It is 4 am but I can't sleep. I've rented one of my properties to a section 8 tenant. It is a nice house in a nice neighborhood. I just spent about $6k to repair the house so I can say that this house is in very good shape. I accepted a section 8 applicant. After passing the inspection from the Housing, I let the tenant move in right away while waiting for the approved contract from the Housing. Big mistake! After two months living in my house, this tenant keeps calling me days, nights, weekends to ask me to clean some trash in the garage, in the back yard that left from my contractors, to show her how to reset the heater, to check why the oven is not as hot as she wants. She is really pissed me off yesterday when I received a message from the Housing stated that it was an emergency request to fix my A/C within 25 hours. I am at the stage that I just want to kick her out to not have to deal with her anymore.
I've received the lease contract from the Housing but I am still waiting for this tenant to sign the contract. She paid me her rent of $200 per month. The housing supposes to pay me the remainder of the rent. I haven't received any payments from the Housing yet because the tenant hasn't given me back the signed contract that need to be submitted to the Housing.
So, can I ask her to move out immediately since there is no contract yet and I haven't received the full rent payment? Do i have to serve an eviction letter?
I really appreciate any feedbacks. Thanks.
As you said, big mistake. Even though you don't have a signed contract, you've let her move in and accepted rent. You've now created a tenant, and it sounds like a professional tenant at that.
Not knowing the TX laws, I'd connect with a real estate attorney right away and discuss the process. If you try to do it yourself without knowing the laws, you could make it worse, especially since she has complained.
If you do retain an attorney, make sure they specialize in landlord/tenant law, not divorce, adoptions, or personal injury. A specialized attorney is needed for professional tenants!
Dont fix any problems for her. Dont return her calls and they will issue her moving papers.
Why was housing calling you though if they have not received her paper work yet? In my area you sign the lease and the tenant is responsible for submitting it to sec 8. After I hear from the case worker I will then allow the tenant to move in.
Seems like some complaints maybe valid or typical though. Make sure you clean up the trash after your contractors. Some new tenants of mine have problems with the heat or oven. Usually I have a few calls in the first few weeks after they move in but then it evens out.
I agree with Michael, Things usually even out after the first few weeks. Your lease SHOULD state "as is" - of course, you cannot breach the law on Habitability.
Screen your tenants well. Vacancy is CHEAPER than crappy tenants! After all, your time / loss of sleep needs to be accounted for!
Its a hard lesson to learn but do not let tenants put their stuff in your property until everything has been signed and the check clears. In my county, the tenants have all the rights. Sucks.
Tina you made a mistake that many make.
Landlords should learn more about section 8 before looking at a tenant.In your local area section 8 can be called different things.The states like to give little names to their section 8 organizations.Here it is HAFC in Georgia.
You DO NOT let a tenant move in until their inspection has passed and they have signed ALL PAPERS and you have verified this with their case worker.You have to get a signed release from the potential tenant authorizing you to discuss their case.
I always talk to the case worker and sometimes the supervisor.I never believe what the potential tenant is telling me.Even if they are truthful they leave out one or two key pieces of information.
The 24hr is when you are cited for an emergency condition where your payments will be put in suspense mode until fixed.
Example you get 800 a month from section 8.If you didn't fix the item in 24 hrs then you get a suspend status until you fix and it is re-inspected.You could lose say 10 days of rent which 266.67.
Section 8 considers it a habitability issue and quality of care for the tenants.Suspending rents is a way they force the landlord into compliance.
This might not be a professional tenant and just a case of a new section 8 tenant and a landlord who is not knowledgable enough about the process.
Our local agency cuts checks the first week and then middle of the month.The hardest part is getting the first check going and paperwork in.Then it's just passing the annual re-inspections and fixing issues in between.
Now that the tenant is moved in they have zero incentive to help you out with papers.Some tenants hate having the meetings with the case workers etc. you should have gotten all approvals before they moved in.
Tina you need to be on that tenant DAILY to get them to sign the papers.each time they have another request mention "Have you signed the lease papers yet?"
They will get the message.
Makes sure the tenants understands you do not fix cosmetic issues and will repair and not replace items that need fixing.Otherwise you will get a tenant that wants new everything.They will live like a slob and expect you to clean and fix it all for them.
Did you check with this section 8 where they were living before??
We have strict protocol to screen our tenants and if they do not pass all phases or turn in just some of the paperwork they are hiding something.
Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom. Yes, i am an inexperienced landlord. This tenant was moving to Houston from another state and had no place for her and her teenagers to live in. She begged me to let her move in right after my house passed the inspection. I felt sorry for her and skipped the neccesary steps.
Anyway, I called the Housing, didn't get to talk to the case worker but the operator told me that she didn't see any reason that I couldn't evict this tenant. She would leave the notes to the case worker to call me back.
Yesterday, I came to the house and gave the tenant the 3 days notice letter. She didn't look surprised though, asked me about her deposit and told me that if i filed the eviction, the judge would give her 30 days to move out. I just simply replied that we will see what the judge says and walked away.
I am going to take Joel's advice to try to meet the case worker in person next week.
You don't need to meet the case worker in person.You just need a letter from the tenant stating you can talk to the case worker about their section 8 file.
The operator has given me incorrect information multiple times so I don't take what they say as the gospel in what to do or not to do.
You should also get the case workers e-mail address so you have a documented conversation on file.
Case workers generally only hold in person meetings for their section 8 tenants a few times a month.I have never gone in to talk to a case worker only by e-mail and on the phone.
Thanks, Joel. I have the case worker's email. Just emailed her the notice letter and described the situation. I really appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts.
Wow, I wish I could have know about this earlier. Sec 8 tenants can be real easy to train as long as you went through the correct procedures. Tell us how did this turn out for you?
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