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    Renting & Real Estate


    Renting to Section 8 tenants?

    We have apartments for rent and are always approached by Section 8 renters. Once you interview tenants, check credit, etc. who is responsible for paying the first month rent and security deposit, the tenant or Section 8 agency? How long does it take for the inspector to come in an approve/dissaprove the unit? Who is responsible for the rent in the meantime? Does the inspector inspects the entire house or only the unit?
    a few seconds ago 10 Answers

    Best Answer

    The tenant is responsible for paying the security deposit. The section 8 department might not start paying RIGHT AWAY, but whenever they start, they will pay back rent starting from the month that the tenant moved in. From that point on, Section 8 will send the rent payment at the beginning of every month. Also remember, that each section 8 recipient is different. You may have some tenants who aren't required to pay anything out of pocket because they don't have any income, and you will have other tenants who have income, and they are required to pay a portion of their rent. When that happens, section 8 will still make their monthly payment to you at the beginning of every month, but you need to make sure that the tenant understands that he/she is obligated to pay the remaining portion of the rent by ___ of each month. The inspection process is not a long process as long as the house/apartment is in good shape, however, they are particular about certain things (ex. smoke detectors on every floor, no broken steps or cement in front of house, no cracks in the walls, etc.....) The inspector will only inspect the unit that the tenant will live in, and around the outside of the unit. They will also check the basement, even if its an apartment building. After the initial inspection, if the inspector finds any problems with the place, they will give the landlords written notice of the problems, and give the landlord 30 days to fix the problems. Once the problems are fixed (within that 30 days), they will come out and do a second inspection. If the problem is not fixed the second time, they will NOT give the tenant approval to move into that place. Technically, the tenant is not allowed to move into the home prior to inspection. So, if you as the landlord allows this, then the tenant will be responsible for the rent during that time. Section 8 will only pay starting from the time that EVERYTHING has been approved, and they gave the tenant the "ok" to move in. *Edit* To the woman above who said "don't do this", why not? Are you going to judge someone just because they are on Section 8? Just because they are receiving section 8, does that make them bad tenants?? Honestly, the section 8 program is one of the best things for landlords because you will NEVER have an issue with getting your rent money. Depending on the tenant, your only issue might be getting the tenants portion of the rent. That's why it's important to screen your potential tenants just as you would if they weren't receiving section 8, but don't judge them just because they are on section 8. A bad tenant is a bad tenant just as a good tenant is a good tenant, regardless if they have housing subsidy or not. *Edit Again* The other person that responded and said section 8 tenants can bring potential problems, and the fact that they are on Section 8 is a sign that they are irresponsible is so wrong. ANY tentant could bring potential problems, Section 8 or not. Section 8 is designed to help those with low income obtain affordable, nice housing. Low Income does NOT equal "irresponsible". I want to apologize to the asker for rambling on like this and getting off topic with your question, but it really gets up under my skin when people are so judgemental of others. These comments being made here are stereotypical.
    a few seconds ago

    Other Answers

    • Ok first-do not let someone move in pre-inspection. If the homes doesn't pass (and HUD inspections are not the same as regular inspection) then the agency can not pay the rent. I worked for a Housing Authority and landlords did this all the time-let someone move in before the inspection, takes 2 weeks for an inspection, place fails, take 3 weeks to get repairs and re-inspect and then they are upset to find that those 5 weeks are not paid by the agency. You need to contact your locl Housing Authority and ask to talk to the Sec 8/Housing Choice Voucher manager. Discuss the program with them and find out what they expect of the landlords. You want to have a ood working relationship with them since you will need to contact them when issues come up. Once you have the info from them, then decide if it is in your best intrest to rent at their rate. Also, be sure to ask them about things like who pays the difference if your rate is over market rate, what happens if someone skips, what happens if there are damages. Since some HA's have differing policies you need to talk to the one you will work with. Good luck. Just keep in mind that only about 10% of Sec 8 renters will cause a problem-just like any other group of renters-but you do here more negative about Sec 8 and you have that stigma that is not always desreved. It is well worth looking into working with the program. You can find your local HA phone number in the government section of the phone book. -----Please call you local HA. I was a public housing manager and we also did sec 8 from our office and you need to confirm all info with the agency you will work with. Not all wil back pay-I can tell you several folks who got a rude wake up call from letting someone move in early and the unit failing inspection. Not trying to scare you off-just be sure you are informed first. And most HA's will be glad to give you info on the process as there are not many landlords that will take sec 8.

