The Disadvantages of Section 8 Rentals

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It felt like I was walking into a cave. A dark, messy, smelly cave. I looked around at the walls of my Section 8 rental and saw black, only black. The tenants had decided to add some “color” to the décor. But seriously, who paints walls black? And poop? Who leaves dog poop all over the floor? And trash? How can a family of four leave two, not one, but two dumpsters worth of trash? I started calculating the cost of priming and repainting, carpet cleaning and trash removal. How could a newly renovated property go from rent ready to needing 4K of repairs in only a matter of months? At 4K, this Section 8 rental holds the record for my most expensive turn.

While renting under Section 8 has advantages as I mentioned in my last blog (see other blog), below are a few challenges.

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Disadvantages of Section 8 Rentals

1 – No Recourse for Damages

Besides the initial deposit, landlords find it tough to get money from a tenant who damages a property. If a Section 8 tenant trashes your unit, you can email documentation to the Section 8 office. I’ve been able to get destructive tenants to lose their vouchers, but I haven’t been able to get any monetary compensation.

2 – Extra Repairs

Section 8 has fairly strict rules about repairs that are needed to get a home approved. Before you market your property as a Section 8 rental, get a copy of the requirements so you know what to address beforehand. When the inspector comes out, try having a handy man around to make instant repairs. Many minor issues can be addressed on the spot and you can avoid delays in passing your inspection. Failing the initial inspection and needing a re-inspection takes a lot of time and keeps your property vacant longer.

3 – Wear and Tear

A Section 8 tenant doesn’t pay a mortgage or even all of their rent, so they are not invested in your property. Consequently, you might find that some Section 8 tenants aren’t as concerned about keeping up a property.

4 – Guest House

Also, be aware of long-term “guests”. That family of three on the lease might offer floor space to a boyfriend, cousin, parent and niece. The extra people mean extra wear and tear. You can report families for added tenants but you have to make the judgment call.

5 – Section 8’s Version of Bait and Switch

The Section 8 office might state they will pay $798 per month rent for your property. But after your tenant moves in, you might suddenly be notified that the rent amount has been lowered by $50.

6 – Section 8’s Second Version of Bait and Switch

Section 8 might initially agree to pay $770 of the $798 rent and the tenant will pay $28. Later, you might get a letter changing the allocation. Section 8 might now pay $500 and the tenant pays $298. In my experience, these changes happen most often during the month after a tenant moves in.

7 – Yearly Inspections

The Section 8 office will inspect your property at least once a year. You will get a sheet with the repairs you need to make and the tenant needs to make. I sort of like this because you get to look closely at your property but the inspections repairs can add up.

8 – Accounting Issues

Section 8 staff members are stretched thin. Once, after a Section 8 tenant moved out, I kept getting checks. I called and mailed the Section 8 office but the checks kept coming. I ended up getting 6 extra checks. Granted, unwanted checks are better than no checks but unwanted checks add to the monthly dose of paperwork. Be on top of your paperwork for Section 8. Submit any address or property management changes as soon as you can. Try to get some extension numbers for staff members because it can be tough to get through on the phone.

9 – System Issues

In one of my investment areas, embezzling occurred at the Section 8 office. Try getting an answer from anybody there that month. Files were seized and the office sort of shut down for a bit. One unfortunate outcome was that rents went down. I believe this type of scenario is rare, but investors need to recognize they have no control over Section 8.

Section 8 is a government organization where the rules can change at any time. With Section 8, you have to roll with the punches and realize you can maneuver Section 8 a bit but you can’t control it.

Photo: chrstphre ? campbell

About Author

McKellar Newsom invests in single family properties in seven different markets. McKellar partners with investors who don't have time to devote to real estate investing.

81 Comments

  1. Yikes! The Advantages of Section 8 rentals was much more heart warming to read. Lol.

    Great post on the realities that people need to be aware of when it comes to Section 8 rentals. Paperwork and guidelines to follow… more paperwork and guidelines to follow. Not for the unorganized property owner and that’s when a good property manager is a must.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Paul,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      I wish the Advantages blog had been much longer than this one. Section 8 does have its share of paperwork. I agree that you need an organized property owner or manager. Thanks for the comments! mck

    • You know it is the Landlords job to screen tenants, not Section 8. Just because a tenant trashes your property is not a reason to trash section 8. Not all tenants that are in need of section 8 are bad tenants. I used section 8 and have gotten every cent of my security deposit back since I have been on the program. The properties I have rented have had mold, 30 year old carpets, violent and sex offenders living in them, and drug dealers and have been raided by police, non of those people mentioned in the proceeding sentence were Section 8 recipents, they paid full rent. So let me see, if I pay full rent I can brake the law and be considered a good tenant. If I have Section 8, I am automatically a slob? Really now that is like saying all landlords are slum lords and all Property Managers are theives. Am I right? Or am I wrong?

      • I will give your comment a second Amen! Where does McKeller Newsom even get off bad mouthing section 8 tenants?!
        WHO, in their right mind would even want to rent from Mckellar newsom? And what kind of a nane is Mckellar? She has been off to anegative start from birth with a name like that!
        First of all, dear Mckellar, try telling the real TRUTH, if you are capable of it. You are leading potential landlords down an untrue path. Lets start with your opening paragraph- “dark messy and smelly cave”. Well, if it is dark it is your fault that there is not sufficient light. If you would state truthfully and acurately you would have just stated that they painted the walls black. I sense a bit of embellishment on your part. As for your other comments in that paragraph, wouldn’t you prefer that your tenants use 100 trash cans if they needed that many
        and were discarding trash? Rather than to pile up trash in the house. And that statement seems to contradict that it was messy, if they are throwing away the trash, doesn’t it. Furthermore, it is not your business as a landlird to decide how much trash any person is allowed to throw in any one or six
        dumsters. You have a very biased and untrue article.
        Next, lets start with your # 1. ” no recourse for damages”. Well, I will digress to Susan above, who pretty much answered that one. Sect. 8 tenants are no more difficule or easier than any ither tenant to recoup $ for damages.

        Your # 2. “Extra repairs”. Do not listen to biased McKellar, people. There are only “extra repairs” if you maintain your own property like a slum lord. HUD section 8 requires very basic repairs. They require that the oven, stove, garbage disposal, dish washer etc. are working. They require that a water heater is tied down in case of earthquake. They require that all electrical plugs are working and that the tenant does not have extension cords hooked up and plugged in all over the place. And they require that there is a working smoke detector. Now, is that all too difficult for you to properly maintain, Miss Mckellar? If so, you are a slumlord!
        Next, your #3. And #4.: regardless of whether the tenant pays a mortgage or rent, they ARE, in fact, investing in your property.
        By the fact that they pay their fair share of the rent, they are paying all that they can afford. Think of the analogy of St.
        Theresa, the little flower who filled a thimble and a large glass with water and asked which was more full. Just because these people’s income does not equal yours, is no reason to say that they have not given all they have. Yours is a pretty negative, shallow and biased statement. And I have yet to see hoards of family members squat on the floors. The housing department
        is extremely strict with tenant rules. Most section 8 recipients are elderly or have a severely disabled family member. How much damage do uou think they can do? Or what kind of wild parties do you think they can throw?

        Next, your # 5 and 6, ” bait and switch”. Your version = biased and quite false. True version= Section 8 is a means tested program. Not only does section 8 inspect the house once a year, but it also requires a tenent to undergo an annual financial screening to see if the tenant is still financially eligible for the program. It checks all income and resources and changes, either plus or minus, annually. Furthermore, for people with a disability or elderly tenants, it gives a credit for medical expenses such as prescription medicines and adaptive equipment and medical care. Then, HUD issues a determination of the percentage of tenant rent that it will pay and what portion the tenant must pay, based on their income.
        What section 8 then does, is to send a letter to both tenant and landlord, detailing what the new rent amount that Sect. 8 will pay and how much will be the tenant’s percentage responsibility, based on their income and ability to pay. Section 8 DOES NOT CHANGE THE TOTAL REQUESTED MONTHLY RENT, as you are attempting to lead landlords to believe. The rent stays the same as first agreed upon with HUD when the landlord first accepts the tenant and enters into the HUD agreement. The only thing that switches around anually is who will pay what percent. So, for a monthly rent of $1,000. For example, one year, HUD might pay $300.00 monthly and the tenant pays $700.00. The following year, maybe the tenant spent time in the hospital with extraordinary medical bills and gets credit for medical expenses. That year, HUD might pay
        $800.00 towards the rent and the tenant pays $200. 00. You, Mckellar, are not reporting this acurately at all! There is no “bait and switch” about it. It is jyst simple math. And don’t YOU deduct medical expenses when YOU file your income tax every year?
        Next, your #7. Most landlords are thrilled to have someone inspect their property for them to make sure all is well. And if you happen to dread that they will find something wrong and you have to repair it, then you must be a slum lord. Most landlords who wish to maintain their property in goid order,
        are overjoyed that the housing inspector has a trained eye to notice damage early that might ward off a future major repair cost. Only a slumlord would not like that. And the things that they do inspect really are only safety hazard and abatement issues that should be taken care of. So what is wrong with
        that, miss Mckelkar?

