Landlording & Rental Properties

5 Reasons Why Section 8 Tenants Are the Best Renters

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Marketing, Real Estate Investing Basics
51 Articles Written
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Real estate investors have a love/hate relationship with Section 8 housing, the largest rental assistance program for low-income renters. Section 8 tenants receive housing vouchers, which help afford rental costs—and despite the myths, these tenants are fantastic.

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The program is managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as hundreds of regional public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country, who administer the program at the local level.

Busting Section 8 Myths

You’ve heard them. We’ve all heard them. Stereotypes about Section 8 tenants abound. Among the most common warnings:

  1. They won’t care for your property (i.e., they will trash your house)
  2. They’re unstable and won’t pay their portion of the rent
  3. They’ll attract drama and crime.

Sure, there will be cases where these hold true (especially if you don’t screen well—more on this later). But most of the time, myths are just that—myths.

They won’t care for your property

Bad tenants come in all shapes, sizes, income groups, and professions. Wealthy people and college students trash homes. Don’t kid yourself: Just because somebody has a good job or makes a decent income doesn’t mean they will take care of your house.

One strategy is purposefully not buying in any places commonly perceived as “Section 8 neighborhoods”—i.e. high crime and blighted areas. And the voucher holders you want to attract prefer not to live there, either.

Proper screening is essential for Section 8 success. Consider asking your applicants—all your applicants, not just Section 8—if you can visit their current residence. That will tell you all you need to know about how well they maintain their home. And their kids: The majority of voucher participants are families with children. We know that some kids, especially younger ones, can be a bit harder on the property. But that is not always the case, especially if the parents train them appropriately.

Either way, considering Section 8 renters stay for five, 10, 15, or even 20 years, a little extra wear and tear doesn’t necessarily hurt my bottom line because I deal with so little turnover.

They’re unstable and won’t pay their rent

It’s tempting to think someone on government assistance is likely to move around a lot. This isn’t necessarily true. Often, a housing voucher is a tenant’s golden ticket to a neighborhood free from drugs, gangs, and other negative influences. A gateway to a better quality of life for the entire family. So when they move into one of my houses, they usually stay for many, many years.

If you rent a property to a couple making a combined $200,000 per year income—common in larger, more expensive cities—here’s what’s likely to happen: They’ll stay for one, maybe two, or possibly three years, then leave to buy their own house.

For buy and hold investors, turnover and vacancy is by far the biggest expense—especially if not carefully managed and controlled. When Section 8 tenants stay for a very long time, your turnover and vacancy costs are minimized. Cash flow goes directly to your bottom line.

Plus, they’re motivated to stay on top of rent. Not doing so might mean that golden-ticket voucher is taken away—spoiling their chance to keep their family in a safe, more prosperous neighborhood.

They attract drama and crime

Most people—especially parents—living in underserved, low-income neighborhoods are no different than you or me. They want to put their kids in good schools and live near desirable amenities, such as shops, public transportation, parks and rec centers, just like anyone else.

A large number of Section 8 tenants have absolutely no criminal history or onerous red flags, like evictions, complaints, or housing violations. They just want their family to live in a quality house in a nice area and to rent from a good landlord. This is not rocket science.

Related: 7 Reasons NOT to Invest in Section 8 Properties

HUD Promises On-time Payments

With Section 8 tenants, landlords receive my rents—either in full or a large percentage—via HUD or local PHAs. Payments come on time every single month via direct deposit into your business checking account.

HUD doesn’t give excuses about late rent. The money is there. In fact, their housing assistance payments have been consistently funded in full for decades and hold billions of dollars in reserves.

However, there are important differences between HUD’s two main fair housing programs.

Housing choice vouchers

Housing choice vouchers allow a tenant to live anywhere that accepts vouchers. This makes up the bulk of the Section 8 program. Only households with a monthly income less than 50 percent of the median income for the area in which they reside can apply for the program.

HUD sets and maintains median income values for each region of the country, and the data can be accessed on HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research website. Vouchers can be used for multiple-unit housing, single-family homes, or townhouses. The median family incomes for each region are used to calculate HUD’s 50 percent income limits for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program.

section_8_housing_misconceptions

Project-based vouchers

Receiving a housing choice voucher can take between three and six years in some areas. While an applicant waits, they can utilize a project-based voucher (PBV). A PBV is only good for a specific rental unit. Landlords can apply with state or municipal governments to be eligible for the PBV program.

