself but I am not careless, and living like I’m in a trash can. I am a good applicant for section 8. Very clean, hardworking mother with two children that’s just needs some help with paying my rent. I don’t take advantage over anyone. So for mom’s like me on section 8 please don’t talk bad. Oh and also I am Greek. I hear a lot of remarks on racial issues and section 8 as well. Don’t judge anyone because they are receiving section 8. Not everyone is the same.

  42. .” Not everyone one lives like there homeless and are unemployed. ”
    Not ..everyone.. but what you are talking about are grown adults who can’t(or won’t) support themselves.
    Given that little tid bit, it gives you a look inside the mind set of a lot of them. People who are sullen, depressed, etc., as a general rule, are not Mary Poppins, or Mr Clean.

    For me, they have broken down into two groups, those that are really trying to help themselves. Those are the ones most apt to have a small job, or at least TRYING to get one. Then there is the other group, sullen and mad at the world. They sit at home all day and feel the world owes them something. Since they have nothing else to take it out on, the usualy tear up your place. Since I’ve seen so many ‘lifers’ on HUD that are able bodied, not retarded, or unemployable, that group makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t believe it should be an entitlement. I think there should be a time limit on how long someone can remain on HUD. There is a 3 yr waiting list in the state I’m in. There are needy, good people on the list. The ones that tear places up, don’t work and procreate, should be taken off after 5-10 years. Let them have to do something and let someone in that is only looking for a chance. To me those that are trying to help themselves, make far better renters.

  43. I’m at a point that I need to rent my home to get ahead, so I’m contiplating renting under section 8. I placed my home on Craiglist and I got one response from a person that has a Section 8 voucher. As I’m reading the blog I realize that I don’t have anything to worry about because HUD will pretty much take care of everything.
    Thanks for creating this site. It has truly helped me with my decision.

  44. “As I’m reading the blog I realize that I don’t have anything to worry about because HUD will pretty much take care of everything”

    I’m not at all sure where you came up with that idea. I would be VERY carefull…or they are going to hand you back a pile of sawdust!

  45. I am new to renting my house to section 8. I have a potential renter with $1225 voucher and rent is only $1200. Does it mean that section 8 will cover 100% of the rent or renter will have to pay portion of it?

  46. I have not looked at the dates or areas of most of these posts, but I am shocked and sickened. People that are on Section 8 are not always trashy people. I do know of a few…in this neighborhood, there was a tenant that was terrible. They trashed a beautiful home in 60 days. Not acceptable. Now onto me. I find the negativity to EVERY section 8 tenant offensive. I am a section 8 tenant. My husband is a salary worker, makes good money, guaranteed money, year round. I work full time and we have three great kids that get good grades and do well and are well behaved. We receive a section 8 voucher as working parents and we pay a fair amount of our rent each month and they help with a small amount. We have taken care of every property we have lived in, with a proven track record and good credit on top of that. I have had phones slammed down in my ear as soon as they just hear the phrase Section 8. It is sad. The program is wonderful if used right and you carry yourself like a self respecting human being. We are going to be utilizing the next step of their program and will be buying our own home with their guidance and help. We are not trashy people. We are hard working, law abiding citizens. We pay into the system and receive a benefit to help us raise our family to all it can be. We are not deadbeats that sit at home and play x-box all day. People that judge make it hard on the families that deserve this program. At least be willing to screen individual families and meet people face to face instead of passing judgment because of a program they participate in.

  47. If you are a good renter, that is fine, but understand the people here are speaking from their own experiences, and I can tell you that all of mine are no where near positive.

    Just to name a few…I was recently struck by a HUDER, she didn’t want to move out and was living there after HUD quit paying. HUD doesn’t screen these people very well. I had another one after that seemed quite pushy so instead of relying of HUD’s background check, I did my own and found out that since 2010, she had been arrested for asault twice, asault and battery once, intent to distribute a contoled substance, conspireancy, I could go on and on but you get the idea. When I told her I couldn’t rent to her, that she didn’t pass the background check, I had to call the police to get her out. I have weeded out all our HUD renters but 5 and I will probably have them gone soon as HUD has had budget cuts and aren’t paying that much and will be paying less after the 1st of the year. We also have 2 renters at this time that have lived in out places for months and HUD has not paid a dime. They keep telliing me it is a glitch in their sytem but if I’m not paid this month, these two renters will spend Christmas in the street.

    • To give everyone an update on why I was struck by a HUDER and why they …haven’t paid us for several renters for months….if anyone is still reading this blog,..

      I went to the local office to try to find out if/when they were going to pay us…I came out very unhappy and called the head knockers in this state,

      In this conversation…I found out that HUD ONLY SCREENS THE PEOPLE THEY GIVE OUR TAX DOLLARS TO FOR …1. IF THEY ARE A CHILD MOLESTER AND IF THEY HAVE BEEN CONFICTED OF METH. The other crimes don’t seem to matter. That is how I got attacked!!!! The background check they do is zilch. and can put landlords in danger. I’m calling my congressman after Thanksgiving and asking him if he is aware of who and what we are giving our tax dollars to support!!!!!

      • That didn’t explain at all why someone hit you. Because HUD doesn’t screen for other things besides being convicted of a drug crime or being a convicted sex offender? No. That is not the reason. I have never been in trouble with the law AT ALL. I am not a violent person and I wouldn’t assault you, but I can totally see how you could make someone so enraged to the point that they would WANT to give you a good smack. There are millions of people out there that aren’t as passive as me who would lose it on you and crack you one. It has nothing to do with HUD lol.

        • Jenna,
          You are just the type of renter I don’t want. You look for ‘justifcation’ to do things.
          If you don’t like how people who have had real and very unpleasant experiences with HUDDERS….then spend the time you are here blogging…to find a job! Then you can pay your own rent like everyone else and not be such a looser. The world, not taxpayers owe you a free ride.

          Sad but true, if you own the property, you get to decide if people like you can or can not live in our places. Just what? ha ha

        • *justification
          You can’t spell, Gail. Nor can you use proper sentence structure or even make sense. That post was incredibly incoherent. I guess you are illiterate and probably drunk as well. So sad that a “looser” like me is more intelligent and educated than you are. And you just told me that the world owes me a free ride. Brilliant. I’ve never asked for a free ride, number one. And nothing in my life has been free, either. I would be willing to BET I have worked harder in my life than you EVER have. But if you are going to try to insult someone you don’t know, at least TRY to make some semblance of sense in your post.

        • Jenna
          You can rant all you want about spelling and sentences….but who OWNS the property??? And who has to ask the taxpayers to pick up the tab???

          And in the end, who has to go begging? The one that hasn’t got it together to even be responsible for their own well being and that of their kids.

          You are asking landlords to have respect for you as a group, when you haven’t earned it.
          I don’t trust HUD as their background checks are a joke.Nor, people who can’t even support themselves. That doesn’t give warm fuzzies for me or other landlords who HAVE to be RESPONSIBLE and fix up their broken properties. I do have more trust in someone who works, can pay a deposit, and is responsible. Just the facts….go look in the mirror.

        • To you, it will never make sense that someone with a crimial background is more likely to repeat the same crime.

          Back on the subject of sec 8, my biggest annoyance with anyone on assistance is that they are on assistance for a reason. Their lifestyle or their decisions, are repeated.

          In my opinion, that’s not someone I want to risk my finances on. I have that choice.

  48. I just wanted to write in and say that not ALL peaple on section 8 are *horrible* and scums that need to be hosed down daily!!!!.

    I am 24 years old and have learning disabilities and some other problems. i have been working part time for 4 years. I have been in the same apartment for 6 YEARS!!!! and i am on section 8.

    I am very responsible and i have never been evicted or *trashed* a place. i pay my half of the rent on time EVERY MONTH.

    soon i hope i will not need section 8 anymore. but i am so mad that peaple around me avoid section 8 tenants like the plaque. it was VERY hard to get this apartment because no landlords around here accept section 8. i am glad i found this place and landlord and i am sure he is glad he found me. he tells me i am his best tenant.

    I would NEVER trash a place or leave in the middle of the night like i hear happens all the time. if i damaged anything i would own up too it and pay.

    I hope peaple start looking at section 8 more closely and realize not everybody on it is a *lowlife*. they are hard working peaple that need help.

  49. ant,
    If you don’t tear the place up…that is good…THAT IS HOW IT IS SUPPOSE TO BE. But the other Huders think you owe them something and tear the places to ribbons.

    I’m a softie and just this past month fell for it again. I said I would NEVER rent to another huder. Well, I felt sorry for one AGAIN. She couldn’t get her kids back till Hud got her a place. I felt so sorry for her. We had to spend THOUSANDS rehabbing the place because of the last hudder.
    Shame on me for neing nice. The woman has 4 kids. Her mother stopped by and told be to watch it. That her daugther was also going to move in her boyfriend and ghis 3 kids.

    That makes a total of …9./people that will be living there. Once that get in, you have to PROVE that the additional people are living there. If you fail…you can be sued!

    I will NEVER EVER rent to another one after this.

    • Gail, I wouldn’t rent from you in a MILLION years. I can guarantee my apartment is BEAUTIFUL and I have a LOVELY landlord.I’m sure the apartments you rent are disgusting, roach infested slums lol. I don’t need to justify anything to you. Spend my time here “blogging” finding a job? I happen to be disabled, with multiple disabilities, as a matter of fact. Reading something and commenting on it isn’t blogging, either, so get a clue. I don’t need to worry about some nasty woman like you renting to me, because I have an awesome apartment that I take wonderful care of and VERY positive rental references from all the landlords I have EVER had. Like I said, you will get the tenants you deserve. Maybe they tear up your apartments because you’re SO hateful that they HATE you and WANT to make things harder on you. You are a judgemental, bitter, hateful woman and you really shouldn’t rent to anyone. You would be better suited to being a prison guard or a maybe a republican propaganda slinger. You don’t know me from a whole in the wall, but you will sit here and criticize me because I qualify for housing assistance? YOU are the loser. You just hate poor people and I’m sure you probably hate minorities too. I’m glad I have found a quality apartment and a quality landlord so I will never have to worry about renting from a slum lord such as yourself lol.

        • “In this conversation…I found out that HUD ONLY SCREENS THE PEOPLE THEY GIVE OUR TAX DOLLARS TO FOR …1. IF THEY ARE A CHILD MOLESTER AND IF THEY HAVE BEEN CONFICTED OF METH”… That is convicted right? Maybe you should spend more time screening tenants than auto correcting or angry blogging. Honestly at this point things are going to happen and like you said in another response to someone (1 of your MANY) you have a choice. Be mindful of your health and blessings and what holding on to things you clearly can’t change will do to your life. 🙂 good day

        • To Paula below.
          We …had… about 40 Hudders renting from us. We don’t anymore. I’ve thrown the lion’s share out. I SPEND A LOT of time doing background checks. It .is Section 8 that doesn’t. I just threw ANOTHER one out. This one had a 17 page rap sheet. Most of her felony charges she pled out. I sent the whole 17 pages to HUD. Did they take her off the program? No… they gave her another voucher. This is the reason landlords are throwing them out. Section 8 has turned the program into a mockery, The people who should be on it can get on because it is full with people like the one I threw out. You seem to think landlords are just being mean for no reason. If it was the pie in the sky that Shaye describes… don’t you think landloards would be standing in line for Hudders? Most have been bit…and are someone to write an article telling some poor new investors this is the way to go…is just plain wrong. They stand to lose everything messing with these people. Untill , ore if, it is ever cleaed up…then we might think it worth while. The truth is it is a money pit. I can make money off people that work, people that want to build up their credit, people who respect themselves and not looking for someone to take care of them, AS it is, most Section 8 renters don’t fit this mold,,

        • I’m not a child and understand that people aren’t just randomly mean just like I don’t think that you sitting on the Internet being abusive and trying to be condescending to people who have the right to state their experience and reason like you. What I understand is that Ms. Shaye took the time to document that the good outweighs the bad in her experience. She has that right. I also see that in your fewer attempts to provoke her she’s been quite classy about not descending to your level. I see you using terms that are often used by racists and such. Be careful in what you say to people because no matter how in control you think you are in securing your future (and present), God has the final say. You’re talking to people here like they’re beneath you and saying things like spend time looking for jobs instead of blogging but yet you’ve been the devil on the shoulder to every positive sharing on here… Maybe it’s time to move on or even start your own blog. It’s hard to believe you spend so much time snooping(I mean doing background checks) when you’re constantly here. What do you really do because the Internet has you bound? As a final thought and response to hopefully help you (and everyone else out), maybe you should stop contradicting your intentions and actually stop renting to HUD tenants. You can say you’re done all day long but until you really are why continue to complain? Is HUD the only way you can continue to try and appear superior? The only guarantee that you’ll have your utility bills paid another month? I strongly doubt it’s your place to judge any of “these people” because they’ve found a way to pay YOUR utility bills since you chose to invest in something to make money off of someone else instead of going to work for it either…. Just make sure you keep your property in the conditions that you prefer to live in or better. In the event it gets destroyed make friends with your local police department.

