Section 8 in South Carolina?

16 Replies

Does anyone have experience qualifying your rental property for Section 8/government subsidized housing? Looking at South Carolina in particular.

If you do, would you mind speaking on the phone for a short conversation of how you did and how it is going for you? Thanks in advance!

Yes. 

I'm afraid I sort of forgot the details though! It was a 2009 through 2015 thing. I can say it mostly sucked. But it can be lucrative, too. 

Let me tell you this:  I go to check a tenant out one time (walkthrough to tell her how her security depost was probably going to fare when she moves out in a couple days). I point to a huge dent in the wall and I was like "What the hell is this?" She goes, "Oh my boyfriend pushed me into the wall. Sorry." I was like WTF. But that was a dream compared to what happened next. 

She alerts me that "The sink don't work." I was like Oh geez, how, why, what do you mean?? She points out that she doesn't use the right side of the sink because the drain doesn't function right. I open up the door to the area beneath the sink, and I see a fuc#ing cooking pot sitting there all nasty and I s#hit you not THE P-TRAP HAD BEEN REMOVED. It was just "straight-piped" down into the flipping pot. I just shook my head, looked at my upper middle-class wife with a "I'm sorry this will be the last Section 8 duplex we ever own." Very harrowing at times. At other times, I would get two or three government checks in a row and the tentants would pay too and it was all good. 

You know who knows a lot about this stuff? Peter Derry, a Charleston Realtor. 

I have 2 section 8 properties in Greenville and really like the program.

Call your local housing authority office. They can give you a package that details what you need to have to qualify your house. It not that bad. They just want a clean working house with smoke detectors for the most part.

My section 8 office does routine inspections which I like because the tenants know they are coming and the keep the house in good shape.

I would convert more of my properties to section 8 if given the opportunity.

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Originally posted by @Jason Merchey:

Yes. 

I'm afraid I sort of forgot the details though! It was a 2009 through 2015 thing. I can say it mostly sucked. But it can be lucrative, too. 

Let me tell you this:  I go to check a tenant out one time (walkthrough to tell her how her security depost was probably going to fare when she moves out in a couple days). I point to a huge dent in the wall and I was like "What the hell is this?" She goes, "Oh my boyfriend pushed me into the wall. Sorry." I was like WTF. But that was a dream compared to what happened next. 

She alerts me that "The sink don't work." I was like Oh geez, how, why, what do you mean?? She points out that she doesn't use the right side of the sink because the drain doesn't function right. I open up the door to the area beneath the sink, and I see a fuc#ing cooking pot sitting there all nasty and I s#hit you not THE P-TRAP HAD BEEN REMOVED. It was just "straight-piped" down into the flipping pot. I just shook my head, looked at my upper middle-class wife with a "I'm sorry this will be the last Section 8 duplex we ever own." Very harrowing at times. At other times, I would get two or three government checks in a row and the tentants would pay too and it was all good. 

You know who knows a lot about this stuff? Peter Derry, a Charleston Realtor. 

Oh man, sounds like a nightmare. I'm sorry you had to experience that. From what I've heard form people's stories it's either been great or terrible. Were you able to screen that tenant yourself before signing a lease with her? I suppose even with proper screening this kind of crap can happen...

Originally posted by @John Underwood:

I have 2 section 8 properties in Greenville and really like the program.

Call your local housing authority office. They can give you a package that details what you need to have to qualify your house. It not that bad. They just want a clean working house with smoke detectors for the most part.

My section 8 office does routine inspections which I like because the tenants know they are coming and the keep the house in good shape.

I would convert more of my properties to section 8 if given the opportunity.

Thanks for the response! How long was the process to get your property qualified by your local housing authority office? And do you feel that renting to Section 8 tenants "turns off" other possible renters from those properties?

Originally posted by @Jeffrey Cheng:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

I have 2 section 8 properties in Greenville and really like the program.

Call your local housing authority office. They can give you a package that details what you need to have to qualify your house. It not that bad. They just want a clean working house with smoke detectors for the most part.

My section 8 office does routine inspections which I like because the tenants know they are coming and the keep the house in good shape.

I would convert more of my properties to section 8 if given the opportunity.

Thanks for the response! How long was the process to get your property qualified by your local housing authority office? And do you feel that renting to Section 8 tenants "turns off" other possible renters from those properties?

It took less than 30 days. Best to find an applicant that already has an approved voucher.

