Does converting a rental to Section 8 reduce vacancy?

3 Replies

I am looking at a property in a low income area and recently heard of a friend that has been converting his properties to Section 8. My question is would this help to reduce vacancy and does it also help with the quality of the tenant (since they are using a government program)?

In my experience with over 100 SEC 8 leases, yes, especially in low income neighborhoods, SEC 8 tenants tend to stay significantly longer than a non-SEC 8 tenant. As long as a sEC 8 tenant remains happy with the property conditions, they generally stay until there is a change in family size (bigger or smaller).  The one exception is for houses with 3+ bedrooms with only one bath.  Most tenants will settle for a one bath property if they can't find anything else, but will continue to seek a property with more baths.  This does not make the SEC 8 lease shorter than anyone else.  I am just pointing out the fact that any property with only one bath and anything more than 2 bedrooms will almost always have a shorter term average than units with 2 or more bathrooms.

If you have a logical place on a wall that already has water, it may make sense, but usually adding a bath costs more than it is worth.  This isn't the last house on the market. Be patient and the right one will come that already has the second or at least extra half bath.