        • to Paula,
          This is a blog…open to all right? If I have more rental properties than Shaye, I have a right to say what is my experience. It isn’t with one or two. We have between 40-50. Most that …were…. rented by Hudders. If they were all acting like Keebler Elves, I wouldn’t be throwing them out would I? We now have less than 5. Part of the deal is that in our city, the Aldermen passed a law that if you get as many as 5 complaints on one property, you will be fined $1,000. or possibly more. It was designed to make the landlords accountable if they didn’t hold their tenants to some type of standards. The problem was when the police were called, the police never notified the landlords, needless to say, neither did the renters. When you found out, you might have 4 complaints of shootings, etc, all from the same renters. That is ANOTHER reason not to put up with that kind of behavior. The town has decided they are sick of it and won’t have it any longer. They didn’t wake up one day and decide to be mean. It is a real problem. Children can be shot. In fact, we DID have a bystander shot. I didn’t rent to the person in question, it was done while I was on vacation. It is a bad feeling to know that a little extra background checking and someone might be alive. Yes, the person involved was on a Section 8 voucher. If someone puts us at risk, they are out.

          We don’t make money by doing nothing. We are the ones responsible. We are the ones that will be fined if we turn a blind eye. We are the ones that clean up all the dodo left in the floors for no reason. We are the ones that pay for broken windows and walls that holes are knocked in. (last week another landlord told me of their tenant driving their car through their brick house!)
          There is nothing wrong with choosing the best renter we can and being less exposed to financial ruin. It also might keep a child from being shot. Bad renters are real. You should WANT landlords that care enough to weed out the bad renters. I call it as I see it, and I’ve seen a lot go bad. Again, I am the one that said the program should be reformed. If it was, it wouldn’t be so hard for Section 8 to find landlords willing to rent. I feel strongly, the retarded, handicapped, elderly, and working poor are ALL that should be on the program. Because you have able bodied people that have none of the above problems clogging it up, most that need it, will never get on it. I have several slow people I’ve taken in and they can’t even get on the waiting list. The truth is there are a lot of people on it that should not be on there, they are the ones that tear the places up, have shoot outs etc. They give the program a bad name. Not the landlords. The landlords only tell what has happened to them. It is wrong to try to tell some novice landlord they can make money with it. They could lose everything they worked so hard an earned..

  50. Our very first tenant was Section 8. She was obsessively clean and the house was always well kept, nicely decorated. She left it clean as well. She only had 1 child, but as others have mentioned, she also invited others to live there and eventually sealed her own fate by getting a pit bull. She was finished in that property at that point.

    Despite the excellent housekeeping, she was belligerent and had the entitlement attitude that we’ve learned most rental assistant tenants have. We would love to have tenants like Ant and Mary, above, but they are far and few between.

    • Most are bottom of the barrel people, They didn’t get there by accident. Most are not clean, and yes, the few that I’ve found that are, have other problems. Mean, hateful, mean spirited. Yes, very hard to deal with. Another bad thing about them is cause they have no money, if you are stupid enough to rent to them, good luck on getting one month’s rent as a deposit. They don’t have it. So you are really at risk. When they tear it up, there is not extra money to fix it up. The “entitlement mind” is alive and kicking.

      When the politicians talk about social secuirty as an “entitlement”, I sit in wonder. Don’t they realize a senior has few years to live and has paid into the system. The Hudders get on the dole in their twenties and there is no time limit for them to come off,. They are real leaches on society. There should be a time limit on how long you can be a leach for ‘depression?’…come on! Who has not been depressed. As any landlord after a Hudder gets through with your property. The difference is we don’t lay down and ask others to support us. In this country there are those that work and are taxed to “feed the bears” and the bear population is growing to the point we will all starve.

      • From what I’ve read YOU are the one who is hateful and mean spirited. There is a HUGE difference between just being a little depressed and having depression and other issues to the point that you qualify for social security. LEACH? Woman, I PAID into social security just like everyone else, how dare you tell me I shouldn’t be allowed to collect it? You have NO idea what I’ve been through. You sound like a nasty excuse for a human being and I’m sure your properties were horrible to live in in the first place. Someone HIT you? Gee, I’m so surprised, with your NASTY attitude toward other human beings! I have done volunteer work. You probably haven’t. I have given my last five dollars away to someone who needed it. YOU wouldn’t. I can tell from the things you’ve posted that you are an incredibly unpleasant woman and good “hudders” (you pompous ASS) wouldn’t rent from someone like you. You are getting the tenants you deserve. It’s called KARMA.

        • “I have done volunteer work” Most people have, I, for years, worked with the terminally ill children. I don’t see your point.

          ” I have given my last five dollars away to someone who needed it.” Everyone that pays taxes, gives to charity. Once, it was on a volunteer basis by way of churches. Now the Federal Gov insist that all taxpayers, “feed the bears”. In my eyes, all taxpayers do forced charity.
          Your points are strange and self serving. I spent 35 years at a major airline, then the FAA. So I also have a security clearance. I raised a child on my own and worked the entire time with no relatives in the area to help with child care. Many times we had little money, and we did without. I’ve worked many days and months, sick and many times depressed. I had to, I felt responsible to my child. We had no choice, like some. I’ve never drawn unemployment, nor been on any gov charity programs. Without taxpayers/charity givers/ like myself, there would be no one to support you bears. It is true, I don’t understand the entitlement mind set.

  51. I have a Section 8 person that is applying and told me to list the rent as $960 because that’s what the housing authority allows. However the actual rent is $1000/month. I don’t feel comfortable lying to the housing authority about the rent.

  52. Dawn A. – do not list the rent as $960 instead of $1,000. The most Section 8 will consider is what you request on the paperwork. They won’t arbitrarily increase it. If there are issues with the $1,000 amount, the Section 8 counselor will simply contact you and discuss it, and then you can make a business decision on what you want to do.

  53. To the above people about what to put down the rent as, It is true that you should put down what your normal rent is. Tell the truth. What I have found in our HUDERS that I still have is that HUD is paying less. Their bugdet has been cut and they are now paying less. Below market value. They will argue that the prices for rent have gone down, but that isn’t true. They want to ..get the rent down cause they had budget cuts. Dealing with HUD is a long tedious process that I have found no upside to. To prove this point, the contract on one of our houses is up. They want to renue the lease for about 50.00 a month less. They are gambling that I won’t throw the renter out. They guessed wrong. I have thrown so many of them out and out thousands in rehab, that I will take my time and when it is convient for me in the next couple of months, throw them out. Here, there for few vacancies and rental is at a premium, and HUD is paying less than market value.

  54. Anyone, please explain this to me. I just saw a listing for a luxury 3 bedroom apartment going for $11,000/mo. In the description, the listing agent declares that Sec. 8 is welcome.

    Whaaat?!?! How is this even a possibility???

    Thanks in advance!

      • The unit is listed by an agent. To me it would seem unlikely that he/she would make such a crass joke in his/her listing. Unless of course it is common for unprofessional agents in that area to have such high profile listings in their portfolio. Again it seems unlikely, but so too does a Section 8 tenant in an $11,000/mo luxury apartment. Only in America…

  55. Hello Shane,

    I am thinking about reanting my house to Section 8. I have a friend who is a realtor but I told her I wanted in the lease that inspections would be done every quater. I think it is un-fair that some Section 8 tenants tear your house apart and move on to the next one. Well, we started a listing of bad tenants.

    I live in New Jersey and let me tell you, some of these Section 8 teants are a piece of work and along with some dead beat land lords. Our community have a monthly meeting and at every meeting if there is a dead beat land lord, we turn that listing over the our City Counsel.

    We have home owners that have moved out of state and their houses are falling apart but yet they want their check every month.
    I am very active in my community and this a problem we have with some of the land lords, not making any repairs.
    I belive in New Jersey if you abuse your Section 8, you are off the program for 5 years and that is a long time for being stupid for destroying the property you are living in.
    I don’t want the tenant to know who I am, so I am having my realtor to handle leasing out the house.
    I will hire her to do property management and I will have suck up and pay the realtor fee 10%.
    One good reason, I live three blocks from where I own the house.
    It’s a nice size house, 5 bedrooms, 11/2 baths, basement, sunporch, backporch and nice yard.
    Also renting will come with washer and dryer. Now, when that goes, they will have to replace.
    With the sunporch and backyard, there is no reason for anyone to be hanging out on the front steps. (horror stories with some of the Section 8 tenants)

    Before the tenants move in, they must take a course on how to maintain a clean house and lving in a stablelized community. Also, a listing will be given with the quality of life standards.
    No loud music playing after 10:00 at night.

    Excellent point for telephone tree, just in case the tenants get out of hand.

    I have really enjoyed reading your web site.


    • A way out for the bigger houses seems to have fell into my lap and it is worth a try for everyone else.

      I’ve been very concerned about the 4 and 5 br homes we own. The 2br go as quick as they come, to singles, but the larger ones seem up untill now to be fated to larger families. Section 8 has really made it hard with their 2 or more to a room. That is pure destruction if they are home all day and don’t work.

      4 young working men came to look at a large house we rehabbed. It is beautiful now and a HUDDER had tore it to pieces, costing us thousands and thousands. These kids are abot 20-25. One is a school teacher, one is a computuer guy, another a drafter, and the 4th I can’t remember. Anyway, all young up and comming types. With the 4 working, single, trying to establish credit, I think I’ve hit the jackpot and a possible solution to the bigger houses. With 4 incomes, they are gonna get ahead money wise. The rent with be nothing for them and I may save my larger houses from being torn up this way.

      The next wonderful thing that happened was in walked a couple of there Mothers. They were well dressed and wanted to know if it was alright to hang curtins ..inside the windows on spring tention so as not to put holes in the walls. Guys, I almost cried I was so happy. These are gonna be good renters and will likely bring me more good renters by word of mouth. I let them know I have 3 full time handy men, also a certified plummer, and a certifed electrician on call. Moms were impressed. I think my ship has come in. I want to explore this vein. If I can cultivate the young well educated that are tyring to build their future and want a good reputation, I’ve hit the jackpot. And truly, rent spent 4 ways is gonna be a wonderful way to get ahead for them.

      They are giving me a full month’s deposit and if they do tear things up, at least I’ve got some money to work with to fix it back up. With HUDDERS they never have one months rent for a deposit and leave you even more exposed. My lease for the non HUDERS states I can throw them out within 10 days and not have to go through the courts if they screw up. HUD won’t let their people sign such a lease. I’m very very happy right now. I hope this may be a way out for some of the rest of you.

      • Gail you seem like the kind of person who does not like people less fortunate than you are and you come off as very judgemental of people. Guess what!? regular renters p non HUDDERS can be even more destructive, it all depends onhow you were brought up. My brother rents shacks out, he is a slum lord, and his poor tenants pay him the rent, yet they have broken windows and plumbing problems. Big deal you where lucky enough to have the money you have to rent property! By the way most landlords I have come across as a paying renter, have been lousy to mediocre, and that is with me paying outa pocket. If you don’t like “Hudders” then do not rent to them, seriously it is a free country! Stop bitchen and rent to who pases your screen test. Believe me I have rented for 22 years. Paying unreasonable rent when that rent was paying my landlords mortgage, well I would scrape every month to pay rent that was way too high for the condition of my dweling! Some poor people we are very neat and clean, we just don’t have the life skills we need sometimes to cope mentally. I was left with all the load, and yeah try getting child support plesse child support is a joke. Section 8 is heloful for single moms like me,with the specific issues that I have. If I rented your property you would never even know I was a HUDDER AS YOU PUT IT. You do not know all of us, I do anything I can to help people, I just mpneed a little break while I attend school to better myself. I get small pay where I am at, face it employers do not paymuch, but I assure u, my electric and utilities are always on, never been shut off and we use internet at the library if we need it. So stop profiling and stereotyping poor people. There are wealthy losers who trash things all the time step into reality, beinhpg on HUD does not mean u are a bad person.

      • Update…my 4 guys have been the gift from heaven! They are still keeping the place up and paying rent on time. This is the way to go instead of the sob sad stories…and “I know they pays most my rent…I just can’t seem to get ahead…you know…with my crack and all”

      • An update on my large houses and renting to 4 young guys.
        These same guys will have been in this house for 2 yrs come this Jan. They have been WONDERFUL. I have loved having them, they have spoiled me and I’ve spoiled them. Once I saw they won’t tear up, I’ve been able to upgrade the place even more. They are good kids. They come from good people and they have sent me some of there relatives who have also turned into wonderful renters.
        I would tell anyone who has bought a large house, several young professionals living together works extremely well.

  56. A word of advice…have an *attorney* write your lease, not a realtor! Realtors will not be the ones defending you in court. And make sure your attorney specializes in landlord/tenant law for your state. Spend the money up front, or you’ll spend a whole lot more later.

