The Pros and Cons of Providing Low Income Housing in Detroit MI – Part Two


Welcome back for part two of my rant on the pros and cons of providing low income housing in Detroit.

If you missed part one, click the link below.Low Income Housing in Detroit MI - rent sign

The Pros and Cons of Providing Low Income Housing in Detroit MI

Let’s finish-up with the rest of the “cons” to working with Section 8 tenants.

Don’t Forget to Screen Them

This isn’t really a “con”, per se, but it’s something to remember nonetheless.

Here me clearly on this.

Just because somebody has a section 8 voucher, it doesn’t mean that they’re exempt from being a tenant from hell.

Trust me, I witnessed this first hand.

So make sure you’re screening your Section 8 tenants just like you do anybody else.

Related: 14 Ways to Get Better Tenants in Your Rental Homes in Detroit MI


Tenants Voucher Amount Can Change

If the family composition of the family in your house changes, like if someone goes to the military or moves out, or gets married or something  the voucher amount can decrease.

Now I’m not sure how often this happens, so you might want to reach out to the local Section 8 office and ask them about that.


What Inspectors Look For

I found this when I ran a Google search for the guidelines that the inspectors use when they inspect your house.

This information might increase your chances of passing your first inspection, so you can get the tenant in there faster.


You Might Have to Do More Repairs

You might end up having to do more repairs out of your pocket than with a regular tenant.

I’ve found that a tenant with a job and some income is usually more apt to handle something minor, like a leaky faucet.

Section 8 tenants? Well, not so much.

You might have to handle more repairs to the property yourself with a Section 8 tenant in it.  (Image: williefogg/Flickr)
You might have to handle more repairs to the property yourself with a Section 8 tenant in it. (Image: williefogg/Flickr)

Harder to Charge for Damages

I remember this one from experience. It’s a little tougher to really get reimbursed for damages from a Section 8 client, than it is for a non Section 8.

Not because the law won’t allow you to sue them or anything.

It’s because if the damages exceed what you got for your deposit, you get to sue them.

But if they don’t have any (documented) income, you’re never going to collect that money!


Bad Communications with the Section 8 Office

I don’t know what the formal name of the local offices that administrate Section 8 tenants and their vouchers.

So excuse me for using the term “Section 8 office.”

Anyways, I’ve always found that most of these Section 8 offices are mom and pop shops that have like two or three people working in them.

The response times from these offices when you leave voice mails and stuff can vary greatly.

I’m pretty sure it depends on the amount of cases they handle out of their office, as well as the amount of help they have (or don’t have) in their office.

Just be prepared in the event that they don’t respond quickly. It’s hardly, if ever, personal.


Your House Can Become a Shelter

Not “literally”, but damned near!

I’m still a little bitter about this little situation that happened to me, as you can see…

Anyways, one time, I had to find out from one of the neighbors that one of my Section 8 tenants from hell had over 10 people living in the house throughout the course of one year.

She was even running a salon out of my basement! I kid you not.

So just imagine the damage that was done to my house when I finally got her evicted?
Anyways, I hope I shared some things that make your experience with Section 8 tenants a profitable and relatively pain-free experience.

Do you believe in renting out to Section 8 tenants? Why or why not? Leave a comment.


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