Does anyone have experience with Section8 tenants in Baltimore?

8 Replies

New to REI in the Washington DC Baltimore Maryland area. With an expected deluge of evictions coming in the near future due to job losses from COVID 19, would anyone recommend finding section8 tenants to ensure payments on their mortgage? I am worried as I have heard some horror stories. Is the guarantee of at least 75% rent payment from the local government worth the headache that generally comes with section 8 tenants?

Section 8 is a huge pool of the applicants in Baltimore. I recommend it. Officially you can't discriminate against voucher holders in Howard, Montgomery, Baltimore county & city & DC. Check out the below for something more in depth:

Hey Mary, I currently have a tenant under the Baltimore County Housing Choices Voucher Program (Section 8). The tenant payment is dependent on their income. Typically the tenant payment plus the housing assistance payment (HAP) is about $100-200 more than market rent for a 3 bedroom. 

You screen your tenant like any other tenant, and then you go about the Section 8 inspection process to ensure your home meets standards set by HUD.

If you plan to consider Section 8 tenants, check out the Go Section 8 website.

Let me know if you have any questions!

@Mary Arobaga-Reardon I can't speak for working with the Section 8 program in your area but my experience with the program in WA state has been mostly positive.  The program does have some additional requirements that you need to account for (annual inspections) and some paperwork.  That said, I have found the case managers are helpful in resolving tenant issues / addressing concerns.

The tenants who participate in the program need to be screened just like any other tenant and you should expect all the normal tenant related issues.  That said, I have no problem working with these programs and find the tenants that pass the screening workout at roughly the same rate as any other tenant you might pick.  Hope this is helpful and best of luck.


There's a running theme here, and I'll add to it: Screen Your Tenants. There are plenty of great Section 8 tenants, and plenty of horrible Market Rate tenants (and vice-versa, of course). The extra headache doesn't come from the tenants, but rather from the mostly horrible employees in the city's housing department. That aside its still a good program to be a part of.

Also, as Stephen pointed out, you can not discriminate based on "source of income" in Baltimore (and, soon, in the entire state). What that means is you can't target your property only to Section 8 tenants, and you can't explicitly exclude them either (i.e., you can't advertise "Section 8 Need Not Apply). 

Good luck!

I have had experience with Section 8 in my rentals, both good and bad. My broker and I interviewed Marsha Parham, the director of Baltimore's Section 8 program last fall. It's very informative about how the program works for tenants and landlords. I'll try to place a link here as there is nothing promotional about it, but it may be removed by admin.  If so, you can find it on Sachs Realty's youtube channel. 

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