  57. The problem now is that local Housing Authorities are making adjustments to the 2013 FMR’s. Most are only allowing 95% of FMR’s, which in one case places the rent slightly below market rate. In this case you have to weigh the pro’s and con’s, as with a HUD tenant, your not doing a turnaround every 12 months, which is expensive. The con’s include chasing the tenant portion of rent each month. Writing a late fee into your lease is not always a good deterrent, as I have one HUD tenant who pays a late fee each month.

    Also no matter what they say or promise, never, ever accept a security deposit on credit. It never works out, as they will never pay it.

    If you have one of those dogs on the list, I can’t accept them, or the liability. Lose the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, etc.

    Have your property certified for submetering-low water use. With the property certified, the landlord can bill the tenant for water. This was a must at one house where the tenant was plowing through 850 gallons of water a day, that’s just abuse!

    Stop trying to one-up the landlord, you know who you are. Most of us have been doing this for a long, long time, and know how the system works. I too have discount high speed, cable, and an Obama phone.

  58. Very interesting comments… Yet no one mentioned that it all depends in the area you live and rent in. If your renting in a area prone to trashy people then you have a much greater chance of being unhappy with your tenants and vice versa.
    Do an analysis of the area your in before you make your decision who to rent to.

  59. Mary Ann Martorana on

    I am a section 8 tenant and a senior citizen and I resent a lot of the remarks that have been made on this page. My social security does not pay enough for me to pay market rent and I lost most of my retirement savings in the crash of 2008. My land lord of 6 years took my voucher so i didn’t have to move, got $100 more rent and my place is no palace. My disabled daughter also got her voucher after a 10 year wait and lives with her special needs child. The house she lives in is very poor, not insulated and has bad appliances. The utilities cost a fortune, more than the rent. She loses a lot of food because her refrigerator freezes everything and her son is on a special diet. The housing authority does nothing and she has to put up with this because of prejudices like those expressed on this page. Neither of us can find anywhere to move to because of prejudice against section 8 tenants. I just hopenone of you ever fall from your comfortable middle class life and have to deal with what we encounter.

  60. If you don’t trash places….you shouldn’t be offended. These are landlords telling TRUE stories as to why they don’t want any more abuse.

    The people you should be offended by are the people who did this to the landlords….not the other way round. Put the blame where it belongs. Each of these landlords gave someone a change, only to have their good intentions thrown back in their face.

    It cost a fortune to clean up after the “entitled” crew and frankly the landlords have the attitude now that they (landlords) are not “entitled” to have to clean up after them or be “entitled” to the thousands of dollars out of pocket. For what? There is no payback.

    Put the blame on who deserves it.

    The program is a sham and should be cleaned up. As I'[ve stated on here the background check Section 8 does is only to see if someone if a petifle or cooked meth. That is not my idea of a background check. If you don’t like it, complain to Section 8

    • I’m going to put the blame on you gail. I have been reading the comments on this page and you equate all Section 8 tenants with lowlifes and deadbeats. Frankly, you look down on them. I have been on Section 8 for 5 years now. I am disabled and on SSI. However, because my disabilities fit under what can be called “invisible disabilities” you are likely the type of person who sees me walking into a grocery store, healthy looking on the surface, and makes catty remarks when you see me buy my food with food stamps. You say you don’t want to rent to Section 8 tenants, fine. Likely if any knew you they wouldn’t want to rent FROM you.

  61. Ms. Bynes I must thank you for blogging your opinion and experience for the better of this subject. I came across your blog as I have been searching for a new place to stay for over a year now. I’ve been a voucher holder for close to 5 years and its extremely hard for me to find adequate section 8 housing because of homeowners fears. I’ve read a good 50% of the responses to your blog and seen more people sharing stories that would scare off anyone close minded enough to read these and make the decision that all tenants will be just as malicious as others. I decided to respond (I almost didn’t) because I see the venom in some of these posts about tenants, but very few chose to include the better stories. I’ve been in the same residence since I’ve been on the program. I ported out of my awarding county (which was part of the downfall). The places that have more people on the program tend to pay less attention to their clients so that may be the reason for a good majority of the horror stories here.
    From a tenants POV, when I moved in I was also awarded SSI as I’ve been handicap for some time now. So when I did move in I paid my rent up for 8 months. My landlord was more than happy to accept my money but not my phone calls when other tenants (not section 8) are putting poop on the garage, urinating in the hallway (90 degree heat makes it much worse in my house as there’s carpet in the hall), drunken visitors beating on my door, destroying the fire hydrant and spraying it for no reason in front of my door… I could keep going as I said I’ve been here almost 5-6 years. I stay to myself as I don’t care for drama, but have done whatever I could to help anyone here. Everyone’s walls mold here but it’s because when there’s an issue with insulation or anything on his end he’ll have someone paint over it a day or so before inspection. Because I’m handicap and my electric chair can’t get in the house (because the ramp he said he’d provide has not been put on. This apartment was listed as accessible by the way) it sits in the garage or in my mothers garage which limits me greatly. He’s failed to put surveillance in the garages (as requested by several tenants) or building as I’ve had my garage broken into 3 times. I’m at a lack of understanding how the fewer and simple requests I do tend to make can be overlooked or put back in the responsibility of me since as I’ve said before I paid my rent in advance almost first year and have never missed a payment or been late on rent. All of my inspections pass from my end even though I can barely get around my house. All but the first year though, they’ve had to reinspect every time because he knows that he has a bare minimum to keep on the program so he waits to see what doesn’t pass and he basically masks it. I’ve had water damage on the ceiling for years because of the tenants upstairs and every year he just fills in the holes with plaster and paints.
    As far as my being on the program. I can never fully charge my chair to even get around the neighborhood to look for work because it doesn’t come in the house… No ramp.
    What I do understand is that life is chances and business is just the same. Numbers speak for themselves and EVERYTHING is not guaranteed. I’ve been looking for places since before I even applied for reasonable accommodations and 90% of the housing listed there has one accommodation of the many it takes to house someone in a wheelchair. Just like tenants need to be screened so do landlords. That being said, it’s harder on us out here looking for places to stay instead of being the ones trying to fill the vacancy for profit. Your time gap is there to make money, if I don’t find housing in a 60-120 days I lose my voucher.
    I’ve seen people who abuse the program and I think it’s disgusting as well, but this is still a type of discrimination the ones who need it have to face because of those who do.
    Also, any of you consider pressing charges for destruction of property? HUD won’t reissue a voucher to a criminal and if I’m correct (may have to read again) they’d be in violation of the contract by reissuing a voucher to someone who has destroyed the property. So take on the tenant or the program and make examples out of the terrible few.

  62. Well here goes. I am a single mother of two. My kids are spaced pretty far apart in age. 1 year old son and a 12 year old daughter. My daughter is a straight A student who is a good kid and we are very close. She is a college bound sort.My son I am home schooling too, just like I did my daughter..However I only home school up to the age of 4 until they are ready for preschool. I consider myself a good mom.I am bpvery involved in my children’s lives without being a helicopter mom. I do not, will not have a lot of drama around me or my kids from the damaged folks who live around us, becsuse I live in public housing now but I am on the section 8 waiting list in a really great town thst we cant wait to move to.. I hate where we live and honestly the quality of people whom I do not in any way relate to. Many of them do have a defeatist mentality. I used to rent very nice places for 600 to 1200 when I worked as a home based customer service rep for about 7 years.I do have an education,but never finished college. I do not damage property, and am a pretty clean person, who avtually likes to do art and beautify things. I am known to even fix things in places I have rented. When i used to rent money came out of my pocket to rent for years I happily paid my bills, but I found it difficult with being a single mother I found that I got more depressed because all I did was pay bills, ,never time for my child like when I was married to her dad,once divorced and alone I paid for everything with no complaints, I did that for years to support my daughter, but I lost the one job I could do in customer service. . i have depression sometimes,and I have a tough time keeping a position because I don’t know how to do work which requires me to be deal up close with the public in entry level positions due to anxiety. I lost my job which was home based. However I continue to look for home based oppurtunities. It is very hard to gind them where we live. So I am taking classes and going to therapy to improve mymskills and mental focus. I served in the military as a morticians assistant, but it is tough to get hired since most funeral homes are family run, and honestly lost a son in 98 so I have a tough time working in that morbid occupation etc.I was a service member for 9 years I don’ t drink or do drugs, I consider myself a good person who is just poor.Not all poor ppl are bad. We are not all lazy and destructive. I just have a tough time emotionally for various reasons. I have two different fathers for my children, they both were,miitary one left me becayse he said I was ” too ugly and fat” i am fat but definetly not ugly. I was badly hurt in those relationships,so marriage is out of the question for me. My son father was just cruek towards me and damaged a lot of my self esteem, but I have survived because I know he was a bad person and influence not to mention cruel beyond words, he actually kicked me out of our house when I was pregnant! I stil am so scarred over that so sure some of us “other” people are less fortunate but we are not all strung out druggies with a poor education. We don all destroy property, and not all if our kids are bad with ADHD or alcohol fetal syndrome. Just sayin we had hard lives but not all are miscreants. It is great to screen the tenants. But in my experience I have brother who ownw his own home plus he owns 4 more properties. The house he lives in is a disaster, he nor his wife and kids take care of the ice home they own! Their home looks like the city,dump and again theymown it! Not to mention they do not take care of,their other houses either that they own. So I appreciate the authors open mindedness.

  63. I gave my property for rental under section8 and its turning out to be nightmare. Not only she is late on payments, but she never maintained the yard. There is a damage to the garage for which she refuses to take responsibility. To make the matter worse, she denied me entrance (despite over 2 week early notice) to show the property to next potential renters and used fowl language to deny entry. I do not claim to have a lot of experience renting out property, but I’ll stay away from section8. If you have a decent property, I’d suggest you stay away from such rentals too.

    • Write the tenant a letter ASAP, and make sure you cc her Section 8 counselor. Then call and speak to her counselor. If the counselor won’t intercede and try to straighten the tenant out, make sure you keep documenting everything that comes up in writing, charge late fees, and keep track of any money owed or repairs she’s responsible for.

      If she owes you any money, speak with a local eviction attorney to see if you have grounds to evict, and if so, give her a warning that you will evict unless she cleans up her act (which means she will lose her voucher, with most Section 8 systems). If she still doesn’t do what she is supposed to and the attorney indicates you have valid grounds, then move forward and evict (and don’t get held up by whatever stories the tenant starts to tell you).

      Good luck!

  64. Another problem you have with Section 8 is that many are in the mindset that the world owes them. The reason they are Section 8 tenants is they have no financial assets which means they qualify for Pro Bono Attorneys. That means they get a free lawyer while the landlord gets to pay their attorney $200-400 per hour while they fight a bogus personal injury suit, civil rights/discrimination claim or some other nonsense. I have a relative who is the midst of this situation for over a year and it’s wiping out them out financially and mentally. Save yourself at lot of heartache!

    • that alone, is reason to not rent to them. I have cleaned most of them out…and the dirt they left behind…I’m much happier with the type we rent to now…..thank you Jesus!

  65. I live across the street from two houses whose landlords
    rent to section 8. These houses have been nothing but TROUBLE. The tenants do not work, have people coming and going all hours, are up all night – in the street yelling at 4AM. A horrible nuciance to the block. Both are evicted because the cops have been called so many times. We will just get more of the same.
    I’m not messing around nextx time. I will start calling the cops immediately. The landlords (slumlords) get fined for each police visit, and eventually lose their rental license if the situation is not remedied. Meanwhile, the landlords sit back in their cushy upscale neighborhoods and let the money roll in. I’m about to become their worst nightmare if they don’t get some decent tenants.

    • Yes and there are plentymof tenants who,DO go to work, and they still wreck their apartments and houses. There are bad neighbors everywhere you go in life. I used to have a nrighbor who was a psychologist living next to me, she let her dogs shit on my lawn every morning, I even caught her one day and she gave me thst “oops sorry ” guilty look. She had 7 dogs and a wolf part husky in her house, the wolf would escape and come right into my kitchen. When she moved out of the house and the landlord had to clean it, therew was dog shit wall to wall and they had to wear mask to clean the house. Everyday her husband and she would fight and throw things…EVERYDAY.He broke my front glass door one day carelessly mowing his lawn. There are wealthy house wives who love to pop Little Joeys pills. Drug addicts are among the rich and middle class. I have lived around military, hahaha tty living around them! Most are alcoholics and there is always some kind of drama going on, on base. They too get housing allowances. I am sorry, there are bad neighbors everywhere. And if someone doesn’t work as long as they mind their business and live peacefully, then mind your business SAMMY!

      • Linda,
        Sammy has every right to feel the way he does. I’ve got rid of most of our Hudders. Reason? There are no reasons to rent to them. HUD has gone down about 20% as to what they pay. it has been my personal experience that they DO tear up more, because they don’t work, they have mental problems that keep them from being able to even pay their own rent. So we aren’t talking about someone who sounds like a good risk at making logical judgements or making good renters. Good renters are a chance to make money. Bad renters can cause you to loose plenty. You are trying to MAKE money…so why rent to someone who’s track record is SOOOOO bad they are being supported by the FED?

