Advice on turning a home into section 8 or for veterans

6 Replies

Hey BP,

I'm looking at a house tomorrow in a high veteran area.  There is a need for more houses for vets in the area so this may be a good opportunity for a seasoned investor which I am not.  Does anyone have any experience with this type of venture?  Thanks

With Section 8... you will get guarantee rent from the gov't. directly into your account for one year. Still check references and income and get deposit from everybody who wants to rent your unit. Still have to check references and income from Veterans... no guarantee rent.

I have several apartments and houses that I currently allow section 8. 4-5 of them are verterans. I think Section 8 can get a bad rap. If you screen them hard they can be as good as other tenants. I have several that I hear from a couple times a year, the place is always spotless, and they've been there for 5+ years now. I've had others that trashed the place and had to evict, but that was partly my fault for not screening when I was new. 

It may be highly dependent on your local section 8 office as well. Our office is very involved and they don't put up with much. If a tenant doesn't pay their portion of the rent I can send the office an email and they will help me prod the tenant by threatening to get kicked off the program. If anyone gets arrested or police have a disturbance at that address, the office usually knows before I do and they will make them come into a hearing. If they're found guilty of a crime they're kicked out. 

I'm not saying they aren't a little extra work, you have an inspection every year, etc... but overall I probably have better luck with my section 8 tenants in low income areas than I do with the tenants who live paycheck to paycheck. 

The best advice I could probably offer is this: make it a requirement among your other requirements, that they let you walk through their current home and see how clean the place is. I started doing this years ago and it really helped. If they hesitate or are currently living with someone else and say it's not possible, I'm very unlikely to consider them. I'm also very unlikely to consider the ones who call on June 29th and need a place by July 1. If they're not responsible enough to plan ahead to keep a roof over their head, they're probably not someone I want living in my rental.

i think @Bradley Bogdan and @Bill Gulley would be some good start.

also check with the local HUDWASH (section8 for veterans).

also check the contractors working in the area so they can introduce you to landlords working with such. you also get some real opinions from the field.

Thanks for the tag @Dumitru Anton .

@Shawn Connors , if you're looking to specifically rent to veterans, or just subsidized tenants in general, I would first and foremost make sure the possible rents for such tenants support your purchase. If you'd like to post the local housing authority for the prospective area, I'd be happy to give an estimate of what you could expect for rent based on what HUD approves locally.

Once you make sure the #s work, just be diligent in your tenant selection/screening. For regular Section 8 tenants, good screening will eliminate many/most problems and help you avoid many of the horror stories you hear on the boards. For HUD-VASH (the VA run program to help vets with Section 8 vouchers), the paperwork and standard of unit is virtually identical, but with the added support of your tenant having an assigned social worker who regularly visits them at their home, and occasionally will bring in other service providers if needed. 2+ Bedroom units tend to be in much lower demand for HUDVASH though, so bear that in mind if you're purchasing an SFR.

Keep us posted on how it goes! Let me know if I can help at all. 

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