        Next, your #8 and 9, “Paperwork” and “system issues”. I won’t even bother to respond to because that is just nonsense on your part. If you cannot own rental properties and maintain paperwork then you need to get out of the rental business anyway. I’m sure you must hapoen to find what you are looking for at tax time to get every deduction that you can squeeze out. And big deal if you have to send a couple of checks back. So what. What that actualky tells me is that HUD Section 8 is a reliable source of faithful tenant payments on time monthly, like clockwork. What any landlord would give his/her eye tooth for.

        I am biased. I am a sect 8, senior citizen, 100% disabled tenant and I thank God daily for this program. Without sect. 8, we would literally live on the street. Being disabled does not afford a person to have a huge income. And seniors live on fixed incomes. I care for this home as if it were my own. Why? Because it is my own while I am living in it. I am not an animal and I did not grow up in a slum, as you would like to lead people to believe. I come from a high class, afluent background and just had life throw some punches at me in the way of disabilities. It is my child who is disabled since birth. I cannot afford the kind of money that it would take to maintain around the clock professional medical care for him. I do not want to institutionalize him. So, I have dedicated my life to a life with a lot of hard work, that people like yourself, who cast judgement on others would not understand. But I thank God every morning for my cross and I carry it with joy. Please do not give your biased and negative opinion to the entire Internet of unknowing people as to how you feel about something that you have totally misrepresented. Section 8 is a gift straight from Heaven for people in my situation. My landlirds all have loved me as a tenant. And they have also raved about the Sect.8 program and how their rent arrives like clockwork. I hope no one will listen to Mckellar’s very negative and biased opinion.
        Guess I better go check the trash cans now! (LOL)

  2. McKellar, do the Section 8 rules allow for a “reverse deposit?” That is an offer to the section 8 tenant that if he/she/they leave the unit in the same condition as the move-in date that the landlord will “reward” them with $200 or gift certificates. I know this cuts the owner’s profits especially since it would have to be the same offer to every Section 8 tenant.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Kevin,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      I talked to Jenny Wright, a Section 8 police officer here in Chattanooga. She enforces Section 8 policies, especially when people commit fraud. She told me that Section 8 follows the leases provided by the landlords. If you have a “reverse deposit” in the lease, she said “Section 8 would uphold the lease and be okay with the provisions.” Since you submit the lease with the paperwork, Section 8 would notify you if they didn’t agree with the terms. I personally think a reverse deposit would be a great idea. I’ve never tried it before though so I can’t give any examples of it working. Have you used the reverse deposit idea with your rentals? Thanks! mck

      • McKeller, I work in the financing side of the business and do not have any Section 8 rentals.

        It just seems to me that a natural (economic) solution to the problem of getting money back from tenants who have damaged the property AFTER they left is to offer them incentives to leave it the way they found it … no damages, no exotic paint colors etc. If the tenant knows that they will get money back IF the property is in decent shape, they have incentive. Of course, that incentives would have to be sizable to overcome some damages and it does cut into the landlord’s profits.

  3. I too fell victim to Section 8 renters and programs. Thought it was a super good deal for everyone, found out the hard way, it wasn’t. I’ve rented out five of my rentals when Section 8 called me and wanted me to get on their program. Within 6 months 4 were trash almost beyone repairs, only one was a good renter. How can people like that get on their program? I like helping people who are down on their luck but, NO MORE Section 8! 1-5 was spot on. They invite their friends family and dumpster buddies to stay at “their” place and there’s nothing you can do because “they have a lease”. At least they keep the neighborhood clean, ALL the trash is in their house. To quote Edgar Allen Poe- never more, never more.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Jim,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      Bummer about your Section 8 rentals. Did you do your own property management? I like to inspect my properties or have my property managers inspect them every few months to double check how they look.

      You can complain to Section 8 if the tenant is trashing your place. Document everything you can with pictures and descriptions.

      Did you sell your Section 8 properties? Are you now focusing on higher end rentals? Thanks! mck

    • Thats the problem a lot of landlords get into this thinking it’s going to be somehow easier than regular tenants. It’s not it’s just as hard, for some reason they feel it becomes their local Section 8 offices job to regulate housekeeping.

      All Section 8 is there for is to pay you a check once a month, and to make sure the tenant has a safe and healthy living environment. What do you do when a regular tenant trashes a unit? Or has undocumented people living in the unit? Do you let it slide or do you take legal action? Live up to your end of the landlord/tenant agreement and stop whining.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Jeff,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      I like the cash flow from my Section 8 rentals but the hassle factor is definitely greater. I don’t get to buy as much equity with these types of properties and don’t expect as much appreciation either. I have been upgrading from lower to higher end properties. Thanks for the comment. mck

  4. WOW! what city are your section 8 houses in? 1) the bait and switch are base on how much income they make. Section 8 reviews their income and if the tenant has an increase then section 8 will adjust their payment to you. 2) In Detroit you better visit the tenants current resident before you rent to them. All section 8 tenants are not good section 8 tenants. You need to screen your tenants better and don’t be to anxious just because there section 8. In Detroit the WORST city in America I let my section 8 tenants know before I rent to them I must visit you at your current residence other wise I can’t rent to you. If they no, I don’t rent to them. This will cut down on some of the problems with section 8 tenants trashing your houses. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Keith,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      I have Section 8 rentals in 4 cities. If the Section 8 office accepts a rent of say $600 at the start of the lease, I just don’t consider it ethical to change the rate to say $575 or $550 after a tenant moves into my rental. This manipulation has happened to me a handful of times. As far as the allocation bait and switch, I can more readily understand why Section 8 makes the change.

      I agree you need to screen well and inspect within the first few weeks and then regularly. Great idea to visit an applicant’s residence to see how well they take care of their place. Another idea is to look in their car. The amount of wrappers on the floor can give you a feel for their cleanliness. Thanks for your comments. mck

      • Oh, mckellar, give me a damned break! Now you want to inspect their cars? I challenge you to inspect any Los Angeles freeway commuter who works an 8-5 job, follow them home and inspect their car to tell what their home looks like. I guarantee that 99.9% of daily freeway commuters’ cars are packed with coffee cups, water bottles, fast food wrappers and the like. It hardly represents what their home looks like.

        You are a greedy (and I am vehemently refraining from using the B word) person.

        I am disgusted by your article, your forum, and you. The calibre of people that I see at your foum are exactly what you are trying to call sect. 8 renters… T-r- a-s-h!

        I began reading at this website out of interest. I had been searching for the answer to a particular question, google it and somehow, landed at this website. I have read not all, but most posts. honestly at this point I can truly say that I have never felt like I walked straight into the pits of Hell. You are all a bunch of lost, greedy souls and you make me want to p*u*k*e. I am so done here!

        You only said one true statement, mckellar and that was “I like the cash flow from section 8”. You are a horribly greedy person with a severe character fault. God help any tenant that gets stuck with you for a landlady

    • I am surprised more landlords don’t do that considering you own a property and are going to allow someone you don’t personally know move into it. Not even just for section 8 tenants but for all people I would want to be able to unexpectedly stop by their current residence to see how a person lives. I receive section 8 and would allow a future landlord stop by any day of the week unannounced to see how I live prior to it. Don’t let a bad experience trash the name of all.

      • Amen! not all Section 8 tenants are bad tenants. I know that I have been on Section 8 twice and I am not a dirty or bad housekeeping tenant. When my children were 5 and 8 years old, my walls, screen doors, blinds etc were never damaged or written on. It’s people and you can tell if you pay attention if someone is a nasty tenant. If they don’t want you coming by the house, then I would not rent to them . Now here is the reverse. I rented from a landlord who I thought was a good landlord and he turned out to be involved in drugs. His son would sell drugs on the property and he surrounded me with drug users, dealers, and ex-cons fresh out of prison. When I informed housing, I was suddenly terminated from my voucher and we are in court right now. I am suing them, because for 5 years that I was on the program, I had no knowledge of the tenancy addendum. I just found out the my lease should have had a tenancy addendum. The landlord did not attach it to my lease and I filed a complaint with against the landlord in 2011 and could not figure out why the PHA did nothing to him. The PHA never told me about the tenancy addendum. Amazing huh?