        What I have done with ourt properties is fix them up and rent to good …STABLE people. What is wrong with that? That is our right. HUDDERS are given chance after chance and they always prove the same…..bad risk for their own personal values and life choices.

        Please tell me why a landlord would want to take ANOTHER trip to financial ruin with these people. Their/your track record, is repeated over and over and no one wants that.

        The problem is not someone like Sammy, or a landlord that wants to do right by the neighbors and also make a profit…It is people like you. You don’t make good renters or people who have a choice would rent to you…right? If I’m wrong please explain how this is not logical.

        • Well it is really upsetting that people don’t want to rent to Section 8 tenants because of the bad ones. I must say as a single parent of 3 I do have section 8 at the moment and very blessed to have it. My previous landlords have become my best friends call me on the regular basis and ask how the kids are second mothers really. My current Landlord was a little hesitate to rent to some one with section 8 however with my references from past landlords and having the full security deposit up front was helpful as well. I have never destroyed of defaced a property I keep my crib very clean I’m kind of a neat freak and I just enjoy cleaning ,but anyways it really sucks Big Time that people say horrible things about people with section 8…..Renting to section 8 is kind of an advantage, if a person loses there job you will still get your rent, they have annual inspections of the property or random inspections. I’m sure how it is anywhere else but down in Georgia section 8 can have surprise visit at random and if your crib is messed up anyway you will lose your section 8.

        • I don’t want to rent to ANY adult who uses the term ‘crib’ in place of ‘home/house’. Sorry, but that’s a red flag to me because it indicates you have zero interest in bettering yourself by improving your communication skills such that ANY person, and particularly in business where proper English is SO important, can quickly understand what you mean. We don’t all speak the same slang in the world and it’s why slang is considered very poor form when speaking English worldwide. When people trouble themselves to learn English, who are not native speakers of it ( e.g. Japanese businessmen/women ), using American slang of ANY kind would only risk confusing them and then, by default, embarassing them. There are MANY reasons that people may chide you for CHOOSING, as an adult, to speak in unnecessary slang terms. For my part, someone who speaks like you simply indicates to me that you’re a rental risk. If you don’t care how you sound to others, then you probably don’t care about lots of things. Things that impact ME.

          You’re right. Your rent IS part of my income. But guess what? When the numbers bear out that it’s a minority of voucher recipients who actually care for the property and respect the neighborhoods they live in and have some semblance of self-respect, then those are bad, risky numbers. I simply see no actual gain, fiscally speaking, except in the short term perhaps, of renting to S8 folks. I don’t have time to wait and hope for an honest tenant who will tell me the truth about their criminal history. I have ZERO problem, however, renting to people with physical and/or mental disabilities who may have a minor criminal strike against them. Why? Because their behavior can be explained and by the time they’re on S8, they’re getting medical treatment at least. Those people deserve a sense of place and home. Same with the elderly poor and single mothers ( who are often abandoned by the fathers wether the fathers marry them or not ). I can give these groups of people a break, generally speaking. But no way, no how, am I going to rent to a thug-life wannabe of ANY race, male or female. And yes, the way they speak and dress OFTEN indicates EXACTLY where their heads are at.

          I think for landlords it’s exceptionally important to follow through with criminal background checks. Do NOT trust HUD to tell you the truth. They’re under pressure to place people, and often those people are aggressive and ill-acting. They want to get rid of them. Yep, and so will you, so be careful.

          Also, there’s nothing wrong with a landlord making a living off their real estate investments. What in the world do some of you think landlords do? Buy rental properties to NOT make money? To go broke cleaning up in the wake of one miscreant adult after the next? Do tremendously expensive repairs and the costs of evictions, which cut into ‘profits’? OK, well perhaps someone who still chooses to use the word ‘crib’ for ‘house’ really cannot understand the concepts of risk assessment. That’s fine, you don’t have to. But *I* do. It’s my responsibility to understand them, to weigh output vs input, to consider personal experience vs idealistic thinking etc etc. Those are things I HAVE to do because you know what? Nobody else will.

          Raise the expectations of yourself and you may meet the expectations of others.

  66. I receive section 8 and I work for the school system I’m a 10 month emplyee for the two months I’m out of work section 8 refuses to change my rent hiw can I pay rent with no income and when I do go back to work when school starts I’m so deep in a hole it takes me a year to get out of it I’m really desperate I’ve been going through this for the last four years and help or advice would be greatly appreciated

  67. Karene Alicia on

    Hey, just here to say that I first qualified for Section 8 over 10 years ago. It was very difficult to find a decent place b/c Section 8 has a really bad reputation & that is unfortunate.

    I finally was able to find a place with a person willing to give it a chance. I have now lived here almost 11 years. I love my landlord & he (hopefully, lol) loves me. Seriously, we have a great relationship.

    When I first looked into moving into the house my landlord asked to come by my old place to take a look-see. I don’t really think I had to do it but I also had nothing to hide so I said fine. I think all you can do is investigate your potential tenants as much as possible. Even if you can’t go so far as to visit their last place (my landlord actually never ended up finding the time to come by my old place but I think the fact that i was fine either way helped him) just talk to them & try to make a lot of small talk just so you can get an idea of personality & such.
    It is going to be a relationship so you have to make sure it is with someone you would WANT to have a relationship (preferably long term, not 1 month etc) with. Check how long they lived in their last 3 places, or in my case over 10yrs. If someone is telling you they lived in this place for a month & that place for 3 months, that is probably a red flag. Especially with Section 8. The only reason a good tenant moves is if they have down-sized or gotten bigger & need a bigger space or they are leaving the area. Then we have to move. Were it not for that, I would be content to stay here until I could afford my own home.

    If you get a bad feeling about someone, sometimes that is the best thing to listen to. I was my landlord’s first Section 8 tenant. He took a chance on me & we have been together 11 yrs. I need to move now b/c my oldest son is leaving & I only qualify for a 2BR now. I am praying that I get another wonderful landlord.

    I understand the concern that some have but quite frankly as a tenant, horrible landlords are also out there so this is not a one-sided fear. I worry about getting some lazy, nasty landlord who only wants the Section 8 money but may refuse to fix anything until forced. My landlord fixes everything ASAP.. If I called him today & said the fridge was broken, he would have a fridge to me tomorrow or the day after latest. How many of you landlords would do that? When the washing machine died, I had one in storage, I offered to get it so he wouldn’t need to buy a new one and he drove me to go get it and brought it back to the house. I have heard some horror stories of my own from others about landlords. These things also happen. Hopefully, I will investigate as I did with my current landlord & my instincts will lead me to another decent one.

    All that to say, it’s too bad if you have had a negative relationship with Section 8 in anyway. I think it is a chance. But, my sister rents out a property & she has also had problems with her tenant paying rent and such and her tenant is a cash payer. It’s just a chance you will take, but if you investigate in advance, I think the odds are in your favor. There are awesome Section 8 tenants out there, I’m proud to say I am one & I know others.

    • The article is VERY TRUE… Section 8 not only has NOT cleaned up the program they have relaxed their background check. The only thing that disqualifies you now are a conviction of being a pedofile, or convicted of cooking meth.

      It is a shame. They are ruining neighborhoods, one at a time. The people they send in to rent are downright scary and the background checks (I do) comes up with things that make it hard to sleep at night. If the renters are upset with the landlords attitudes, I suggest they complain to Section 8. They are the ones responsible for trashing the program. Them and the ones they have let invade good neighborhoods.

  68. Never renting out to section 8 tenant, they trash my house and constantly distrubing my neighbor for years. Section 8 transfer paperwork takes years to go through. It take me 2.5 years for have them finally moved out but with whole house trash..no a single door not broker, floor wood all broken…leave all trash without cleaning the house.

    Section 8 not helping landlord just push me to deal with the tenant myself with all the unpaid rent, water bill and damage of my house.

  69. Me, my husband, and our two children have Sec 8, we where on a waiting list for 10 years. We do not mess up the property and we do not let our children. We get help because I lost four jobs in one year due to medical appointments with our daughter, who has multiple disabilities. With out help from Sec 8 we would be living on the streets. So for everyone on here saying that all Sec 8 tenants are bad, gross, or disrespectful to there property, you need to better screen your tenants. Make sure when you call there former landlords that they did not give you a friends number, make sure that any number they gave you is not a friends number. Check with tenants that lived next to them. It may take some time on your behalf but it could save you from these issues. The other thing is that there are landlords out there that do not report it when extra people live in a place rented to someone on sec 8 instead they charge extra for the extra people that does not help the 100’s of people who are waiting for voucher that will follow the rules. As for the guy that said sec 8 tells him to replace things like burnt out light bulbs I do not know where you rent but it is a federal program and the only bulbs they can tell you to replace are external ones as they are the responsibility of the landlord this is because they have rules for all landlords they do not change if it is multi-family units or single homes and in a multi-family you can not hold one tenant responsible for all exterior lights. As far as broken knobs on the stove that tenant had a responsibility to let you know it was broken. I know if i find something broken or not working right I tell my landlord within 24 hours, this is because he asked me to do this when I moved in to the apartment. I have been on sec 8 for 3 years now and have never had a complaint; however, i have had 5 non-sec 8 people move in to the building and all be thrown out for things from non payment of rent to damage to the apartment or building, and one even broke back in after the sheriff inspected the apartment for damages and locked the doors and left. They put coffee grinds and lard in all sink drains and turned on all the water in the apartment and flooded my apartment, they also broke all the windows, and a door.This was a non-sec 8 tenant so please do not judge people that get sec 8 as a whole judge the people that have no respect as a whole and the ones that have respect as a whole. I was so offended reading this page because most of you say that it is people on sec 8 that a causing these bad stories but it is not only people on sec 8 and it is not all people that get sec 8.

  70. Every coin has two sides and so like everything else, renting to section 8 tenants has both its advantages and disadvantages. It’s good to hear that your experience in this respect has been good but I’ve heard many people complaining a lot about the same scenario as well. From what I understand about this matter, I believe that section 8 tenants can be an even better option for landlords as compared to regular tenants provided you choose the people you rent your house to carefully. All those bad experiences that people talk about have a lot to do with poor tenant selection and very little to do with section 8.

  71. Our tenant was great! BUT the process with the Housing Authority has been a nightmare! We had to reduce rent at first (rental freeze) and were told when the lease was up we could increase rent…but when it came time they said no. Now we have been dealing with several paycuts and have to let our tenant go…it is a heartbreaker (we have been very friendly with our tenant)…and her situation hadn’t even changed–they just reevaluated her and took the price of a bedroom away for no reason…..after we had signed another year lease AND they reinspected the property and told us to change a lock type and add 2 more fire alarms that they didn’t catch in the first inspection. then they decreased the rent…twice…and now we are going into a slow rental time….thanks a lot! AND as far as rent being on time, in less than a year they were late one or two times (by a day or so) and even 6 DAYS in one case! so even that doesn’t apply…it may have been a good program at one time but it’s falling apart now…DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!

  72. hello my name is marzet and im 24 years old. my question is with my Apartment builden i would like to rent it to (HUD) section 8, Whats the steps i have to take to do so????

  73. Keeping in mind here their are good and bad apples that come in all shades of colors, This spans from Yale to jail, from the richest of rich to the poor of poor, which all have demonstrated having bad apples, You can have all the money vs None and be a insecure Slobs,having no morals what so ever or compassion what so ever and this goes for Tenants to landlords. Their are landlords / slumlords who just think their all that and are worst then the Tenants them self’s who abuse and take advantage of their Tenants, threatening them with their pettiness to ripping them of for their deposit.
    Not all section 8 Tenants are bad apples and should be judge on a one a one bases, But all people can lie or distort things no matter who they are, thats like people who lie to get a job, saying yes i can do this and that when asked BUT really they can but in the end work it out and do very well…
    Another issue is Landlords charging on the average 30.00+ to run credit checks on all the adults…Now you have 10 families apply to rent a place ONLY one gets it, so that money you desperately need is gone and you have to do it over and over until you may get a place draining the little money you have, Hummmmm. Personally i think there should be a rule of thumb that one credit check from all 3 of the major players be honored for a minimum of 90 days to 6 mos of the date ran…

  74. Wow just reading these comments are hurtful. We don’t know what people go through. I am a wonderful Section 8 tenant. I was only on the list for six Months. God was looking out for us. I have been a tenant for 3 and a half years. I love my landlord and my house. I wok full time and attend school full time with two children. I’m engaged to be married. I party my rent on time and my utilities have NEVER been shut off. No police is ever called to my place. No drunkenness or loud parties and anything my babies mess up my fiancee fixes it. Small things usually mess up, blinds and such.
    This is a blessing to us. My landlord suggest i start the home owners program and I’m
    about it. The house i am in is very nice and we keep it that way. Not ALL SECTION 8 tenants are bad. My property manager only rents to

    • The more S8 people encourage each other to ‘behave’, and actually do, perhaps over time more landlords will take S8. But those of you who are decent, responsible tenants are still in the minority, sorry. And the new budget cuts on S8 and such, combined with the failure of local housing authorities to properly screen applicants and work with landlords better all work against voucher renters in the minds of most property owners.

