Should You Be a Section 8 Landlord? Here are the Pros and the Cons
Section 8 housing has more than a whiff of bad reputation. It calls to mind decrepit slums and unreliable tenants. Why even consider it?
Because thousands of landlords swear by the benefits of offering their prized assets as Section 8 housing … and they have a point. As a property owner, subsidized housing offers several attractive benefits.
Here are the significant pros — and a few cons — to taking the plunge and becoming a Section 8 landlord.
Pros of Owning Section 8 Rental Housing
Your Rent Payment is Practically Guaranteed
No more chasing down tenants for late rent payments. The rent is paid to you directly from the government housing bureau. As long as the agency remains solvent, your rent should arrive, in full, like clockwork.
Little or No Vacancy
Forget budgeting for marketing expenses — the housing agency is your marketing pipeline, and it is always full. Subsidized housing is in high demand, with long waiting lists. High-quality Section 8 properties tend to get snapped up quickly. When a Section 8 tenant finds suitable housing, they tend to burrow in and never leave. As such, you can expect very little turnover or loss due to vacancy as a Section 8 landlord.
The housing office sets the rent your subsidized housing unit is eligible for based on the number of bedrooms. This isn’t always the case, but the subsidized rent you qualify for is often higher than the market rent. Pick your properties correctly, and you could make out like a bandit — not only less vacancy and no skipped rent payments, but a higher rental rate than you would get on the open market.
The stereotype of the destructive Section 8 tenant is far from true. Yes, there are some bad apples, but Section 8 tenants can lose their housing voucher eligibility for disruptive or destructive behavior. Most don’t want to risk it, so they tend to mind their manners and take reasonable care of the property.
Cons of Owning Section 8 Rental Housing
It Can Take Awhile to Get Approved
While you will have little vacancy once you are on the Section 8 rolls, you might face some front-end vacancy. This is because it can take several weeks or even months to get approved for the Section 8 rolls. Be prepared to carry some costs while you wait.
As a Section 8 landlord, you have to submit to annual inspections of the property. This is to make sure that you are keeping the property liveable. With a MartelTurnkey rental, you have a head start with a pristine, renovated property. MartelTurnkey clients are committed to being conscientious landlords, so there’s little to fear from these inspections.
You Can Only Accept Section 8 Tenants
As a Section 8 landlord, you can only rent to Section 8 tenants. This is little problem for most landlords, though, since the supply of Section 8 tenants usually far exceeds the supply of Section 8 housing.
Harder to Evict
If you do get a bad tenant, it can be harder to evict due to the housing office bureaucracy. Fortunately, you are still at your liberty to screen tenants for rental and criminal history. You don’t have to accept tenants just because they have a voucher.
Every MartelTurnkey asset is eligible for Section 8 housing. If you want to take advantage of this lucrative sector of the rental market, call MartelTurnkey today — we have the resources in place to get you started on the right foot!