      • I agree. Potential landlords should always make a visit to the home of a future tenant. Schedule a time to “review” the pending lease with the tenant, that review should be done in the current home. I usually offer-upfront-to send pictures of my home to potential landlords, and I always invite them to my home to visit. Unfortunately, a large majority of Section 8 recipients act reprehensible and therefore, people that rely on Section 8 are stereotyped. I have been separated from my husband for many years, together we had 4 children, I myself receive a voucher and have for several years. The Section 8 program is so very helpful to single mothers that find it difficult to work full time, care for an entire home alone, and parent appropriately at the same time. One little lady can only be stretched so thin. A mom that is out of the house for 40+ hours per week cannot fully care for her home & children as needed & must sometimes rely on these types of programs. But I too, like the other poster, have had terrible landlord experiences. I have lived in my current home for over 5 years, 3 of those years I’ve slept with a bucket in my bed because my ceiling leaks. Some really shifty stuff goes on in my local housing authority and I’m afraid to complain about my landlord because I may not find another house to move to, resulting in my voucher expiring. On the hud.gov website it says the FMR for the area I live in (for a 4bdrm home) is over $1200 a month. Subtract the estimated utility allowance from that and the cost is around $1000.-1050. The section 8 administrator of my local office says that the max amount my family can receive is $775. Seems to be nearly $300 missing somewhere, doesn’t it? I can’t help but wonder if it is reported to the government that I receive a larger voucher than I actually do, an amount more in line with the FMR. I’ve read chapter after chapter of the section 8 handbook on hud.gov, and the more I read, the more I realize how shifty things truly are at my local authority. So yes, a landlord may experience bad tenants, but likewise, a really decent tenant may experience a terrible landlord (3 years sleeping with a bucket) as well as questionable activities at the housing authority. I am an exception tenant with an extraordinarily clean, neat, and organized home, decent college-bound children, excellent credit, excellent rental history, and no criminal record, yet I’ve been looking for over 3 years for a home in my area that would accept a voucher for the amount that the authority authorizes and there is just no such thing as a 4 bdrm house for $775 in 2014. So much corruption in the government, even right here in these places that are supposed to offer hope to people that would otherwise be homeless.

        • Hi Melissa,

          I sure have to agree with you on many of your points. I, like you, am an exceptionally responsible, reliable, clean tenant who just happens to be in a position of being old (senior citizen) and having a 100% disabled child that requires 24/7/365 total care. I cannot work in an outside job. I live on ny small fixed income. I have only ever rented four places in my entire life and am in my seventies now. My landlords all love me and love the way that I pay my rent early and reliably every month and maintain their property. I have always taken care of my “rental” homes with the same pride as if I owned them. I have an excellent background, work hard to maintain my OVER 800 FICO score ( how many landlords can say that they have a FICO score so high? answer= not many). I am not a dog or barnyard animal and did not just fly in from another planet. I am a human being, same as you, my landlord. No different! How dare you insult me and my character and the character of those of us who recieve help paying our rent because of various reasons? How dare you!!!! I too have seen my share of rentals with rats, cockroaches, and mice. Landlords seem to think that it is what we want to live in. And how about Mckellar’s comment about her “higher end properties” saved for “regular tenants”. Is my Sect 8 money any less green? If landlords did not literally try to squeeze the blood ond baby formula out of every tenant, then we would not need section 8 ! You are a very GREEDY bunch. And in case you landlords do not know, greed is one of the seven deadly sins. Fortunately, I live in a non crime area and do not have to worry about that. But I have seen my share of filthy houses and I can say that it sure is not by any of my doing. When I moved into my current house I scrubbed this place daily for a month because it was so filthy when I received it. When I moved out of my last house, i painted the walls, had the stanley steemer carpet cleaners, and got on my hands and knees and washed and waxed every floor so clean that you could eat off it. I worked day and night to clean that house and even got out the toothbrush and razor blade for detail spots. I left it absolutely IMMACULATE! Not because of a deposit return but because I have pride as a renter and would want someone to act the same way towards me. I figured that if I made any dirt that it was my job to clean up my own dirt. I believe in leaving a place in a better than I found it. That is really all I can leave as my legacy for having been there an my “gift” of aporeciation, if you want to call it that. Really, this entire thread is full of people who think of section 8 tenents as animals. You landlords could not be farther from the truth. Like Mckellar who refers to non section 8 tenants as “regular tenants”. What, do I look like a “non-regular person”?!!! Please, Mckellar tell me… What gives me away, pray tell, is it my space suit, flying saucer in the driveway, or the three eyes in my forehead that makes me look like a “non-regular” tenant. The comments on this board are example enough of how landlords want to treat section 8 tenants. You treat section 8 tenants with great disdain while running as fast as you can to the bank with their money and telling nasty stories behind their backs. And the comments of your board full of nasty landlords reflects more toward your own character faults than to mine. You prejudiced landlords may flaunt your uppity better-than-thou attitudes to each other and call section 8 tenants trash and “non-regular” tenants but God sees what is inside of us all. It would behoove each one of you landlords to keep your souls as clean as you try to portray that your own lives and rental houses are. How many of you will walk directly into heaven at the moment of your death because you are that clean and perfect on the inside? Answer= not many.
          Do not judge me. Do not calll me an animal, trash, Low life, drug user, loser, etc. I am none of those. And I am no different than you are, landlords. Just different life circumstances. I make less money and I do not gouge other human beings from my greed until they bleed to death. I take pride in where I live. I dedicate my life to the 24/7/365 care of one of God’s most delicate and vulnerable creations. On judgement day, I will walk straight into Heaven and present back to God the gift which He has bestowed upon me, wrapped in His sacraments and cared for in the same manner that I would care for baby Jesus. What will you landlords show to God on judgement day? You may just want to reflect on that question for a while. Your reflection, and possible subsequent change of heart and your own character might guarantee that your future and permanent “home” in Heaven awaits you. (or does it?) And that is the ONLY “home” that I will ever truly call mine. The one that I look forward to more and more each waking day.
          A word to the wise for you nasty greedy landlords… Be on guard! try to find Jesus in everyone you meet. You just may miss Him when He really comes if you don’t stay on guard. Try to treat everyone as if they arevJesus. On judgement day, He just might say to you, i was cold and you gave me shelter.

          Please excuse spelling and typos. Am using mobile media

        • Paul Wesolowski

          Melissa, Where do you come up with the idea that $300.00 is missing somewhere? Section 8 doesn’t cover 100% of your rent. That $300 your talking about, it’s not missing, its in your pocket. That’s your share of the rent. Your housing authority pays $775, you pay $300. Look for a place in the $1,000.00 range, not $775.00 …Is $775 your payment standard, or your maximum subsidy? The payment standard should be your areas FMR and the max subsidy would be an amount less than this, based on your income.

    • I have an apartment building with 4 empty units and 2 more on the way(eviction due to non rent pay), i am in need of an expert in Detroit to get these units filled fast with Section 8 tenants only for the peace of mind of 70% of rent paid directly to me saves a lot of time with these non payers!

      Can anyone help me?

      • Don’t think Section 8 is gonna be your salvation.
        They are like trying to pet a rattlesnake. You can get really burned.
        If you are looking for money….you are looking in the wrong place.
        2 months ago, I rented to one of their wonder children. At inspection, in front of the inspector, I handed over the key. I was to be paid from that point on. For reasons known only to herself, this moron goes to Chicago, instead of moving in. She forgets to give her landlord notice. She was living in the projects so when she comes back, she calls Section 8, tells them and they debit me for one months rent!!!!! I CAN’T BABY SIT. The fact that this retard did this…I am punished. I am punished rent wise because this thing has no brain. I can’t babysit. They debit me the months vacation this nimrod goes to Chicago,

        The final blow was another one. One moved in in Nov. She said she had no money for gas. I paid $200.00 for gas for her because she had a sick child. Then she says it still isn’t warm enough for her child and I go get a $250.00 warm moist heat heater. I wasn’t getting but 450.00 for renting to this prodigy. Anyway, she stole my heater, busted out the windows, and must have subleased it because other renters saw someone else coming and going. Her phone was cut off and neighbors saw people coming and going. I called Section 8 and told them what was going on… they said they had no way to get I touch as they had the same numbers. Long story short, when we found out in May that she wasn’t living there, we reported her and took possession. They then said she had moved out in March, and sent me a memo that they were going to debit me over 1200.00 for March, April, May@@ I have those slimy SOBs. Monday, I’m talking to a lawyer and suing them! I’m also never EVER renting to another one. I shouldn’t be responsible for their morons and drug dealers.
        Because of her actions….I am penalized!@@ Don’t rent to them. You can’t trust Section 8 and you can’t be responsible for their renters. I DON’T BABY SIT!!!!

        The week before I canceled 3 and called them after this happened and said don’t bother sending inspectors for the inspections for next week. I am finished with them. They are crazy. I WILL NEVER….NEVER RENT TO THEM AGAIN AND I AM GOING TO CANCEL SOME OF THE OTHER CONTRACTS WITH THEM NEXT WEEK …I AM CLEANING HOUSE…THIS IS THE LAST STRAW.

        IT IS AMAZING THAT I HAVE THE HOMES…THEY WANT TO RENT..AND THEY TREAT ME LIKE THIS? I THINK THE PROGRAM IS A SHAM AND SHOULD BE ENDED.

        • Once I have made up my mind to give 30 days notice to the rest, I must say I feel good. I have maybe 3 that are ok out of my last 10, but I can’t take this kind of loses because Section 8 looks through their kalascope and changes the signed lease to suit them. They have pulled this time and time again. They turn on you as it suits their purpose and their budget. I wonder if they get a bonus for screwing the landlords? I don’t really care anymore.

