The Pros and Cons of Going Section 8


The Pros and Cons of Going Section 8

Section 8 is not for everyone or every property, but too many landlords have misconceptions about the program.



Section 8 is a government program that pays a portion of the rent for qualifying low-income families. It’s a great program from the low-income tenant’s perspective, but landlords are often unsure of whether they should accept a tenant with a Section 8 voucher. Let’s talk about the factors that should go into your decision making process.



    • Annual Inspections — some landlords think of this as a hassle, but we see it as getting a free inspection each year. The repair costs are always a little more than expected in the short term, but having an outside set of eyes on your property to keep it ship-shape almost certainly saves money in the long run. These inspections can also help you get rid of a tenant abusing your property. Because you get a copy of any required repairs from Section 8, you can point out to them that the tenant caused the damages since the last inspection and Section 8 will require the tenant to make the repairs. If they don’t, they have to move and could lose their voucher.
    • On-time Payments — Whatever percentage of the rent gets paid by the HUD will arrive on time every single month via direct deposit. There are no tenant excuses, just money in the bank. Of course, the tenant is still responsible for sending in the portion of their rent not covered by Section 8.
    • Higher Rental Rates — This may not be true everywhere, but in general — and definitely in Detroit — the rent you can get from a Section 8 tenant often exceeds what you could reasonably get for your typical not-the-best-neighborhood property.
    • Low-Cost Marketing — There MichiganHousingLocator website allows you to list your properties for a fee. It gets searched quite a bit, so it’s a great way to get some people looking at your rentals.


      • No Compensation for Damages — if a Section 8 tenant damages your property, you can complain to Section 8 and usually get their voucher revoked, but you’re not going to get any money from the government as compensation. Since the tenant is obviously low-income, getting money from them will be a challenge as well, even if you get a judgment against them. Because Section 8 tenants are less financially invested in your property, they also tend to be a little less concerned about proper upkeep.
      • Property Condition — Section 8 has some pretty strict rules about the repairs that you have to make in order to get a property/unit approved for their program. Fortunately you can get their guidelines at requirements The requirements aren’t really that bad – unless you have a property with some unusual characteristics that would be prohibitively expensive to correct. Keep in mind that Section 8 will not pay ANY rent until they have inspected your property — so don’t let a tenant move in until they get it done. If you fail your inspection, they wait 30 days for you to make repairs before they’ll inspect again — that’s a month’s rent gone.
      • Additional Occupants — Section 8 tenants are statistically more likely than other tenants to allow long-term ‘guests’ like relatives and boy/girl friends to move in after the lease is signed. These extra people usually cause extra wear and tear on your property and aren’t allowed by Section 8. You can report this situation to Section 8, but they may not have the time to investigate and even if they do all they can is warn the tenant to comply or threaten to take away their voucher.
      • The Bait and Switch — For some reason, it seems somewhat common for a Section 8 office to change terms, almost always to the landlord’s disfavor, the month after a tenant moves in. They might lower the rent by $50, or they might suddenly shift a couple hundred dollars of the rent payment from themselves to the tenant (who is less likely to pay.)
      • Tenant Issues -– It’s been our experience that a higher percentage of Section 8 tenants contact us with problems they expect us to address when they are actually responsible for them. Recent example: a tenant’s ex-boyfriend broke several of her property’s windows and she contacted us to fix them. When we told her how much she needed to pay for the repairs, she argued that since she didn’t break them she shouldn’t have to pay to repair them!
      • Stretched Thin — Section 8 staff members are overworked. Minor clerical errors are commonplace — I once kept getting checks for a tenant for six months after they moved out. You have to be strictly on top of your paperwork, and submit any and all changes the moment they occur. If you can get extension numbers or email addresses for a staff member or two, treasure them — the phone system is a beast!

At Royal Rose Property Management we think Section 8 is entirely appropriate for most properties. It really depends on two factors:

      1. Rental Amount – in the Metro Detroit area Section 8 usually won’t allow rent of more than $850 for a 3 bedroom property. So, if we can get more than that for your property, Section 8 isn’t a viable option. We do have prospects try though. We just got a call last week from a prospect asking if we’d take $650 on a 3 bedroom property with a list price of $799. We immediately suspected they only had a 2 bedroom voucher, which they admitted. They stated their last landlord had rented them a three bedroom property for that amount, so why wouldn’t we?
      2. Property Condition – if you have an extremely nice property you may want to carefully consider the “Cons” above before accepting a Section 8 tenant. Also, if your property has characteristics that won’t pass Section 8 inspection you’re better off avoiding spinning your wheels with Section 8 applicants.

Note: a property owner can legally put in a rental ad that they DO NOT accept Section 8 tenants. If you choose to do this, just be sure you enforce it for all Section 8 prospects on that property to avoid Fair Housing discrimination issues.

85 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Going Section 8

  1. As a former Section 8 landlord, I agree.

    Section 8 is a great program, but the tenants are extremely high risk. If I was to ever be required to take section 8, I would still keep my credit score criteria and I think all would be well at that point.

    1. If rent is 700 monthly to a section 8 renter, how much of the monthly rent is paid by the gov. Does the monthly check go directly to the landlord or does he or she need to receive monthly payments from the tenant.

      1. The housing caseworker computes all household income and uses formulas to determine how much of the approved rent the tenant will be responsible to pay.

        Whatever portion the government pays, will be sent directly to the landlord or their property management company.

  2. I hate getting the vouchers. I wish I did not need them. my kids and I are suffering in this run down, ghetto, gun shots every day, people robbing my house neighborhood. landlords in the good areas will not accept the voucher because they ASSUME all section 8 people are the same. I totally feel discriminated because of it.

