Need advice on Section 8 and PM situation

6 Replies

I have a question I need some guidance on. I purchased a home to hold as a long term rental in GA. I am an out of State investor. I hired a property manager who showed the property for about a month and told me he was only getting section 8 tenants wanting it because of the location. I authorized him to register for section 8 and he did. He immediately got a tenant. My rental amount was originally $1150 but HUD knocked it down to $1025. I agreed, tenant signed the lease and this is where things went awry. Tenant moved in April 12th. I wasn't notified of it till April 19th so utilities were still on in my LLC. Confronted Pm who lied about love in date but lease confirmed it when I received lease from him on the 24th. He also stated he got pro-rates rent for April and the security deposit was in cash. No receipt on either. 3 weeks later he sent both. No rent cake in for May. Called section 8 and got the run around. Then they said rent would be paid for April, May and June on June 1. June 1 came around and they didn't pay. Section 8 was paying 100%. So at this point I have a non paying tenant in my home for 3 months and it's really not her fault. Section 8 requests a copy of my lease, which was completed by the old PM. PM finally turned over HUD inspection docs showing house passed and signed lease. Section 8 is now saying tenant can't pay any utilities and I need to knock off another $85 off of my rent. I said no way get her out of there. In the meantime I have been searching for another PM to no avail. Found one who wanted to gouge me so I just decided to list the home and sell it. So question is do I pursue legal action against the PM? Section 8 or both? Section 8 emailed me yesterday and stated they are not going to pay any rent and will find other placement for the tenant. Sorry for any typos. On my cell.

Laura:

Section 8 can be very frustrating but eventually, they get around to paying.

I'm not sure what you could sue for.  (Disclosure: I am not a lawyer)  Of course anyone can sue anyone else at any time but I'm trying to think of damages here

The old PM may have been incompetent, but what are damages?  I suppose you could sue for a few days of utility bills, but it would cost you more money and brain damage than a few bucks.

Could you sue the Section 8?  Seems like you had a mutually agreed cancellation of the lease.

Seems to me like you need to evict the tenant over unpaid rent and go to court for it.  I am not sure how section 8 can say sorry I won't pay anything for when the tenant was there and you have a signed lease.   They may disagree about how much. Where are all those section 8 landlords.

It sounds to me like your PM didn't know the process. As soon as the lease is signed it is sent to the case worker and that triggers a HAP (the contract with HUD) to be sent to the PM. This has to be returned with original signature to the housing authority in order for you to be set up in the system to receive payments. It sounds like payments are going directly to you? If this is the case, you should have been the one to sign the RFTA (request for tenancy approval that was submitted when the tenant first applied) and the HAP.

Contact the case worker directly.  Maybe you can get this worked out. It would cost less to do that than removing the tenant, who has no fault in this.

@Patti Robertson Thank you. I finally got a copy of the RFTA, which HUD provided to me. The PM filled it out and put on there that me, as the landlord, would pay the water, sewer and garbage. Here lies the discrepancy. He then told the tenant to put those utilities in her name and never mentioned anything to me. So HUD wants me to lower the rent to $85 to accomodate that change. I declined and will issue her a 30-day notice to vacate. I have listed the property for sale and I want nothing to do with having a property manager again. Hopefully a quick sale will remedy the situation.

@Laura Spaulding you should turn off utilities the time they move in. What type of area is this in?

A long distance landlord in a marginal area will not do well. There’s too many unknowns.