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Section 8?

I am a first time landlord looking to rent a condo in California.  I was wondering what experiences people have had with section 8.  What are the pros / cons?  How long does the process take?  Should I consider renting to section 8 tenants or not?

Silvina, Its always a gamble when you deal with tenants but with section 8 a large amount is paid by the housing agency always on time , every time , with the small portion low enough for the tenant to pay , ,and if the tenant skips out or does not pay or damages the place you are guareenteed your cash. The bad things are or disadvantages the market rent is often low in cash and you are locked in to a tennancy for a year. , other then no payment of rent or other serious breaches are difficult for eviction .
Don't participate in this program. The Sec. 8 lease is one sided and protects the tenant only. Under their provisions section you can't even sue the tenant for damages or legal fees. Section 8 tenants are not stake holders in your home, they know they can't be sued and further more they have nothing so don't do it. Further more, they get free legal aid and don't have to pay juror fees, but have the right to a trial. They know how to play the system so that it cost you more to get them out and cost them nothing to buy time. I've been trying to evict a tenant since Feb. it's now August... DON't DO IT- WARNING, DON"T DO IT
I use to think the check was worth it, but it's not. My tenant sent me to discrmination the 1st week he moved in. The 2nd week he  moved in his son and the son's girlfriend. Then when he lost, he appealed it and lost again. Time and energy went into dealing with this matter. When somebody brings a claim such as this against you- you can't raise a claim against them for 6 months without seeming retalitory.   Oh yeah- here's the best part he even sent SECTION 8 to discrmination and his previuos landlord. Why - because they threatened to take his voucher away for unauthorized tenants. Section 8 can't evict a tenant, only the courts.   Don't participate, it's not worth the legal fees, time, energy and aggrivation.   Regular tenants will leave when the lease is up, Sec 8 will leave if and when they feel like it. Which by the way, of they find a place taks about 2 months to move because it has to be inspected.
Thanks for the responses.  It seems unfortunate that a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch.  I'm sure that there are many responsible people who participate in the program and who would be good tenants, but seems like the risks are too high for landlords.
If you plan to evict a sec 8 tenant, plan on spendig at least $15k.  Oh yeah- it's not cheap and the lease is created to deter any notion of suing. FYi: Housing Courts for eviction cases are 99.9% of the time Section 8 evictions.  If you don't want to take my word for it, go to your local housing court and do your own reasearch. Take a day off from work, go sit in court from 9-5 because that's what you'll have to do anyway when your tenant goes sour and see for yourself . I wish someone would have told me to go to court 1st, then decide if I want to participate in the program or not.  Oh yeah- my tenant who lives downstairs from me deliberately  Mails in his rent with a reg. 44 cent stamp late every month for $121 in the form on a money order that takes 2 business days to clear after it's already 2 weeks late.   If you plan to rent you should famliarize yourself with tems such as  "use and occupancy" not rent "hold over tenant" not a tenant
I tried participating in the program 2 years in a row and it failed me. My neighborghs also tried and it failed them. My friends tried, it failed them too, now me.  The risks are to high and until the Section 8 administration starts to recognize this and makes the program attractive to landlords it's not worth it.   Good luck-
My nephew has rented to a Section 8 tenant for many years and he says there's never been an issue.  I have a completely remodeled unit for rent now and he's encouraging me to give Section 8 a shot.  He told me that Section 8 now inspects apartments every 8 months and if there's damage, the tenants are  expected to pay or may lose their subsidy.  That's bad news for the tenant but really scary for the landlord, too!  I interviewed a (seemingly) outstanding tenant prospect today so I'm now considering Section 8.  But I'm nervous.  BTW, I live in Massachusetts where tenants' rights reign supreme ...
EXPECTED is the key term- doesn't mean they do. Under the lease VIOLATIONS section, you can't sue then for damages. Your nephew is fortunate enough to find a .1% that works for him. You always meet "the representative" in the beginning. My tenant was informed that the unit was non-smoking. Moved in, 1 week later told me he changed his mind and has been a chimney since. There goes the new paint job. I use to think if a sec 8 tenant did anything wrong on the lease they automatically lost their voucher. That was a year ago. Today I know better. Only the court can issue an order to have a tenant removed from your home, not even section 8 can do that. BHA will not terminate the lease without a court order. They don't tell you this. The BHA lease is entirely one sided. Oh yeah- you should also know that once the INTIAIL TERM (1 year) of the lease is up, if you don't want to renew, you still have to go to court if the tenant is unwilling to leave. Don't risk your new remodel.
You can't evict a tenant in the winter, it's hard in the fall. Summer and Spring are your only windows of opportunity. Hire an attorney if you ever plan to evict a sec8 tenant, the lease is sneaky, I know I lost my 1st attempt of eviction on a small techinicallity and it costs.. $5 ea. subpoena, filing fees with the court $135 for an eviction form, $90 for a TRO. This doesn't include $50-$75 per doc. to have the constable as required by court serve docs leagally. There's all this info for the tenant, but very little if any sites that I've been able to find about the real truth of renting to sec 8 tenants.
I've reported my tenant to HUD US Inspector Generals office for fraud, a case was opened. When they closed the case, I received no determination, only that the case was closed. When you fax your info to Sec 8, they give ANY information you've sent them to the tenant if the request is made, if you ask vise versa, you receive NOTHING, they can't. If you take them to court and ask for the information, they have the tenant represented by FREE legal aid can QUASH the request. It's very one sided- I could go on and on about why this program is faulty and a HIGH risk to you. COnsider that sec8 can't make the tenant do anything they don't want to. If you take them to court and they move before the court date and have damaged your unit, they still keep their voucher and do it someone else. Your nephew doesn't know the bad side, he's only experienced the up side. The badside isn't worth the risk of seeking the possibility of  a GOOD tenant.
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