  3. I am a section 8 tenant and have been for several years. Disabled Single mother with 3 well behaved kids. I do not smoke and we don’t not own any type of pet . Section 8 is a great program for both tenant and landlord . Every place I have lived at I treated as if it were my very own home. Immediately after I move in anywhere I thoroughly go over the whole house to touch up any scuff marks with paint that might have Happened during the move in process. There are never any holes in the walls I hire my own exterminater if I see any insects or bugs. Rent is always without a doubt on time each time. I will allow a family member to spend the night if maybe they had to much to drink and can’t drive. But I will never move anyone in. Because I do not like living with other people period. As a matter of fact I love to fix things so I upgraded my landlords kitchen stove free of charge. I clean out the horrible bug infested back yard. And also I turned her basement from an unfinished basement to a finished basement. And that’s the type of tenant Iam. My landlord is a great landlord also. But just like their are bad tenants their are also bad landlords . Not every section 8 tenant is a bad one. I think any landlord should accept section 8 tenants but they should contact tenants last landlord for recommendation .

  4. I have been a landlord for fifteen years. It doesn’t matter if they are on section 8 or not. If the people applying are pigs then they are going to live like pigs too and destroy your property. I had two engineers rent my place, a manager and his stupid accountant wife rent it also. Guess what in both of these instances I had to repair major damages to my place. Trust me on this.

  5. I been on section for 3 years and I never heard of a section 8 tenant destroy property unless they get kick of section 8 THAT’S THE ONLY WAS OKAY? It high risk to have a new landlord because might get a pig as a landlord. However, Auntie use to work as a section 8 worker, she said the same thing NOT SECTION 8 TENANT DESTROY NO PROPERTY. People to stop complain about section 8 and pays until to who you move in YOUR property…

  6. I have been on section 8 for almost three years. I am disable person fortunate to get section 8, and I am also great tenant. My current apartment look the same as the day I moved in. My neighbor never complain about me or call the cops. I am currently looking for apartment and It’s sad to hear landlords saying “no section 8”. Many landlord believe that all section 8 tenants are bunch of criminals or ruin the property. Those claims are lie, and person like me is not criminal or destroy properties. I am hoping to find place soon.

    1. We commend you for being a great tenant and thanks for your input! Yes, we’re aware that many landlords won’t rent to Section 8 period, as too many “bad apples” have ruined it for the rest.

      We suggest getting letters of recommendation from your previous landlords and keep these with you for all future moves. We would also suggest annually checking in with your previous landlords to update their contact information so any new landlord you’re applying with can actually get ahold of them – as no good landlord would just accept the letters without verifying them. Nothing’s more frustrating than trying to verify past rental history when applicants are supplying expired contact info or none at all! Be sure your previous landlords comment on the condition you left their property in when you moved out.

      One other issue of concern for landlords is trying to deal with the Section 8 caseworkers. Many are not easily accessible and do not respond in a timely fashion to phone calls and emails. We would recommend you work closely with any landlord you apply with and you handle “nagging” your caseworker to streamline the approval process for the landlord.

      One last thought, you state you’re a good tenant, so how does your credit history look? This is another area of concern of landlords as many Section 8 tenants have terrible credit histories and rely solely on landlords approving them based on the “guaranteed” payments from Section 8. It’s definitely not a positive if your credit is terrible, yet you expect landlords to believe you’ll be a good tenant.

  7. I have been a Section 8 tenant for 10 years and have only rented from three properties in all those years. Iv’e been very fortunate to have rented from very lovely home owners. My current landlord and his wife are wonderful people but just recently they lost their home and was forced to move back into the property im renting at the moment.I have untill the end of November 2015 to find a new place but iv’e gotta tell you its tough. No one wants to rent to section 8 tennants anymore its been one and a half months and i have called and looked at about 30 to 40 properties and as soon as i say that im a Section 8 voucher holder the prospect is a bust. Doesn’t look good if i dont find a place before my time is up my wife, 3 children and I are on the streets. Please pray for my family and I times are hard and the economy is becoming very unforgiving.

  8. Section 8 tenants do much more damage than the rent u will receive. When they move out your place will be trashed ! Also usually move extra people in (mostly criminals) and you don’t get anything but problems. Vacancy is better than section 8 and cheaper (no wear and tear on unit). Section 8 usually stays long enough to trash your property, get it disgustingly filthy and then move. They are never held responsible for the damage they do and a security deposit won’t come close to restoring your property to a liveable condition. JUST SAY NO TO SECTION 8

  9. Im a disabled mom of two. I waited close to seven years had to move 3 times to get sick my sister had to help me with my paper work i feel like im discriminated since ive been on it stuck in a town thats trying to get me kickef off and wont give me a transfer im in need of my family no lanlord takes it yes it has helped but i feel its ruined my life

  10. I’m sorry, the ‘bad’ sec8 tenants out weigh the good ones. I am an ‘ex’ sec 8 landlord. I screened my sec8 tenant, did background checks, interviewed, the whole nine yards. She showed a completely different side of herself before she and her 2 sons moved it. Not even a month after moving in, I had problems. For two years! If I had known that the only way I could evict her was through the just cause previsions of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, I would think twice before renting to her. Under the ‘Cons’ list above, I experience all of them. This was my first time as a Section 8 landlord. NEVER AGAIN!!

    1. We carefully screen Section 8 applicants JUST LIKE ALL OTHER APPLICANTS, so we’ve really not seen a difference in the problems we have with Section 8 tenant versus all other tenants. Per the capitalized words, the key is screening – even going so far as to visit their current home to see how they take care of it.

  11. I have a question. Has any landlord/owner been written up for mold by an inspector?

    1. What type of inspector? We’ve had city inspectors require us to clean mold off of basement walls, but a licensed remediator wasn’t required. We have had to go through a tenant withholding rent for a mold issue and had air quality tests and then subsequent remediation done. Not fun!

  12. I think that all of section 8 rules are stupid. What if a family got 3 kids one that is 14 one that is 12 and one that is 21 years old and got a girlfriend who won’t have a place to live when she moved down here then what. I say this because to me there rules are fair.

    1. Many taxpayers consider their tax dollars going to pay for someone else’s rent to be “stupid”. If you don’t like the rules, don’t ASK for Section 8!