      Please remember, also, that one day I may wish to sell my property. If a series of S8 rentals turns the place into a new buyers nightmare, drives property values down, results in under-performing schools, and higher call outs for police then S8 IS directly and negatively impacting my investment. ‘Getting that check every month’, as some bitter poster above put it, is nowhere near as important to me as a property holder as the strength of the investment over x_years. HUD and its applicants making my property and life an annoying misery is of absolutely ZERO interest to me and that is going to be the case so long as the MAJORITY of S8 voucher holding tenants conduct themselves grossly, do not respect the terms of their lease, disrespect the landlord and undermine that very important relationship, and forget that their occupancy IMPACTS OTHER S8 renters! The absolute selfishness in regards to that last bit is what always astounds me. Hate me as a landlord if you must. But do you hate those in the same boat as yourself too? To such a degree that you will leave waste and filth and break things and disturb the peace, thereby turning landlords away from the choice of renting to S8 folks? I get that your’e a single mother going through a rough patch. But when your rough patch becomes an excuse to continue socializing with dangerous or lazy men and women; when your rough patch becomes an excuse to act out against MY property because you’re angry about some aspect of yourself or life….then you impact the next single mother and the next, who may be totally and completely innocent. Who don’t have your self-pitying baggage and really are in need of a place to call Home that is safe for children, has good schools, is not too far from her job or school or both. Unfortunately, until the vast majority of you are RESPONSIBLE to yourselves and the community you live in, I will avoid S8 like the plague.

      • OMG! You said it all, and so well. The ones that are responsible are the S8 themselves and the managers of the program. I have a full time handyman and all they have to do is pick up the phone and report a leak, yet they are too lazy….and yes…most have ex-con boyfriends laid up in there. What is happening is the working middle class is paying the taxes for the very lowest to lay up a spawn. Most responsible people have 1-3 children. Section 8ers have 4-6 and quite a few as many as 7. There is no excuse for this, The only reason they do it is for a bigger gov handoutl There is the BEFORE pill, the AFTER pill, and the reg “pill”, IUDs, and the list goes on, yet they are too lazy to use any of it. If you are too dumb, lazy,etc. that brought you to the point you can’t even support yourself and the gov has to ….why keep having kids?

  75. I’m a General Contractor in MN, aside from kitchens and bathrooms I fill my down time with rental property work.

    I’m disturbed by the authors comment about “leveraging” the federal program the funds S8 and worse yet, admittedly jacking up rents in low income neighborhoods for the benefit of their own bank account. Shame on you!

    I have several clients with S8, without question or exception, these properties are a blight to the surrounding homes and neighborhood as a whole. S8 landlords do only the absolute minimum required by HUD with regards to general upkeep and repair. I know this from years of experience, even suggesting that they ditch S8 and try to bring in a better class of tenant. Not a chance, nor are they interested in real value improvements to the home and yard. I’m pretty close to the point of telling these clients I am no longer interested in working on these properties. At this point, I generally up charge for S8 repairs anywhere from 20-40%, I know the landlord is doing it why shouldn’t I? The real reason is this. They are generally filthy, trash filled, critter strewn and absolutely disgusting as a work environment.

    Here’s my real problem with S8 and the lack of oversight. Nearly every S8 rental I enter has 1-3 big screen TV’s, better cable than I do, nicer cars in the driveway and kids toys piled to the sky. Last week I was at a residence that was S8, they had 3 60″ samsung TV’s, 2012 Toyota highlander in the drive, iPhone 5’s just to name a few. I come away scratching my head wondering where is the oversight? I have been on properties where I knew there were guns on site, dudes sitting around openly smoking grass in front of grandma and the little ones.

    I really don’t get it. I bust my ass 50 hours a week, my wife works full time and we struggle to have a nice home and good running vehicles, basic things we need a a few things for fun on the side. I thought I was splurging when I brought home a new 32″ TV last fall….

    S8 needs some serious fixing and supervision.,

    • Do your job and stop worrying about what those people have in their home!!
      Some Section 8 participants work and probably buy those things when they get their
      tax refund checks. There is nothing wrong with them working and being able to splurge when they get the chance.
      Sounds like you would like for them to have nothing nice because they are on Section 8!!
      Also sounds like you are envious and jealous!
      If it bothers you that Much, go get on Section 8 yourself and Stop whining and worrying about other people.

  76. My husband and I are on section 8. We are senior citizens who both lost out through divorces–my ex had a breakdown and spent all our money and I didn’t have enough working years left to earn it back.
    We are renting a cute house which we care for lovingly. It has a small yard and we have put in a lawn and landscaping which we care for. We have planted flowers. We have painted the porch and fixed the deck–the LL supplied the materials but we did the work. We have a small dog and have fenced the yard in and built a pretty gate and painted it white. Roses grow around it.
    I like to decorate and have purchased beautiful curtains and some of the furniture from thrift stores. We are frugal but we always look for quality. We are very quiet and we get along fine with the neighbors. Our LL said that he was glad he had us and the section 8 when real estate took a dive around here last year (again). He had to sell off some of his properties but he kept this house because of us and because it is a reliable income.
    If we didn’t have section 8 we would be stuck in some horrible elderly housing complex. We lived in one for a while and it was cramped and most of the people were weird. No gardening, nothing. I was a librarian when I was working but section 8 would raise our rent based upon our gross and so at our age there is no point in going back to work. This is our little retirement home. You should rent to seniors. Most have owned their own homes and know how to take care of a house. It sounds like you should also do background checks before you rent to strangers. I would be furious if a renter destroyed my house. Just be careful who you rent to and you should be okay.

    • Good Day,

      Reading your blogg was very encouring. I hope that my tenant will take care of my house. I grew up in this house. I say I own the house but I want them to make it their home.

      After reading the regulations with section 8, if they destroy the property, I see that section 8 is not responsible for fixing up the property some tenants have destroyed.

      This is the problem, if I was in charge of the program, I would make it so, if they mess up the would be off the program and this would teach some of them a lesson and aldttached this to the credit profile and this would give other property owners a heads up.

      I thank you for taking you for care of the house you live in. Your landloard is bless to have you living there.

      Be Blessed

  77. I give thanks to those of you, who are decent landlords, with open minds. It is unfortunate that some of you had bad experiences with “S-8”, but consider your role in that. Are you screening soley based on credit or references? Do you take pride in your properties or put half a– fixes, and then blame tenants for them? I’ve had good owners and bad, both on and off HCV assistance, which is what the program is properly named. I have housing assistance and have not/never would do the things you describe and attribute to “them”. I take pride in where I live and expect owners to do the same. I won’t put up with a slumlord or someone using my deposit to upgrade their property, because I document and videotape everything. I’ve met an owner like Gail/ Doug before and won’t rent from them. I “do” owner checks. When I spoke to the neighbors of the property “destroyed”, allegedly by “them”, (as relayed by the Gail/Dougs of slumworld), most neighbors described property that was not well maintained or whom just rented to anybody. So it seems that some owners may need to learn how to “behave” as well, if they desire better experiences. My heart goes out to those genuinely good owners, that have had bad experiences, with assisted or non-assisted tenants. As R Delgado relayed, bad is not limited to any one group. I won’t detail what issues I’m facing, that require my family’s need for the program, because that’s no one’s place to judge me; they haven’t lived my life. I do work, when I can, as I have a Bachelors Degree, and am a professional. I’m not the only one. I have a nice car and a decent phone, and a TV, Mr. Contractor, because I pay/and paid taxes too, well before and during “assistance”. Bad experiences are a combination of factors, and not just limited to one group, I reiterate, and from the reading of many of the comments, seems a good deal of people may need a big serving of “Karma”.

    Currently I’m looking to port in to Sacramento, and fortunately have come across many decent owners, but unfortunately we were not able to meet each others needs, for different reasons i.e., area, no garage. I do have a few possibilities, though, so we shall see.

  78. P.S. In regards to background checks, it depends on the Housing agency you are dealing with. My old one did a basic check (including evictions and reason), but the port in one does a criminal background check; they are seeking to weed out any people with convictions for violent crime (not all are felonies, depends on “deals”) felonies, gang associations, or drug issues, particularly dealing. They fingerprint too, which should turn up far more than a basic Internet search. Ask and the local agency will tell you what they screen for. Although they don’t usually tell you specifically about a person, rest assured most housing checks are far more detailed than a non assisted tenant would be subjected to i.e., fingerprints, and if there are issues, the person will not be allowed assistance, in most cases.

  79. So is the Gosection8.com website a good indicator of how much section 8 properties are renting for in any given area? I am in Dallas where the a 4 bed single family has a FMR value $1550 in one area I am looking at. Yet the asking rents are bit lower than that in that zip code.

  80. There’s a piece by Slate about how increases in crime in more suburban/less dense areas directly correlate with section 8 placing previous project dwellers into working class neighborhoods.

    • Hello Mark,

      This is very true, some don’t work and they just sit at home all day doing nothing, and having their family and friends hanging out. Too much idle time and they will start destroying your home.

      Where I live, the area changed when some moved into my neighborhood, how do you destroy a brick building. There has to be some major changes made and some of renters and landlords will get the picture.

      Put in a judgement againist them and you can get restitution this way when they get a job. They keep doing damage knowing that nothing will be done. I think if home owners make enough noise with their local goverment things will start to change and they will get the real big picture.

      Their sosical security in a universal data bank for section 8 and even if they move out of state the home owner would see their track record.

      At some point of time enough will be enough, some home owners can afford to keep putting out thousands of dollars into a home when some renters do damage just because.

      Be Blessed

  81. Hello, I am in the process of getting approval for Section 8. I hear some of the horror stories about Section 8. I do intend to sit down with my tenant and let her know what I expect from her and what she should expect from me as a landlord.

    I plan on remolding the kitchen and some more things, but this will take time and additional up dates. I will have inspection done every six months to make sure the house is being taken care of. I will not allow any dogs or smoking in the house.

    I agree with one blogger about some of the landlords, some just want to collect the rent, and don’t want to make any neccessary repairs on their property. I lookes up what is required to get approval for Section 8.

    I am doing a lot and most of it is not required by section 8. However, I am fixing up my house as if I was moving in there myself. My intension are, if the teanant see that the house is well cared for, than they will make and attempt to maintain the house and make it there home.

    I will take pictures of the house before they move in, just in case things get a little out of hand I will have proof what the house looked like before they moved in.

    Not only that, when going to court, tt he judge should know that the living conditions had to be approved before the tenant moved in. You can also put on their credit profile and this will give other landlords a heads up.

    I own a single family house 4 bedroom house in New Jersey and I am charging $1,400 a month and I could have asked for more, however I want her to be able to pay her other bills like the heating, especially in the winter time, I don’t want the pipes busting.

    I know in New Jersey the rules are changing now, some Section 8 like to destory a home/apartment and move on to another one. The waiting list is too long, so mess if you want and you will be removed from the program and you should be removed. Receiving Section 8 is a Blessing and not a right.

    Once I am approved, I am going to start a Section 8 property owner support group to assist one another.

    Be Blessed

  82. My my you have stars in your eyes. I too, fixed up the properties thinking if they were nice they would take care of them.. only to see them tore to ribbons. You have to understand what you are renting to. Granted, once in a while, a normal one will slip in, but what you are dealing with are people who can’t support themselves and government is stepping in and doing it. Your first question needs to be why. Why can’t they support themselves after all these years? Why don’t they go out and work like everyone else? And why oh why do all these other mean old landlords keeping telling these mean stories on the poor innocent people? Why do these people who can’t support themselves keep having children? If you try to put yourself in their place, and ask yourself what would you do, then you quickly realize these people don’t think right. Non of their reasoning makes any sense. Why wouldn’t you work if you were wanting to help your children? Now substitute what a logical person would do with what you would do if you wanted to beat the system and wanted to live off the backs of everyone else. Now their reasoning makes sense and you understand the outcome. They keep having kids because the taxpayers pay for their housing. They also keep having kids because if they don’t work, at the end of the year they get a $2500.00 check paid to them for each kid with a cap of $10,000. Do I have your attention? They don’t work cause there is no need to work. We, the taxpayer, take care of them. Since they don’t work, they have all the time in the world to tear your house up because, they also hate your cuts. You are the enemy. You are their opposite, you have worked hard and own the property. Something they never will do. You are a responsible person, they hate you for that too, because they don’t want anything or anyone, reminding them they should ever be responsible. They can tear your place up in the blink of an eye cause they have done it before and had lots of practice.
    I own over 50 properties, never has Section 8 offered to pay for the damages. Never. So in this equation, you are really the only responsible person and the only one with something to lose. When you look at it that way, you are in a very dangerous position. Is that really what you want?

