Baltimore County section 8

5 Replies

Hi all. Like others I am having some bumps with Baltimore City section 8. On the yearly inspection they gave my tenant issues and are threatening to cancel her voucher for some ridiculous stuff.

I am curious-Can anyone with Baltimore County section 8 tenants and experience please chime in regarding your experiences with how their voucher program stacks up? Is it the same red tape and stupidity associated with any govt. agency in terms of the customer service, nitpicky inspections, and overall running of the program, or perhaps, is it smoother? I have also heard that the county may pay more for 2 and 3 bedroom SFH?

This might be useful info regarding future acquisitions and planning.



I just got my first Section 8 tenant a few months ago. My properties are in Baltimore County. So I don't know about the red tape at inspection since I haven't experienced a yearly inspection yet. However, this tenant's apartment is a 2 bedroom, but they call it a 1 bedroom with a den so she could move in. I just had to send in some rental comps and they offered a rent amount that no standard renter would pay because it's so high. I was quite happy with the offer.

Jeff I currently don't work with Section 8 in the Baltimore county or city, because of the problems of adding third party to the mix.  However I am aware of a number of things of interest to the Bigger Pockets Community and you.

Baltimore city is moving to a different inspection plan.  If you pass this year with no issues, they won't physically inspect next year, but will require an affirmation that property is in good shape.  (This will allow more time for call out inspections.)  This is only in Baltimore City, no where else in country.  

The city has a lot of vouchers to issue this year, and Dept of Housing expressed concern about properties available to meet demand. Dec 8 they announced another $500,000 for veteran housing vouchers.  Earlier this year they stated they basically had double the normal number of vouchers.  Demand for rentals will be strong.

This best tip I've heard to deal with inspections is to inspect the property yourself, prior to the agency inspection.  Allow enough time to repair anything you encounter, or train your tenant on how to keep their voucher.

The big difference in investing in the city and county is the risk and reward.  There are a lot of positive cash flow properties in the city, not so many in the county.  Maybe you'll buy in the next area to gentrify, maybe not.  Maybe you'll deal with lead paint correctly, or maybe you'll fund the purchase of another sports team.  

My only dealing with county housing was enough to make me run away.  Still I suspect working with the county is better than the city.  (I don't invest in the city, primarily because I won't subject myself to dealing with the city agencies.)

All Maryland rental properties built 1950-1978 can no longer opt out of lead paint registration.  You MUST register with MDE prior to end of 2014.  Inspection can wait till your next turnover.

Or, if you're lead free, you don't have to deal with the inspections.

Thanks @Wayne G

That is a lot of good information regarding the future of City Section 8 policy. I'm with you on your comment regarding the dealings with Govt.....

Thanks for the input @Nicole W. 

I agree that their payments are above market.

Regarding the Lead Inspection, are you sure they will not reinspect if you are lead-free? I believe with this certificate YOU do not re-inspect for lead between tenants, but Section 8 will come out yearly to make sure the property and all its systems are in a habitable condition.


@Jeff K.   @Nicole W.  lead inspections are a totally different issue. Section 8 inspections happen even if a property is lead free as they are looking for many other items. 

You can challenge section 8 inspections. I just had some landlords have the repair  list cut in half by going up the chain of command. It is still a hassle but it can be done.

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