What is a tenant worth?

7 Replies

I have a section 8 tenant. When she leased the apartment she was a healthy single Mom with 2 kids 10 & 12. It is a 2 bedroom apartment. She has been a tenant for 14 months. In the 14 months i have not had any problems. Her rent was completely paid by her Section 8 Benefit. 

Well times change and her health has taken a down turn, her son has moved out to live elsewhere. Now I have been notified by the Section 8 administrator that she no longer qualifies for a 2 bed room apartment. As a result her benefit will be cut about $400/month.

Now the woman is really tough spot. She calls me crying. Where is she going to get $400. And her health issues might be getting worse. (may need to have foot amputated). 

She asked me for a reduction in her rent.

Okay here are my thoughts. 

1) Crying...I hate that. Sometimes an act. Not relevant either way.

2) health issues. She has had a nurse coming to her apartment daily for a few months. Not sure she will lose her foot. But her health issues are real. But might be exaggerated.

3) We are charging the market rate for the apartment. 

4) If moves out,  we would rent the apartment to someone else. But it may take a 4 to 6 weeks to rent it. $1000 to $1500 in lost rent.

I am leaning toward a $100/month reduction. But I am not sure of the ramifications. Will it cause problems with other tenants? with section 8? Are there other programs out there she should be looking into?

I would love to hear some opinions.


@Ed McIver Well it’s harsh but I don’t get involved. No good deed goes unpunished. The rent is due when the rent is due and if you can afford it then time to move on.

"I am leaning toward a $100/month reduction" You are leaning in the wrong direction by allowing emotions to drive your business. Try making your decisions with your head not your hormones.

Crying ….as you say not relevant

Health issue.... not relevant

Market rent...extremely relevant

Cost of tenant turnover....not relevant (cost built into expenses)

The cost to you of reducing her rent is:

late payments, chasing her for rent, excuse after excuse, ultimate eviction and vacancy plus a loss of $100/ month in the interim (plus a guaranteed lose of a minimum 1 months rent, if not more, before you ultimately get rid of her.)  

You need to stop allowing emotions to creep into your business decisions. This tenant needs to go now and you should not even be considering a voluntary monthly loss to extend the inevitable.

This is not harsh it is simply business. No pay , no stay. Tell her to find a place she can afford and not try to leach off of you.

@Ed McIver the only outcome is that you eventually have to evict her. Sometimes It's hard to do but she needs to find a smaller, cheaper apt. If you wanted to be a good samaritan, help her find a new place, offer to help her pay for moving costs, etc... but I would get her out asap
@Ed McIver So if she loses her foot your going to lose your a$& ? Look If the tenant does not pay then your going to have to kick them out , there’s sImply no easy option here . This is business and landlording is a savage business .

Okay. I thought I was being smart. But I posted this because I was unsure. I'm sure a first floor apartment would be a better match for her. Possibly one that is handicap accessible. 

@Ed McIver

Harsh as it seems this is a business my man. I would immediately let the Section 8 office know that this is unfortunate but you are not able to accommodate that lack of cashflow but that you are very interested in having a different Section 8 tenant that does have a 2 bedroom voucher move in. Let the current tenant know you are not in a position to help support her without the two bedroom voucher.

When or if the time comes that she is late with the rent then follow the necessary procedures.