  13. Lol at the word “taxpayers” . People on section 8 work too , they also pay taxes just like everyone else . You people are idiots judging people based off the few idiots you have . besides you do realize that all section 8 programs aren’t funded by the taxpayers money some are city run some are federal . This is why I’m working hard so I can buy a house for my mom and she doesn’t have to deal with discrimination from idiots like you & FYI you get the money back from the security deposit for the damages they may have caused . Terrible

    1. @Rho: We do not discriminate against Section 8 applicants.

      Most tenants getting Section 8 also qualify for Earned Income Credits and pay little, if anything in income taxes. That’s by design of the USA tax code and tax brackets. Not sure you understand the concept of “taxpayer” as whether federal, state or city funded, all government is funded by taxpayers!

      We applaud your goal of buying your mother a home so she can exit Section 8 assistance. We encourage ALL those getting government assistance, including Section 8, to strive to leverage the subsidy opportunity into a better future. We do NOT encourage people to think they’re ENTITLED to stay on government assistance programs as a way of life.

    2. City run and federal run?? LMAOO, And please, enlighten me and tell me where those groups get the money??? Every single aspect of section 8 is taxpayer funded, from the free electric, water, heat, and the food stamps she most definitely gets, you should try stand up, your a riot!!

  14. THE ONLY negatives that are stated are based on “statistics” that show section 8 peoiple do this or that. Well lets see those statistics and lets see the person that took them. (that wont be posted, for they dont exist). Secondly, only an idiot would refuse to get guaranteed money. I thought you were in the rental business for money? its obviously more to it for you than that. third. “trashing the place”. NEVER FAILS…the one that talks like that, TRUTHFULLY are people that never want to fix anything in the fir5st D*** place. As far as I’m concerned BEWARE of someone that goes out their way to avoid Section 8. ESPECIALLY in a Home situation and not an apartment. If youre renting homes, You KNOW youre going to have to flip the place. Hoping you dont have to do very much but paint, shows youre a cheap skate. Go to your mom’s house. If you live in a winter climate, After living there years, if she suddenly moved, could you just take a bucket of paint and flip it? As a person that used to flip apartments and houses, I KNOW the difference between some idiot that hopes to never fix anything, and some one that is also OVER intrusive, and wants to cut your grass every week! Let me tell you what is YOUR responsibility. The water heater. the refrigerator, washer and dryer (assuming it was yours)The roof (squirrel damage, is ALL YOU). Leaks in the basement. The foundation is ALL YOU…and if you act stupid on that and mold develops? thats ALL YOU. In other words, a simplified thing to say is, the tenant is responsible for that which they moved in with and can take when they leave. If they have done things like bust a hole in the wall? They should fix that. however people that freak out over a hole in the wall, is also a cheap skate. when people acquire homes, they deal with FAR FAR worse than a hole in the wall. That is an easy and very low money thing to fix, because the owner can do that himself. NO one calls someone else to patch a hole. And remember, only a slum lord wont repaint after a person has been there for years. So the “hole in the wall” thing is really an easy sign of a piss poor owner who wants to live off your rent but never put anything into the house like they have to in their OWN home.
    If you would rather deal with the low pay and instability that the employers are offering the population and HOPE you get your rent month after month? go right ahead.plan on doing a LOT of flipping. I PLACE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE OWNERS ON HERE BASHING SEC 8, TO STATE THE DAMAGE THAT THEY DID, AND ALSO STATE HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE IF SEC 8 HAS YEARLY INSPECTIONS!?!?!

    And lastly, NO ONE can take someone to court for damaging the place and end up actually winning. the same people that talk like they want to take tenants to court? ARE THE SAME IDIOTS THAT ARE ALWAYS LOOKING TO SEE HOW THEY CAN REFUSE TO RETURN THE SECURITY DEPOSITS!!! THATS the truth. so they want to trump up “damages” claims so as to keep the security deposit…THATS the truth.

  15. You people are stupid judging people because of assistance they get just because someone is on housing doesn’t mean that there going to destroy your home do your research on people run their credit get their income verified get their rental references go by what other landlords tell you about the way they left there homes dose that person have good credit will tell you that that person pays their bills on time lets use common since why would someone risk losing rental assistance just to destroy your home & not only that housing authority inspects your home regularly so let’s think about it rent a home to some who has housing assistance witch means guarantees 2/3 your rent every month on time while tenit is responsible for the other 1/3 of rent sounds like a no brainier to me think of it like this someone who doesn’t have housing lost their job how they going to be able pay their rent?? While someone on housing lost their job housing will pay 100% of their rent!!! Think about it just because someone has housing doesn’t mean there a horrible person who wants to destroy your property hello we want somewhere to live just like you!! Sincerely feeling f***ed in California!!