      by VAgirl - 18 hours ago

    • Thanks CJ....very good points!!

      by Lnae - 18 hours ago

    • Renting Section 8 can be the best - or worst experience you can have. While there are a lot of horror stories for dealing with Section 8 tenants, it can also be highly profitable. As far as inspections - it really depends on what PHA (Public Housing Administration) is handling the Section8 Program in your community. Some places will have the inspector out there the next day while elsewhere it can be 7-10 days. The people at your local PHA can give you an idea, as well as give you guidelines for what are the requirements for your unit. Also, when you do your original paperwork, you can set the rate for the amount of rent you want to receive. The PHA won't pay above market rent, but the first good news is you can charge the highest amount you could expect to receive if you rented to someone not on assistance. For instance, if you are renting a 2 bedroom - and in your area they go for $500-$625 in your area, you can get $625 no problem. The tenant is responsible for paying the deposit (maximum 1 month rent) and their co-pay of the monthly rental. this will be on their voucher, and it is determined by their income, size of family, and type of rental. Always make sure you get the deposit and first month's rental contribution in advance. Never allow a tenant to make extra payments to meet their deposit. The majority of the monthly rent - or sometimes all of it - comes on a check from the PHA. The first one you get is normally 10-14 days, because they have to set everything up. After that you get the PHAs check like clockwork - most places on the 3rd of each month. You collect the tenants contribution directly from them. So for a $625 rental you might get a check for PHA for $550 and need to collect $75 from the tenant. Many Section 8 tenants will stay a long time and will sign 1-year leases. You can make reasonable rent increases as time goes on. Once a year the unit will be reinspected. So the good news is you can get a stable tenant paying top end rents with the majority of the money coming in regular check. The negatives can be the tenants. While many Section 8 tenants are great folks who simply are retired or make little money - most range from irresponsible (one reason why they are on the program) or addictive personalities (booze, drugs, gamblers). The worst are what I call the "kitchen table lawyers". These are government assistance kings and queens who know every nuance of every program and know how to twist landlords around every dotted "i" and crossed "t" and make you life miserable. So it is very important to do a very thorough screening of your prospective tenants. Especially important is to contact their last three landlords to see what kind of tenant they were. Hint - don't put too much stock in what their current landlord says - sometimes they are dying to get rid of them and will say anything to unload them on an unsuspecting landlord. Talking to landlords previous to the current one will get you better informastion in most cases. FInally, if you rent to Section 8 tenants, make sure you set precise rules for when rent is due, how many people are allowed to live in the unit, and the like. If there is any probloem - such as late rent, noise problems or the like, act quickly with written notices and don't hesitate to start eviction proceedings. Many tenants will be late with rent the first time, just to see what you do. If you let it slide it will be later next time, and later, and then they start wlaking all over you. So Section 8 is not easy. if you are a strong personality, are organized and can deal with a higher level of problems Section 8 tenants typically create then it is an extremely profitable niche. I am a landlord that does Section 8 in the right circumstances, and have had great success doing it. But then, I am very careful who I accept as a Section 8 tenant. If you don't fit that profile, then it is not for you.

      by rlloydevans - 18 hours ago

    • Take it from someone that has been a landlord for over 20 years. Avoid having anything to do with Section 8

      by Classy Granny - 18 hours ago

    • Hi, I'd think very long and hard before you turn your place in to section 8 housing. We did this with a couple of units when we first starting our rental business, and the units all passed inspection until the tenant ripped out our hard wired smokes so they could cook dope. When they stopped working their section 8 benefits also stopped along with any rent being paid. The strategy was to live free for as long as possible, and as a last ditch effort they called the health dept. claiming the units were unsafe. This is a very common practice in my State. We are now trying to change the laws in our State so this type of event become a criminal act instead of a civil one. Please think before you go section 8. These people know how to twist the laws to their advantage...... they've been at it for a few generations now and know how to milk the system dry. I'm not trying to offend people that truly need help, but I just want you to know what really happens in most cases.

