Section 8

How does section 8 work? Can you charge your normal rent if it is above what secion 8 pays and have the tenant pay the difference? If so is that legal to do?

People can have section 8 pay everything or they may part of the rent out of their own pocket because they have income. Section 8 people will work the numbers for the tenant and determine how much the rent can be. In the past couple months, my local section 8 office changed some utility allowances for the tenants and the rent I’m allowed to get for new tenants really went down. There’s talk that it will be raised again, but not sure when. If you ask $800 for a house, but section 8 says they’ll only pay $550, you’re not allowed to make that agreement with them and then try to charge the tenant the extra $250.

That is what I was afraid of. The Section 8 people said that I can’t even advertise the house for the $800 if I put section 8 in the ad.

Section 8 is a dysfunctional, irritating option. They’re always in your hair about something, and there’s more than two parties involved in every scenario (sometimes more) all while being effectively out of control of your property. Frankly I can’t really justify settling for Section 8. They lie, they cheat, they steal, and that’s just the Section 8 administrator.

Do I sound bitter? :banghead

I don’t understand why they’re saying you can’t advertise for a certain amount because sometimes the numbers change once you find someone you approved for tenancy. We recently asked $550 for a really nice 2br/1ba. We approved a sect 8 tenant. When the office got done running her numbers, the director told me they could only pay $530 for her based on her financial situation. We took it.
We’ve obviously had a different experience with sect 8 than Jay. I admit they’re a pain in the butt and sometimes borderline ridiculous on things. But…it’s really nice getting the rent on the first of the month, no excuses, no BS. We have enough on sect 8 that it covers all of our mortages. That’s a very good secure feeling. My wife would rather have all sect 8 tenants. My experience is that sect 8 tenants have something to lose if they screw up so I haven’t really had too many problems with tenant damage and misbehavior. Probably the worst is just getting the “divas” that think you owe them a brand new 2000 sq ft house with tiled showers when reality is that they’re just too lazy to get out and work.

They say if The most they will pay is $550 and I advertise for $650, since I can’t take the extra $100 from the tenant it is a fradualent ad. I would have to run 2 ads. One for $650 that does notmention Section 8 nd one for $550 that mentions Section 8 is accepted.

I don’t know because I have not done Section 8 before.

That seems really dumb and nearly impossible for you to guess how much they will pay. It’s not a set amount for a 2/1, 3/1, 3/2, etc. Any income the people have (disability, child support, work income, etc) is considered by section 8 to determine the max amount of rent they will pay for that person. They also have to take into account the utilities there. Is the house all electric or are certain appliances gas powered? These are all factors. So in reality, there’s no way you would know that section 8 would pay $550 or 600 or something else. With our local section 8 office, it’s basically turned into negotiations. Not negotiations in the sense of me trying to get them to come up on the rent, but rather them saying “we can pay X” and we either tell them yes we’ll take it or no we won’t.
I think you should make them provide you with a list of what they’ll pay for each size house you own with various gas and electric utilities.
They’re argument on the ad is really stupid anyway because people could always negotiate the rent down.

Section 8 have guidelines to go by and it is on each customer that determined how much section 8 will pay. Yes I know most landlords will try an gouge section 8 and when you gouge section 8 you gouge the American tax payer.

In Houston it looks like the Houston housing authority is running the program and they will pay by bedroom. 1 bedroom-$772, 2 bedroom -$937, 3 bedroom - $1,249 and 4 bedroom - $1,570

Yeah, there must just be differences from area to area. In my area, we have a city HUD office and a regional HUD office that also services our city. So we deal with both of them. The city one is super easy to deal with. The main guy does his own inspections and he’s really easy going. I also really like the regional inspector, but he’s the type who will always find something no matter what we do to get the house ready.
That’s nice that your office is upfront about everything. Rent amounts sound good especially considering what your houses cost.

I don’t have any experience with it, but I do think the rent amount is pretty good. It would be a great way to rent houses in outlying areas where home values and rents are lower. Around here they adjust the amount by county, but rents within the county can be a lot different.

They do publish the amount.

I think I will continue to not use section 8. I don’t like the co-tenant (my term) portion where to evict I have to get the government to buy into the idea.

Section 8 is the best tenants and there is a guarantee check each month and the tenant will not mess up because they will lose all their government funds for one year. Section 8 tenants know how to milk the tax payers.

Section 8 tenants need the same old fashioned screening that any tenant needs to go through. Section 8 does not guarantee a good tenant, just the portion of rent they’re contracted to cover. Otherwise, Section 8 tenant, screened only for the rent they can pay, will offer you a 90% chance of being the tenant from hell. Why?

Because my experience is that only 1 in 10 tenants overcome my screening process at any given time. That means 9 out of 10 don’t “qualify,” despite my strategy of never turning down tenants, just making them jump higher hoops. 9 out of 10 applicants don’t want, or won’t, or can’t jump through the higher hoops. Still, I screen my tenants the same regardless of whatever source their income is coming from.

As it happens none of the Section 8 applicants qualify since I can’t legally collect my ‘standard’ deposit from them, because Section 8 itself believes it incentivizes their clients already enough to take care of the property, with they promise to pay for extra wear and tear in the event the tenant acts up.

Well, they might look good on paper. But it’s another thing getting it. I would rather cut to the chase, and incentivize the tenant directly with the promise of a boatload of cash back when they behave themselves; not have to sell my position to Section 8, cross my fingers and hope I don’t get skunked out of my Obama money. Forget that.

I know most of your questions have already been answered, but I will pipe in and say I have had great luck with section 8. I have one section 8 tenant who has an 800+ credit score, great rental history, despite having a lack of income…and she takes great care of the property (I check on it monthly). You will have good and bad experiences with section 8, just as you do a normal renter, and the best way to (help) prevent problems is to just be an excellent property manager.

There are some landlords who are making millions with section 8 rentals. E.G. In Dallas there are some people who built modern townhomes and apartments in the most ghetto areas of the city…and who do you think goes and lives there? Section 8 folks, who formally lived in ratty apartments and houses. So the rents are relatively high for the area, and its always paid on time - a pretty good deal. Additionally, I know of another guy who owns lots & lots of house in Lancaster and neighboring cities just south of Dallas. There is a huge black community in that part of the metroplex, and lots of demand for section 8 rentals too, and that guy makes a ton of money. He rents an office in a strip mall just to have people come by and make their co-payments in rent…I imagine he brings in $100k+ per month in rent easily.

A lot of the apartments over on Lovers lane, and Fair oaks ave are now renting only to section 8 and social services for better income.

Isn’t it interesting that the government has to bribe/entice/lure two parties into a manufactured attraction, while undermining natural market forces, redistributing private sector wealth, and manipulating the housing market …all to buy votes?

And it’s all done today, at the expense of future tax payers, three generations down the road. How fair is that?

I agree and there are people out there that will pay to get the edge.