New to section 8, looking for guidance

10 Replies

I have a vacancy coming next month in Baltimore County, Md. and am considering giving section 8 a try. I get the general concept but I couldn't find great information online about how it worked in my area. I'm specifically wondering how do you go about using the program for the first time as a landlord. If anyone could walk me through it I'd greatly appreciate it. 

One of the podcasts, I forget which one, somewhere in mind 2016 touched on section 8. In short, you have to apply and pass an inspection and then they add you to a directory for beneficiaries to sort through. 

Googled the local office info and their phone number is 410 - 962-2520

In Baltimore City, there is a convenient section 8 landlord packet that the city provides.  Then, you basically list your property on gosection8.com.

Make sure the unit does not have any chipped paint if it was built before 1972. The Gov is cracking down on children and lead paint. If your tenants don’t have children under six years old, you’ll be good. Good luck!

@Jon K. you advertise your property. It is a good idea to put section 8 accepted in the ad.   A section 8 tenant will have a "Voucher.  Once you screen and approve your tenant, then you or the tenant contact the section 8 office. They will send an inspector to approve the property. Once the property is approved then you go to the section 8 office to sign the lease. 

@Ned Carey This is what I was looking for, thank you for the info!

Originally posted by

@James Hunt Thanks for the tip! Thankfully I have a lead free cert for that particular property so hopefully if they find something it won't be an issue.

Maybe try and lob a few calls to local property managers in that area and ask if they manage section 8 housing currently. Ask them the process and lessons learned etc..

I have had many section 8 tenants through the years and I love it. As was mentioned earlier, they do direct deposit and the money shows up in my account like clockwork. This past few years they added a few things to their inspection though...for instance every sink must have a stopper, so I buy a package of the rubber ones each go round 'just in case' . For some reason stoppers in sinks take a beating. 

Also, screens, if present, must be free of any rips or holes. Screens happen to be one of my pet peeves, so I add them to my own annual maintenance inspection checklist. And at section 8 inspection time I simply remove them. There is a fairly extensive checklist they use, and in my county are very helpful to new landlords.

much information to know to deal with section 8. Keep in mind these people are receiving assistance to pay you every month. Dont do it if you have a choice to rent to a reliable normal tenant. 

Account Closed

I agree. S8 should be your last option not your first. You will need to manage much more than with conventional tenants. S8 can be very challenging due to their lower social standards. Some things they consider acceptable....moving in grown children and their live in partners, pets without landlord permission,  modifications to unit without permission, bringing in curbside cast off furniture containing bed bugs etc.........

Finding regular tenants that pay on time will be far less work and stress than S8.

Additionally inspections can be a major pain.

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