Section 8 rentals - need advice

3 Replies

Does anyone have experience with section 8 rentals? I’m considering  going that route and wanted to know - is it hard to find homes for sale that are already section 8 approved? How hard is it to get one approved post purchase? And what has been your tenant experience?

Each Section 8 agency has their own processes and procedures so how they interact with you will vary from agency to agency and from state to state.  Some are terrible to work with and others are quite good.

Usually it is the tenant that is approved for Section 8, not the property.  If the property is legal to rent, it should be fine for a Section 8 tenant too.   The Section 8 agency may require repairs that a tenant might not.  For example, a double pane window with a small crack on one side may be something a regular tenant might not even notice, but your Section 8 agency might force you to repair.

I try not to buy in markets where Section 8 is the only way you find a qualified tenant.  I'll keep any Section 8 tenants I inherit but otherwise have found that the effort of dealing with the Section 8 agency adds a hassle factor.  I usually prefer to wait for a qualified tenant rather than putting in a Section 8 tenant.

interesting. I like the guaranteed rent part. What states do you find it easier? I know some have such a shortage that they have waiting lists of people that can’t get into a home- so they are very receptive to anyone wanting to participate in the program 

S8 tenants also require much greater hands on management by investor as well. Keep this in mind when deciding as they will eat up much more of your time. As a landlord you will be more of a baby sitter keeping a close eye on tenants that generally have very low social standards. You will need to protect your investment by having to be very vigilant of your tenants actions day to day. Their decision processes rarely takes into consideration the effect it has on your property. They also generally have a high level of entitlement.

This obviously does not apply to all S8 but it is important that you keep this in mind when dealing with all S8. IN some areas they may be OK in others you may want to avoid them all like the plague. You must screen the government agency as thoroughly as you do the tenant. Keep in mind you are primarily partnering with the government.

Expect additional tenants, grown children with boy friends, babies, pets, couch surfing friends, ex spouces you name it. 

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