Let’s face it. Every one of us that have started down the real estate investing path have had someone tell us how bad of an idea it is and the numerous reasons we will fail.
Just like the responses you received when you first invested in real estate, I bet you would receive similar responses if you told people you were going to rent your properties to Section 8 voucher holders. “Section 8” is the name of The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Voucher program for qualified low-income tenants.
I personally rent to Section 8 tenants, and I get it all the time. After talking to several people with negative opinions about it, I finally figured it out. They have a negative perception that is not based on actual experiences.
It’s almost always “I heard from so and so that this happened”. They are usually surprised to find out that, yes, while there is always risk present in any investment strategy, renting to Section 8 tenants can actually be a risk-mitigation strategy.
You may even find that you prefer Section 8 tenants!
Here are 8 reasons why Section 8 tenants are better:
1. Landlords receive the monthly rent payment via direct deposit from either HUD or your local housing authority. While a tenant may pay a small portion of the monthly rent, the majority is paid by the government.
2. An applicant that has held a housing voucher for many years, values that voucher and is highly likely to stay current on rent. Otherwise, they risk losing their voucher.
3. Section 8 tenants typically stay in a property for many years, reducing the landlord’s turnover costs.
4. The tenants value the ability to rent a property in a safe neighborhood, and especially one that is managed by a great property manager. They are typically very appreciative and keep unnecessary service calls to a minimum.
5. HUD pays for the tenant’s portion of rent if they have to go on an unpaid leave of absence from work. No one is going to pay a non-Section 8 tenant’s rent if they are out of work for similar reasons.
6. Section 8 rents can be higher than average market rents for certain neighborhood classes.
7. You expand your pool of eligible renters. If you don’t accept Section 8 tenants, you are potentially eliminating many qualified applicants.
8. For all the above reasons, Section 8 can be extremely advantageous in recessions or, say, a pandemic.
Of course, these are only some of the benefits of owning Section 8 friendly properties.
To purchase Section 8 investment properties from turnkey providers, visit www.getricheducation.com/section8.
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Good points Keith. I’ve also found that not all section 8 housing programs are the same. Some have high accountability standards with the tenants and extremely long wait lists to get a voucher along with great communication with the property owner / property manager. Others don’t. In Jacksonville, we have a great relationship with the program so I’ve personally rented a small portion of my properties through section 8 for about 15 years now. However, we only make a small portion available because there is always more red tape when going through the program. This means additional inspections and sometimes there are requirements to spend money on your properties to abide by the program that you wouldn’t normally otherwise spend. For this reason, we know which properties in which neighborhoods are likely to attract a higher voucher amount and that benefit outweighs the red tape so we accept section 8 on those properties.
You are absolutely on-point with that comment. It can vary drastically based on any given housing authority in your area. Thanks for sharing your comments!