May 28, 2019
So let's talk Section 8! There's an Eight Ball on the cover image of this episode for a reason. All too often Landlords effectively "Black Ball" Section 8 voucher holders. When a person with a Section 8 voucher calls to inquire about a listed rental home and they begin to ask that question of the Landlord... "Do you accept Section 8 vouchers?" - All to often, it may seem to the prospective Tenant as if the Landlord barely waits for them to finish asking the question before beginning to respond - "No... We don't accept vouchers".
But when those prospective Tenants call me to inquire about one of my rentals, the answer as it relates to most of my properties is... "Yes, certainly we accept Section 8 vouchers." - And it's funny (ironic) when the person then asks the question again... "You do accept Section 8!?" - As they are so (pleasantly) surprised to hear something different than all their prior inquiry calls - they hardly believe their ears.
In this 10th Episode of the ... and Landlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I discuss Section 8. I go into many of the reasons that Landlords often effectively "black ball" (refuse to accept) these prospective tenants who are on Section 8. But I concede that in some markets this may be a wise decision, as County Section 8 programs are not always administrated effectively and Landlord / Tenant Laws can be shewed (un-reasonably) towards the Tenant in some Cities and States.
I warn that if it takes 6+ months to evict someone in your market, then it does increase the risk of accepting Section 8 as a Landlord - as well as, just being a rental property owner in that location at all. However, where the program is administered properly and where evictions can happen (should it be needed) in a reasonable amount of time (like 1 to 3 months) - then accepting Section 8 can be of great benefit. That benefit can be for you (the Landlord), but also for the Section 8 Tenant, the Neighborhood, the City, the State, the Country - and everyone.
There may be many legitimate reasons for NOT accepting Section 8, of which I cover several in this episode. But there are also many valid reasons TO accepting Section 8 - that should be fully considered before just refusing to participate in the program for fear of what might happen. Landlord Horror Stories abound, but you can run your rental business (including accepting Section 8 vouchers) in a way that makes it unlikely you'll be the next victim.
As such, I cover many of the things that can be done to lessen the chance of a negative outcome. And how to increase the likelihood for getting a long-term Tenant who will greatly appreciate having a wonderful home for their family.
Do Good While Doing Well...
Section 8 offers a prime opportunity for Landlords to do good for others, while also doing well for themselves. But the program and those on it have gotten a negative stigma attached that makes many Landlords fear even trying to participate in the program. As stated, that can be a wise choice in some markets. But in many (if not most) the risk is more than worth the reward. And the risk can be largely mitigated by having proper Tenant screening, strict policies and well established procedures that allow your rental business to function smoothly.
This episode relates my experiences with Section 8 in Durham, North Carolina. And you be successful with Section 8 also, here or elsewhere - if done right.