Section 8 Tenant Prospect

First off, I want to make clear to everyone, that I absolutely do not allow illegal discrimination. But, I do have a concern, I would like more experienced operator advice on. I have recently gotten a Section 8 applicant. I just took over a high vacancy park & would like to increase the occupancy, but don’t know if its beneficial to accept Section 8 tenants or not. I also have a lingering concern about dealing with people who know how to work the system. Your comments would be appreciated.

William, I personally have very little experience with section 8 and it was with single-family homes not parks. I do know that a number of my friends in Southern California who have a lot of section 8 tenants did not receive their government money this month because of the shutdown. I would not want to be in a situation where I have underlying loan or note payments and now I’m not receiving any rents to cover it. I have contemplated section 8 tenants in my Park but am very hesitant to be reliant upon the government for my income. I have also heard rumblings that section 8 was going to be reducing the amount of rent that it was willing to pay. And just me personally I like to have as little government involvement and intervention in my business as possible.

Just my $.02 -


Because I do not rent homes, only the land, I rarely have to deal with any applicants on welfair.

Our system up here in Ontario Canada is deplorable. The majority of recipients are scamming the system and are lifetime recipients along with their adult children. Although legally it is discrimination to consider source of income in screening I do discriminate. I personally will never accept any applicant on government assistance of any form. The primary reason being that the Ontario government prevents garnishment of government benefits in small claims court.

I not only screen my applicants for their ability to pay but also for my ability to collect when they don’t pay. Welfare recipients fail the second test.

Personally I only accept applicants with a solid history of employment and a 650 plus credit score. Period.

Having said that it should be noted that homes in our park sell at between $50,000 (only a very few) and go up to just under $100,000. The prices more than anything screen out the worst applicants and potentially the worst tenants.

William -

The quality of Section 8 tenant varies widely across the country. The key determinant seems to be whether the program administrators actually hold accountable S8 recipients who damage homes.

Our experience with S8 in Oklahoma has been positive. (I’m not saying I like the idea of government providing housing [or healthcare, or food, or Obama phones, etc.], just that the program is administered professionally.) S8 recipients in Oklahoma know they will loose their benefits if they abuse the system. So they (largely) do not. We have found S8 residents to be respectful of their homes, and to pay on time their portion of the rent. Receiving the government’s ACH payment for the rest of the rent on the 1st of every month is very nice (except this month it came today - one day late).

Anybody have any idea how to charge the government a late fee? (:P)

While S8 is indeed government intrusion into our lives, it is unlike most any other government intrusion - it is a way of getting back some of our hard-earned tax money!

The intrusion, in Oklahoma, consists of government inspecting our mobile homes 1x/year. They always find some little thing wrong. One year they decided we had to downgrade a water heater’s drain pipe from copper to plastic. Copper is obviously higher quality, but the genius from the government said plastic was ‘code,’ and that we had to install an inferior product to continue in the program. So we did. And so the checks keep coming.

I suggest you speak with landlords in your area to determine how well the program is administered; that will tell you whether you wish to accept such residents.

Your mileage may vary,