Do section 8 tenants and dishwashers mix

6 Replies

Hey all,

Newer buy and hold investor in baltimore area. Thinking about making an offer on a row home in Edmondson village (21229) that is pretty much turn key! The kitchen is almost new and includes a dishwasher. I'm looking to rent out to section 8 tenants.

For all you section 8 or baltimore landlords, do any of you guys include dishwashers in your rental. According to "The Section 8 Bible volume 1" dishwashers should be eliminated from section 8 rentals as they can cause unneeded maintenance costs. I'm just noticing that many section 8 tenants in baltimore expect a higher quality! ( I installed granite countertops in my first baltimore rental because the PM told me it would rent faster.... He was right).

Anyone's opinion would be great!

I have one section 8 tenant that was already in place when I bought a duplex. There was no dishwasher in the units and as the kitchens are rather small, I don't plan on putting one in. That decision has nothing to do with them being section 8. I personally would not have a problem renting a property with a DW to a section 8 tenant. I do, however, screen all tenants rather carefully. My local housing authority told me to treat them as any other tenant when it comes to screening for acceptance or having to evict them.

depends on the people you pick as your tenants.

I don't do dishwashers in the majority of my rentals (anything under ~$1,100/month). Tenants break them and they just break, I went through too many of them before I gave up on them entirely. I haven't had many complaints about my houses not having one and it sure beats the service calls to pull a pound of spaghetti out of the dishwasher.

I have heard that section 8 tenants in Baltimore had been very picky over the past few years when the housing market crashed. People bought to flip high-end but then could not sell their houses. They waited it out, and paid their mortgages by renting it out, and they got more from section 8 than market! Tenants were getting granite countertops/stainless steel appliances, etc. However, since the tide has changed recently and there are buyers around, I don't know if there is still that need for people to rent their flips rather then sell-and therefore tenant expectations maybe more " normal"

Keep in mind that section 8 will pay more for "extras" such as ceiling fans, a microwave, and a screen door . I would guess a dishwasher would also be in that category. You have to way the pros and cons of some extra money vs the possibility of the screen door arm getting broken from constant movement, microwave walking if it is just a counter one, etc.

I myself have a section 8 tenant with a small kitchen so never thought about putting one in.

I do agree that tenant screening is important and dishwashers do seem to have a shorter appliance life in general.

PS I do like the Edmondson village area near Wildwood Prkwy and west. I think the closer you get to the county the nicer it is.

section 8 bible assumes section 8 renters are plentiful. Unfortunately Baltimore is a dump which puts section 8 at a premium, and they know it. Put the dishwasher in. New is 250 from depot. Worth the hassle for a grateful sec 8 tenant. And if they break it ( being that it's new) make them pay for repair. It shouldn't break for several years if it's new and the repairs usually involve water leakages through tubes that can be repaired easily.

Account Closed is right. Get a cheap dishwasher in there, and screen everyone with a fine toothed comb and you should have no problems.

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