The Pros and Cons of Being a Section 8 Landlord
If you are a landlord looking for renters, the government section 8 programs can be fantastic; it can also be a nightmare. It all depends on your point of view
On the plus side of the equation, the government will provide you with a seeming endless stream of renters. They will pay the rent to you, and in some cases they will pay 100% of the rent. As an added bonus, the nice folks from the government will also pay for the damage that your tenants cause, provided that you can prove that those tenants actually caused the destruction.
In many cases you can get a high rate of return on your money if you deal with section 8. You can buy cheap property in low end neighborhoods. I have a personal friend who owns a lot of property in places like Wilkinsburg, North Braddock, and Pittsburgh’s Hill District. He buys his houses cheap and gets great rent from the section 8 program.
The converse is that the people who use section 8 vouchers are not always easy to deal with. It’s for me to imagine a person who isn’t responsible for feeding or housing themselves being much of an adult I have a hard time understanding why I want to support a program which takes money from taxpayers to pay for people who won’t work to support themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for charity. I am against the idea that I have to keep someone as a pet to get my tax money back from the government. This is more of a personality thing for me. I don’t want to deal with difficult people, but the money sure is nice. Who knows, maybe by next year I will own a ton of section 8 rentals.
I don’t want to imply that everyone on section 8 is lazy; there are people who legitimately need help. There are people who have mental or physical handicaps which prevent them from providing for themselves. In my experience, these deserving people are a small minority among the section 8 renters, and I choose to avoid the program altogether. I prefer renters who are fully functioning adults.
I do see one benefit from the section 8 program in my life. I buy a lot of property from burned out landlords. The section 8 renters cause a lot of landlords to give up the real estate investing game before they ever really get started. It’s a rare person who can be a section 8 landlord.
If you are a burned out landlord in the Pittsburgh area and you are looking for property management or to sell your house, then email me at PittsburghREIA@aol.com