      • Ken B

        I am a landlord in the Greater Houston area. From my experience, the major disadvantages of renting to section 8 are:

        1. Longer vacancy period for inspections, lack of urgency by housing authorities.
        2. Most tenants showing a lot of interest and then not being able to come up with the deposit.
        3. In most of my cases, people that approached me were single moms with 4-5 kids with minimal or no child support. It is needless to say in a good number of cases section 8 benefits go to people that have no control over their lives than sheer misfortune (like a disability, old age etc.; and even in old age it means that the person could not rack up enough saving, retirements and 401k/pension plans).

        You have got to realize that landlords do not care whether tenants are men, women, straight, gay, poor or rich. All they care about is profits and protecting their investments (As they should as it is a business). If experienced landlords are reluctant to accept section 8, there is a reason behind it. The reason is that they feel from experience that they are more likely to cause trouble and not honor the terms on their lease.

        Now there are certain neighborhoods where landlords can get higher rents if they took the section 8 route and they do take that route. In the short term it helps them to maximize cash flow, but in the long term a completely section 8 neighborhood massively devalues their asset.

        From what I have heard from Housing authorities, the section 8 program was designed to help people get on their feet. But, some people are leaching of the government for decades despite being perfectly able-bodied. It is clear that these people have severe attitude problems and are sheer lazy.

        If you are so concerned about how section 8 people are treated, why don’t you launch a campaign educating them about the merits of behaving responsibly including trying to start a new life so that they can be off the voucher in the near future?

  5. My favorite Section 8 experience as a property manager is having our contractors clean the tenant’s bathroom after the yearly inspection. The inspector cited it for mildew and “unclean conditions”. The problem was the tenants had never cleaned it in the year they had been there. They didn’t understand why we didn’t renew the lease next year – their rent was all paid!

    I’ve had some decent tenants on Section 8 too. You have to screen them just like anyone else.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Melissa,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      I can smell that bathroom from here!

      I agree you really need to screen Section 8 applicants well. Thanks. mck

  6. Uhg, the dilemma of the Section 8 renter. Sometimes its all we get in our rental units – so we have no choice. The inspections, the “entitlement” attitude, the permanent guests, the repairs…not a big fan except you know the check always clears! Section 8 renter headaches is one of the reasons I now almost exclusively flip houses instead of do buy and hold real estate investing now!

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Mike,
      Most of us have to start out with the cheaper houses so we often have to deal with the woes of lower end rentals. I’ve been upgrading my portfolio, but like my Section 8 cash flow.

      I flip houses too but I love the regular “passive” income from rentals. Try a medium priced rental when you get back into the long-term hold game. Thanks! mck

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Karen,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      I understand your point of view. Well said. Thanks. mck

  7. heh, as far as the renting goes, section 8 renters= market rate renters, its up to you to screen and do a 6 month inspection.

    As far as the bait and switch, as far as Keith said, if their income is different, they do actualize the cost based on their income. However, I did take a few notes from this article I did not realize.

    And, I am okay with section 8 renters, but not every person knows how to deal with section 8 people well. Some are better than others.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Lisa,
      I’ve been in the North Carolina mountains without much internet access so sorry for the late reply.

      If the Section 8 office accepts a rent of say $600 at the start of the lease, I just don’t consider it ethical to change the rate to say $575 or $550 after a tenant moves into my rental. This manipulation has happened to me a handful of times. As far as the allocation bait and switch, I can more readily understand why Section 8 makes the change.

      I agree screening and regular inspections are key. If you don’t live in the same town as your rental, make sure your property manager screens well and is experienced working with Section 8.

      Thanks for your comments. mck

  8. Kevin Gaither on

    Wow. $4k is huge! I had one last year that cost me $6k….and yes, there was poop involved. Unbelievable. I don’t know when that will pay back. Good talking to you McKellar and great article. Keep on blogging.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Kevin,
      Ouch on 6K! Another good reason to have a nice reserve fund when you have rentals.

      Oh the poop. I’m not sure how some people can live like that. I also see poop on a weekly basis when I look at foreclosed properties. I now wear tennis shoes or boots whenever I preview a house.

      Thanks for your comments, Kevin! Please keep me posted about your property management changes. mck

  9. There are a lot of good points observed, regarding the potential drawbacks of renting to tenants on Section 8. Being a new landlord, it’s good to get an idea of the pro’s and con’s. A close friend of mine has had a successful time working with Section 8. He has had the same family in this rental house for the last 5 years, and they have a good landlord/tenant relationship. However, I know that this is not always the case. The way he summed it up for me is that it’s not “only” about renting to tenants on Section 8, it’t about screening your tenants and finding a good one. True, screening is not absolute, but it can certainly help weed out some of the bad apples, so to speak.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Marybeth,

      You make a good point about screening your tenants. I’ve had more extremes with my Section 8 rentals then my other types of rentals. By extremes I mean I’ve had really really really messy and destructive and then extremely neat as well. I like the idea mentioned by some to stop by someone’s residence to check out their homes before renting to them. Thanks. mck

    • Marybeth,
      I have rented all my life. I also receive section 8. The fact of the matter is that a landlord never knows who she/he will get as a tenant. And once you sign a lease, it is legally binding on both ends. A good landlord is as important to a tenant as it is to thelandlird. It is a mutual relationship in which each must respect the other. Both need to know theproper way to treat each other with respect. That includes the tenant maintaining the property and the landlord staying out of the tenant’s business. You never really know about anything in life. We all wake up in the morning, walk outside and take our chances. The best way that you can judge is from your “gut”. We all have that tiny hair that goes up on our back whenever something is ” not quite right”. Instead of trying to anylize everyone and everything, just trust in the Holy Spirit and He will guide you and will let you know if something is not quite right. And THAT is how you tell. It is called having FAITH. you need to have that in your tenant if you are ever to be a good landlord. IMHO

      • A lease is legally binding from both ends. But many section 8 tenants have nothing to lose. On the other hand the landlord has hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of investment to lose. Since you are not a landlord and have no exposure to the risk, you will never understand. Before lecturing landlords on how to choose tenants, please consider whether you would actually compensate them from your pocket.

  10. Hello McKellar,

    I absolutely agree with your assessment of how Section 8 tenant seen to range to one extreme or the other in terms of cleanliness a caring for a rental. Checking out their residence is a good idea. I’ve also heard that some landlords will add an addendum to their rental agreement/ lease & will allow the landlord to conduct quarterly, or even monthly, inspections of the rental – to ensure that the property is being properly maintained and cared for.

    • @ marybeth:
      I am a tenant secondly. But I am first of all a person. And I grew up in a very high class and refined lifestyle. I can tell you that you are totally out of line by the standards of etiquette to make random, unanounced visits to anyone’s home. Who the heck do you think you are. I am an extremely firmal person because of my background. When I want to invite a person, I will send a formal invitation and expect an R.S.V.P. If. Someone wants to meet with me, they had better have an ppointment. And it better be within acceptable time guidelines of proper etiquette. I never answer my door to anyone who is uninvited or unannounced. You are way out if line and you show extremely liw class that you would even consider forcing yourself on anyone without having been formally invited. In proper circles, a person who has any type of breeding just does not do what you are stating. I find this thread so interesting and actually, rather amusing. I did not realize that God made sub humans to be on Section 8. I always thought that he made all people in His image and likeness.

  11. “I’ve been able to get destructive tenants to lose their vouchers, but I haven’t been able to get any monetary compensation.”

    Please, landlords, I beg of you to do your civil duty to continue to report and pursue damages from people who do this sort of thing. It will take some time and effort, yes, and may yield little or no financial avail.

    Although you may not see any monetary compensation for your follow ups in these cases, I hope you’ll help enforce the loss of Sec8 vouchers so we can get this hideous behavior out of our neighborhoods and keep them clean for responsible Sec8 recipients as well as those of us who pay full price and live next door to them.

    • I have turned them in, but they just keep giving them vouchers. Because Section 8,in my area anyway, does nothing but turn them loose to victimize another landlord, I very rarely look twice at their application. It is such a gamble and Section 8 makes me feel they are stacking the deck against the landlords.

      I’ve told them repeatedly of the thousands in damages and they look the other way. The tenants knock holes in the walls, break vanities into pieces, then throw half in the backyard and Section 8 has the BALLS to mark the damages as 0 for owner to fix!!!!

      My Mother had between 40-50 and I’ve had to throw most of them out. I can’t find a single property they have rented that she hasn’t taken a tremendous loss.

      I agree with trying to get them off, but Section 8 doesn’t care. What is really bad is I’ve had renters who really need Section 8 and can’t get on. They either work and make little, or are mentally slow. The list is full and Section 8 does nothing to get the ‘lifers’ off that can work but do nothing but lay up all day in front of their wide screen TV.

      If the American taxpayer saw the abuse of this program they would demand it be done away with. I’ve sent in rap sheets, some as many as 17 pages that I’ve gotten from the police department and Section 8 does nothing but issue them another voucher. It is disgusting.