    • Ok so you are attcking people that are on sec8 or federal programs to get help? I am on sec 8 and they pay $263 a month towards my rent. My husbend and I have two kids, and when we found out that my daughter was sick and would need medication and help for the rest of her life I took steps and had my tubes cut, tied, and burnt making it so I could not have any more children. With that said we need the help supporting her because our insurance does not cover all her medications, and you said why do we need the help why dont we work to support our children:
      1. We did not find out she was as sick as she is till she was 3 and by then I was pregnet with our son.
      2. We do work to support our children, but how about you tell some of the employers out their not to fire a mom because she needs to leave work because her daughter just had a major sizure at school. (I have been fired from 8 jobs in 4 years for this reason, as she has many sizures a week)
      3. If you do not work you DO NOT get money from taxes as you have no reason to file them so if you know someone who does not work but gets taxes back each year, take action and turn them in I have a few people in my family that work for the IRS one of which works in the fraud department and they told me that they try to catch all the people that lie, but it would help if more people steped up and turned people in.
      With all that said some people need the help because of things that are out of their control, and they do not lie to get the help, so if you want to bash all people in a program do your research first please. One other thing tell the people that are suposed to handle fraud issues with sec8, welfare, and other programs to do thier jobs and give the fines and jail time to the ones who do fraud the system, as I know of many people that have been turned in and nothing is done when they are.

  83. When we moved to our section 8 house we were required to pay $1000 security deposit. That’s so that if we do any damage, the LL can take the money for repairs out of that amount.
    I think it’s a good idea.

    I think our LL has made a good investment by buying up properties in an up and coming area and renting to retired people. Retired people are not going to have kids and they usually know how to get along with the neighbors. They are quiet and they take pride in their homes. By the time the retired people are ready to leave, the property that was up and coming will probably have gone way up in value and can be sold, if the LL wishes to do so.

    In the meantime, the home has been lived in, maintained by the tenants, and the LL has been receiving rent. If the home had been left vacant it would probably have been broken into or some damage might have occurred because of no one living there to notice it.

    I do think a single or retired person should be allowed to have a small dog for protection. In subsidized housing in this state, people must be allowed to have a dog or a cat under 15 pounds. It’s good company and even though a dog like mine would probably just slobber all over an intruder, his bark is LOUD when he does bark. Even if I’m gone for the day the house is protected simply because he will bark if someone comes to the door.

    But if you are a LL, please do a background check before renting. If you are too cheap or lazy to do that, maybe you deserve the type of people you get. This goes for section 8 and renters in general.

  84. Did you know that if you move out of your section 8 housing and you owe the landlord for damages you have to sign an agreement with him/her to repay in order for you to keep your section 8. However after you move out and get a good reference from the landlord (he will probably do this because he wants to recover money for the damages), all you have to do is tell section 8 that you are contesting the agreement to repay and you wont have to pay it back, and, you can keep your section 8. Of course the landlord can take you to small claims but hardly anyone does. This happened to me, a tenant caused $30,000 in damages and wouldn’t even pay back $1,000 of it to me. Section 8 makes it sound so good if you rent to section 8 but if something goes wrong you are on your own pal, on your own and they wont give you the time of day. Your treated like dirt. So dont wonder to hard why section has a bad rap. Its not such a great deal for the homeowner.

  85. I am so taken aback by the language in many of the responses. I understand that many landlords have been burned by tenants and don’t want to deal with the S8 program, however to say cruel things about everyone who’s ever received or waiting to receive a voucher is shameful.

    I was a S8 tenant for a less than one year because of a landlord that wanted to rip myself and the system off. I was in a flat 2/1 duplex that was completely electric and brand new. The home was absolutely gorgeous. I literally had nothing when I moved it so when I started buying things it really felt like home. I paid my deposit only to find that the home had a 5K light bill that was subject to collection. The landlord said it was a mistake and calling the city would fix it. I did. They fixed it. Cool beans.This was should have been a red flag…How on earth did this tiny place rack up a bill that high! I was told that I was responsible by S8 that I was to pay *John* the landlord $97 a month for rent. I paid this 2 weeks early direct deposit every month. Mind you *Johns* mail often came to my address, and too all of my S8 mail went to both of us.

    About 6 months in my neighbor told me that she was being evicted for whatever reason, upon her departure I noticed that there was a mice in my kitchen. I walked over and noticed that there were mice in her home too and that there was a hole in the wall from her living room to my kitchen. I called *John* up to remedy. he said he’d fix it. While he was doing this “fixing and exterminating” I left for the weekend. Monday upon my arrival I found that my apartment had been flooded and ransacked. Nothing had been taken but every wall had a whole in it, my room was turned upside down, the sink was pulled out etc.

    I called the cops, landlord and S8 to remedy the situation…The cops investigated. S8 told me that the ruins were up to ME to fix and if I couldn’t then I would be evicted upon inspection or at my landlords discretion. *John* the lovely landlord said “Oh no, we’ll take care of it for her. Our other tenant was pretty upset so SHE may be the cause” This guy…He literally filed an insurance claim, collected the money, emptied the apartment of my things while he fixed it up and put me up in another home. By emptied I mean trashed!!!

    Section 8 told me this was unlawful and that they were going to be inspecting the ransacked apt immediately (within a week) to determine whether or not everything was repaired and that I was indeed residing on location. So the landlord called me up says, “Hey we’ll need get you back in the apartment tomorrow. Well I couldn’t they’d thrown all of my belongings away and I was back at square 1. Still paying my rent and utility…I showed up to the apt to find they had changed the locks. When the S8 inspector showed up they took into consideration that all of my things were ruined so they checked for repairs, all of which I must confess were like nothing ever happened to begin with. New carpet, patched walls, paint, sink etc. Great work…however there was no food in the cupboards and when asked why I said very honestly, “John put me in another place, he said I couldn’t be here. I told my worker this.” *John went slack jaw.

    Over the remainder of my lease, my landlord had been collecting my portion of the rent which I found out he should not have because S8 paid him 100% of HIS ASKING price and he had been collecting their checks for the rest of my lease…S8 proceeded to kick me off saying I had abandoned my unit, but continued to pay that landlord whom I have no doubts saw the “sudden flooding” during extermination as a chance to take advantage of the system and myself and had been going through my mail!!! Who does this?

    To make matters worse, when *John the Landlord* received notification that S8 was no longer covering my rent he then asked me to leave the “other house” he put me in. I told him that I would leave in 30 days enough time to get into another place…2 weeks later I came home and he was changing the locks AGAIN. So its not just tenants. The landlords can be awful as well.

    That was nearly 2 years ago, since I have paid FMR for my home. I have excellent landlords and they would serve as excellent references upon my exit. I am a great tenant. I take care of everything from the yard to the basement. My house now is literally cleaner now that I am in it than it was the day I viewed it prior to renting!

    It sucks that that guy got over on me and the system and even worse that good tenants like myself don’t have a real chance because of the general attitudes of others. Especially when it was the landlord that was the issue here!

  86. Hello,
    I am new to this board and here is our situation. My husband and I have been helping out a single mother of 4 for the past 3.5 years now. She and her children have been living in our rental property. We have not been able to charge her applicable rent because she cannot afford it and we do not want to put her and the kids out on the streets. We basically get enough to pay the insurance, and property taxes and lot rent it is nowhere close to what we could charge for rent. But we know her situation and also realize that she really has nowhere else to go. She is relatively clean (considering 4 children) and is not a deadbeat works hard at her job etc. She has made the payments even if behind on some months she would make it up. Therefore we have helped her and want to continue doing so as we can tell she is not a deadbeat. Again we would not want to put her or her children out on the streets.

    Due to financial reasons in our household and our employment which may be ending shortly our household income is getting reduced to almost nothing here in the next few months due to the company we both work for is going out of business. Therefore we are going to have to start charging applicable rent but at the same time we want if affordable for her and the children but we cannot afford to not at least get something extra on our rental property investment.

    She (tenant) has signed up for section 8 voucher and has been on the waiting list for the past 3 years. She was told that this fall or early next year she will be on the program as her time on the wait list will be up. I contacted the Section 8 housing authority about getting our home approved for her they said it would be an easy process when the time comes since she has already been living there it just would have to pass inspection (which I see no reason for it not to pass).

    My question is how much can we actually charge for rent? We would like to make something over our cost and expenses for the place. This home is located in Idaho and I was told by the housing authority that her rent with utilities would have to be no more than $1076.00. I believe the tenant we have her income is around $750 per month or lower it depends on the time of year and how many hours she is given to work which is more in the Summer and less in Winter so her income fluxgates with partial unemployment in the Winter months.

    So how would it all work out?

    Do I charge $1076 for rent and include the electric or do I charge $900 for rent and have her pay utilities? Right now we charge $435 which covers the lot rent, (it’s a manufactured home in mobile park), sewer, garbage, taxes and insurance and we make nothing extra on that amount. Some months when she cannot make the full payment we cover for her until she can make it up sometimes not until tax time. It has been extremely hard on our financially to do so.

    Based on her income (Gross wages $800 or lower) what percentage would she have to pay and what percentage would we receive from Section 8?

    I want to be fair but due to our financial situation we have (husband and myself) coming up in the next few months I am not sure what to charge. Realistically we could get easily $1,200 a month for the place with tenant paying their own utilities, but I know we could not charge that much to her. It is a 3 bedroom manufactured home nice layout and I think 1275 sq ft.

    This home is the only home her and her children have had for over 3 years now and we would like to keep it that way if possible as this is their home.

    I feel so confused and do not know how this whole section 8 process works. Could someone please enlighten me on a couple different options we may have?

    Thank you very much for any input someone may provide.

    • As someone that is on sec 8 I could tell you that including the utility’s could be tricky as the bills for utility’s change, also if there is propain, or oil that would also be a utility. With that said I do know it is easer for people on sec 8 that do not lie about their income to have the utility’s included, for instance, I have my rent taken right out of my husbends checks weekly and we are working with the landlord we have had for 4 years now to add in the utility’s as we have the amounts for each bill yearly for the last 4 years so we are averaging them out and comming up with the monthly amount that would still have me and my husbend covering the utility’s but they will be in landlords name and he will send in the payments. Our bills are pay up to date, however, it would just be easer for us for him to take the extra each week, and us only pay one bill for all. I would not recomend doing this for a tenent that you do not have prior knowlage about, as you do not know if they are going to leave you with not only unpaid rent but also now utility bills that need to be paid. So if you know they will pay and you know they are not going to rip you off then utility’s included is better for the tenent and could be good for the landlord. I do not know the laws there but where i am from if the utility’s are shut off on the tenent the utility companys can make the landlords turn them on in their name.

  87. I should add that we do not have multiple rental properties or anything we just have this one so we would like to receive some type of return on our investment.

    Thank you,

  88. Guys, Need some advise.

    – I am trying to rent my home and have a potential tenant that is interested. My questions are
    – The potential tenant is willing to pay more than what they receive through voucher and are requesting to sign 2 seperate leases – 1 for the amount they get through the voucher and 1 for the remainder through their own. Does this sound fair and would it mean trouble?
    – Also, if the lease expires in 1 year, would I be tied to them in any way shape or form.

    – I have never done this before and was not sure if I need to go through some kind of paperwork on my end to get this going.

    Appreciate all the guidance and help.


    • It sounds like they are lying to section 8 about either how many people live in the household or about their income, and that can mean troubble in more than one way:
      1. If they are lying about who is living in the household they could get in troubble.
      2. If you knowingly let more people than listed on the sec 8 voucher live in the house you could get in troubble.
      3. When cought they would be removed from the program.
      4. The program could make them and/or you repay them for their loss due to the lies.

      As far as being stuck with them after the one year lease as long as you tell sec8 and the tenent in writing 30 days prior to the end of the lease that you are not renewing it you should have no problem getting them out; however, you will need a valid reason for not renewing the lease.

  89. Unless the program has changed drastically, don’t even consider doing this. Our very first tenant, who was on S8, scammed us with this one. We didn’t know anything about the program, and that this was a violation. The tenant certainly knew though. In my state, only 1 lease is legally binding. She claimed her mother and girlfriend would be living with her and they would pay their own rent under their own lease, as her S8 would cover most of what my rent was. They would pay the rest.

    Guess what happened? After 2 months, the girlfriend and mother moved out, and the tenant got a 4BR/2BA house for $200 less than what we originally signed them up for.

  90. Section 8 destroys communities. There are good people on section 8. The main problem is they move in that criminal relative. Then you get people that are just simply cheating the system.

