I am seeing an increase


#1

in both foot traffic on our retail lot and calls of well qualified renters looking for clean, safe, housing.

We are up to 90% occupancy and this is a very good thing. We consider 95% full occupancy as there are always folks moving in and moving out. To achieve this number we have had to do some different things. One of the biggest, is when folks come to us that are current tenants and say they just can’t afford the rent we charge, we don’t just automatically process them out. We look at available units available, and see if we can put them in smaller, cheaper units, or reduce rent 50 bucks or so to keep a good tenant in place.

I am quickly finding that a good teant is VERY valuable and hard to find. The good 'uns we try to hold onto.

Have an appointment with the HUD Section 8 supervisor this week. I am checking into if this is a good fit for me. At Tony and Scott’s Bootcamp I heard some very positive things about the program and think all my homes will fit their requirements. How cool is a guaranteed check each month? I have interviewed a few applicants and they are decent folks and I think they will make decent tenants. Maybe start out with 10 or so Section 8 renters and see how it goes from there.

Anyone else seeing positive movement on rentals? Business picking up?

Greg


#2

We have banned HUD residents from those homes that people own and were renting out prior to our take-over. They sleep all day and party all night. Also with 10 years in apartments - our first apartment we evicted 4 out of 5 HUD renters. The Owners of the MHs like the guaranteed check from the government, but the tenants do not make good neighbors in our experiences. Good Luck with your program.


#3

I could not disagree with Dale more but there is no right or wrong.

Section 8 tenants are no different than my other tenants in most respects. Low income tenants are low income tenants. A job loss and that good low income tenant could be a section 8 tenant soon enough.

If I am reading it correctly, Dale bought a property that had section 8 tenants in it but he did not have the chance to screen them. You still have to screen section 8 tenants just as you would any other tenant applicant. Perhaps if he had been able to screen them he would have found better section 8 tenants.

I would not encourage anyone to just read a horror story and forgo a program that offers me the same tenants I had before for all intents and purposes but provides me with a rent check that is independent of weather (how many low income tenants have jobs affected by weather such as painters, laborers, lawn care, etc).

Let’s face it, the thing landlord’s hate most is chasing their money. I would also argue that my section 8 tenants due far less damage than my traditional tenants (which is landlord concern #2).

Tony


#4

Tony, please lay out your screening process of sec.8 applicants (describe the type that works as well as what you avoid). I believe you when you say that the program has served you well, but as per posts, that is not a given for most who try it.


#5

Shawn,

As I pointed out on my post on CRE, or, as I was trying to point out- the issue can be less about the tenant than about the housing coordinator. Now, I had bad experiences with the OFFICES that I dealt with, but I did enjoy getting the regular payments from HUD.

I know lots of people who like section 8. The variances come with how each office is locally run. In my experience, small towns can have some pretty wild ideas of how things should be, and because they are small offices, they don’t get much attention or oversight from the state office. For instance, the HUD guy in ND that I tried working with was giving housing vouchers to single male college students, but had a waiting list for single mothers. That was his admitted preference for who should get vouchers.

If you find an office where you can work with the coordinators, and they are very clear about what is required of landlords, this can work well.

To answer your question about screening tenants, I always used Louis Brown’s application, and I ran credit, verified employment, called at least one personal reference, got a multi-state criminal check. Just be consistent and fair. If you work with the PMs you will have a partner in screening.

good luck,

Anne

PS- I will also add that I do not rent out mobile homes, I always do seller-financing. The section 8 tenant I had ripped up a stick-built house, which is why the costs were so high. She took out the furnace in an act of vengance because she had to put her dog to sleep. I was the only landlord that would allow pets, and she got evicted from my house for non-payment of her portion of the rent. Very sad story. I probably would not have evicted her if I’d known she’d have to kill her pet.


#6

listening to both you and Scott at bootcamp. The two folks that applied for rentals with me were both clean and had well behaved kids in tow. They were both moving to get away from bad neighborhoods.

One of the single moms stated that HUD would cut me a check each month and she would be responsible for the remaining portion (in this case 105 per month).

she want on to say that her biggest fear was losing this housing allowance for her and her children. This gives me the idea that I have a bit of leverage to collect and to get them to adhere to my rules…

No one likes chasing money each month. We are going to try 7 units in Jan. and see how it goes from there. Your properties were neat and clean and I didn’t see any problems from the road at any of the locations we toured.

Greg


#7

I have rented to Section 8 in the past but would not do it again. It’s true you must screen just as you would anyone else but the problem I found was not the actual resident. I had problems with people (usually family members) they moved into the homes without my knowledge. These people were the really horrible ones.

Some landlords love this program and others hate it. I say give it your best shot and make up your own mind.

Rolf


#8

I have one Sec 8 tenant. We’re coming up on her 3-yr anniversary and she’s been one of my best tenants ever. Her place is clean and well cared for. She pays her portion of the rent 1-2 weeks early every month. The balance comes in the mail from the HUD office 1-2 days late, but it still comes.

Let’s see . . . pays on time, takes care of the place, reasonable in her requests for maintenance or upgrades . . . what more can you ask for as a landlord?

I’m sure others have had bad experiences but mine are more in line with Tony’s - all good. How the local office is run really does have a lot to do with it. I have heard horror stories from as close as the next jurisdiction over from mine. As for me, if I were doing any more rentals at this time I would do sec 8 again w/ no qualms.

All the Best,

Michael(KCMO)


#9

Hi Greg,

I have rented to a few Section 8 tenants and my results are mixed. The good ones have a job during the day and use the program to supplement their income. The ontime checks are nice.

The bad ones don’t work during the day, have friends visiting them all the time, have money from many other government programs, will have other dead beat friends and family stay with them without my permission. In a singlewide on land, no problem. In a singlewide in my park, they are too much of a disruption to the other neighbors.

Another set of tenants that can be a pain, are independent contractors, self employed fishermen or agriculture, and low income service. The problem is that they don’t have health insurance, sick days, vacation days, and the jobs can be high turnover.

The ideal tenant has been with a company for 2 or more years, has benefits, and doesn’t move that often. The hard part is finding them.

Best investing, Chris