Just like everything else in life, dealing with Section 8 tenants has its positives and negatives.
In fact, my first tenant was a nightmare whom happened to be on Section 8.
Check Comes Every Month
This is the obvious one. It’s the main reason why people look for Section 8 tenants.
It’s a good feeling not having to haggle with the tenant for the rent money.
Section 8 deposits that check into your bank account month after month.
Letting it be known that you accept Section 8 tenants will definitely increase the amount of calls you get about your property.
Especially if it’s nice.
Some Say they Stay Longer
Some of my buddies that are landlords say that Section 8 tenants tend to stick around longer than non-Section 8 tenants.
I haven’t had that many of them, so I can’t vouch for that. But I see how it could be true, though.
He said that since Section 8 tenants are (supposed to be) low income, and not all landlords accept Section 8, they’re motivated to stay longer.
Possibly Easier to Raise Rental Rates
I had a Section 8 tenant that was in one of my properties for about four years.
Over that time, the market rates increased, so I wanted to raise my tenant’s rent accordingly.
All I had to do was give her Section 8 administrator (or whatever you call them) a 60 day notice, along with proof of the market rents for comparable properties, and they granted the increase request.
I say it’s easier than traditional tenants, because the tenant usually doesn’t care if the rent is raised. All they care about is their rent being covered each month.
There’s way more paperwork involved when you’re bringing on a Section 8 tenant than a regular tenant.
I wouldn’t let the paperwork be my reason for not accepting Section 8 tenants, though.
It’s not “that” big of an inconvenience. At least to me it wasn’t.
Now this con can be a pain.
Before they place the tenant in your property, your home has to be inspected.
If they find something wrong, you have to get what they say needs to be fixed done before the tenant can move in.
What I didn’t like, was that I had to wait for the inspector to come back out again once I addressed the issues.
And you never know how soon they’re going to be able to come back out. It can take a week or more.
Get it Right the First Time
Because you never know how fast the inspector will get back out to you, you may want to be proactive and get it right the first inspection.
If you go to this page (http://www.haphousing.org/default/index.cfm/landlords/rental-assistance/faqs/#how_to_get_ready) on the Haphousing.org website, they’ll give you a list of the most common things landlords get failing grades on.
The sooner you can pass that inspection, the sooner you can start getting paid.
It’s Tougher to Evict Them
Maybe “tough” isn’t the right word. But it’s definitely more steps to evicting a Section 8 tenant than a regular one..
Plus, the tenants get free access to legal advice, so prepare for a battle if they choose to use those services.
Section 8 Tenants Can Make You Take More Crap than Usual
Getting that definite check every month on time can make you take stuff from tenants that you might not normally take.
I remember when my first Section 8 tenant was causing me problems…
One part of my mind was like, “She’s gotta get out of my house!” The other part of me was saying, “Well, I don’t want those guaranteed checks to stop coming in; maybe she’ll get her act together “next” month.”
Your Rental Income Isn’t the Best
As I think back on my experiences with Section 8 tenants, I never got the full market rental rate from them.
Their vouchers were always a little less.
I didn’t mind much about that, though. In my mind, getting consistent and reliable rent money every month was worth me taking a little hit.
I’m sure you’ve had enough of me running my mouth, so I’ll finish this up with part two, coming soon.
What kind of experiences have you had with Section 8, as a tenant or a landlord?