Re: Section 8 - Posted by jim
Posted by jim on February 13, 2002 at 16:35:38:
Like any other program, section 8 is only as good as the local office that administers it. I have dealt with a section 8 office in a big city which had many problems(several directors were replaced in a short period of time), and a section 8 office in a suburban county which was a little better. Checks can be late, and sometime they may not come at all. Several phone calls MAY get them moving again.
Inspections can be rigourous and sometimes ridiculous. Overall, I have found section 8 inspectors to be very fair and honest. I could never say that about other big city housing inspectors and officials.
As for tenants, you must screen well because section 8 does not, nor do they any longer pay for damages done by a tenant. Around here it would be next to impossible to find a section 8 tenant that has been on the same job for at least 2 years. In this day and age, I would not expect a Silicon Valley yuppie or a Wall Street banker to have been on the job for at least 2 years, so I certainly would not expect that of a section 8 tenant. I have found that it is possible to get good section 8 tenants that are unemployed, though they are probably few and far between. When you screen you should ask how long the tenants plan to stay and why, or why not. Try to find tenants that want to plant roots. Section 8 allows a tenant to move once a year, but not more often. Some tenants will want to move to a better neighborhood, some will even move for more amenities. I had one section 8 tenant who moved to my property because it had central air and a dishwasher, even though she was living in a very nice property in a nice neighborhood, had a great landlord and was more convient to her job and school than my property was. She kept the place in excellent condition, but she only stayed a year.
Some landlords around here do not want to sign a contract with section 8 because there is a clause in the contract that allows section 8 to stop paying the landlord at any time. They do not have to give you a reason; they do not even have to have a reason. That is something you might want to consider.
You might want to start with one or two section 8 rentals to try it out, then expand if it works out to your satisfaction.