  16. There is no bait and switch. Once a contract is made for the rental payment agreement that is. The rent is agreed upon, the only part of the rent that can vary is the tenants portion based on their income. However, HUD adjusts their payment portion accordingly. Furthermore, HUD has more requirements than most agencies and apartment properties to qualify for the program. The payments are delivered timely via direct deposit. And if a tenant is owed money to a landlord and/or leaves with damages and does not compensate they are not approved for relocation and their voucher is revoked permanently. I am a single mother with 3 kids with special needs. My mother is also disabled and now resides with us. We are financially challenged, but should we be punished for our financial challenges and our families permanent medical health? We rarely have guests, my son has a service animal, and we keep our home maintained just as we would if we owned it ourselves. There is more prejudice and assumptions towards the program than anything. If the landlord and property management does their required checks before allowing a tenant to move in, they shouldn’t have much problem. Also, if a tenant is evicted and the court finds grounds for eviction the tenant does loose their assistance/voucher. No one should judge a family just because they have assistance in paying the rent. For some families it is a means of survival. We are now facing relocation ourselves, not because there was grounds for eviction, but because we have a landlord that likes to collect the rent but not fix the repairs and has a tendency to come in and out when they please. Our home is older and has a mold issue, and recently we trapped a gopher rat that was coming up from under the house into our bathroom because there was no wall built behind the shower/tub combo and the cabinet. The landlord refused to do anything about these issues. We have pictures of the conditions we are living in, the floors that are rotting and decaying. There is no subflooring we discovered and the landlord used plywood to prop the floor up underneath my mother’s bedroom floor. Her floor is giving way and could fall in at any point. The last time my landlord came in without notice, I was home in the bed sick with an eye infection and my eye swollen shut. He brought two other men with him to handle a work order and he would not give me notice when he would be coming out. We reported him and therefore he served us with a 60 day notice to vacate. We are now in the position that we cannot find a property in the area we need to relocate to, that is within the payment standards that will also accept our voucher. We are facing homelessness because landlords automatically assume we are trash and will hand up on us or the majority does not respond back when you contact about a property. My mother is disabled, my 19 yr old has permanent disabilities and my other 2 children also have special needs. Should we be forced to live in a motel because of prejudice? If a landlord rents to a tenant off the street, you are more likely to have a quicker turnover of the property, or someone that abandons the lease and moves owing funds and/or damages, has multiple guests in and out. That is the chances you take when you rent a property. But section 8 is not going to increase these chances.

  17. Doing research on why most property owners won’t accept section 8 the findings were they should are not supposed to discriminate on tenants who have section 8 vouchers or based on a person’s source of income, their race, religion or sexual orientation. Landlords should not make screening for Section 8 applicants any harder than other applicants who are not Section 8 participants. Section 8 applicants should not be reject just because they are participating in this program. Only other reasons should be because of negative prior landlord history or having a bad criminal background history.

  18. I been on section 8 for years,the things they said about section 8 tenant,is not true, yes, you might find some tenant that are not good tenant, but this dont apply to section 8 tenant only, I’m one og section8 best tenant oit there,never do any damage, mantaine the unit even better than I receive it, lanlords love me, they don’t believe I’m from section8, I always stay 6years with my lease, I’m the one who moved, they never want me to leave, section 8, tenant try to stay good with there lanlords, because they want nice place too, they try to change lanlords thinking about section 8 voucher, we want to be accepted in nice places,and with section8, if rental do damages we got to fix it, if not we loose our voucher, and we don’t want bacground check if you think i can’t trust a section8 voucher, because right now section 8 tenant, truely are the best tenant, why? Because we want to change all the negative talk about section 8 tenant, and majoriy of tenant destroying the units right now, are nit section8 , I live in a nice rental gated community, and I see a lot of tenant got invicyed , and destroys the unit, they where not section 8. You guys need to stop talking bad about sectio8 tenant, because they are good and bad in bouth: section8 and non section8.

  19. Id rent to sec 8 based on the location of the property but generally sec 8 people are too classless for me. One of the comments said they wished the safer neighborhoods rented sec 8 but them not renting it is probably why it is safe in the first place. Hard working people dont have time to turn the area into slums.

  20. To jim belly: Wow, really? Classless? Turn nice places into slums? The only hard-working people in the world don’t have to be on assistance? Seriously, dude? You are some piece of work. So, if I, who is a single parent to 3 special needs kids because their sperm donor was too ashamed to acknowledge fathering them, would make a nice place a slum just because I’m on housing? And I bet I work harder every day than most spoiled, narrow minded, prejudiced people like you ever did. DO NOT assume you know us just because we’re on assistance. You have no clue. I sincerely hope someday you get back the hateful, bigoted bias that you’re giving others.

  21. To Anony on Aug 6, 2016, Shut up! Most of you guys on section 8 are classless, useless, bums, and lazy. Most of you guys don’t work, and leave the place with trash and damages. That is why landlords are becoming smarter and are not renting to you guys. I learned from past mistakes

  22. THE TRUTH: the ONLY people complaining about sec 8 people are WHITE or INDIAN SLUMLORDS WHO DONT WANNA FIX THINGS, AND TRY THEIR BEST TO NOT RETURN SECURITY DEPOSITS, in MINORITY AREAS… POINT BLANK. note they called a “con” as being the “strict inspections”! theres the smoking gun….YET they also said a con is that the owner cant get compensated for damages caused by the tenant…AS IF YOU CAN GET THAT FROM ANYONE nowadays!!! renters are not rich people or they would BUY like YOU DO.

    the other obvious lie is the notion of calling the sec 8 person “high risk”, yet the inspections are greater than what youre doing NOW…THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRING YOU SLUM LORDS TO ACTUALLY FIX THINGS…EXPECTING YOU TO PAY BACK SECURITY DEPOSITS and you cant use your trumped up “they messed up the apartment” trick that you can on the poor in any other case…KNOWING they cant really fight you.

    1. @robby: It’s our opinion that you are generalizing, just as some of the landlords you are complaining about, are generalizing. Neither of you are really right.

      On another note, we don’t have many issues with tenants paying for damages in suburban areas. They have credit they are trying to protect and well-paying jobs they know we can garnish their wages from.

      Lastly, many people that can afford to buy are choosing to rent for various reasons: they don’t want to be tied down to an area, don’t want the additional responsibilities of taking care of a home they own, can’t afford to buy where they want to live, etc.

      Don’t just take our word as the truth — we encourage you to please do your own research to learn a bit more about some of these topics:)

  23. Section 8 isa blessing for families, single parents, etc. Any landlords that choose to discriminate is crazy…

    1. @Aronna: landlords don’t have to accept Section 8. Many have had bad experiences and are exercising their rights as owners to legally avoid Section 8 tenants.

  24. My husband and I are in the process of buying/restoring) a beautiful stone colonial bungalow (2200 Sq feet) built in 1900. Originally intended for our son, his wife, and future first grandchild expected in February. They since decided to purchase their own home in another area but we have decided to continue with purchase and restoration as we have fallen in love with this house. In discussions with general contractors we learned of the gov’t Housing Voucher program. I believe with the Right Tenants (irregardless of how they are funded) we should be okay. This is a 4 bedroom home so families are a given. I will even consider pets (within reason) as I consider animals essential to the soul. This home is in Pottstown PA. I would else a picture if I could figure out how to do so lol. Any comments? Thank you 🙂

    1. @Patricia: Our advice is to screen Section 8 tenants just as you would any other tenants.

