For Rent in 20723>Question Details

Cecily W-c, Both Buyer and Seller in Laurel, MD

Rental vs. Section 8

Asked by Cecily W-c, Laurel, MD Tue Jun 12, 2012

I purchased my townhouse/condo in 2006 when I was single. Six years later, I'm married expecting twins at any moment and still in the same two bedroom/ 1.5 bath. We've decided to explore rental options in order for us to move out of this home in the next few months. What are some pros and cons of renting out my property vs renting to section 8. I am in Howard County. I have visited the Howard County website and printed out information but I would love some first hand experience. Thanks

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Ok, so what is the Landlord's role?

"Landlord's Obligations: The role of the landlord in the voucher program is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to a tenant at a reasonable rent. The dwelling unit must pass the program's housing quality standards and be maintained up to those standards as long as the owner receives housing assistance payments. In addition, the landlord is expected to provide the services agreed to as part of the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the PHA."

Unlike my colleagues, I am not an advocate of placing tenants into my rental unit if they cannot personally afford my rental rates. I am by no means a believer in big brother dictating my market rates, my repair needs or requiring me to sign a contract to dictate what I am required to do with my property. I prefer quality screening to provide me with viable tenants that fit my requirements for credit, income, and criminal background checks.

Check out one of my Blogs on Tenant Screening:

http://www.trulia.com/blog/dddrealtor/2012/06/managing_renta…

Just a little about my background so you know where I'm coming from....I'm an investor that has multiple properties and tenants in the San Antonio area. I go above and beyond to provide clean and updated rental units and have been in the game for awhile. Whatever you decide, Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2012
Hi as a REALTOR and Landlord I have no problem with the voucher program. I have properties rented to people on the program and (regular ) renters and I can tell you that I prefer the voucher program, first the rent is paid on time every month, you have and advocate in the program that you can go to in case of trouble and if you do your due diligence (screen, check their background, do your inspections etc.) you'll have less headache then with some other renters. In DC they are a protected class as in some counties in MD now. it appears a lot of agents don't know or understand that, but I treat all applicants the same. as it has has been said bad renters come form every walk and level in life. by the way I've been renting to Sec. 8 for about 15 yrs.and I will continue to do so. I hope this helps contact me for more help if you like.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2012
As a realtor and person I feel there is discrimination againts people with section 8 or home vouchers. The assumption is they are not trsut worthy nor caring or law abiding citizens.
I feel you have much more security with section 8 of both getting payment on time and because is difficult to find good rentals they will appreciate having a good home and will take care of it.

I have been trying to find homes for several teachers and government employees and have a lot of difficulty as renters do not want to rent to people holding vouchers.
In my opinion it should be agains the law to not rent to them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 22, 2012
Hi Cecily,

You'll have a few more restrictions/inspections with Section 8 but they are generally conditions that any good Landlord would want to keep up on anyway. In Howard county you have to consider Section 8. And it's a great program to assist families that are having trouble making ends meet. It is also guaranteed rent as the County/State pays most of the rent directly to you.

Downside with ANY rental is that a tenant can be hard on a property. I recommend writing in at least quarterly walk-through inspections to make sure the house is being maintained.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 21, 2012
Hello Cecily,

Section is rental just subsidized by external source. I believe Mrs. Love makes an excellent point. You can have great renters or sections8 renters as well as bad renters or section 8. As the owner of the property you have the opportunity to review all applicants and make a decision.

The decision should be made after some resources that best fit your needs. I can see you have begin to do this and it is a good step.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 20, 2012
Hi I am new to the section 8 program and i feel like they really dont give us a fair shake , They are people who have great credit and have terrible houses . I have been in big luxury homes and they are up to par . I have also been in homes of people who have section 8 and there homes are immaculate. I dont think you should judge a book by its cover. The pros of section 8 are guaranteed income , they also inspect annually . The cons are you could get a rotten apple but dont let 1 spoil the bunch for everyone else . When you interview your tenat give them a questionaire or let them write an essay and explain what getting this house would mean to them. You also can ask to see where there currently living an if you can come over. You can tell if a person maintains a clean house or if they just cleaned up for that day. I just wish people would go buy your merits and integrity instead of what fico score tells them . Its millionaires that lost money can you imagine the every day working class joe is going through. People that have had the best credit unfortunately in this economy credit score has dropped so in your decision please take all this in account
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 14, 2012
Embarking on renting to Section 8 tenants is one of those decisions that homeowners like yourself should undertake only after thoroughly researching all the implications of renting to this very specific demographic.


Pros: Guaranteed monthly rent payments! Section 8 rental income is among the most reliable. Under Section 8, tenants are responsible for approximately 30 percent of their rent, while the US government picks up the balance of the rental payment. This US government balance is paid directly to the property owner/landlord. There are cases where the US Government pays the entire monthly rent amount directly to the homeowner/landlord. Section 8 may be a great solution to generate increased rental income.

Cons: Before approving your home for Section 8 occupancy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will determine your unit’s Fair Market Rent (FMR). Once the FMR is determined, you are not allowed to accept outside payments that will result in a rent higher than the FMR.

In the beginning, the process is similar...a potential tenant would complete an application submit the app for processing, undergo a credit check and background investigation, checkout previous references...etc. In other words, section 8 tenants would need to be approved by you the homeowner just like anyone else.


**FYI : Find out what the 2012 Income Limits are: http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il2012/2012summary.odn (if needed, copy and paste)

I hope this information has been useful and benefits you, however, If you need further assistance, please email, text or call me, Juanita Brown, Realtor. Serving the lovely state of Maryland since 1997.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 12, 2012
I would suggest exploring both options at the same time. Use the same qualifying criteria for all applicants. You cannot exclude an applicant due to source of funds (IE Section 8) but can disqualify them if they otherwise would not meet your qualification criteria.

Here is a short informative article from the Maryland Association of Realtors.
http://www.mdrealtor.org/LegalAffairs/FrequentlyAskedLegalQu…

I have 20 years experience buying, selling, and as a long term investor. I have multiple long term rentals in the area. Let me know if you need more assistance.

Brian
Web Reference: http://www.BrianHolt.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 12, 2012
Section 8 users have received a bad reputation for destroying homes. Regular renters sometimes don't pay rent. There are pros and cons with both groups. Just list the house and pick the most qualified applicant based on a property management company's scoring rubric.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 12, 2012
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