      • Gail,

        In St. Petersburg, FL they people running section 8 do not care about any damage the tenant does. They blame everything on the landlord and do not site the tenants. I would be OK with taking the section 8 risk if the people that run section 8 would pull the vouchers from the bad tenants but they don’t put ANY responsibility on the tenants for some unknown reason. Does anyone know why the section 8 managers will not site the tenants? Does it look bad for the people who run the program if tenants loose vouchers? It is more work for them? I have to believe there is more to it then them being dumb or lazy. Any ideas why they are not willing to site the tenants when they do damage to property?

        Keith

        • Keith,
          I think something is up with the managers. I am wondering if they get a bonus on how much they “save” Section 8 on the backs of the landlords. I just wrote them a letter and said I wouldn’t accept anymore vouchers and canceling the ones I have. Reason? The damages are incredible, but the straw that broke the camels back was Section 8 themselves.
          In a months time, they ripped me off on 3 different occasions to the tune of several thousand dollars. All had to do with the irresponsible acts of the tenant or Section 8 themselves. In all 3 instances, the money came out of my hide.

          1. I had a tenant move without telling me. When I discovered it, I contacted S8 and told them I had taken possession because we found the lights turned off, windows broken, and it appeared she was letting others use it as a flop house. I told them when we found It, the last of May. They sent me a letter saying they were deducting March, April, and May as they found out the lights were cut off in March! They are debiting me over 1300.00 for the irresponsible actions of the renter. They said they were holding me responsible for not knowing she moved! I don’t baby sit.

          2. Another one was given the keys in March in front of their inspector. The lease was signed and I was due to receive rent from that point in March forward. She then decides to go to Chicago for a few weeks. Upon returning she realizes she hasn’t given her notice at her public housing and wants her deposit back. She contacts Section 8 to help her. Even with her with the keys, and as far as I knew, moved in, they come to be and tell me they aren’t paying me. They said they tore up the contract and that I’m welcome to sign a new one they were sending me! They did me out of 3 weeks rent!!!!!

          3. Last but not least, I had another one that wanted to move from one house to another. Section 8 has beat me out of rent on transfers more than once. The way they do it is they cancel the person’s voucher at the place they are staying, say May 31. If the 2nd voucher isn’t issued in time, or the 2nd place inspected on time, you now have a person living there at your expense. THEY KNOW THIS. I FEEL, THEY EVEN SET YOU UP ON THIS ONE. Anyway, I call there and remind them of the previous deals on transferring and tell them I’m not willing to do this unless it is seamless and I don’t loose rent. They tell me they will make it work. ho ho ho
          The girl’s voucher ends May 31. They still haven’t issued her new voucher. The 1st week they said it was gonna be delayed because they were busy, the 2nd week they say they can’t do it for another week because they are being audited (that audit didn’t drop from they sky, they knew they had it and they also knew they had a voucher to write or the landlord was gonna loose money.) The 3rd week they say she showed up 15 mins too late and she would have to come back the next week. All this time the renter is there for free as they will not pay for the time she is there without a voucher. See how them game works? So now I have told her to move, she has copped an attitude with me, she says won’t till she finds someone else who will take her voucher and that it might take her months! I’m sure Section 8 is sitting back laughing that I ever put stock in anything they said.

          Since I wrote them the letter that I won’t take anymore vouchers and that I’m getting rid of the ones I have, I feel so much better, I’m a peace. I cuss and drink less (something I never did before getting involved with them) I have also gotten a bleeding ulcer dealing with them. I must admit I would never have rented to them if this hadn’t been in place before I took over the properties. It is a game the landlord can’t win. You loose on the damages, you loose on Section 8 rules they make up as they go along.

    • Laysha,

      Where the hell do you slumlords even live with comments like ” get this hideous behavior out of our neighborhoods”?
      Oh, yeah, with a name like Laysha you must be a black slumlord.

      Why don’t you move to here to my neck of the woods in paradise and buy property in my neighborhood. Then you might see some ” regular people” who receive section 8 and do not commit crimes.
      If you slumlords want to buy properties in rat infested slums, then you take what you get! And accept it. Stop blaming everything on section 8. Grow up! This board is getting more annoying with each post that I read and have to bear through. If you don’t want to live in a Detroit ghetto, then move out of it and live like the people you are attempting to aspire to be. Stop putting down your neighbors who live in your same ghetto environment. You are no different and no better than they, regardless of who holds the mortgage or the voucher. God is the judge of people, not you. Just remember that Laysha.

  12. @ Kevin Yeats August 10, 2012 at 10:52 am

    “‘That is an offer to the section 8 tenant that if he/she/they leave the unit in the same condition as the move-in date that the landlord will “reward” them with $200 or gift certificates. I know this cuts the owner’s profits especially since it would have to be the same offer to every Section 8 tenant.”

    Nice. Yet another freebie for the Sec8’ers that the rest of us full-rental-tenants never get to see.

  13. I have 2 sec 8 rentals. As soon as these tenants move out, I will be off the program. Worst decision I have made in rentals. I have good luck with tenants (somewhat), but sec8 offices are terrible. They have cost me thousands. Frankly, I will be happy to see the program go away entirely.

    Jason

  14. Crooked HUD area Housing Administrators and Local HUD officials who don’t do their jobs are what gives Section 8 its bad name. There are only a hand full of bad tenants but the majority of Section 8 tenants do what the law requires of them.

    “100+ PEOPLE JOIN A GROUP ON FACEBOOK EXCHANGING HORROR STORIES AND EVIDENCE OF U.S. HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AKA HUD AND THIS AGENCY’S ABUSE OF POWER, SUBSTANDARD AND EVEN DANGEROUS HOUSING THEY ALLOW PEOPLE TO LIVE IN. HUD’S NEGLECT OF REPAIRS OF THAT HOUSING, BREACH OF DUTY BY HUD, AND HUD REGIONAL OFFICES IN ATLANTA AND OTHER AREA’S COVERING UP COMPLAINTS OF FAIR HOUSING AND HQS LAWS BEING BROKEN BY AREA HOUSING ADMINISTRATORS WHICH HUD FUNDS YEARLY IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RENTAL HOUSING. THE SAME HOUSING THAT PEOPLE RENT OR HAVE RENTED THRU HUD REGULATED AREA HOUSING ADMINISTRATORS IN MULTIPLE STATES, AND PUBLIC HOUSING OFFICES THRU OUT THE U.S.”
    FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE: THE PEOPLE VS HUD CORRUPTION ON
    CNN IREPORT http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-872808

  15. I was doing some online research and found this great forum. I work in property management-overseeing some 200+ res/commercial properties in 2 states. I am the property manager at our largest complex and today I got a call inquiring if I take Section 8. Without thinking I said no I’m sorry and wished the caller good luck. Then I went online only to find out my response was illegal. I made a call back to this person to offer a few places I had heard of-in hopes she wasn’t going to cause any trouble. Can anyone advise me on the best or top 3 responses that say no without actually saying no? If I lie and say the complex didn’t meet the inspection in a previous situation can the voucher holder learn if this is fact or fiction? Or is it best to go ahead and process an application with the hopes that I will end up with a poor credit report? I admire anyone taking the initiative of making a visit to the persons current residence, as well as running a criminal check, however, my company doesn’t do any kind of BCI checks and I can’t see myself tracking down these people on my own time. Would appreciate any advice.

  16. Bait and switch…oh yes. I’m beginning to think they are as shady as the ones they give the vouchers to. That has been pulled on us several times at renewal. I’ve been getting rid of the section 8 tenants. They are filthy excuses for human beings and I don’t understand why we taxpayers are supporting such with our tax dollars. Most on the program are lifers. The real neady that need a temporary leg up can’t get on for them. They just keep having kids and swilling up the tax dollars. I wish the program would be done away with.

  17. I find your posting very discriminating. Not everyone who has section 8 are bad tenants. You should watch how you put section 8 recipients all in the same group… There are also SLUM LORDS who take advantage of these same section 8 recipients. A person doesn’t have to be a section 8 applicant to be a HORRIBLE TENANT!!! Stop discriminating!!! It’s Illegal!!& could cost you more money than a bad section 8 renter… Have a nice Day

    • I can respect your opinion. In retrospect I do not feel that particular forum was the appropriate place for me to have made those comments or that that specific inquiry. I have learned there are tenants with perfect credit earning 6 figure salaries who are horrible, and there are tenants burdened with debt who are exceptional human beings. Of course there is the grey area of consisting of everything in between. Each situation is different, but I do believe accepting vouchers at a non-section 8 property can be an unwise move for a variety of reasons that for time reasons I cannot elaborate on within this message. However, far more important is following rules as set forth by legal policy. Please bear in mind that a comment posted as part of research and learning is not the same as how one conducts him/herself in an actual real life professional scenario. Thank you for sharing your comment. Ken

      Also to add. You instructed me to stop my illegal behavior. You have no knowledge of any professional conduct on my part. Slander/defamation of character, e.g. false statements to a third party is conduct that places you at legal risk pursuant to state law.

