Whether or not you accept Section 8 tenants is up to you. There are pros and cons to the program, and we’re discussing those today.
Section 8 Accepted: The Pros
What is Section 8? It’s guaranteed rent for you. You will get a check every month from the government to pay for that rental property. Another benefit to being a Section 8 landlord is that you get additional advertising. You’ll get more exposure when you allow Section 8 tenants, because the program puts your listing on their website. They also have internal sources they use to promote your property.
You’ll get tenants who stay longer in your property. They won’t move from unit to unit or from your apartment to a single family home. Once they find a place, they’re there for a while. You’ll have a stable renter.
Westminster Property Management MD: The Cons
Your rent money might not always be there on the first. This is especially true with the first month you have a Section 8 tenant move in. Sometimes, it will take two months to get your first rental payment. You can’t add a late fee. You know the money is coming; it’s just not there yet. The processes on the back end to get the tenant into the system can take longer than you expect. Going forward, your rent might not be paid until the fifth or the seventh. Just remember it is coming.
The amount you receive from the government might not cover all the tenant’s rent. In some cases, your tenant might be responsible for $100 of the rent. So, you will need to make sure your tenant is going to come up with that money every month.
Additional inspections are necessary with Section 8. They will make sure the property meets their requirements. If there are issues, you’ll have to fix them before a tenant can move in. They’ll also inspect periodically while a tenant is in place. So, be prepared to make repairs if you accept a Section 8 tenant.
Property Management Westminster MD: Section 8 and Tenant Rights
There is also more red tape as far as what they do and don’t allow tenants to do. In a normal lease, the tenant’s responsibility might be to change light bulbs and smoke detector batteries. But, you may have to take care of these things if you have a Section 8 tenant.
Also, keep in mind that if you have multiple properties, you have to be consistent. If you have a single family home and an apartment building, you need to allow Section 8 applicants in all units if you allow them in one. You cannot pick and choose.