    • Sorry but sec8 does not destroy communities, people destroy communities. For excample: people like my sister-in-law, she lives in a 3 bedroom apartment with her, her boy friend, and their kids, a druggie roomate, and her kid. They have moved atleast 6 times in two years brining bed bugs to each place they have moved, not to mention destroyed all of them, from holes in the walls, to broken sinks, tubs, ect… She is not on sec8 and has caused more damage than you know. Yes she has been turned in to DCYF many times nothing is ever done and she has been turned into welfare for lying many times. So don’t put it on sec8 the way I see it she would not be able to do this if welfare and DCYF did their jobs when they get reports, vs telling her to sign a paper that who ever made the report is lying and not her. I only know this because I had taken in her kids and she showed up one day to tell me that she had been turned in and they just made her sign a form saying it was all lies. So like I said people destroy communities not programs.

  91. What about landlords who just want to collect rent and not do the work orders or hire contractors to do extremely shabby work. The ones who are doing the most cheating are the owners who are slum landlords and HUD which seems to have a high level of corruption.

  92. Wow! Just checked in and this seems to be a subject that just keeps on going. In my experience, it all starts with adequate screening of applicants. Its naive to expect HUD or any government agency to do your job. They’re in the business to house tenants, and keep them housed, not screen them or help you with evictions if you need it. That’s the landlord’s job, like it or not. So assume you’ll get no help from HUD except to pay their portion of the rent, and move forward from there.
    Again I’ll say, there are good Section 8 tenants out there, but you have to be willing to screen and hold an apartment empty until you find that tenant. If you have multi-unit buildings, one bad tenant will drive out all the good ones (no matter what their income), so it’s your job to find the good ones, and quickly get rid of the bad ones, and keep the other tenants in your building informed of your progress in an eviction so they know you’re working in their best interests.

  93. Roxanne Calderon on

    Wow I myself am on section 8 and im having a really hard time finding an apartment in alameda county . I just transferred from Santa clara county so im not to familiar with the landlords out here . But its like everything treat people how you want to be treated I’ve met my share of shady slumlord I mean literally pigs . I want a landlord who’s not going to judge me for being on section 8 , to be respectful , understanding and to meet his share of his responsibilities for his property the place must be habitable to live in , not just because were on section 8 we should live like rats . So for you slumlord’s its obvious why you may have problems with your section 8 tenants. I know that theres some people who fuck everything up for the most of us but were not all like that. God bless for the people that care for man kind

  94. I wrote Section 8 about 2 weeks ago and told them I will no longer rent to them and gave them 30 day notice on the rest. I feel like a great weight as been lifted off me. My Mother was the one that started renting to them, so I was just sort of roped into it. I pulled out all the receipts for work on damages they have caused, and I can’t find one single property we made money on! The final straw for me was that in addition to the destruction, Section 8 beat me out of rent. This is not the first time, nor even the third of forth, but it is the last. A girl moved out and sublet her place. I saw someone else going to the mailbox one day and tried to catch up with her. She ran back in and wouldn’t come to the door. My other tenants described someone else coming and going. The S8 girl had had phone shut off. I left notes, they were taken from the door but never answered. Finally I took a very large man with me and we entered the place in May and found the lights off. The windows knocked out, the new appliances pulled across the room and some stolen. We notified Section 8. They paid in June and I called them to say they shouldn’t have paid for June. What happened next blew me away. They wrote me a letter and said that the lights were turned off in March, so they were deducting March, April, May and June! I don’t babysit but they held me accountable for their renter! They pulled the same thing with 2 others. One, leases signed, and keys given to her in front of the inspector. She then frolics off the Chicago for 3 weeks and realizes she didn’t give notice to the other federal housing program and is now libel for rent in 2 places. What happened? S8 called me n told me they had torn up my contract n would not pay me for the 3 weeks. Meantime she has comeback n moved in. They sent me a new contract for a new date 3 weeks later. Again, I don’t babysit. The 3rd was pretty much the same. That was 4 weeks. I don’t want anymore drama and stupidity. S8 is fool’s gold. Between the renters and S8, the landlord doesn’t stand a chance. I have done so much better with the properties I don’t rent to S8. The others, are normal people without the drama.

  95. I live near a section 8 approved single family home. The property owner uses the HUD recommended / approved cost of a 3 brd. home in this county to advertise the property. Over the past 15 years, almost without exception- the section 8 tenants do not leave the home for work and have multiple children or other non related occupants. At one time, there were as many as 8 people living in this 800 square foot home. We have seen all types of (some borderline) and other actual criminal activity at this residence.
    NOW IT GETS INTERESTING….I have a background in law enforcement, having worked for some time at a local police station. The greatest thing that I can tell the neighbors of these grifters (MANY who live to take advantage of novice property owners) is to give a “heads up” to slum lords by arming yourself with knowledge.
    1.educate yourself on your City or Township ordinances and who to call to report violations (trash, stealing cable, erecting non approved structures, grass 3 feet tall, dogs running unleashed, multiple families living in same unit etc.) Many of the above involve expensive fines or citations that can be issued to slum lords.
    2. Find out who to call at the local housing authority for “impromptu inspections”
    3. Make a friend in local government (like a Councilman or a cop)
    4. Involve the property owners in your neighborhood who vote and have a vested interested in the value of their homes
    5. if need be, it is your right to install Wi-Fi cameras to observe your own property
    6. Each time a rental near you comes up for rent, document the contact number of the owner and name of property management company in case they need to be advised of issues
    7. Most counties have a public case docket search based on a last name+ first name search for those with both criminal and civil violations. Case in point, if you live near a school and the renter next door is a convicted felon, pedophile or drug dealer…it’s going to be a problem for them to remain undetected. Section 8 is not to be used by them… but that doesn’t mean that a woman who qualifies won’t have a partner residing with her (who benefits from living rent free-so long as they are unmarried).
    If the hardworking, tax-paying, property owners of the US all observed these common sense recommendations, it might encourage more thorough background or credit checks on prospective tenants. You can protect the value of your home and make your neighborhood a safe place to live. You just need to show them (both the property owners and prospective renters) that you have the will and the means to do it. After all, a 60 year old grandma who gets a section 8 voucher and has custody of the grandkids will be thankful to live in a safe place where there are cameras, law enforcement and the presence of local govt. + concerned neighbors is felt.
    Your goal is to give the deserving (who are law abiding decent people) a chance! But to let the ones who are gaming the system and who will destroy the value of the area you live in a strong incentive to go elsewhere.

  96. Those are very good suggestions, but I’m out. As I said, we didn’t make a dime, and they play with your head. If it isn’t Section 8 deciding to take money back for something their renter did, it is all the drama, craziness, and sheer destruction of property by the renters, that will keep your attention when you should have your mind on more constructive things.

    With the exception of maybe one, all the houses I’ve taken back from Section 8 and rented to other people, I have done much better with.

    Even if there was no more drama (which will never happen with them) and even if Section 8 quit reaching in my pocket for the irresponsible actions of their renters, there is the liability of the exposure to Section 8. The deal is the taxpayers (voters) are getting very tired of this and I don’t blame them. I expect a black lash of epic proportions in the next election. I use to think the idea of the middle class being crushed by, and one group living off the other, was just something someone had made up just to be mean. After being exposed to this program, I see it is real. I predict that the working class taxpayers with DEMAND that this program be done away with, or greatly overhauled and downsized. If you have a lot of Section 8 renters…..well you can see the writing on the wall. You will be screwed.

    When there is a backlash, Section 8 and their destructive drama queens will have no one to blame but themselves. Section 8 turns people loose on the public with these vouchers that they know shouldn’t have them in the first place. Then, they turn a blind eye to the destruction. They tell the landlord it is their fault, that they should have screened them better. There is no screening that is gonna tell you these people have a criminal boyfriend or relative. Section 8 also spoils them for not holding them accountable for their actions. As I mentioned in another post, when they do irresponsible things, S8 takes it out of the landlords hide, instead of throwing the renters off the program. Quite a few of them ruin the entire neighborhood with the police calls, the dirty yards, the twenty thousand cars in the yard of all the people that are ‘just visiting’.
    A lot of the working class are taxpayers who live next door to these houses and have their property values and lives ruined by these people. They are not going to forget, and more than likely will vote for someone that will change this. Take the recent election in Mississippi. That Cohran lost in the first election. He is the grandaddy of giveaway programs. He had been in office for thousands of years, but the people of that state were sick of watching the pez dispenser moms pop um out, and waive to them as they, the voters, drove off to work. Work to pay taxes for these able bodied people to sit at home all day and reap the rewards of the taxpayers hard work. Well, the election was so close, they had a runoff. In the runoff, the welfare bunch crossed party lines and voted for Thad Cochran because the other guy was all about cutting these programs down and making what was left more accountable. And there you have how the future will play out. It will be a struggle between the working taxpayers, and the ones sitting on their backs trying to vote themselves a handout.
    Another reason I won’t do this anymore is, in my eyes, as it is now, I find it immoral and demoralizing for the working taxpayers. By taking the voucher, I am part of the problem. I just won’t do it anymore. I feel much better. I was never a slumlord. All my places were kept up. I was only doing what my mother had done before, try to help someone in need. I found out the hard, and very costly way, that those good intentions, were very misplaced. My intentions now are to still keep my properties up, but keep good tenants that don’t run down other peoples property values and lives. NOW, my good intentions are in the right spot! 🙂 I’m helping the working taxpayers who live around my properties. I am making a difference in their lives…..and it is a good one. 🙂 I’m proud of my decision and feel my good intentions are with the people who deserve them.

    • Ok so you are saying that we (people on sec 8) should all loose the program because of the ones who lie, damage property, and do not pay. You say that the tax payers do not want this program anymore. Well my husbend and I are tax payers and we are on sec8. We have a disabled child, and lots of medical bills as my state finds it ok to turn off her insurance all the time, even though she can not go without her meds, we have state insurance because our employers want over 50% of our weekly pa for insurance through them. So the little help we get from sec8 goes a long way. We work our A**** off every day, and we pay our bills. We do not screw the system at all and we cause no drama. So to take out your anger on all people on sec 8 is not right. I bet if you looked into the people you rented to you may not have had all these probems as most people that screw people over have done so in the past. Sorry if this sound rude at all I am just sick and tired of hairing about how nasty, rude, ungreatfull, and just plan scum people on sec 8 are when it is not all of us that are on sec 8 that screw over landlords and lie to sec 8. There are some of us that need the help we get and we do not take that for granted. As i said we pay for most of the rent and get little help from sec 8 but that little bit makes it so we can still put food on the table for our kids after paying for the meds for our daughter that the insurance does not cover. The $263 a month they pay is food for two kids that would not have that food if we lost the help, so maybe if you looked at the sec 8 people that pay most of the rent out of pocket vs the ones that only pay $6 – $400 out of pocket you will find the people that realy need the help instead of the one riping off sec 8 and lying to everyone (sec8 and landlords).

      • The problem is that the program SHOULD be for only people like you. The working poor, the elderly, the slow, or handicapped. The PROBLEM is that the worst of the worst have found their way onto it and RUINED it. Section 8 policies are responsible for a lot of this. You and I are saying the same thing on several issues with the program.

        The program needs to be overhauled. As it is, you have crack heads, thugs, etc on it. I have several, what I call “mentally slow” that can’t get on because many slots are filled by crack heads and druggies who are lifers on the program. It is a shame. They have ruined the landlords properties till they are sick of it. They have given the program a bad name. I, for one, have taken so many loses at their hands, I can’t/won’t, take anymore. Section 8 won’t throw them off, and I can’t keep taking the chance. As I said, I pulled the records and with all the damages, and Section 8 changing the rules and debiting the landlords, I just can’t take it/do it, any longer. If it was once or twice, it would be different, but it has been a steady diet of it.

        The program badly needs to be overhauled with Section 8 and the renters taking responsibily for what has gone on, or it will be voted out. As it is, it is a tool for some very undesirable people and the landlords or being victimized for their efforts. As I said, I’m out.

        • I got this email tonight….as I said…their rules are nuts and they have the idea everyone wants to rent to them…This shows if you filled everything out…took the property off the market…this is what s8 can and will do to you…they have a nasty way and I just wont do it..not when I have a waiting list for my properties.

          This letter is to inform you that effective July 8, 2014, our Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program is currently leased to capacity, therefore the following changes in policies and procedures will apply:

          1. All new vouchers which we have issued are being rescinded or recalled, and we will not accept any Lease Approval documents. Also, we are not issuing any new vouchers to our applicants. If you have been given a voucher packet by one of our applicants, please know that we cannot honor the voucher at this time. Please return it to the applicant.

          2. Once we have sufficient funding to honor vouchers, we will give the applicant an extension(s) so that they will not lose the original time on the voucher.

          3. We cannot honor any new leases at this time. If your unit has been inspected and PASSED, then we cannot execute a HAP Contract. We will retain all information until such time as we are able to execute a HAP Contract. When we do have funding, your HAP Contract will be effective from the date the unit passed inspection, and you will be paid accordingly.

          4. If you have been given a voucher and the unit has NOT been inspected, we will NOT inspect any new units at this time. If your unit PASSED inspection, once we have sufficient funding, you will be paid from the date the unit passed the inspection.