With a project-based voucher, the tenant will pay 30 percent of their household’s gross monthly income, and the public housing authority will cover the rest. (Do not confuse project-based vouchers with “housing projects” and the stigma associated with the phrase. PBVs can be as simple as a duplex!)

Landlords Receive Protection from Tenants’ Financial Hardships

If a tenant goes on an unpaid leave of absence from work—say, due to maternity or health issues—HUD covers the payment while they recover. That’s a great for tenants and landlords. After all, you would likely need to evict non-Section 8 tenants dealing with similar circumstances due to non-payment of rent. You’d be faced with a short-term vacancy.

HUD protects your near-term cash-flow—and the housing assistance payments help tenants through a tough time without disrupting their living arrangements.

Related: Are You a Real Estate Pioneer? How to Be a Section 8 Landlord

Section 8 Rents Can Be Higher

Not only are rent payments guaranteed and stable despite a tenant’s hardship, but HUD is sometimes the best in town when it comes to rental rates. Section 8 tenants pay a fixed percentage of their income, and the government or Section 8 program pays the difference. That means that tenants can apply to more expensive properties than they might otherwise. For example, you may be able to get $1,200 to $1,600 per month in lower-income neighborhoods  where the purchase prices are less than $75,000.

In higher-end areas, you would pay at least twice as much for the property—but still get the same amount in rent. Yes, nicer areas appreciate more quickly, but appreciation is icing on the cake anyway.

HUD and local public housing authorities calculate a fair market rent (FMR) for each geographic area of the United States, which determines the maximum rent a landlord can charge to the Section 8 tenant. FMRs include the cost of basic utilities like heating/air and electric, regardless of whether the tenant or the landlord pays those expenses. FMRs also take into account family size and rental unit size.

Here’s an example: If a Section 8 tenant makes $2,000 per month, they will only pay about 40 percent of their income for rent—about $800 in this case. If this person rents a house that costs $1,000, then the government will pay $200, and if they rent a house that costs $10,000, the government will pay $9,200. The tenant pays $800 in both scenarios.

You can look up the FMRs in your area through HUD’s documentation system.

Section 8 Marketing Is Free or Low-Cost

On GoSection8.com, you can list properties and review tenant profiles. For a small fee, property owners can create a premium listing.

Yes, some low-income applicants don’t have internet access. However, HUD also provides paper listings in the local PHA offices for those without internet access.

Long Section 8 Waiting Lists = Short Vacancies

Perhaps not every city has a mile-long list of Section 8 participants with vouchers seeking housing, but many do. There are also famously long waiting lists of low-income families seeking to become eligible for a housing voucher.

Filling a vacancy is a pretty quick process once your property is inspected and approved for the program by HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) employees.

With careful screening, landlord references, and respect for your tenants—as well as pride in your property—you will vastly reduce the probability of experiencing your own Section 8 horror story.

Keep in mind that public housing authority social workers also conduct thorough screening of all waiting list candidates. And it doesn't stop there—if you have an issue with a tenant or family member, you have extra recourse outside of eviction. In addition, you can contact the social workers directly to mediate any issues with a tenant who's stepping outside of the lease agreement.

Related: How to Run a Tenant Background Check

Would you consider renting to Section 8 tenants? Why or why not?

Weigh in with a comment!

