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Section 8

I have prospective tenants that want to sign a separate agreement outside of their Section 8 agreement to pay the remaining amount of the rent that I'm asking. In other words, Section 8 only covers X and they want a separate agreement for the remaining $450. Has anyone ever dealt with that in MA? Am I being overly suspicious or is something fishy about this?

Bad news if sec 8 covers a utility it is deducted from check  You lose either way As far as trashing a place the tenant doesnt need to be sec 8 to trash it I had one that caused 5000$ in damage and she was not a sec 8  Its a matter of checking with LL that is not the one she is renting from when she looking for new place go further back in history as that LL has nothing to lose.
"allow me to have a damage deposit on the tenant. That was the real problem... NO DAMAGE DEPOSIT."  This is absoluetly FALSE.  If this person got told this, they were lied to.  Section 8 Housing tenants MUST pay a deposit like any other tenant.   "Bad news if sec 8 covers a utility it is deducted from check"  Wrong again.  If you charge rent all inclusive the amount you get from housing is determined by the tenants income.  So if you are all inclusive and the rent is 1000.  The tenant pays 30% of their income to you the landlord.   Either way, you will get your entire rent check (unless your tenant doesn't pay their portion).
" I just found out that I would be getting a 1099 form at the end of the year. The young lady is trying to rush me into telling her how much will she be paying."  All landlords should be reporting their rental income on their tax returns.  Because this is HUD they will send a 1099.  So be sure to report the income on your tax return (which you should be doing anyway).   You as the landlord have no control over determining her portion of the rent.  The housing authority is responsible for sending BOTH you and her notice of her portion and their portion of the rent.   Most landlords I know will ask their local technician through section 8 how much the tenant is responsible for when they first get started so they can start collecting rent immediately.
"Its hard if not impossible to evict a section 8 Think it over carefully"  Its hard to evict any tenant LEGALLY.   Each state has its own process.  A lot of landlords evict improperly.    The only difference is landlords can't pull illegal tactics to get rid of someone.
I personally have not, however many people on here have. Hopefully you will get more responses. You can also look through various posts in this forum regarding sec 8, I am sure there is much more info!
Thanks Karen, I found the forum with the horrible stories about Section 8 tenants.
My father has had a section 8 tenant for several years with no problems. I think it can be a good situation, but your property needs to be inspected every so often by a govt official. It can be a hassle to. I took a landlord class and was was told section 8 renters can be very good. i have never had one so I cant say too much. Best of luck to you
I have several section 8 rental properties. When you hear the words Section 8, you will hear many comments from good to bad.  If you are a new landlord, the idea of renting to section 8 voucher tenants can be very attractive, since, in most cases, you are pretty much guaranteed your rent  payment.  There is some great free information on this free site,  Good luck with your new venture....
If the tenant(s) have nothing to lose, it's not worth it. I have a Section 8 tenant now, who appears to have a mental illness. I am not sure it's been diagnosed or not, AND I DARE NOT INQUIRE.  Though I have the building exterminated monthly, and she often refuses. Two months ago, she said that she saw a mouse, so she cemented, YES CEMENTED ALL THE BOTTOM kitchen cabinets closed. I called Section 8 to evict.  Section 8 asked me if she was paying her portion of the rent, I told them she was paying.  They then said that they would be on the court petition as co-defendants with the defendant , because she was paying her rent. IT DID  NOT MATTER TO SECTION 8 THE DAMAGE THE TENANT DID TO THE CABINETS.   The apartment was in perfect condition when she moved in. I have pictures and video to prove it.  It is now a wreck.  The cabinets alone will cost, at a minimum, $5000 (low ball) to replace. The tenant's caseworker will not speak with me, because I am JUST the landlord. Section 8 said I selected the tenant, so it is my problem. The security deposit social services provided (not section 8) by no means will cover the damage done.   The mistake I made was going through a broker.  The brokers just want the finder's fee. I usually select the tenant myself, but I for this tenant I had a lot going on. I have a full-time job.  During that time, I didn't have the time to show the apartment, so I used a broker.  This broker "professed" to be very knowledgeable about Section 8.  It turns out, she didn't know much. She suddenly got sick, and I couldn't contact her, but when the tenant finally moved in, she made contact with the tenant to have  another broker bring her finder's fee check to her home.    I suggest you thoroughly screen them, call their previous landlord,  and  send someone out to where they used to live. I am not sure how involved the case mangers are in your state, but they want nothing to do with the landlords in NYC. New York State; more so NYC is so pro-tenant. The courts think we are all slumlords, when many of us are hardworking middle-class workers, with small investment properties.  It's so hard to be a small landlord in New York City.  Good luck!
