section 8 renters zip code 60651

2 Replies

In the process of purchasing and rehabbing multi unit, 2 units: 2ba 1 br 1100 sqft in the 60651 area code. Upon completion of rehab I plan to use section 8 renters. I have had a not so pleasant experience with section 8 when I couldn't pass inspection 3 separate times with 3 separate inspectors giving me 3 totally different punch list. This was after i completed the first two list in its entirety. It was a total waste of my time and the potential renters time who was trying to move out of her illegal apartment (only one entrance)

I realize there is the application, inspection and advertisement process via section 8 but does anyone have any time saving and friendly advice in dealing with bureaucratic nonsense associated with any government agency.

A few general questions

  1. What's the best way to screen section 8 tenant? Is that even possible?
  2. What's the section 8 market in Chicago like? I've heard section 8 tenants are unappreciative and won't take care of the property but like anything else, there are good tenants and bad ones, whether they are section 8 or not. That's the nature of the business right?
  3. Do you advertise through section 8 website or through craigslist other ads?

Appreciate any and all responses

  1. What's the best way to screen section 8 tenant? Is that even possible?                                                                                                                           Screen them like everybody else without exception. Previous landlord references, evictions, credit scores and sufficient income (over and above their voucher amount) to show their ability to cover their part of the rent if applicable.  
  2. What's the section 8 market in Chicago like? I've heard section 8 tenants are unappreciative and won't take care of the property but like anything else, there are good tenants and bad ones, whether they are section 8 or not. That's the nature of the business right?                                                  In my experience folks on vouchers are no better or no worse then regular tenants. The are rumored to be more needy and demanding but I do not find that the case. Folks I have on vouchers don't tend to need any more attention than anyone else and I have not had a place trashed like many stores you might hear.  I also have many Sec 8 folks who have been long time residents.                                                              Now the CHA folks themselves (in the office)  will make you jump through hoops for initial and ongoing inspections. They will fail you for the smallest of things and I have actually been told by the inspectors that they are expected to give a fail first time round or they are not considered to be doing their job right. You wrote in your post the property needs rehab so you might already proactively address some of the repair issues that cause older building to fail...BUT...do not expect an easy ride regardless.    Ditto with their paperwork. Very slow and tons of things you need to provide them. Expect about 2 months for tenant placement or at least to get the first payment from them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The upside of course is when you clear all the hurdles its guaranteed rent on the 1st of every month and that's a BIG plus in some areas where getting the rent on time and in full is like pulling teeth.  Remember however if you fail an annual inspection the rent payments stop until you repair the issues and pass the re-inspection.             One potential problem I foresee with the program is they are not issuing any new vouchers or so i am lead to believe. So there is a finite number of voucher holders for now. If you buy an investment property with a business plan of 100% Sec 8 renters and your plan/numbers relies on that for success what happens if you cannot achieve that because their is not a sufficient number of voucher holder in the market looking for apartments ?   Will the plan still work at regular market rents ?   Then what about rent collection etc ?  They are not issuing new vouchers to new people to expand the base, so factor that in to your plan if necessary.       
  3. Do you advertise through section 8 website or through craigslist other ads?                                                                                                                           I have had ZERO success with the Sec 8 website. Thought it would be home run but I get no leads from it despite many listings.  CL and the other websites are better and you can advertise vouchers welcome.                              Hope this helps.

Thank you for the informative response!!!!

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