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...
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    Klynn
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    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)?
    singh
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I would rather let my unit sit empty then renting out to section 8 in Santa Clara County.
    Tay
    Replied over 4 years ago
    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.. :'(
    John
    Replied about 4 years ago
    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.
    Christopher B. Rental Property Investor from Knoxville, TN
    Replied 6 months ago
    Consider the policies and ideaologies of government and politicians in the area with which you live and the next time you are at the polling stations choose the opposite. Affordable housing is under attack in this country. I wish you the best.
    Christopher B. Rental Property Investor from Knoxville, TN
    Replied 6 months ago
    Ideologies.. wish there was an edit option on mobile
    Andrew Walker from Watertown, Wisconsin
    Replied 6 months ago
    The landlords that are charging $1,400+ for a 2 bedroom apartment when section 8 only covers up to $1,300 are not doing it to discriminate against section 8 tenants. They are doing it because that is what people are willing to pay in that neighborhood. If the units were sitting empty when listed for $1,400 then the price would come down. If one company offered you $15/hr and another company offered you $20/hr for the same job which would you choose?
    Jim
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    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. Jim
    Hyacinth Dolor Investor from Bridgeport, Connecticut
    Replied 5 months ago
    Hi Jim, There are more good stories than horror stories. Bad news sells better than good news. Such society we currently live in. I’ve been a landlord for over 15 years and always looked towards section 8. I’ve invested in Seymour, Bridgeport and Trumbull. My best tenants are in Bridgeport so obviously more profitable in that town due to less turnover. My section 8 tenants stay for an average of 9 years and one for 15 years. I just (April 2020) rented one of my single family for section 8 and she’s keeping up the property better than I would. Best looking house in neighborhood North Bridgeport. You still have to screen your tenants and basically have a working relation with both tenant and their social worker.
    Darrell
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    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.
    Trudy
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your site. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!
    Dan White Investor from Fox Island, Washington
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I have been a landlord for over 25 years and had as many as 26 Section 8 tenants at a time and serve on the Advisory board of the local housing authority, that said there are many local differences in how Section 8 is administrated. I started filling my units with Section 8 when the market for quality tenants was soft, I took Section 8 to stay full and get reliable rents. Fast forward many years.... housing authorities nationwide are starved for funding, to balance their budgets they shift more and more of the financial burdens to the hapless tenants who then shift the problem to the Landlord. Here are some of the maneuvers they use, First get established as a "Moving to Work Authority, MTW in Housing Authority lexicon. Second change the occupancy standards retroactively, whereby tenants no longer qualify for the size of units they occupy upon renewal, consequence is having to move or paying more rent, they can't afford to move so they get a bigger bill they struggle to pay. Third change the percentage of "FMR" they pay for rent, remember FMR is set at the 40th percentile for the area, the percentage they will pay ranges between 90-110% of FMR depending on their funding,this has nothing to do with the economics of the local market. Fourth set time limits for vouchers (all new vouchers in my area have a 5 year time limit), they will not do this in their public housing units, have you ever known anyone to "work them selves off Section 8". Fifth as children age out of the household the tenant's subsidy is reduced based on the lack of need of the current housing size, I have seen tenant's share of rent increase from $300 to $1,000+ in a single month. These are some of the problems that occur when you are the social service arm of a government agency. This does not even address the comparative nature of Section 8 tenants to the rest of the population, my section 8 tenants represent about 25% of my business, however they are as much management and maintenance expense as the other 75%.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied 10 months ago
    As long as you vet them well, Section 8 tenants can be just fine.
    Jerome Charles Investor from Kernersville, North Carolina
    Replied 10 months ago
    Andrew, You’re exactly right! Most of the problems that have been mentioned in this reply thread could've been handled by doing normal client screening: credit & background checks.
    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied 6 months ago
