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Section 8 tenants

What is your experience/feelings on Section 8 tenants?  I have heard a lot on both sides from Realtors and Property Managers but not much from the investors perspective.  What say you?

I don't like Section 8. You completely give up control over the amount of rent (they just lowered the rent on one of my rental units by $200/month), and they require an annual inspection. I can assure you, they WILL find violations to write up in every annual inspection, because that's how the inspectors show the bureaucracy that they're doing their job. It cost me about $1,000/year to repair the "violations" they would find, which was the entirety of my cash flow for the year on that property, and then you run the risk that they'll stop paying you rent while you do these frivolous repairs. Then there's the fact that the tenant may not be there to let the inspectors in... trust me, it's just not worth it.
I tried section 8 and got the tenants from hell.   They trashed the house, punched holes in the walls and doors, distroyed the carpeting, set fire to the house, ran the tank out of oil in the middle of the winter so that there was no heat.  The pipes froze, and when then thawed, shooting water everywhere, causing more thousands in damages.   25,000 in damages and the state would only stand good for one month rent to go towards damages.   I could go on, but you get the idea.  I will never use section 8 again.
First of all the phrase, "section 8 tenants" is a generalization and is the same as saying "Americans", "athletes", etc. Secondly, section eight rates are on the high end of competitive rental rates and if they lowered your payments, than you were charging to much. Also if an apartment is well kept, inspectors are normally pretty understanding and will pass the apartment with few update. Lastly, I would like to point out that if you do a proper backround check and regularly inspect properties, odds are the tenants that are approved will not do very much damage.   
I'm not really excited about the idea of inspections and additional paperwork to collect rent.   Is it legal to deny section 8 applicants?
It is illegal to discriminate against section8. However, you can explain to prospective tenants  that approval  just like with all your prospects, is contingent on the credit and background checks.
DONT DO IT!  Unless you are lucky, the people on Section 8 are on it for a reason.  It is ususally not because they are on hard times.  They are like welfare, on it and going to stay on it!  They do  not care about your property or the fact that they are destructive.  They do not teach their children respect and more times than not, you will have to make major repairs to your property when they move out.  About the inspections, the inspectors will make you repair items that the tenants have ruined, broke or removed even though it was in good condition when they made the last insepction.  The problem is the tenant is not cleaning or caring for the unit.  Their destruction is your problem and you financially have to correct it.  Section 8 tenants do not have to pay for any damage while they live there, you do.
I have three section 8 tenants and just added a fourth.  Some have been here over a decade and I never eve notice them. I honestly must admit I was seeing the disasters others have had with section 8 but we have been extremely happy with it. I admit one elderly lady is a nuisance but she has no family and just wants attention. The checks come like clockwork in my mailbox on the second of every month and pays MORE than some of my other tenants who have longevity ( and hence low rents) and even when you go to evict a section 8 person they keep paying you DURING the eviction process ( as long as the tenant is still in the unit)
know of ways or reasons to increase rent on section 8?  
The Check does come on time each month from the County. I have also received the Check from the Tenant on time so far.  The probably I have even after a background check, is the other people they let move it, after the fact. Which is NOT part of the Lease.  Not to mention even after the background check, never knew a person was actually approved to live with the tenant until i received approval from Section 8 they were good to go.  After waiting when I accepted the Application I had to do another background check pretty much start over.  After asking the tenant why the other person was not disclosed the anser was that they shouldn have to disclose since Section 8 was paying me most of the rent.  I explained that is NOT the case, its my property & section 8 doenst pay for damages, repairs, maintenance, etc.   The other issue Ive been having is that they do not like to take care of the yard maintence, even after I gave them the option , if they were not able to do the yard work I would have it done every 2 wks for only $50.00 SINCE Im not trying to over charge, which it really should be more for trimming, prunning, weeds, etc.  I guess its 50/50 in any situation., Back ground check, credit check, references is the best way for any tenant.  Its not so much with the Section 8, its everyone.  
Hey Melanie in MD - You must put these as 'terms of your lease' eg no occupants not on lease and must maintain yard etc and when they do not comply with the lease terms you EVICT for cause. The cool thing about section 8 is they keeep paying you during the eviction process. After you evict get another section 8 but be more dilligent in your interwview process before picking which section 8 tenant you want - after all you probably have hundreds on a list in your area to choose from -0 its NOT about the background check alone - its about you interviewing and selecting th RIGHT one - not the first one they send.,.,.
Hey Scott C in Ohio - Just ask! If you want a section 8 increse call their office and just tell them that. You must give them the name and contract date of your section 8 tenant and they will tell you when you can get an incerase and how much ( unless you are already at the max)
Being a new landlord because of the property value decreases (couldn't sell for a loss),  I went with a section 8 applicant that seemed like a good risk.  Checked her references and even spoke with her current landlord.  She was only moving because she had a new baby and needed a 2 bedroom with washer and dryer which I have.  Her share of the rent was only $89 so I figured no problem.  During the year and a half she was there, she was always late on her share and I got numerous letters from the condo association about violations plus complaints from my previous neighbors about noise and fights.  She had to pay her own utilities which got shut off regularly for non-payment (not good for furnished refrigerator or mildewing clothes in my washer).  During her first inspection by section 8, there were busted doors, walls, and mirrors that she was responsible for repairing or replacing.  I loaned her the money to fix the items as I didn't want to have to lose the rent and have to fix the damage myself anyway.  She didn't repay all the loan and then bailed without notice about 4 months later.  When I entered the unit the real horror story began.  4 doors missing and 4 more damaged to the point of must be replaced.  Shower massage,  and 6 built-in shelves all stolen.  Brick tiles in front of the fire place broken.  Walls painted in black and white tile pattern.  Garbage and filth everywhere.  I've already taken 4 truck loads to Goodwill and filled a dumpster with garbage.  Her $700 deposit will not even cover the back rent and section 8 terminated her contract because her where-bouts are unknown.  Now I'm out big money by trying to help her and just got the shaft in the end.  Maybe they are not all like this but my first experience has not been very positive.
Knock on wood...I've had really good success with my Section 8 tenants. I've read the horror stories from above.  I've been a investor for 3 years and I own 10 properties and 4 are on section 8. I do an extensive background ck which includes criminal & credit on all my tenants. I collect my rent the old fashion way; i go door to door; this gives me an opportunity to visually look  around while there writing the check and i ask them if there is any maintenance issues that need addressing. By doing this you want fail on the yearly inspections that are required from HUD.  
Amen! They find stuff to write you up! Even stuff that was damaged by tenants and never told to you before the inspection. The tenant need to be accountable for destroying our properties! I completely rehab everything before they move in and they destroy it! No pride! Yes they just reduced rent alot! I agree with everthing the Robert and Brian.
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