      Because their rent will be paid, your major concern should be how they will take care of your property. The best way to gauge this is a surprise visit to their current residence, to see for yourself how they are likely to take care of your property.

      In the past we’ve declined applicants that wouldn’t cooperate with our surprise visits and others where our inspections showed they were damaging the home beyond acceptable wear & tear.

  25. I am on Section 8 program for years and I am looking for a place to rent from private landlord. I need to pay off an amount I owed to an apartment because I had to cancel the lease due to on going harassment from another section 8 tenant. And unfortunately, the manager to the apartments failed to make some kind of remedy. I cared to the places I’ve rented like I owned it. As I am a single parent trying to to what is best for me and my son, I am thinking of terminating my section 8 because is really getting hard to find a place that take section 8 in the area I am in and other close city.
    And my goal is to make a small business of my own. To make blankets, crocheting.

    1. @Anony5: we appreciate you comment.

      Unfortunately, you’ve made a common assumption many tenants make — that a landlord should address all their issues with other tenants. The reality is that landlords are very limited in what they can LEGALLY do in these situations. A landlord can only enforce rules that apply to all tenants at a specific location and evict tenants that break them. A landlord with good intentions can actually be sued if they get too involved:(

  26. Ive been a landlord for 25 years and have in the past participated in the section 8 program. I have found the section 8 bureaucracy hard to deal with. No returned calls, broken appointments for home inspections, letters threatening to withhold payment for even small minor repairs. I will not accept section 8 anymore and most other landlords I know will not accept it. Something is wrong with the section 8 program when landlords, for the most part, do not want to participate. Local politicians want to pass a new law declaring it illegal to reject tenants solely for being on section 8. Forcing by law what landlords wont do with their own free will. Happily the law did not pass. If you want landlords to participate in section 8 program, you have to value our time and the risk we are taking. Landlords want to make money, but rejecting section 8 tells me the negative outweigh the positives.

    1. @Robert: good points! We do understand that most S8 offices are understaffed, so the workers are overworked. Regardless, you’re right about this being a business and time is valuable.

  27. A lot of you are racist just admit that : You don’t want section 8 vouchers. Because you assume they are all ghetto, poor, classless bums. Oh yea and black … you don’t want them to get help. When your husband supports you or your father feed you with a silver spoon while your mother just stayed home being a full-time mother. I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for certain people in your families you’d probably sympathize a little for those who need a little help. And again section 8 Tenants gets annual inspections unlike regular tenants. Before the move and after and I have yet to see any of those things you guys speak of personally. They pay deposits and application fees just like you. Some of them work great jobs and pay 70% of their own rent. So stop judging people. I know people who pay their own rent and leave their apartments in horrible condition. Section 8 are strict on their clients too. Some people refuse the voucher program because of the back ground checks and the living arrangements. And with all of their strictness helps you to have better habits especially if you don’t want to risk loosing the help. It’s guaranteed money and you have a buisness who turns down money. When the ideas is to make money. Restaurants don’t turn down business because of strictness and a few bad customers.

    1. @Victoria: we don’t think most landlords care about anything but getting rent paid on time, few hassles for maintenance and getting their properties back in reasonable condition.

      While it’s true many avoid S8, it’s usually because they don’t perceive the time and aggravation to be worth it. Especially when so many areas are not lacking for tenants.

      These same landlords will be a lot more motivated to work with S8 tenants once the rental market cools off.

  28. Stop judging people by what your friends and colleagues say or by a few bad experiences I’ve seen section 8 tenants get up everyday faithfully for work or school. And paying majority of the rent with no problem. I’ve seen them do everything right and have to deal with slum lords that never wants to fix old a/c units and leaks. Some section 8 tenants Drive some of the newest model cars. And have awesome credit maybe better than some of you without the fortunate family and funds you have. They even have well kept nice and clean furnished and comfy homes clean and well behaved children. And a well kept apartment, I’ve seen them move out in one week. And 3 days later there is a new tenant renting out that same apartment. You don’t want us in your community that’s fine. But even when we are paying the same amount of rent with great paying jobs your still uncomfortable with that. So I guess it has a little do with business and a lot to do with personal vendetta. We are all the same some of us have had a better opportunity and start than others. But when we all die rich or poor. Maggots are going to consume our flesh. And we will all be buried 6 feet under “DIRT” I guess that’s the only time we will be consider the same.

  29. I just wanna say just pay market rent this is all a trap I’ve read most of these comments and they’re labeling you as criminals and bad tenants just pay your own rent theirs nothing like having your own and can’t nan soul tell you differ please get out of the trap black people wake up.

  30. As a Housing Choice Voucher Recipient, I am saddening that Stratford Connecticut, and other Connecticut rental properties raise the rents to keep individuals from being able to qualify for affordable, and safe housing. Being that my voucher allows me 1300.00 for a two bedroom in Stratford Connecticut, I am very limited to finding a unit in that range. Two bedroom apartments range from 1400.00 – 2595.00.
    Growing up in Stratford, I never had to worry about the crime level that I am experiencing here in Bridgeport Connecticut. I have been forced to live in Bridgeport Connecticut due to the fact that Stratford Connecticut rents are very high. The fact that I have been seeing this issue for quite some time, and believe that this issue needs to be addressed. I am in disgust, and frustrated because I believe that many individuals have felt this way, and feel as there is nothing that they can do, but I would like to address this ongoing issue. I believe that this issue is a form of discrimination because they (landlords) assume that individuals on the Housing Choice Voucher Program will possibly destroy their properties by not keeping up on the units. This is false. I have been on the program since 2003, and have left the state to find safe and affordable housing. I have lived in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and recently came back to reside in Connecticut. I believe that this issue should be address because all people of different backgrounds and nationalities deserve to live in safe, clean , and suitable units.