          4. If you have been given a voucher and the unit has NOT been inspected, we will NOT inspect any new units at this time. If your unit PASSED inspection, once we have sufficient funding, you will be paid from the date the unit passed the inspection.

          5. We cannot allow any active tenant to transfer, if the move will increase the Rent to the landlord. If the Rent to the landlord will remain the same, the transfer will be allowed.

          6. We cannot approve rent increases to any landlords at this time.

          7. Per HUD regulations, we must change the Utility Allowance to fit the size unit that our families qualify for, instead of the size of the unit they live in. This change to the Utility Allowance will be processed at the Annual Re-Examination of our active tenants, starting September 1, 2014.

          8. Effective August 1, 2014 we will start processing HQS Inspections on a Biennial basis. If your unit PASSED the first time we inspected it within the last 12 months, we WILL NOT inspect it this year, but will inspect it next year. If your unit FAILED the first time we inspected it within the last 12 months, we WILL inspect it this year. This procedure will apply to all of our Section 8 units each year. You will be notified of the inspection date and time, if it applies, in a letter from this office.

          We are doing our best to assist as many families as we can. However, as a Federally-funded program, we are dependent on HUD for a set funding amount for our families. Please note that we are reviewing our Families Leased as well as HUD funding and will let you know when or if this situation changes.

          We do appreciate your cooperation and partnership in our effort to house families in our communities. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

  97. If a section 8 tenant destroys or damages any part of the house, will HUD reimburse the property owner? Also, who pays for repairs like a roof, furnace, water heater, plumbing & etc.replacements while under a HUD occupant/occupied contract?

    • No, they won’t pay for any of the damages. That is what this whole thing is about. HUD stands good for nothing. They are totally for the renter and you are screwed. If they tear your place up, you, and you alone, pay for the damages. Because a lot of them are 2nd and 3rd generation welfare, they have never been taught to take care of anything. They do as their parents and grandparents before them.
      I have had much better luck fixing my places up enough to get a better class of tenant. I inherited about 50 rentals, most filled with HUD. I have thrown all but about 3 out. All for the same things. The places being torn to ribbons, not paying their portion of the rent, and just dogging the places out.
      There may be some that won’t tear your place up, but I haven’t met them. In my eyes, the only way HUD will work for you is if you don’t care about your property being ruined and it is in such a bad area that you have no choice.
      I guess there will always be those that will try to rent to them, but in my town, I was the last large landlord to take them and that was only because my mother had already rented to them. As I’ve switched the units to non HUD, it has been far easier. HUD renters play with your mind, I wasted a lot of time wondering why people act like that. Now I can use that time much more constructively.
      To sum it up, new, novice investors bite, hoping for easy mone and pie in the sky. There is no easy money, only ‘fools gold’.

  98. I would not deal with section 8 anymore! Right now Section 8 has frozen our rent! We have not raised our rent in 3 years! Our property is in Elgin, IL
    The people at Section 8 do not call you back, I’ve waited weeks to hear back from them – bad customer service!

    • Monica,
      I feel for you. I saw it coming and dodged it. They have run out of money down here as well. I know of one landlord that still takes them. He moved in three (refer to the letter I posted on here from Section 8) and still has not been paid. That has been several months! It seems that if you had already moved them in (trusting them to pay you), you are gonna have to wait several more months to be paid. they have run out of money and don’t know when they will be refunded again. So landlords who already moved them in will have to wait several months for their money. As fare as rent increases. They let the local Section 8 head, make his own policies. The one down here doesn’t believe in giving the landlords a cost increase, so whatever you moved them in for, is all you are gonna get for years to come.
      I have been throwing them out cause they tear everything up. I just couldn’t throw them all out at once. This past month I threw out 3 and I just wanted to cry when I saw the damage. I paid over 1100. for the flooring alone, before labor, and they had poured water on it and caused it to buckle. We had to tear every bit of it out. Dog crap everywhere.
      The damages are unreal. The program needs to be overhauled. The welfare queens should not be rewarded for having more kids than they can afford, then getting them all on SSI. A lot of this group is a true drain on society. I will not rent to them anymore and I’ve made that quite clear to Section 8. If I do, I am part of the problem. Till this is cleaned up, all landlords should refuse. It is fool’s gold. You want make any money and if you don’t own the property out right, you could more than likely be ruined.

  99. Hi I’m not a bid time renter just have one house that me and my wife lived in for a few years then decided to buy a larger home. My question is are there any tax advantages in renting through hud.

  100. Mike Dricken

    Tonight I just finished cleaning and renovating the LAST apartment I will ever rent to a Sec 8 tenant. I’ve had experience with both and there is no reason to mess with Sec 8 if you can get a decent renter without it.

    In every case the tenant left there was so much damage that it took more than double their deposit to repair the damages. From trash they left behind to carpet damage to the place just smelling like stank from all the cigarettes and animals and who knows what else.

    And they cause the most drama. Probably because most of them work less hours (if at all) and are home all day there’s more opportunity to cause problems and make noise. They invite their friends and family over more often who also are usually low income and work little if at all. The place becomes a hangout for people without jobs. Also they use more heat / utilities and cause more wear and tear since they are home more.

    The Sec 8 renters I had did not intentionally cause damage but their lifestyles caused exponentially more wear and tear and drama than did people who work 10 hours a day at a solid good paying job.

    Anyway, NEVER again unless I inherit a dump in a ghetto.

    • “dump in a ghetto.” You got that right. As you can tell from my MANY comments, I’ve had way more dealings with Section 8 than anyone should ever have to. I didn’t do it willingly, I inherited property already rented to them. I got rid of about 4 more and I’m down to 2 left, out of the original 50. I developed an ulcer dealing with them.
      I was in 2 of the properties this week. Both had new refrigerators and stoves when they moved in, all will have to be thrown away. These appliances are less than a year old and were replacements for other stoves/refrigerators that had been torn up. The NEW stoves had the handles torn off, roaches in one of the clocks. The gaskets torn out of the refrigerator doors. They abuse the landlords and their property so badly, you would have to be out of your mind to rent to them again.
      I agree, only ghetto properties. Somewhere that they had dogged out the entire area so badly you could never rent it to anyone else. In a way this blog has been like a shrink for me. I have been able to vent through this terrible ordeal. My new renters are by far so much easier to deal with. It has been like a new world. No more drama queens, no more hearing about the 5 kids they got on SSI . (your wonder why when the 1st one was dorked out, they would have 4 more? duh) No more hearing about the huge tax refunds $2500.00 for each kid from the IRS each year for not working. It can really play with your mind if you have worked all your life. and done things the right way. I feel for you on the cleanup, they have made me cry for the very last time.

    • I have one section 8 property, the previous writer makes a good point about the wear and tear due to extra people coming and going plus not working. Have replaced flooring twice and things break much more often than any of my other rentals. Now my renter apparently had the water meter working with a hyjacked connection so finally the water dept removed and will not allow it back on without paying a previous thousand plus bill, I cannot even put in my name w/o proof off a new tenant or other legal docs. Annual inspection is coming up, So either tenant probably goes homeless or I help pay over half to keep the monthly payments coming, ask for rental increase to help cover or lose prob 2-3 months rent plus taking a chane on vandalism while in transition. I have gone way over my responsibilit helping the tenant already. I can also possibly sell. The water co said owner is responsible for water from the last customer billed which was 10 months ago, water dept will not disclose to me what happened during this time period so I have to expect an illegal meter.
      Any ideas please respond if this forum allows. Thanks

      • I would at least file a claim against the tenant. You might not be able to collect a judgement but at least you can keep him off Sec 8 in the future and prevent the same fate happening to other landlords.

  101. I must say that I feel that Section 8 voucher holders are judged unfairly. Now I will admit that some people and not just those on Section 8 don’t appreciate the properties that they rent. But these are the same people that were picked to live in these homes, they didn’t change magically after they moved in, If they were disrespectful after they moved in them they were the same before they moved in, I currently hold a Section 8 voucher and am employed by the IRS, and I don’t feel that I should be judged by landlords or people in general whom have had bad experiences in the past. I’ve dealt with crappy landlords in my past, whom clearly were only about the money that they could make and this was previous to me even being on Section 8. When their houses had faulty issues they would take their sweet time to even respond to calls or emails. So I’ve had to file cases in court. I just think both parties need to be adults and take responsibility. Tenants; respect people’s properties and their time, stop trying to live beyond your means and have champagne taste on a water budget. Landlords; do your due diligence, hell do quarterly inspections if you’re that worried about the shape or wear and tear on your properties. Do more thorough checks, and please stop renting units that you would live in yourself just to get money and then don’t care once you’ve filled them. Bottom line, there needs to be respect and communication!!!!

  102. I’ve been looking at buying a house to eventually move into, and one of the possible properties is a Section 8 duplex. The realtor tells me both units are currently occupied (even though the pictures I’ve seen of the property suggest it wouldn’t be up to par with the inspection requirements for Section 8). I’m wondering what would be required to purchase this property, since I’ve never been a landlord before and it seems like there’s quite a bit of paperwork required to get income from Section 8 tenants. Would the government payments just shift into my account instead of the current landlord’s?

    Additionally, when the time comes that I’m ready to move in, are there added steps I’d need to take in order to get the tenant to move out, or do they still follow usual leasing guidelines (1 year, 6 month, month-to-month, etc)?

  103. Timothy oliver on

    I own a house in Gorham Maine 04038
    Need to get started in the application process and lease this property under HUD/section eight housing. please contact me on how to get started.
    Timothy Oliver

  104. Everyone is not the same that’s on section 8. But it seem majority of the landlord are slumlord who would Geririg the house. Then make statement you get what you pay for.. Wow are you serious if you don’t want to live in something like that especially if that taking care of there business. Like paying their rent keep the house up and paying theirs bills.. Then section 8 give you a bunch of crap or want you to live in a unsafe area where the crime is high and the school are way below on the standards. Very disappointed I would rather struggle then to keep putting up with The slumlord who wouldn’t live a in the house that they rent to section 8 people.. Struggling to make in working mother of 4.. :'(

  105. As a Housing Choice Voucher Recipient, I am sad that Stratford Connecticut , and other surrounding rental properties raise the rents to keep individuals from being able to qualify for affordable, and safe housing. Being that my voucher allows me 1300.00 for a two bedroom in Stratford Connecticut, I am very limited to finding a unit in that range. Two bedroom apartments range from 1400.00 – 2595.00.
    Growing up in Stratford, I never had to worry about the crime level that I am experiencing here in Bridgeport Connecticut. I have been forced to live in Bridgeport Connecticut due to the fact that Stratford Connecticut rents are very high. The fact that I have been seeing this issue for quite some time in many towns and cities within Connecticut, and believe that this issue needs to be addressed. I am in disgust, and frustrated because I believe that many individuals have felt this way, and feel that there is nothing that they can do, but I would like to address this ongoing issue. I believe that this issue is a form of discrimination because they (landlords) assume that individuals on the Housing Choice Voucher Program will possibly destroy their properties by not keeping up on the units, Housing Choice Voucher Recipients don’t want to work, and are not educated. This is false. I have been on the program since 2003, and have set goals to become self sufficient, and buy my own home. I have a Bachelors in Criminal Justice Administration, I am working on a Masters in Psychology, and I work part-time.
    During my time on the Housing Choice Voucher Program, I have left the state to find safe and affordable housing. I have lived in The State of New Hampshire, The State of North Carolina, and recently came back to reside in The State of Connecticut. I believe that this issue should be addressed because all people , no matter what their race, gender, family status, nationality, income, and so forth, deserve to live in safe, clean , and suitable units. This ongoing issue bothers me to know that segregation still exist in a country that stand for freedom for all.

  106. I am curious if there are any section 8 landlords in Connecticut that can provide me feedback regarding their experiences. I own a home in East Hartford that I have been renting for 3 years (Conventional, not section 8). I have had 2 tenants that were both terrible. I am considering the section 8 program but have major concerns about the support (or lack of) by the housing authority. I have heard horror stories and wonder if there are as many good stories. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


  107. Just wanted to say. I just got approved for a section 8 voucher. I live in Ohio and have paid over $1400 a month for the past 10 years. Ive been a loan officer and a small business owner. I have 4 kids, wife, cat dog, and fish. I found this site because i was looking into if there were any grants available for my landlord to do improvements to his house since he is accepting Section 8 for the first time. My personal payments are down from $1400 to $691 and it makes a world of difference with 4 kids. Ive lived in this house for 3 years already. My landlord and I have a good relationship and he gave me the green light to pursue this. I personally know folks who raised awesome, successful families. They couldn’t have provided as much support if not for Section 8. Even i think i sound bias as i write this. I just wanted to say I’m a good father who is grateful to have this opportunity. Times are changing. Smart folks are getting in while the getting is good. Any one of you landlords would be blessed to have my family as tenants. I know you don’t want to deal with the horrible ungrateful tenant who might do you wrong. But please keep in mind that good tenants are there. Once you find a good one you will be happy I’m sure.

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