Sunday, February 27, 2011

Landlords beware, you just might be the next recipient for Section 8.

There a lot of pros and cons to Section 8. For those of you that are not familiar with this housing program, it is basically a government subsidised rental assistance.  If you qualify for Section 8 than all or a portion of your rent is covered.  There are way more people on this program than you may realize and it is heart breaking.

It used to be that there was at least a two year waiting program. However, since there are too many people out of work things have heated up very quickly and most of the renters have to rely on this assistance. Some have been lucky with their landlords to allow for section 8 because when the program is accepted the landlords have to make very sure that the dwelling is within their standards. So if a landlord keeps up with maintaining the home, then Section 8 is likely to be given.  Yes, sometimes it will cost the landlord a sizable amount to get it government issued ready, but you know what? Landlords should be taking care of their homes anyway.  It really is a no brainer, wouldn't you think?

The houses on either side of us are participants of Section 8.  That is why the slumlord worked so hard on getting house repairs that he neglected done, so he could allow tenants to live there that already had the assistance.  Otherwise, I think he would have had a heck of time renting out his home.  Chris and I are fortunate enough that we are not needing that assistance.  There may come a time in the future that we may need to have this,but hopefully not.  Our landlord made a comment to us before we made February's rent payment that if we ever had to go on Section 8 that we should consider getting cash advances rather than go on Section 8 assistance.  Chris made the comment that should we ever have to go on that program we could no longer live in his house anyway because there would be no way that Section 8 would deem this house safe.  I am not kidding.  Our landlord is under the assumption that his tenants should invest their own money to improve the home.  He is a frickin' idiot. Chris told him that under no circumstances are we responsible for the things that should have been done before we moved in.  We have documented everything and taken pictures and for the most part the landlord has not said one word more to us.  We will have certainly left this house in better condition and that is all the landlord will get from us.

I just don't get how these people will buy up all these properties and not do a thing to improve upon them but they will expect the tenants to put their own hard earned money into something that is not theirs.  What really boggles my mind is that there are some tenants that are so afraid of being evicted if they don't do repairs or improvements.  Tenants, wise up and read the tenant/landlord laws in your state.  Educate yourselves and know your rights. You will be surprised at what you could demand from your landlord. 

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