    Concerned and Frustrated

    1. We don’t condone discrimination of any type, but a landlord seeking the highest rents possible is NOT discrimination.

      Landlords simply invest their money to make money. It is no different than an employee always seeking a raise and looking for a different job if they can make more money.

  31. Section 8 and dss all scumbags destroy property move in 35 people pitbulls etc, knowcthe system milk for years they think landlord is rich leave their stuff behind and move into a brand new clean place after destroy the last, i clean toilet bowls for a living and pay all taxes. It pisses me off these people live for free off my toilet bowl money. Pathetic LOSERS

  32. I have no way to earn any income. I am on the Sec 8 program and it has caused me nothing but upset and worry. I been treated not so helpful or respectfully by most all my Sec 8 coordinator’s I ever had. Like right now she’s suppose to be sending my voucher but she’s stalling for some reason. And she knew it was crucial she speedily send it as this other state is really difficult to deal with. I’ve waited at least 3 days for her to email me back and I called her and she has not phoned me back. The other state has really stupid rules as lots of them to as they have only 1 briefing per month for people porting in. I must stay in a weekly rental motel I don’t have enough money for the entire month for while waiting for the appointment. I must suffer my last month in this old dumpy house this month worrying and waiting for the voucher to get sent and for my appt with this other Sec 8 office. I know this program helps me survive but I actually hate this program when I think of what a headache it is. The sec 8 workers are a big headache and getting a place is a big headache. We must fear homelessness.

  33. Im a section 8 client, hoping for a chance to move n use voucher, Im a awesome tenant who deserve a fair chance. If anyone would like to give myself and family a opportunity to be ur tenants you may reach me @ 248-xxx-xxxx. We will a sure you that it would be the greatest decision EVER

  34. Section 8 guy came to my house to check and inspection and i didnt pass they got strict rules its not worth my time i told.them to take there voucher and kiss it

  35. Section 8 is a very good program. As with anything you have to do the work. There are landlords who abuse the program. There are tenants/clients who abuse the program. There are also employees who abuse program or won’t do their jobs. If you have a Section 8 tenant and receive assistance, you shouldn’t visit your property once a year. you have to inspect your property to make sure your tenant is following the lease and your property isn’t being destroyed. If your unit is a dump and you don’t like to do repairs, don’t expect your unit to pass inspection. Unfortunately there are tenants who destroy properties.This has made it difficult for all Section 8 recipients.At the same time, you have to report the issues to the agencies. The agency can’t enforce your lease, you have to do that. Landlords don’t want to evict clients, because it’s costly. Yet, the situation is allowed to get worse and then landlord wants agency to fix it. Nope. If there is no paper trail, the agency can’t do much because HUD has regulations. There is no “bait and switch”. The program is based on income. If the client’s income increases, then their portion increases and the agency pays less. the landlord is supposed to be notified. That’s the problem. Improper notification. 30 days if increased tenant rent. BAD Clients destroy your property, don’t report income, have unauthorized residents, quit jobs when rent goes up, won’t pay rent, etc.. There are good tenants who work every day, go to school and want a decent, quiet place to live. The bad tenants get all the attention. Too many bad tenants have been allowed to remain on section 8. landlords visit where prospective tenants live before allowing tenant to move into your house plus do regular market tenant stuff. The rent from the agency will be paid, but if you get one who moves every year, check. By the way, if you are receiving Section 8 and you are a good participant, unless you are elderly or truly disabled, your goal should be self sufficiency. Things are changing and you don’t want to be stuck. For the lady who can’t find a decent location, you can pay up to 40% of your adjusted income for a unit. But you have to have a job to support that 40% or you will continue to live in Bridgeport.

  36. I understand that some tenants are horrible. I’ve been a rentee for eight years and just recently got approved for section 8 because my son is now disable forcing me to work less so now i qualify. Not all people are horrible tenants. It seems the quality of the places I can rent have to be up to code and well taken care of. So there has to be good property options out there because of the requirements.

  37. We had a house that we bought for my grandmother. After she died we decided to rent it out. After getting screwed by friends and family members we decided to try section 8. Put in a new furnace and fixed the place up. A mother and 2 kids moved in. Then a brother. Then a sister and her kid. Then a grandmother. They would constantly call us to repair things that not only they caused but should have been able to fix themselves. They called us one day and said the bathroom sink was stopped up. We called the plumber and he pulled out 10 cigarettes from the drain. They broke the metal handrail from the front porch. I went over to fix it and needed inside to plug in an extension cord. They refused to let me in while they tried to evacuate the marijuana smoke. They were constantly late on their share of the rent and kept asking us to wait until she got her taxes back. Tax season came and went and we never saw any of it. We were unable to kick them out. Finally she lost her voucher for whatever reason. took a few more rent free months to move out. We were only getting $800 but had a $650 mortgage on it. They seemed to think we were wealthy landlords or something. They had zero empathy and could care less what we were going through. By time they moved out my mother had lost more than $5000. The house was damaged beyond repair and my mother had to foreclose on it. The neighbor said the tenant’s brother took the copper out of the central a/c unit.

    So now 5 years later and I have enough money saved up to buy a house in a low income neighborhood and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the effort. Or if maybe I would be better off investing in something else or saving more money and invest in a better neighborhood. I can’t imagine anything being as bad as our previous experience.

    1. There are good and bad people in all walks of life. There does seem to be more problems though, when people get something for free – since they didn’t work for it, they seem to assign little value to it.

      If you do choose to buy in a low-income area, be aggressive on enforcing your lease clauses and with the eviction process. As you learned, rarely does a good deed go unpunished.

