Most of the Landlords that we have run across over the years have very emphatic opinions on whether to take Section 8 Tenants in their property or not. Some of them say that it is horrible because the Tenants do not keep up the Property and are not willing to do it. Some of them say that Section 8 Tenants are the best because of the guaranteed rents. We will explore a few of the pro’s and con’s of the Section 8 Housing program here in Bakersfield, California.
Section 8 Tenants Guarantee Your Rents
… or at least most of the rents. Because of the uncertainty of the economic situation, the employment outlook can change on a day to day basis. One of the biggest pro’s for the Section 8 program in these uncertain times are that you can have a portion of the rents guaranteed. In one case, one of our Tenants pays only $1 in monthly rent, which means that you would have almost all of your rent completely paid every month through the Section 8 program. This is great when you don’t know whether your Tenant will have a job tomorrow or not. It can bring some much needed stability to the Landlord and renting situation.
Section 8 Tenants Don’t Want to Default
In most cases it can be a trying process to obtain a Section 8 housing voucher, and because of this, coupled with the fact that the lower the amount of rent the Tenant pays, the easier it is for them to pay rent, allow for a Landlord leaning advantage. What I mean by this is that if your Tenant is destroying your property, or otherwise breaking the rules of your lease, you can speak with the case manager on their file and let them know that you have a problematic Tenant. Because of this the case manager will go to the Tenant to verify your claims and if true, there is a potential for the Tenant to lose their voucher, and once lost, we have been told it is even harder to get again.
Section 8 Has Inspections
If you are a Landlord that does not like to keep up their property, or more fondly known as a “slumlord” then the Section 8 program may not be for you. The reason is that you will have initial and annual inspections of your property to make sure you are maintaining a minimum standard to your property for the Tenants inside. In my opinion, it can be a good thing to have annual inspections, and our property management division does annual inspections anyways, because we want to make sure a minimum quality property is being maintained.
Section 8 Leaves Your Property A Mess
This is a reasoning that most Landlords will use when they are talking about Section 8 because most of those Tenants are already strapped for money, so in order to improve their unit it can be difficult for them. For that reason, you will have to keep your unit up to date to make sure that you are not slowly letting your asset deteriorate. This does not necessarily mean that every Tenant will trash your unit and leave you with no copper wiring. That is largely a myth, from what we have seen, but that also does mean that your maintenance expense can and most likely will go up due to the lack of funds on the Tenants side and the regular inspections on the Section 8 program side. This is just something to account for when purchasing your property and if the numbers work then it can still be a good investment.
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