Qualities of a good section 8 tenant... - Posted by HR

Posted by Nate on February 09, 2001 at 10:04:53:

I don’t recall who posted this recently (Frank Chin, maybe? I want to give credit where credit is due…), but I thought it was apt for ANY tenants, not just Section 8.

Have a very long, involved, detailed rental application. Not only for data gathering but also as a “psychological screening”.

There are 3 main types of responses to it.

  1. Fill it out in excruciating detail, even going home to get things they don’t know.

These will be good tenants - responsible and pay attention to details.

  1. Turn it in with blanks, missing/incorrect information, etc.

These will be the type that “forget” to pay the rent, or electric bill, or something…

  1. Complain about the form, ask “why do I have to fill all this out”, etc.

These will be the tenants who are a pain in the a**, always wanting something from you, have a sense of entitlement.

I have never tried this (don’t do any rentals) but logically it makes perfect sense to me…


Qualities of a good section 8 tenant… - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on February 09, 2001 at 06:24:49:

Ok, ok, before we even get started, I’m anticipating a few joke replies here. Like:

An evicted one. A non-existent one, etc. Enuf with the jokes.

I’m looking for feedback from experienced section 8 landlords. I have one section 8 tenant now, and she could not be more perfect. While I lucked into her, I’m trying to discern if there are clues in the screening process that hint at good-tenanthood.

For example, good credit rating. Yea, yea, I know that. I’m talking about subtle stuff folks have noticed thru the years.

For instance, have you found that someone with a part-time job tends to make a better tenant than one 99% reliant on the public dole? Doe someone who can plop down a large security deposit tend to be better than one who cant? That sort of thing.

I’m trying to pick out some characteristics of the good section 8 tenants, and then use that as screening criteria in my application process. For example, how can I measure level or self-responsiblity, self-esteem, and respect with regard to tenant status or behavior on an application? Any tips?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


PS. I just used the archives and posted section 8. Man, what a great resource! I hadn’t used the archives in awhile. It’s a really great resource now…especially since it’s working.

Check out their fridge. - Posted by Mark - IL

Posted by Mark - IL on February 09, 2001 at 21:33:29:

All my Section 8 renters have full time jobs. Which means they are not there during the day to wear down the property more than it’s normal use. This I have found makes a difference. If they are there during the day it seems that all there friends are there too. Your property can take it’s toll.

As far as inspection I agree with the post. Check out their place that they are currently renting. When you do check out their “Frige” Most people will want to make a nice impression of what their home is always like. But I have use this little technique and have never had a problem with a renter since then I have started using this. If their fridge is clean they are clean people. Just my 2 cents.

Mark - IL

Re: Qualities of a good section 8 tenant… - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on February 09, 2001 at 08:24:37:

Can’t emphasize the job thing enough. While I don’t do Section 8, my lower-end mobile homes attract a similar clientele. Many of the people I deal with get government money and most have at least part-time work. They’re OK. The few that get (I should say GOT)all of their money from “social programs” were complete deadbeats…we’re talking absolute waste of gentic material, no redeeming traits, 100% slacker city, woe is me, its not my fault, you’re a heartless SOB for demanding payment, “I have rights” LOSERS. These people no longer live in any of my mobiles. I will NOT take someone without a job- 2 exceptions: Pensioners (most of them work anyway) and VERIFIABLE disability cases that have adequate income. Mere assertion of disability doesn’t do it…from my days as an Industrial Relations Rep, I can tell you that LOTS of people get back injuries during hunting season…and some make a permannent vacation of it. Til we got them on film chopping wood or roofing their homes. Oops!

John Hyre

Re: Qualities of a good section 8 tenant… - Posted by Tim (Atlanta)

Posted by Tim (Atlanta) on February 09, 2001 at 06:36:41:

I think you mentioned several good criteria for picking any tenant, not just Section 8. Look for someone with a job. If they are able to work, and they are not by choice, I take that as a clear indication of lack of personal responsibility. I do normally get a larger security deposit. One other thing I would recommend : Go to their current home. If you need to, make up some excuse to see where they live now. That will give you a good indication of what your property will look like when they rent it.


Excellent! … - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on February 10, 2001 at 08:54:08:


This is EXACTLY the kind of hands-on wisdom I was looking for. I know, for instance, it choosing subcontractors for my rehabs, that there are certain pink flags that indicate someone would or woulden’t be a good sub. I knew there had to be similar things here as well. These indicators make sense.



let me add - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on February 09, 2001 at 07:04:48:

Make that a surprise home inspection!

Re: Excellent! … - Posted by DR

Posted by DR on February 12, 2001 at 12:22:05:

Could you divulge some of those pink flags, HR?