  38. I am a carpenter and a contractor. I have the knowledge, skill, and a working capital of used high-end fixtures to fix a house up incredibly nice on the cheap. The main expense would be my time. Ideally I would have a nice young working family (single or married) move in. But to be honest, the homes that I can pay cash for are in really rough neighborhoods and I’m not really sure a nice family would want to live there regardless of the condition/price. Since I have to keep my requirements low I understand that my risks are higher. Would I be able stipulate something like “3 years with the same employer”? I estimate that it would take approximately 3 years to turn a profit not taking into account any equity. The equity could easily be wiped out after a year with the wrong renters (previous experience). So consider the fact that I could work 2 extra days a month and make the same as I would ask for rent does this sound like a bad investment? Also consider the fact that, if things went well, this would be only a beginning. Maybe buy another house after 3 years….then another. If it sounds too risky please feel free to say so. Thanks, David

  39. I had 2 experiences with S8 tenants. Both experiences (1 Asian, 1 white with Asian wife) were positive and I am considering another S8 tenant now. However she is black and I am afraid of upsetting my neighbors more than about unpaid rent.

  40. Many of you are very vitriol towards S8 tenants… I have been on S8 for almost a year and I am not doing anything perfunctory when it comes to the up keep of the house

  41. I’ve been a landlord for six years. I live on social security and I am single. I bought these two rentals when I was working in order to have some extra income to supplement my social security when I retired. It has been a nightmare. I provided clean, well working places for the renters. The first thing they do to you is move in a bunch of other people even tho the home is not big enough for all their family members and drunk boyfriends. I called the sheriff to have one drunk boyfriend removed and I was told that the tennant had a right to her “guest.” The next thing they do is refuse to pay their garbage service and by the time you evict them, you find bags and bags of garbage in the yard or hid in the closets and under the house. When they leave, they leave all their trashy furniture for you to dispose of. They leave every drain stopped up with food and grease and toothpicks and whatever. They punch holes in the walls and break doors off hinges. In the six years I’ve been a landlady, I have spent more money on serious repairs than I ever got in rent. I will not rent to anybody again. EVER.

    1. @Kate Kastorff: We understand your frustration! We’ve dealt with many tenants over the years that we cannot understand how they can live like “pigs”.

      Fortunately, most of these types of tenants we inherited when we took over management of a rental property. We rarely have this issue with tenants we screen and place.

      We highly recommend reviewing your application screening process and suggest you start doing surprise inspections at an applicant’s current residence as the last step for their approval. How they’re taking care of their current home is how’ll they’ll take of your property.

      Of course, you could just hire a good property manager to take care of your rentals.

  42. We can understand your frustration.

    Did you know that politicians and HUD are trying to make it illegal for landlords to deny Section 8 applicants and bad applicants in general? SO, it’s not always the Landlord/Property Manager’s fault.

  43. Kudos to those that really need assistance and take care of the section 8 properties like its their own.
    Those folks probably had better circumstances in the past and had ownership or were properly raised to take pride in your living situation.

    Most of the bad people don’t know they are bad tenants, or ignore their behaviors, or they expect taxpayers and the rich landlord to take the hit on their lazy lifestyle of not maintaining their place of residence. Instead they go out and buy new clothes, shoes, phones, and/or favorite cigarettes/alcohol to feel better instead of saving any $.

    Section * should have additional educational programs to show how easy it is to get ahead by thinking long term and not the end of the week mentality. I know plenty of go-getters that go out everyday and bust tail to get paid and get ahead by saving and thinking bigger.

  44. I live in Florida…so many homeless..ppl on section 8 get treated like shit…not all section 8 ppl are bad…some landlirds are slumlords.

    1. Not sure how homeless people can be on Section 8, but we agree there are slumlords AND slumtenants.

  45. Thank you for your passionate comment!

    We only have one issue with everything you mention and that is in regards to your statements,

    “These landlords are asking for way too much just to rent from them, credit checks (which drops your score each time another realtor/landlord checks it), checking your bank statements (I’m not buying a house or asking for a loan, so no my bank statements aren’t necessary), want paystubs, etc.”

    We often hear this same complaint because we ask for all the data you mention, and in addition we ask for written Letters of Explanation (LOX) for any negative or suspicious issues we find. As part of their applicant screening process, landlords can ask for any information they deem necessary that doesn’t violate Fair Housing laws or local ordinances.

    It seems what every applicant forgets is that a landlord is giving a tenant possession of property worth far more than all the assets most tenants own. In fact, tenants can cause damages that EXCEED the value of all their assets! You said it yourself, “The funny thing is that every landlord that I have spoken to … complains about prior tenants destroying their property to the point where they had to spend thousands repairing it.”

    Perhaps if more applicants took the time to think these points through, they’d have a better understanding of why landlords ask for so much application information and get better results on their rental applications.

    Again, we do agree with just about all your other points:)

  46. Unless you are on disability or handicapped you should not be using section 8 vouchers for too long. If you have been on section 8 for longer than two years and not handicapped or disabled you are the one causing the section 8 issues because you are exploiting the program. It’s time to pay the piper like every other non section 8 recipient.

  47. As a long time landlord I can verify that the vast majority of tenants suck. People who rent can’t pay a high enough security deposit to ensure they’ll take good care of the property, and good tenants are hard to find. That said, HUD, or Section 8, tenants are the worst. 1 out of 100 might be okay but the rest are in Sect. 8 because they’re drug addicts, alcoholics or mentally impaired for some other reason, usually very stupid, somewhat deranged or just plain worthless human trash.
    Yes, some are good people with unfortunate circumstances beyond their control but I was never so lucky as to get one of them as a tenant. You rent to a HUD person, you’re on your own and good luck.

  48. Non-profit Section 8 housing is also for Seniors, some of whom continue to work past the age of retirement. In my experience there will always be some degree of challenging tenants like any place, even within multi-million condo corporations; as there is through-out society, difficult people.
    The increase in Seniors need for housing assistance (HUD) is related to out of control market rate rentals, increased in overall life cycle, increased numbers of divorced women without financial support and in decrease in families willing to provide housing to their elderly.
    Without assistance there would be a greater burden on the public dollar as more Seniors would need full facility care and in the end, there is the question we must all examine – have we all planned for a life that will support us into our late 80’s or beyond, do we all have the type of financial where with all to support ourselves?
    HUD is humanity supporting its most vulnerable to live life in the richest of nations without doing so is to turn your back on the majority of society, unless you are a 1% er, there is no excuse as to why not provide affordable housing.