Never and never go to the current landlord of any tenant to ask for his or her opinion about soon to be ex-tenant because he or she will not tell you the whole truth about the tenant. Secondly most tenant will not give you information about his or her current landlord rather they will give the telephone # of their friends to speak on their behalf. Instead try as much as possible to locate the previous landlord before this current one, and since he or she has nothing to loose he or  she will give a close to accurate information about your soon to be tenant.   On sect 8 tenant, ask the tenant to give you his or her voucher number and the previous addresses he or she has lived before this time, and you can then use that information to find out how many violations did his or her former landlord incurred during his or her tenancy. Any rent suspension or restoration notices should signal some potential problem though not in all cases but should raise your antennae.
Each city has there very own section 8 laws, you can easily find and city HUD contact information with a quick search. If you have never done section 8 before make sure that you are prepared you will want to make sure that you and your property are fully taken care of in the lease. I have see landlords crash and burn because they wanted to try it to help out  and get some of the perks like tax deductions. They found their properties destroyed. If done correctly it may be worth it but do all of you research and make sure each tenant and even occupant has a background check carried out on them.
Section 8 will require an inspection on the property. They have very specific requirements about what is allowable under their guidelines. Get the inspection BEFORE you sign a lease with a prospective tenant. That way you know what Section 8 may require you to fix/alter/replace, etc beforehand. It could become very costly to place a Section 8 tenant based on what the agency whats done to the property. I've had Section 8 tenants. It is nice knowing that you are GUARANTEED to receive your rent from the agency but the tenants themselves can be a bit more work. Stay on them and make sure they are maintaining the property.
Very useful information. Thank you both!
Judith, I always open my properties up to Section 8. But, as the others have mentioned, it comes with its benefits and pitfalls. There are a lot of great section 8 tenants out there. Statistically, the average section 8 tenant will stay in a unit for 4.5 years. This is about double the time of a non-section 8 tenant. Here is the section 8 process -  1) post your property on GoSection8 website or on other sites like craigslist state that you accept section 8 2) Tenant applies to rent your unit 3) Landlord does normal background and credit check just like with every other tenant 4) If you determine that you would like to rent to the section 8 tenant then you have the tenant sign the lease but leave the rental amount and lease start date blank. 5) Take the signed lease to the the HUD. You need this to schedule an inspection of the property 6) They will usually take 2-4 days to schedule and have an inspector out to your property. They will check for things like making sure all electrical is correct, each socket has a plate guard, light switches work, heater works, windows all have locks on them, doors all have locks, entry and exit doors have dead bolt and handle lock, and all appliances work properly. And most importantly, that the price you are asking for the unit is market rate and not too high. 7) If you pass the inspection, then you sign a lease agreement with the city housing authority and complete the lease with the tenant 8) The tenant pays their portion of the security deposit and lease and moves in. 9) the split for the tenant's obligation and what the federal gov't pays depends on the income of the tenant. They are required to pay up to 40% of the gross income in rent/rental costs. So if they make 12,000 / year then they are required to pay $400 / month in rental expenses which means maybe they pay $200 to gas, electric, and water company and they pay you $200 each month and the rest is direct deposited to you on the 1st of every month.  That being said, if the rent in your area for a 2/2 is $800, you can usually ask 10-20% more than that and still have the housing authority accept your rental rate. In this case, if you were able to charge $1000 / month for rent then you would get the $800 every month guaranteed by the Federal Gov't. Then the extra $200 / month is somewhat of a bonus. But, keep in mind that with section 8 you usually have to spend a little more $$ for fix-up upon moveout. It all comes down to getting a good section 8 tenant. If you can find one, you can have a great situation.  Hope this helps, Thomas Tenantopia, Inc Tenant screening and online application tool
Some states will not allow you to turn down those candidates. I would look up your area's laws
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