    WHAT??? Sec 8 tenants don't have a fico score or on time payments. Thats a crazy way to weasel on "you just have to screen....". The landlords who take sec 8 in my REIA are experts from many many years in the businss screening basically the "un screenable" with tricks in the trade that a newbie has no clue and usually end up getting a "professional tenant" who is good at a good story and the investor gets conned. That said the few in my group who do take sec 8 swear by it and the rents they are getting are astounding, as said even higher then market. But this is county by county. I don't do sec 8 because as it was said, 25% of your tenants are sec 8 are as much trouble as the other 75%. I specialize in zero hassel rental self management!!! Do not bother me is my business model and it works. I serve middle blue collar and I can screen screen this class. Must have a bank account with move in amount today, send me a screen shot. Deposit is 1.5x rent, I'm heading up to 2x rent. Compitition is high so to get in its my deposit or ... go somewhere else. Please read my Bullet Proof Rental portfolio paper I linked off my BP profile 1st paragraph as a jump start business model to help new folks avoid high hassel burn out situations, be the Maytag landlord. :)
    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied 6 months ago
    I highly recommend the best landlording book I have read: Landlording on Autopilot. By a police detective. Very very insigtful and full of tricks non-pros would not think of.
    Yolanda Brown Rental Property Investor from West Palm Beach, FL
    Replied 10 months ago
    I'm in the process of renting to a section 8 tenant. I have my inspection tomorrow and I pray I pass. I've been stressing about it for weeks now. :-/
    Shari Tewa
    Replied 10 months ago
    You are absolutely right. Section 8 if definitely money in the bank, especially in times like these with the coronavirus pandemic. My current tenant who lives on the second unit of my house where I also live is not Sect 8 but she does get some assistance from a neighborhood housing program. They are far from ideal and I am not renewing their lease for their numerous violations. But Section 8 with proper screening of tenants does give peace of mind.
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied 6 months ago
    After networking with thousands of investors and property managers around the country, it appears Section 8 differs dramatically by region. I'm currently managing 400 rentals in Wyoming and have stopped accepting section 8. My reasons are twofold: the additional paperwork and requirements are a significant burden on my staff, and the tenants are of lower quality That ultimately costs the owner money. In the past 10 years, I have seen dozens of Section 8 renters. They were all pretty good for the term of their lease but eventually left owing more money than we had in their security deposit. I estimate at least 50% of my Section 8 renters lost their entire deposit and about 20% of those left owing more than their deposit would cover. By contrast, I manage 400 rentals without Section 8 and over 80% of the renters get their entire deposit back while fewer than 2% leave owing more than their deposit will cover. At least in my area, Section 8 renters are a significant risk with very little benefit.
    Bernie Neyer Investor from Chanute, Kansas
    Replied 6 months ago
    In high cost areas, you will find working poor who cannot afford market rent for the area. That, however, isn't true for every area in the US. I'm in a poorer section of Kansas and the Sec 8 recipients in our small town are usually unemployed, though not always. They don't, won't or can't take care of the properties. We have a Housing Authority here, now it doesn't check up on the independent land lords, but it does check up on those doing Sec 8. It owns an apartment building as well as single family houses and duplexes. Even they cannot seem to keep the tenants from tearing a place up. The last Sec 8 I rented to personally, part of my properties are located elsewhere and a manager handles them, literally made a mess of the place and the cost of repair exceeded the rent they paid for the entire year. They also abandoned the appliances and furniture, inside the house and in the yard. I decided not to chase them for the damages as they didn't have any money and probably never would have any, so collecting was not going to happen. I don't know if I killed their Sec 8 prospects as after they left they tried to rent another place and I indicated they'd damaged mine and owed for damages. I haven't ever gotten another inquiry for Sec 8 about them. I won't paint all Sec 8 users as bad, that would be wrong, but so many of them are. They also seem to have an attitude that something is due them. I know of an investor that almost always seeks out Sec 8 clients and has a really cash flowing business, but his properties are barely a C- class, if that. They are clean and solid, but just not there for the market demand. Also, while the Sec 8 clients may not be bad, that doesn't extend to their families. We had one lady that we inherited that was okay, but one day her son showed up and then things started breaking. When we demanded that he fill out an application to be cleared to remain in the property his record came to light. There are 108 counties in Kansas and he had spent time in the jails of at least 10% of them. We had to evict the woman to avoid her sneaking her son back in. I do use HUD's site to determine market rent. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr.html It is a great reference for determining the rents in your area. Now what the government will pay and where the market is, may differ and usually the government pays a premium to rent to them.
    Erik Emmer
    Replied 6 months ago
    Did a section 8 housing rental once and would NEVER do it again. Realized the biggest problem with S8 housing is that if things go south, the S8 renters have no real skin in the game. Yes, an eviction will hit their credit but most if not all of them have terrible credit anyway. They have no deposit of their own money to lose, no real employment concerns, and are not worried about having to pay for damages since it's taken care of by the state. My S8 renters cause upwards of 10K of damage due to smoking in the house, dealing drugs which caused a door to be kicked in by the police and major structural problems to the house. This is a real contrast to traditional renters who generally have a deposit, credit history, and rental history that they are liable for and concerned with keeping in good standing.