I just advertise will take Section 8. Doesn't seem to slow down people wanting to see it that aren't section 8.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :
Originally posted by @Jeffrey Cheng:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

I have 2 section 8 properties in Greenville and really like the program.

Call your local housing authority office. They can give you a package that details what you need to have to qualify your house. It not that bad. They just want a clean working house with smoke detectors for the most part.

My section 8 office does routine inspections which I like because the tenants know they are coming and the keep the house in good shape.

I would convert more of my properties to section 8 if given the opportunity.

Thanks for the response! How long was the process to get your property qualified by your local housing authority office? And do you feel that renting to Section 8 tenants "turns off" other possible renters from those properties?

It took less than 30 days. Best to find an applicant that already has an approved voucher.

I just advertise will take Section 8. Doesn't seem to slow down people wanting to see it that aren't section 8.

Did you become qualified and then advertise your property as “Section 8 welcome?” Or did you start the process expecting to be qualified by the time you found a good tenant?

Not sure I can answer your question well, since at the time I was using Sec 8 to find new tenants was probably 2014. I think then North Chs. and Chs. County (two separate agencies) had some gum in the works with getting one approved. However, I also recall having an abundant group of folks wanting Sec 8. I think the bigger issue was simply finding the right one. Like I said, some folks with two, three, or four kids don't treat the place well at all and can't be relied upon to bring their 10-50% of the rent to the table. You still do have to collect rent from the tenant, you know. Sec 8 doesn't pay for 100% of 100% of peoples' rents.

Originally posted by @Jeffrey Cheng:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:
Originally posted by @Jeffrey Cheng:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

I have 2 section 8 properties in Greenville and really like the program.

Call your local housing authority office. They can give you a package that details what you need to have to qualify your house. It not that bad. They just want a clean working house with smoke detectors for the most part.

My section 8 office does routine inspections which I like because the tenants know they are coming and the keep the house in good shape.

I would convert more of my properties to section 8 if given the opportunity.

Thanks for the response! How long was the process to get your property qualified by your local housing authority office? And do you feel that renting to Section 8 tenants "turns off" other possible renters from those properties?

It took less than 30 days. Best to find an applicant that already has an approved voucher.

I just advertise will take Section 8. Doesn't seem to slow down people wanting to see it that aren't section 8.

Did you become qualified and then advertise your property as “Section 8 welcome?” Or did you start the process expecting to be qualified by the time you found a good tenant?

Only start the process after you have a tenant. Housing Authority doesn't want to spend government money till you have a Section-8 tenant lined up.

@Jeffrey Cheng I don’t know about South Carolina but in North Carolina it can really just boil down To the tenant. If you get a good section 8 tenant they can be just as good if not better than a non-section 8 tenant.

I only have one section 8 tenant but they keep the property in excellent shape. They aren’t perfect tenants but no low income tenant is going to be perfect

@Jeffrey Cheng I can only speak with little experience here. I inherited one SFR with a section 8 tenant. The counties housing authority seemed very nice. They are not very quick at responding and my payment is currently 16 days late. Tomorrow will be the last day I wait until I escalate things even further. As far as the tenant, he's been amazing. Has a little pride in the place and is very respectful. This is the first month with the housing authority so I'm hoping its a mistake of some sort and it'll be better the longer I hold it. Only time will tell!

Originally posted by @Wil Reichard:

@Jeffrey Cheng I can only speak with little experience here. I inherited one SFR with a section 8 tenant. The counties housing authority seemed very nice. They are not very quick at responding and my payment is currently 16 days late. Tomorrow will be the last day I wait until I escalate things even further. As far as the tenant, he's been amazing. Has a little pride in the place and is very respectful. This is the first month with the housing authority so I'm hoping its a mistake of some sort and it'll be better the longer I hold it. Only time will tell!

 Wil,

With my first S8 tenant, my first check was late.  Like you, I started to get very worried.  After a week or 10 days, I emailed the S8 contact but got no response.  A few days later, I visited the office.  It turns out, in my city at least, that if a tenant moves in after the S8 office has processed their paperwork for the month, the landlord will not receive a check for that month during that month.  When month 2 rolled around, the money for both month 1 and month 2 was direct deposited into my account.  If a tenant moves in on August 26th, I will not receive any money from S8 until the October rent is direct deposited around Oct 2 -- at that time, I will receive the pro-rated rent for August, the rent for Sept, and the rent for Oct.

