Is section 8 being forced on Landlords in Georgia?
As part of our dedication to providing information about being a landlord, Double D property Solutions also like to keep Georgia informed of new regulations that will adversely affect the way we do business around Warner Robins Georgia as landlords. This post is covering Georgia government push to force landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers in any rental property.
What is a rental property section 8 voucher?
Section 8 is a government subsidy (similar to welfare) that helps tenants pay part or all the rent for the rental applicants that qualify for the program. This federal program is designed for Georgia families that are having a hard time affording housing. Under section 8, applicants get qualified based on an income to family member ratio.
How do section 8 rental vouchers work?
In Warner Robins Georgia, by the rules that apply, when a landlord has a rental property available for rent, the landlord puts the rental house on the market at the standard market rent rate for the given area. An applicant with a section 8 voucher is responsible for finding a rental property that will accept section 8 applicants. Once the applicant finds a landlord that accepts section 8 vouchers for their rental house, the applicant inspects the property to see if they like it. If the applicant wants your Warner Robins rental house, they contact their case worker to come out and inspect your Warner Robins rental house too.
If your rental house passes the case workers’ inspection, the applicant will be required to apply and get utilities turned on. Once complete, the landlord will receive a portion or all of the rent section 8 has agreed to pay for that applicant on the first of each month. If the voucher does not cover the full amount of the rent required, then the tenant will be responsible to pay any unpaid balance.
That sounds like easy money, so what’s wrong with allowing section 8 into my house?
Currently, Section 8 applicants in Georgia have over a one year waiting list for available rental properties that accept section 8 applicants. There are not enough rental houses available and there is good reason why.
The first point is that many landlords have learned that renting to section 8 tenants cost more in damage then they make in rent. These tenants did not have to work to earn the money paying for the house they are renting, so their sense of responsibility to maintain the house is low. Since the tenant does not have the money to pay for repairs (that’s why they are on the program) and they did not pay much, if anything, to get into the rental house, there is very little reason for them to be responsible for the damages they cause. Section 8 website clearly states that they will not pay for damages to the rental property caused by the tenant. If your Warner Robins rental house gets an infestation or the carpet gets tears in it or the kids throw rocks on the roof and cause a leak, you have to fix it.
The second point is when the program reduces the amount of rent paid by the program. While the landlord is allowed to raise the rent each year a certain amount, the section 8 program can limit what they will pay, causing the landlord to charge the rest of the rent to the tenant. If they can’t pay their part, you have to go thru the process of evicting them.
The next point is that over the last year or so, housing availability has dropped dramatically. Available rental houses, and houses for sell, in Warner Robins Georgia are at an all-time low. Most of Georgia is having the same problem. While this is good for sellers and landlords because they can get a better asking price without a fight, people needing a house to rent are having major problems.
Since section 8 is a subsidy backed by the government, state officials are deciding to flex their muscles and push other renters out of the way with new regulations. These regulations, in some states, are designed to force landlords to accept section 8 even if they did not want to. Just recently, It was thought that Atlanta Georgia had adopted the same policy. As it turns out, the new regulation they are trying to add tells landlords that they have to accept section as a viable income. Although this does not cause to much concern, it is most certainly a step in the direction of government-controlled rents.
Research for yourself and be aware of new regulations coming down the line. If you need a professional landlord to navigate the waters of property management, Contact us now.