    Dave Peterson Investor from Sacramento, California
    Replied 6 months ago
    I went to the blog site that was posted and it seems to be in Indonesian. Is that intentional?
    Michelle Fenn Real Estate Agent from Cleveland OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    My issue with section 8 has little to do with the tenants and much to do with the CMHA process. Each potential tenant is issued a voucher and a move package for a rental based on HUD market rents for the number of bedrooms in the rental. The tenant then attempts to find a landlord that will accept the voucher. Once the landlord accepts the voucher they must fill in a portion of the application that the tenant will return to CMHA. CMHA then schedules an inspection for the rental, generally 30 to 60 days in the future. If violations are found, they must be corrected. Once the inspection is complete CMHA will make a rent offer for the rental. In Cleveland the offer is generally much less than the voucher and often less then market rent. It is my belief that CMHA hopes that after waiting 30 to 60 days to fill the rental the landlord will accept the low rent offer. I have suggested to CMHA officials, and elected officials and posted publicly that the lack of affordable housing in Cleveland could be reduced dramatically by changing the process. Allow a landlord to schedule an inspection during renovations or make-ready for a new tenant. After passing the inspection CMHA should set a rent amount for the property. Allow us to accept any tenant with a voucher for that amount. Currently, in Cleveland virtually no property manager will accept a voucher tenant, due to the process and the fact that CMHA does not respect the property managers’ time. Instead of fixing the backwards process, elected officials are starting to enact laws that state a property manager cannot discriminate based on the method of payment. South Euclid is leading that initiative in Cuyahoga County. Just 30 minutes to the south in Akron, AMHA is well run.
    Nyarinda J Aduma
    Replied 6 months ago
    Do the laws also require you yup make a property section 8 compliant? My state does not allow you yup discriminate against payment method, but if your property is not compliant you are not required to make it so.
    Andrew Weiner Property Manager from Cleveland, Oh
    Replied 6 months ago
    There are a few cities around Cleveland that don't allow discrimination against payment method but don't require you to make it pass inspection. Even the local cities that have the ordinances don't currently enforce them. The issue is that section 8 tenants could be a great source of revenue and could help those families more if the administration of the vouchers was more optimized.
    Debbie Farmer Rental Property Investor from Brentwood, CA
    Replied 6 months ago
    My Section 8 tenants are saving me from the deadbeat “normal pay” tenants who are gaming the system during the Covid eviction moratorium in Cali and not paying a cent since March.
    Brian Garlington Realtor from Oakland CA &, Cleveland OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    I have Section 8 tenants in Cleveland, Ohio....Concord, Ca and Oakland, Ca and I strongly prefer them over the cash tenants. Like another poster said, some PM's in Cleveland (that supposedly are experts at working with Section 8) at the moment are doing evrything they can to discourage landlords from taking Section 8. That is a shame. Yes CMHA has some of it's policies a little backwards, but they seem to be trying to make it easier now by waiving the initial inspection and letting PMs sign off on the initial inspection. That is a plus. For all the reasons stated in the article above is why over half my rentals are Section 8 tenants and I don't have to worry about turnover because they hardly ever move out. Selfishly in away I have become almost glad that some people remain ignorant about the advantages of renting to a properly screened Section 8 tenant becuae that leaves more for landlords like me :-)
    Brian Garlington Realtor from Oakland CA &, Cleveland OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    I also make sure to get a deposit from the Section 8 tenant.....I've heard all the stories of the ones who say they can't get me the deposit money until 30 days from now when, blah, blah, blah.............and yet when I tell them that I am not signing RFTA paperwork to anyone until I get the full first month as a security deposit there is always at least one or two who magically are able to come up with the full deposit the next day? Section 8 does not require a security deposit, but I do. I also find it not coincidental that all of the people on the thread that had "bad experiences" with Section 8 tenants do not even give a full name and where they are from on this thread........could it be that they are just on here to complain while being anonymous? Believe me.....when you properly screen a section 8 tenant and get a security deposit from them equivalent to one months full rent............they have skin in the game........I even go so far as to tell them that if they have any felinies or evictions, ever.....I won't rent to them........if they smoke, anything....I will not rent to them.......if they have any dangerous breed pets I will not rent to them...............But of course thats the same screening process I applied to my cash tenants as well.
    Anna Markowski Investor from Chicago, Illinois