      • Nothing is going to change with landlord rejection until Section 8 cleans itself up; The blame lies squarely on their shoulders. They have given vouchers to trash and they know it. I’ve read a lot about how the gov feels if they move the intercity getto out into the subs, they will dilute the violence. What they have done is run an experiment on taxpayers and ruin neighborhoods at the same time. Another thing they have done is give their own program, Section 8, such a bad name that landlords are terrified. It is very sad for the ones that need a chance and are nothing more than working poor. The problem is that Section 8 has turned so many criminals loose on landlords they are afraid to take another chance.

        The gov looses nothing in this experiment, but the landlords loose big time. I think if Section 8 voucher holders are unhappy with how landlords are afraid of them, they need to put the blame where it belongs. With Section 8, the people who have lumped the working poor in with felons and trash. Also they need to look at the felons as well.

  18. I am a client of section 8 and I often times I feel like I get the short end of the stick too. When landlords refuse to make a necessary repair in a timely manner, I am left, like right now caught in a lurch trying to figure out if it’s still my responsibility to continue paying my portion of the rent which I am, but I am like, how can I save money to move. I have two mental disable children, one is a young adult and a teenager. My intentions for this year was to move before my 2 years lease is up I lived here for over 10yrs now and I am sorry I stayed this long. My mother was staying here with me,( legally) and helping to pay half. But in January of this year she had to be rushed to the hospital because of breathing complications and in February she had heart surgery and in March she was placed in a rehabilitation center, where she is as of today. So I am left to pay rent and utilities by myself. And when I read stuff like that, I feel that there is no hope of finding another place because landlords are getting sick and tired of renting dealing with section 8 and their clients. Like I said I lived here for over 10 years and I have done my best with the up keeping of this property. But I want to move back to the area where I grew up at.

  19. iam on section eight buyen my house i worked 4 years to get my credit straight o i could meet the requrements i am raiesing my grandon had him sience the day he was born i live in a respectable subdivishion i keep my home up just like all my neighbors do and i have heart trouble and i still cut my grass keep my yard nice and has ade everal improvememet on my home iam on a budget i have no help with my granson so not all people on section eight are slumbs

  20. Ursula Betchuras on

    I just found out that my state passed mandatory non-discrimination for Section 8. I have had four Section 8 tenants over the years and I’ll agree, they were the worst. Your experience sounded like you walked into one of my rentals! I agree that they haveentitlement attitude and just don’t give a rip about the property. Screen, screen, screen and I don’t suppose I’ll be willing to make the little nit-picky repairs to get a property approved.

  21. I have worked for a Housing Authority for 35 years. We not only administer the Section 8 program we manage over 1200 units for low income families in our area. Section 8 rents are required to be comparable to other rents in a particular area, considering a unit’s amenities, etc. If the rent was changed after the initial rent was accepted that is highly unusual, although recently with sequestration many Housing agencies were in a pinch and may have reduced their HAP. That was not the case in our county. We screen tenants very carefully prior to move in and our maintenance and management team complete housekeeping inspections as needed. Occasionally there are problem tenants, but overall the program is a good program. It seems that landlords sometimes forget they are still the landlord.

    • Gail, you are a very angry woman & I am very sorry for you. You really should go through and read some of the comments you’ve made to refer to section 8 recipients. Your comments are abhorrent. I’m just assuming to have so much obvious hate for these people you must live in a very populated area like NYC, or Chicago? I can’t imagine that so many “filthy excuses for human beings” could reside in a small town. I have had section 8 for many years & I am so clean & neat that I wouldn’t set down in your house without dusting the cushion of your couch first (especially if you had indoor animals, eww). My house is tip-top: laundry never piles up, vacuum every day, mop once a week, dust weekly, clean the bathroom from top to bottom every Saturday, wipe off the stove, counters, fridge handles, and cabinet handles after every meal, wash all my dishes 2 – 3 times per day, mow the grass & weed the flower beds once a week, trim the shrubs, empty the gutters, the list goes on & on. I am not any of the things that you describe, yet my landlord has allowed the roof of my home to leak onto my bed for over 3 years now. How’s that for the “entitlement” mentality that you landlords/property managers here on this page are all speaking of? I clean my house every day, clean it till it shines & guess what? It’s still a pile of horse manure that the landlord won’t fix. But do I trash it? No. I sleep with a bucket so that it won’t rot the floor. The windows are all rotted & rain is seeping into the siding so, “I” sealed them & painted them. I have put so much money in this house it’s crazy, just trying to keep it from falling into further disrepair. Your very angry, Gail, but why be angry at so many people that don’t fit your mold just because we accept Section 8 so that our children (that were born in an actual marriage & many years before applying for Section 8) have a roof over their head. Please, pause and realize you’ve had bad experience, for that I am sorry, but not all Section 8 recipients are “filthy excuses for human beings” that are probably “lifers” that “just keep having kids and swilling up the tax dollars.” Guess what? Some of us are good people, like me, good people that just wanna raise their children in a decent home in a safe neighborhood. I’ll pray for you Gail, I prayed for my landlord… I hope she’s well, and I’ll pray for you as well darlin’. Enjoy your day.

        • @ gonesi
          Very interesting article full of statistics, as well as opinion, not to mention a touch of racism toward the black community. I am not a black woman if that is what your assuming. I can’t say that I totally disagree with the opinions stated in the link, however, what I am arguing is that people actually needing a voucher aren’t always human garbage. The problem I’m seeing here, on this page, is that most section 8 recipients are being labeled as trashy & that’s just not factual. Are there a vast number of entitled system vampires, absolutely! I would agree that in large cities & the suburbs of them, the majority of recipients are people lacking moral discipline & family structure. All I’m saying here is please don’t label all recipients. I am not any of the things that have been described here on this page. I’m not tooting my own horn, but I know that I am a good tenant, as I was a good tenant in rental homes before I ever needed a voucher. My landlord actually likes me, a lot, and I like her a lot as well.
          The old adage “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” is mostly false. You actually can judge a book by it’s cover, especially when it comes to potential tenants. If your meeting with an applicant to give them an application for your property & they pull up in a shiny foreign car with the stereo bassing profane music & tinted windows & they step out wearing either their p.j.’s (or close to it), or clothes that are more suitable to the “club scene” rather than errand running, you probably have encountered a tenant that is bleeding the system. A tenant that you should AVOID. How can they afford that car & that stereo if they are poor? If McDonalds food wrappers fall out of the car when they get out, you should probably place the rental application in file 13. How can they afford fast food if they are poor? You wanna weed out trashy tenants? Find out if they have cable. What person that pays $130 – $200 a month for television, needs a voucher? I have never had cable in my life, know why? Because I’m poor. If I need a voucher I surely can’t afford cable. I also surely can’t afford an expensive Iphone & a phone bill of a hundred + a month. I also can’t afford beer, or cigarettes, or drugs. Know what I can afford? My light bill, my gas bill, my water bill, tithe at church, my children’s clothing… okay, I can barely afford these things but this is what I spend my money on. My point here is, not all section 8 recipients are trash. Are most? I concede, possibly. Landlord that refuse to consider section 8 tenants are truly slamming the door in the face of some tenants that may actually, truly need a helping hand. So what should landlords do? Screen, screen, screen! Do a credit check, do a background check, require at least 2 prior/or 5 years of rental references (make exceptions for single parents that were previously residing in their own home, therefore having no rental history), look at how the tenant dresses, speaks, & presents themselves. Lastly, if you feel comfortable with the person, make arrangements to meet at their current residence to discuss the lease & your expectations as a landlord. Don’t allow much notice so you’ll actually see their home as it normally is. Once your in the door comment on something across the room (near a door) & take a peek into the next room. After you’re their for a little while ask to use the “facilities”. If the bathroom is dirty you know you don’t want this tenant. No decent person keeps a dirty bathroom. If the room where you go to get clean, is dirty, the person is dirty & will not care for your home.
          I hope property owners will at least consider section 8 recipients. We are not all bad, some of us really just couldn’t make it on our own, not because we are “welfare queens”, but because life didn’t go as planned & we just need a helping hand for a little while.

  22. This email I received today. If you rent to S8, they think it is normal to send a letter like this out…if you have rented to s8 and the place passed…they aren’t gonna pay you now..and ps…know you will understand. Their reasoning is just plain nuts…Thank God I’m out of their monkey show.

    Dear Section 8 Landlord/Owner:

    This letter is to inform you that effective July 8, 2014, our Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program is currently leased to capacity, therefore the following changes in policies and procedures will apply:

    1. All new vouchers which we have issued are being rescinded or recalled, and we will not accept any Lease Approval documents. Also, we are not issuing any new vouchers to our applicants. If you have been given a voucher packet by one of our applicants, please know that we cannot honor the voucher at this time. Please return it to the applicant.

    2. Once we have sufficient funding to honor vouchers, we will give the applicant an extension(s) so that they will not lose the original time on the voucher.

