What You Need to Know About Section 8 in Baltimore
What You Need to Know About Section 8 (Housing Choice Vouchers) in Baltimore
- Rent payment - Tenant’s can’t move out while still owing rent and not lose their voucher without just cause such (eg. domestic violence). Baltimore city enforces this rule stringently.
- Higher rent - you can expect ~15% higher rents in Baltimore with section 8 renters. Especially in lower tier neighbourhoods.
- Consistency - you will be paid the governments portion on the 1st.
- Leverage - tenants do not want to lose their voucher so may behave better.
- Longer tenancies - On average section 8 participants stay longer
- Tenant friendliness - The housing authority in Baltimore is very tenant friendly.
- Extra paperwork - It’s the government we’re talking about here.
- Inspections - Properties rented to section 8 tenants are inspected initially and yearly after that. The initial inspection can be a pain because you can get an overly tenant friendly inspector who fails you and then you have to wait another 4-6 weeks for a reinspection without rent. The inspection is looking at health and safety issues. Detailed info. Is available here. https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/DOC_11742.PDF
Would I rent to section 8?
A class neighbourhood - maybe. These properties rent easily so maybe it’s not worth the paperwork
C class neighbourhood - yes. Think of the higher rent
Any neighbourhood with older tenants and smaller property - definitely. These tenants stay longer and are unlikely to not pay, trash the place or move in the whole gang.
Please keep in mind you cannot choose not to rent because of income source in Baltimore City, Baltimore County & Howard County.
Other things to note
- Vouchers are distributed by the local county/city authority. This means if the tenant is moving Baltimore city to Baltimore county he/she will be reassessed for eligibility for vouchers.
- Project based vouchers do not travel with the tenant.
- If the tenant tells the housing authority for example there is a window that won’t lock Baltimore won’t pay and you won’t know why until you notice your funds didn’t show up. Que the inspection process again.
- Must be inspected and registered with city of Baltimore. More on this at https://dhcd.baltimorecity.gov/pi/alarmproperty-registration
- Sign up at https://www.gosection8.com/ll/benefits.aspx?benefittype=landlord to list your property on gosection8. I also recommend the zillow group, facebook marketplace and a yard sign.
- Fillout request for tenancy approval (RFTA) https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/52517.PDF and send in.
- Prepare for inspection https://www.habc.org/habc-information/programs-departments/hcvp/hcvp-landlords/hcvp-property-regulations/housing-quality-standards-inspections-checklist/