  49. I have a Section 8 Voucher. I stayed at my last place for six years. Upon leaving my landlord told me that he would gladly give me a recommendation for future housing. I later discovered through documentation that on that same day at 9 am he had contacted Section 8 saying that I was a a lousy tenant who damaged his apartment. In short he was and is a very duplicitous person. He kept the great majority of my security deposit. I happened to know the next tenant he moved in, and I discovered that my deposit went to the purchase of a new $600 shower. Of course I knew I left no damages. In any case I didn’t fight him in court. I valued peace and low blood pressure over money.
    I moved to a new place. Upon moving, I had requested to the property management that they repair outlets before moving in. They were so old that it was impossible to use them.
    That was agreed upon. But when I actually took residence the landlord who lived below me came upstairs and screamed at me loudly with expletives on four separate occasions. The repairman who was repairing the outlets was so in fear of him that he called property management saying “I feel really bad for what this tenant is going through.”
    To make a long story short….I have now been here six years. My lock recently jammed and wouldn’t open. I got a long condemnation from my landlord who didn’t want to be bothered with a repair. He’s a raging drunk by the way. He lives below me and moves vagrants into his place. So this time it’s the Landlord moving all kinds of people in. He moves them in, charges his “roommates” rent, exploits them, and bullies them. I get to hear the violence. He’s done this same routine with “roommates” over and over again.
    He went on a rampage this last Christmas and went outside and tore the Christmas tree down threw potted plants around etc. He had thrown a potted plant at a woman he had an altercation with some years back. He’s so toxic and negative that I totally avoid him. Dark energy for sure. His porch which I share with him needed painting four years ago. At this point, nearly all the paint has peeled off of it. This greed will come back to haunt him later when his house starts really going downhill.
    People sometimes talk as if all Section 8 people are bad. There are bad landlords. My first one was really deceptive, and this one is actually a violent maniac. I won’t tell the Section 8 office the things that have been going on for six years or I’d have to move. It is a big challenge to find a Section 8 unit in certain areas. One you get one it’s much much easier to stay where you are.

  50. Im also a great tenant i pay my rent on time but misda has missed 2 month’s of payments should i be worried and will i be evicted because of them missing payments

  51. Does royal Royce prop. Accept sec8? They have the best homes i ever saw remodels be perfect

  52. Hi, I am a property manager. What talking points do you have for me to talk to a section 8 tenant about. See, section 8 did an inspection and the doors have holes in them, they believe other people with drug problems are living there. It’s only supposed to be the tenant and grandchildren. I know have to do my inspection and sit and talk with this tenant. Thanks!

  53. It is very sad to know some people think badly about those who need this program. I don’t think it’s okay to destroy rental property or whatever else, but I do believe the people being so critical sound ignorant and perhaps sheltered.

    No, not all people who need section 8 are the same. First and foremost that is incredibly ignorant to group everybody who struggles together into one group for you to judge. Section 8 ≠ bad tenets

    People on section 8 have this help because they are in poverty. Poverty is often a generational multi-problem. I say multi-problem because it’s actually a bunch of problems together:

    Education- low income often means parents who had less education, higher drop out rates, less likely to have gotten higher education and as a result lower pay, generalized discrimination based on class, lack of access to things people who don’t need section 8 likely take for granted

    Comfort- when you’re really poor, you don’t always have the comfort every human really needs to be their best and frankly deserves. This is constant stress. Stress from not getting good rest, stress from not having things you need, stress from never having enough money to have fun, stress from being judged for it.

    Time- what do you do if your gas gets turned off because you couldn’t afford the payment? You call in, they say someone needs to be present to turn it on. You have to work or you will miss another payment— they’re not open on your days off. They can only give you a 4 hour time slot for the appointment, which is almost a whole shift…. so you don’t have gas because you don’t have money. You get money by going to work. You get your gas back by staying home from work, which means you won’t have money and will loose your gas.

    No security- this is a terrible feeling. Every time you get in your car, you see that light flashing, KNOWING that if today is the day it becomes a real problem, your f*****. This is a horrible feeling.

    Crime- when people can’t have the things they need I order to feel safe, valued, comfortable and also have a bit of fun from time to time, crime follows. It just does. Rather it be to make ends meet, a way to escape from how stressful literally everything is, or to cover for the people who are dealing with the same problems as you, it just happens. If you’ve never been in a situation like this, you have no right to judge. It’s not okay to break laws. I’m just saying it’s more complicated than some might like to make it seem.

    ….. I think anybody who judges people based on Section 8 and their credit score is probably very unaware of what the world is actually like. I think there’s a decent chance that they’ve had more privilege than they know. Or if not, they’re extremely lucky, and they haven’t looked around enough to realize it.

    I understand as a landlord, you want your property treated well…. I guess all I’m saying is, maybe we should all take a moment to remember what it is to be human? reconnect with our sense of empathy and compassion, and reevaluate how we all set our priorities.

  54. Thank you for explaining that a section 8 inspection can be viewed as a hassle-free annual inspection. My sister is renting out one of her properties and has been thinking about getting this inspection done. It seems like it could be a great way to make sure that everything is running smoothly and functioning properly.

  55. Some of the “pros and cons” are so bogus, and it’s sad. I believe it’s sad because society has created this false perspective of section 8 tenants. These individuals fail to realize a crappy tenant is going to be a crappy tenant whether they are on section 8 or not.

    I think the main con for a landlord is that it is extremely tedious when you want to get rid of a crappy tenant. Section 8 will have certain protections for the tenants, and it makes it really hard for a landlord to get rid of them.

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