    3. We cannot honor any new leases at this time. If your unit has been inspected and PASSED, then we cannot execute a HAP Contract. We will retain all information until such time as we are able to execute a HAP Contract. When we do have funding, your HAP Contract will be effective from the date the unit passed inspection, and you will be paid accordingly.

    4. If you have been given a voucher and the unit has NOT been inspected, we will NOT inspect any new units at this time. If your unit PASSED inspection, once we have sufficient funding, you will be paid from the date the unit passed the inspection.

    5. We cannot allow any active tenant to transfer, if the move will increase the Rent to the landlord. If the Rent to the landlord will remain the same, the transfer will be allowed.

    6. We cannot approve rent increases to any landlords at this time.

    7. Per HUD regulations, we must change the Utility Allowance to fit the size unit that our families qualify for, instead of the size of the unit they live in. This change to the Utility Allowance will be processed at the Annual Re-Examination of our active tenants, starting September 1, 2014.

    8. Effective August 1, 2014 we will start processing HQS Inspections on a Biennial basis. If your unit PASSED the first time we inspected it within the last 12 months, we WILL NOT inspect it this year, but will inspect it next year. If your unit FAILED the first time we inspected it within the last 12 months, we WILL inspect it this year. This procedure will apply to all of our Section 8 units each year. You will be notified of the inspection date and time, if it applies, in a letter from this office.

    We are doing our best to assist as many families as we can. However, as a Federally-funded program, we are dependent on HUD for a set funding amount for our families. Please note that we are reviewing our Families Leased as well as HUD funding and will let you know when or if this situation changes.

    We do appreciate your cooperation and partnership in our effort to house families in our communities. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
    Dear Section 8 Landlord/Owner:

    This letter is to inform you that effective July 8, 2014, our Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program is currently leased to capacity, therefore the following changes in policies and procedures will apply:

    1. All new vouchers which we have issued are being rescinded or recalled, and we will not accept any Lease Approval documents. Also, we are not issuing any new vouchers to our applicants. If you have been given a voucher packet by one of our applicants, please know that we cannot honor the voucher at this time. Please return it to the applicant.

    2. Once we have sufficient funding to honor vouchers, we will give the applicant an extension(s) so that they will not lose the original time on the voucher.

    3. We cannot honor any new leases at this time. If your unit has been inspected and PASSED, then we cannot execute a HAP Contract. We will retain all information until such time as we are able to execute a HAP Contract. When we do have funding, your HAP Contract will be effective from the date the unit passed inspection, and you will be paid accordingly.

    4. If you have been given a voucher and the unit has NOT been inspected, we will NOT inspect any new units at this time. If your unit PASSED inspection, once we have sufficient funding, you will be paid from the date the unit passed the inspection.

    5. We cannot allow any active tenant to transfer, if the move will increase the Rent to the landlord. If the Rent to the landlord will remain the same, the transfer will be allowed.

    6. We cannot approve rent increases to any landlords at this time.

    7. Per HUD regulations, we must change the Utility Allowance to fit the size unit that our families qualify for, instead of the size of the unit they live in. This change to the Utility Allowance will be processed at the Annual Re-Examination of our active tenants, starting September 1, 2014.

    8. Effective August 1, 2014 we will start processing HQS Inspections on a Biennial basis. If your unit PASSED the first time we inspected it within the last 12 months, we WILL NOT inspect it this year, but will inspect it next year. If your unit FAILED the first time we inspected it within the last 12 months, we WILL inspect it this year. This procedure will apply to all of our Section 8 units each year. You will be notified of the inspection date and time, if it applies, in a letter from this office.

    We are doing our best to assist as many families as we can. However, as a Federally-funded program, we are dependent on HUD for a set funding amount for our families. Please note that we are reviewing our Families Leased as well as HUD funding and will let you know when or if this situation changes.

    We do appreciate your cooperation and partnership in our effort to house families in our communities. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
    This letter is to inform you that effective July 8, 2014, our Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Program is currently leased to capacity, therefore the following changes in policies and procedures will apply:

    1. All new vouchers which we have issued are being rescinded or recalled, and we will not accept any Lease Approval documents. Also, we are not issuing any new vouchers to our applicants. If you have been given a voucher packet by one of our applicants, please know that we cannot honor the voucher at this time. Please return it to the applicant.

    2. Once we have sufficient funding to honor vouchers, we will give the applicant an extension(s) so that they will not lose the original time on the voucher.

    3. We cannot honor any new leases at this time. If your unit has been inspected and PASSED, then we cannot execute a HAP Contract. We will retain all information until such time as we are able to execute a HAP Contract. When we do have funding, your HAP Contract will be effective from the date the unit passed inspection, and you will be paid accordingly.

    4. If you have been given a voucher and the unit has NOT been inspected, we will NOT inspect any new units at this time. If your unit PASSED inspection, once we have sufficient funding, you will be paid from the date the unit passed the inspection.

    Do they really think any landlord is gonna wait around for payment?

  23. I live in a two family house, in NYC. The family on the second floor are causing all sorts of problems. They moved in like a year and a half ago. Since then they have trashed the apartment inside and outside. The lawn use to be very beautiful now it is disgusting to look at. Our house is the only house on the block that these tenants are parking their vehicles on the grass. At the side of the house we have garbage bins to put our garbage in, they have that area filthy. Their garbage overflows all the time, they are constantly trowing their garbage in our bins, when we put our garbage out by the side of the road they move it causing it to be mixed up so when the garbage truck comes to pick up they leave the garbage because it is all together. We was told that when the woman moved into the house it was suppose to be her and her 3 kids, but now it’s like 10 people living in the apartment. Noise every day, smoking weed in the front of the house, tampering with our mails . They are suppose to move but they keep putting it off every few months. Can we report them for section 8 fraud or what cause of actions can we take to secure our rights. Also the landlord for the apartments don’t do much when we complain, it seems she is more on their side.

    • The landlord that doesn’t kick them out is stupid. They’re only taking down their own property values. When you move, the people that move in next to them will be no better as any future renter will see the mess they are about to move next to. I think with all the discussion on this board, it is easy to identify the problems. The biggest is that the program is broken. Section 8 does not screen who they give the vouchers to. They SHOULD go to the working poor, the elderly, etc. Instead, it is obvious, some are going to crack heads and some of the lowest of low who don’t deserve a free ride on the working classes back. Once they get on the program, there is no time limit. I’ve come in contact with people who have been on there over 10 years and are nothing but dopers. To get these vouchers, they must be drug tested. When the landlord starts seeing extra cars and extra people, throw them out. That is just added wear and tear on your property. I have quit renting to Section 8. Section 8 management is not credible and I have had several instances where they changed the rules to their own advantages. They represent the tenant and could care less if they destroy your property. All this being said, the only way a landlord can win, is be VERY aggressive with both Section 8 management and tenants. Stack the deck in your own favor (both certainly do on you!) MAKE them give you the whole deposit up front! If they don’t have it, don’t rent to them. Put rules in your lease that you can throw them out for any violation, like littering. Stick with it and throw them out if they screw up and KEEP THE DEPOSIT. Word gets around.

  24. I have 2 sec 8 rentals. As soon as these tenants move out, I will be off the program. Worst decision I have made in rentals. I have good luck with tenants (somewhat), but sec8 offices are terrible.

  25. The house across the street was purchase by someone and now it is a section 8 rental. It has brought down our neighborhood. The tenants constantly trash the yard and the trash blows across the street into our yard. The grass is rarely cut and you never know who is going to be staying there. Is there anything that can be done? The landlord has been contacted on several occasions and doesn’t seem to care as long as he is getting his money from the government. There has to be something we can do to improve the situation in our neighborhood.