I would have been okay with the delay had I known about it, but not knowing about it caused me all kinds of worry during those first two weeks.  In my experience, unless I have a tenant lined up, the lease signed, and the property approved by S8 by the 25th (approximately) of the month, that first payment will not arrive until the second month.  Now that I know this, I don't worry if that first month's payment doesn't show up.  In fact, as I receive the approval from S8 for the new tenant, I say/ask, "I won't receive payment for this month until next month, right?"  And they tell me.  If I don't ask, they don't tell me.

Because you just inherited a tenant, I assume you had to fill out all the paperwork, including Direct Deposit information.  What date was that completed?

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@Randy E. Good to know! My tenant was inherited so I did fill out all of the paperwork included the DD form. This was done towards the end of the month so I asked the agent when the DD should be expected. She said she has it in on time before payments are processed to have it by the first week of the month. She's a little slow to respond but still responds. She stated that it'd be over in a day or two. So holding my breath as I wait. I don't anticipate this to be a reoccurring problem though. I've heard good things about them. 

I've rented thru the sect 8 program for years and just like others have said there are good experiences and some bad. It all boils down to screening the tenant. I've had old, young, black ,white & now I have vision impaired. The results could all be the same if you don't carefully screen your tenant. In my 1st rental I had a single mother of two that paid $25 a month of the rent and this was in an semi-rough area. Whenever i went to the property, announced or not, the place was well kept. 

Also had a young lady that rented for about 2 1/2 years under the program, got herself together and eventually purchased her very own home. so there are good tenants if you take the time to screen them.

bad ones that i thought were going to be ok ended up with a boyfriend hanging around and police being called for disturbances all the time, or the lady that was taking care of her granddaughter but would allow her sons to stay there a few nights sometimes, well he tried to make a drug buy something went wrong and someone shot at him hitting my place, Now she had never been a problem and kept the place well but i later found out the son & a sister was living there for two month while the tenant was staying out of town with a friend.

Section 8 get's a bad rep but not all voucher holders are bad tenants.

Sometimes landlords just want the money and don't care who they put in their units as long as that voucher amount covers the rent. As a landlord it's your responsibilty to manage that unit, so that you don't end up with a place being destroyed.

Sometimes you just can't forsee things that might come up but keeping a eye on your place and doing frequent inspections will help you stay in tune with how your place is being treated. I learned it the hard way but I've learned it!

Good Luck 

Lamont, how was the qualification process for Section 8? Was it as simple as filling out some paperwork, coordinating with your local housing authority and having an inspection done? Did you consult with a RE lawyer beforehand? Thanks for your information and response!  


Originally posted by @Lamont A.:

I've rented thru the sect 8 program for years and just like others have said there are good experiences and some bad. It all boils down to screening the tenant. I've had old, young, black ,white & now I have vision impaired. The results could all be the same if you don't carefully screen your tenant. In my 1st rental I had a single mother of two that paid $25 a month of the rent and this was in an semi-rough area. Whenever i went to the property, announced or not, the place was well kept. 

Also had a young lady that rented for about 2 1/2 years under the program, got herself together and eventually purchased her very own home. so there are good tenants if you take the time to screen them.

bad ones that i thought were going to be ok ended up with a boyfriend hanging around and police being called for disturbances all the time, or the lady that was taking care of her granddaughter but would allow her sons to stay there a few nights sometimes, well he tried to make a drug buy something went wrong and someone shot at him hitting my place, Now she had never been a problem and kept the place well but i later found out the son & a sister was living there for two month while the tenant was staying out of town with a friend.

Section 8 get's a bad rep but not all voucher holders are bad tenants.

Sometimes landlords just want the money and don't care who they put in their units as long as that voucher amount covers the rent. As a landlord it's your responsibilty to manage that unit, so that you don't end up with a place being destroyed.

Sometimes you just can't forsee things that might come up but keeping a eye on your place and doing frequent inspections will help you stay in tune with how your place is being treated. I learned it the hard way but I've learned it!

Good Luck 

Even simplier than that!  
I use a site called (schousingsearch.com) also known as social serve. Create an account and list your property here. The site connects with (sect8homes.com) and i think a few others. Most voucher holders use this site as resource to find housing.

Once you have selected a sect-8 tenant, he/she will give you a form from their voucher package that you will need to fill out. It's basically info about the unit. After that gets returned, Sect-8 will schedule an inspection of the unit. If everything passes ( which they look for a normal safe functional unit) you will be a NEW Sect-8 landlord.!

They have other paperwork for you to read and sign about the program but, nothing magical to the process.

Screen as best as possible and give it a try.

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