    Replied 6 months ago
    In a market like we have now, with many losing their jobs, and the government cutting back on benefits, section 8 rent is gold. They also pay nearly twice as much as regular market rate in some areas, which helps offset the bureaucracy. Further, my section 8 tenants have been my best tenants. They are eager to stay in a nice unit, and to keep their vouchers. My units are kept clean and problems reported quickly so issues don't fester. Rents are always, 100% of the time, paid on time. I stopped doing new section 8 for a bit because government needed so long to process a new applicant, and I didn't want to have an empty unit, but now the process has changed in my area and you can get pre-approved units or approved in 30 days with an inspection that shows not health and safety issues. This is huge. I am 100% starting to actively pursue section 8 again.
    John Koster Investor from Valley Village, California
    Replied 6 months ago
    So far I have had zero issues with my Section 8 SFRs. With my normal paying Duplexes? Too many issues to count.
    Dominic Dunlap from Norwalk, California
    Replied 6 months ago
    Great article! Everything in here is so true. I rent to Section 8 tenants as well and love it.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied 5 months ago
    You know, one thing I didn't mention the first time I read this article is that oftentimes, it's not Section 8 renters that are the problem, it's Section 8 itself. Not all cities have bad bureacracies, but some are intolerable. Huge wait times, never get back to you, tons of documents, slow payments, etc. When you have one of those, it's almost impossible to make renting to Section 8 feasible.
    Charlene Garrison Investor from Detroit, MI
    Replied 5 months ago
    Hi Shae, Thanks for the well-written article. Your tips make a lot of sense. I have been considering Buy and Holds for todays' market; considering the smartest places to invest and strategies to use. "Going Section 8" is looking better and better to me. Thanks again.
    Stanley Furman
    Replied 5 months ago
    NEVER! They are not incentivized by the system to TRY and succeed, and their attitude reflects that.
    Anthony Finical Investor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Replied 5 months ago
    Great article.....certainly got me to thinking about Section 8!
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied 5 months ago
    I had an applicant this year from Section 8. We started the process only to be told that they do not do vouchers in my county. They had to go to a bigger county in order to use Section 8.
    Brian Brzycki Investor from Monrovia, California
    Replied 5 months ago
    Strangest thing, I went to your blog and its not in English. (And I don't have an auto translator.) Goodfaith Investing My WordPress Blog Inilah 3 Pemegang Saham Google yang Terbesar ! (Don't know what language this is. But this is what came up following your link.)
    Jon Mizuno
    Replied 5 months ago
    I rented to 4 different section 8 tenants. 3/4 came out to be horror stories, mostly my fault for not screening them appropriately. That being said, it wasn't the section 8 program that was the problem per se, since I have found that 2 of those previous tenants actually lost their section 8 voucher because of their behavior and offense of rules. Would've avoided these mistakes had I did proper screening. Speaking of which, any recommendations to screening potential section 8 tenants using HUD/section 8 databases (aside from the regular background checks)? Also, any recommendations for database(s) where to look for section 8 housing shortages by county/area etc.? Would be interested in investing in these areas.
    Patrick Perigaud
    Replied 17 days ago
    I have a pretty good experience with Section 8 in Las Vegas, similar to the one described by Shae Bynes in the article. But I have terrible experiences with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, ( the PHA of Cleveland OH). They are at least enabling, if not guiding tenants on the art of breaking a lease any time. Here is how their scheme works: The tenant reports (a fake) problem that qualifies for an emergency procedure (e.g. water heater doesn't work, roof leak, leak in the basement). They don't report it to PM, nor the owner. The tenant reports it directly to CMHA or Metro (the contractor of metro that handles inspections for CMHA). Metro allegedly made 3 phone calls in rapid succession (in my case, on 10/21/20,3:55pm, and two voicemails left a 4pm and 4:05pm on the same day). Then Metro shows up 3 days in a row at the property, and fails the inspection because the PM or owner are not there! . Then they issue a notice of Default and Contract Cancellation. When confronted, the Deputy Director (Chanel C. Stark, MBA) repeat she has no choice but comply with HUD - and without providing any supporting reference, declares that 3 phone calls (to who?) are proper notice. CMHA has no appeal processor decision process, so they do what they want to landlords in all impunity (while using Accountability as a tagline throughout their literature) To add insult to injury, the tenant as not left the premise, and I have to pay for the water and sewer... The last month paid was October 2020. We are now in January 2020. If anyone knows how to keep CMHA accountable, and actually honor their own rules (section 3 c. of the HAP contract mentioning "The PHA may not exercise such remedies against the owner because of an HQS breach for which the family is responsible, and that is not caused by the owner), please do reach out to me. Investors: If you don't mind the risk of this situation, rent to Section 8. But timely payment of rent is not guaranteed, and with no appeal process for the landlord, accountability is a pipe dream.