  26. My recent expierence with section 8 and tenant, tenants 15 year old son brought a baby bottle full of mercury into the house and contaminated the inside of house, was spilled on carpets, and several areas through out the house. Long story short place was under quarantine while the state contractors who were decontaminating the house at a total charge of $56,000 to remove all the furnishings and fixtures in the dwelling that were contaminated. So now I’m stuck with cost of repairing or replacing all the damage that was caused with the hazmat crew. Also the bill by the state for cost recovery for the 56,000 dollars. I was told even if I did not cause the Mercury contamination that Im responsible for the clean up,being that I own the property. If I don’t pay,court procedures are probably next for a lean on my property. I stated to state and local agencies involved that how was I responsible if we had not caused the mess and the 15year old confessed to bringing from a friends house and playing with it. I was told it was my property and ultimately it is now my mess. Insurance denied the claim based on the perils of not using the specific verbiage ” Mercury” under items covered,anyways that is an ongoing battle. But also called section 8 and informed of the situation, advised section 8 that we would move forward with a 3day notice to quit, based on the incident and the fact while the house was under quarantine and no one allowed to go into the house the tenant drove up at 1am and removed several truck loads of her belonging,I assume worried that she would lose her personal belongings. wittneses informed the city firefighter hazmat in charge of over seeing the clean up. That the tenant was seen removing items and filling her truck up with her belongings.Tenant was tract down at the hotel she was staying at and found traces of Mercury through out the hotel,when questioned about the items that were removed from her home and have not been checked for Mercury levels she denied all connections with the removal of the personal items. Several agancey were involved,and items were never recovered.law enforcement could not do anything because it was what they call a victimless violation. A total of three other places were contaminated due to the negligence of the tenant. In the process of evicting which is another hell in itself here in California. My biggest gripe on all this, is we’ve pretty much been told by section 8, to seek legal advise which we already have, and they could not assist any longer with the matter. And I understant that they did not cause the issue, but are local section 8 program has been awarded in funding in the amount of 300million dollars for the county. They do not have or require tenants to have renters insurance. The last conversation I had with section 8 was when tenant was at their office trying to get a voucher transfer and asking me if we would release from the contract. I was shocked and asked who is going to pay for all the cost. Their response was the tenant and I would have to take that up in court. Was told if we when the eviction she can lose her voucher for 2 to 5 years. In contrast my wife and I stand to lose our investment, we stated that we felt that was little accountability for the tenant and were told to write our state congressman and state our issues with the amount of accountability. I’m really in disbelief in how all the government, tax driven agencies how they operate, I’m certain attorney fees are alone going to put us in a financial crisis. From the hud programs ,to all the state environmental agancey ,to our local city firefighters and county health dept we feel very strongly that we the common landlord,tax payer, has not truly been protected. I’ve been told by all the agencies that I can go after the tenant for the cost recovery,but what can I get from a person who has nothing and received aid in many different way.

  27. It is a travesty what happened to you. Whole program is disgusting. I was left a bunch of rental property that was rented to S8. What goes on in a nutshell, is a large number of them are 2nd and 3rd generation welfare. They have no intention of every doing anything but living off the backs of the taxpayer. The program needs to be cleaned up, or done away with. A lot of them are batt shytte crazy. You have heard the expression, \’don\’t feed the bears\’, well it so applies here! There are people out there that need it, but they have to get in line behind the crack heads etc and as a result never get it.
    Section 8 is a bunch of BS artist and palm them off as having a background check. Yeah right, if they have a felon that is over 1 yr old, they pass their background check.
    From my experience with them, they VERY likely knew what they palmed off on you. That woman\’s kid didn\’t just all of a sudden turn into a nut case. This is how they live and Section 8 knows it. More than likely, they have pulled something just like this on someone else. Section 8 …SHOULD…be held accountable for the human waste they pass as normal but they aren\’t.
    I have a couple of properties in areas I can\’t rent to anyone else. Those are the ONLY ONES I will rent to them because I\’ve seen the distruction and cried too many tears when stuck with the bills. I\’ve been out thousands renting to those baboons. I feel for you. You should go to the newspaper and expose them. It won\’t get you any money back, but payback is a bitch and you sooooo deserve it. If you go to the local paper, it would make a good story and I would be on their doorstep. This kind of thing needs to be exposed because in some areas, they are making landlords take these people. Do a good dead, call the paper.

  28. I had a drug smoking tenant that I tried to get out prior to the lease termination. The court would not evict and told me it would likely be 3-6 months after the lease expires before I could get him out. Section 8 STINKS. Avoid these tenants like the plague!!!

  29. I had a drug smoking tenant that I tried to get out prior to the lease termination. The court would not evict and told me it would likely be 3-6 months after the lease expires before I could get him out. Section 8 STINKS. Avoid these tenants like the plague!!!

    • I say I won’t rent to another, but I did. This one ruined my house. The yard was full of beer bottles and it looks like they have been building fires in the backyard. There was a mattress thrown in the back yard and one in the carport. We went inside and it stunk to high heaven. The frig was full of rotting food. Windows knocked out and holes in the walls. Ceiling lights broke out and nasty. These people for the most part live like hogs.
      The reason she got my attention was a neighbor came to my office to complain. It seems that last Thursday, a gang met the renters son in the pretty little park. They shot it up and the fight continued at my house. The Mother and the neighbor’s husband went out to break it up. One of the gang, when leaving, shot over his shoulder at the neighbor’s husband. Sat night, they came back and pulled the front door knob off and knocked out the windows of the little thug my tentant calls a son, windows. Then the shot into the house about 5 times. They then shot into the neighbors house, missing their grand baby by inches.
      For the life of me, I don’t see why Section 8 gives these welfare vouchers to this kind of people. Sure there are..some.. good ones, but why do they give this welfare to the dregs of humanity? Why are we the taxpayers going along with our hard worked for dollars going to pay for the support of these people. They need to die out. Instead, they don’t work, have low IQs or wouldn’t be in this position, and they spawn 5-6 kids that will grow up no different. Why?

  30. I’ve seen so much I could write a book. In my personal opinion, Section 8 is nothing but a money pit. Landlords have to spend more money making sure everything is in tip-top shape to pass an inspection, and most of the time it’s superficial things. They are now requiring toilet bolt caps to be on every toilet. Yes, toilet bolt caps. You don’t have those, you fail.

    Another time inspectors have literally failed us for a stove that had so much grease on it from the tenant cooking, it was labeled a fire hazard. On the report, the inspector marked Landlord/Owner at fault. So, we now are the tenants’ cleaning company as well. At another house, we’ve also been told that the grass in the yard was too high (tenant did not own a lawnmower and could not afford to hire someone to mow for months). It specifically states in their lease that the tenant is responsible for lawn care. Guess who got stuck at fault for that by the annual inspector? Yep, you guessed it, the landlord/owner. Never mind the lease they signed! So we had to mow their yard and get it done before the re-inspection otherwise we go without rent since Housing paid 100%.

    We’re constantly replacing missing smoke detectors because the tenants couldn’t stand the beeping noise and never replaced the batteries, so they take a broom and knock it off the wall. I’ve had section 8 tenant’s who stopped paying their water bill for months and move out and leave biohazard *surprises* for us in the bathrooms….I seriously could go on and on…

    However, I do have a few good section 8 tenants who keep their place clean, pay their portion on time, not chronic movers, aren’t breaking things, and we have ZERO problems with. And likewise, I have some regular renters who are just as much pigs, if not worse.

    Btw, in my jurisdiction in Florida, if a tenant moves out destroying a place, you can put a judgment into the court system for monetary loss/damages. If a Section 8 tenant does not pay it off by the time their next lease ends, they can lose their voucher permanently. We personally have not done that, but we’ve been told by their caseworkers to do so. It’s something that might be worth looking into. It does cost a little extra time and $$ though.

    Good luck!

  31. Ronnie Dee

    Need to require tenants have a better education if you want a better tenant. High school, or some college. Not investors, property owners, and not all understand rules…

    Article is judgmental since Hap section 8 is investment property rentals are strict. Tenants are inspected monthly, rules say yes you pay rent, but have no rights. Cannot put in air conditione when needed, grill in the summer, and enjoy sitting outside on lawn chairs since inspectors require all removed when investors visit.

    Tenants are well reminded it is not your home, property, or place. You live there as temporary holding for a roof over heads. Break rules evicted asap. Move in knowing it is not your owned home. It is a roof over one’s head only. Some tenants accept that, others feel stressed, imprisoned, and bullied. Unfortunately, investments properties need this at all cost rules to keep their investment.

    Be alert when renting this type of apartment. Rights are limited to none. Move if you do not like it is the choice…

  32. I have found the answer to a lot of this! It wasn’t easy. I’m a landlord who keeps her places up. I’ve given several S8 a chance, only to have my property ruined. After the costly destruction most landlords give up and won’t take another chance and I don’t blame them. I recently had one that said all the right things and I took the chance…again… because I’m a good person and believe there are some hardworking poor out there that need a chance. This woman was one of the worst. After 2 months, the neighbor called me and said he couldn’t stand it anymore. He is a policeman and state the police (not called by him) had been over there at least 4 times and she was ruining the neighborhood. She had called and reported a leak the day before, we went over the next morning to find her just getting out of jail. A women with 6 kids, all with different last names, and she is getting out of jail at 8am. No job. My handy man and I walked into a ruined house. The damages were in the thousands. What I did next was a game changer and all landlords should listen. I went to the office, wrote and eviction letter to her and then went straight down to the courthouse and filed charges against her for damages!!!! I wrote Section 8 a letter and sent them a copy of the court date. When there is a case brought by the landlord for back rent or damages, by law, THEY CAN’T GIVE THEM ANOTHER VOUCHER UNTIL IT IS RESOLVED. I took pictures to court and won. That means she will not get another voucher….ever…or she will pay the damages! This is important because it gets the ones 2nd generation, baby daddy momas, and people who won’t work , but stay home and bust up your property, off the program. It also puts the rest on notice that the landlords wont take it anymore. There were several other landlords there and thought it was great and are possibly going to do this in the future. This weeds the bad apples out and leaves an opening for the ones that are truly good people that work but can’t pay their bill and are grateful for a helping hand with our tax dollars. I feel like giving myself a metal for beating them at their own game! Yahoo!

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