      by skiingstowe - 18 hours ago

    • Once a year the inspector will inspect your unit and you will have repairs that need to be done to your property. Section 8 isn't for everyone you have to understand the negatives such as rent control indepdent inspection quality of tenants and be okay with those if not don't go there.

      by David G - 18 hours ago

    • http://www.hud.gov/progdesc/voucher.cfm Help for Landlords http://www.massresources.org/pages.cfm?contentID=3&pageID=2&subpages=yes&dynamicID=753 http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfmhttp://www.hud.gov/groups/landlords.cfm http://www.gosection8.com/landlord_guide.aspx

      by four feet six - 18 hours ago

    • I really do not believe that the prior person who questioned section 8 is wrong at all. I have mistakingly lived in TWO apartment buildings who accept section 8 and I am not on section 8 and my new motto to ask the building or property manager is if there are section 8 tenants. The night mare that you did not allow the commenter to make is that of 100% of your section 8 renters 75+ are very, very bad and intimidating to the other tenants. These section 8 renters are truly horror stories because they can tear up the hallways, scream as loud as they want ( THIS IS A CURRENT TRUE STORY HAPPENING TO US RIGHT NOW) they will steal your patio furniture or your mail, they have peeped in our bed rooms (we know that they are section 8 because we have our sources who have lived here before us and are having a dffiicult time moving out). We were told that the unit we'd move into would be extremely quiet and that NO ONE will bother or threaten to hurt as we were before in the other section 8 building. The Building manager had to evict 26 families last year due to fighting in the court yards (beating---bloody), The parents of section 8 holders are worse because they will tell their children (to get back at any one who will ask them to keep it down) because they scream (not play) literally scream and grunt. They have ripped off the boards on the bridges, they have manipulated the front door locks so that any one will come in and they do. There is a EVICTED ex-section 8 tenant who comes into our unit selling drugs (we know this as neighbors and we know who the section 8 people are and they are not all minorities). It is harder to evict section 8 people because they do not have abide by the rules that the full-paying tenants are paying. Section 8 tenants are often angry and demanding and they will spit on your door if you are not section 8 because they know that certain tenants are NOT section 8 and so they will intimidate them and run rough shod. SO this is not a judgement. I will not pay 1000.00 a month to live in a ghetto village because THEY feel more at home when it appears torn up. It is not fair to me or to others who come to live in peace and not have their door bells rung at 2_30am to let their friends in or for those who do not have keys and slamming the door 9 times in a row when they know that you have the money to afford a delivery. This is animalistic and I do not care what you say. I am very angry and this section 8 crap is getting way out of line. NOT all the section 8 people are appreciative : it is usually the preponderance who destroy the property and bust out the safety lights and intimidate others by having 9 of them stand at the door when you want to come in. This is wrong; until you have lived in one I would say, don't be so quick to judge YOURSELF about why this is an issue because the others are trying to be polite about why this is an issue but I do not care. I am doing a public service to the landllords to save their grief and to be more careful, many of them ARE criminals and invite gangs from the city to guard YOUR front door or hang out on YOUR patio or harrass YOU in the hall. So that is what happens because the section 8 tenants aren't allowed to be screened as throughly as we were , that is the rule and if you do not screen tenants, you have a crime problem. It's that simple and that TRUE and we are NOT renewing the lease. We are disabled and sick and we are intimated by them, these are mean people and I am sick of them crawling under our bedrooms at night or spitting on the doors. We know who they are. This is fact not judgement and it doesn't matter what you argue because we are going through this and not you!!

      by J S - 18 hours ago

    • To be frank, I would not do this if I were you. You are asking for trouble. Seriously.

      by michele - 18 hours ago

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