I manage my own properties but I know this isn’t an option for everyone.
Below I’ve listed some questions I would ask of a potential property manager specific to managing Section 8 properties.
-What percentage of their properties are Section 8 and/or how many Section 8 properties do they have?
-What specific processes do they have in place for Section 8 (it has additional paperwork and rules)
- Here I would be looking for answers that involve consistency & follow up because the name of the game for Section 8 is process & follow up. For instance:
- -We submit all rent increases on the first Monday following 90 days prior to lease renewal
- -When we submit rent increases, we follow up 1 week later if we haven’t heard a response
- -On the 5th of the month, we text all tenants to remind them to pay if they’re past due. If it is a Housing Authority payment that is past due or was the wrong amount, we contact the caseworker and we follow up daily until we receive an answer & resolution.
- -When we have a lease violation, we email the caseworker & the tenant.
- -Upon notice of non-renewal by a tenant, we immediately schedule a pre move out walk through (or something like that) so we can correctly complete the Good Standing Certification.
-What is their average turn time between 2 Section 8 tenants?
-How & when do they request rent increases with the PHAs
-How do they keep the rent ledgers for Section 8 tenants? (They should keep 2 separate ledgers – one for the tenant and one for Section 8 – otherwise, the ledger is a mess and it gets difficult to tell who owes what)
-How long is it typically between when they place a Section 8 tenant and when the rent starts to come in (In St. Louis, it should only take 2 to 4 weeks)
-How does the screening process change when screening a Section 8 tenant? (They may/probably should have something different in place around Income/Source of Income to pay rent/income multiples)
-What percentage of their Section 8 tenants are past due currently?
-What Housing Authority offices do they deal with most and what is their feedback on each one (each HA office operates differently)?
-Who is their go to contact at each HA office if there’s a problem they can’t resolve?
NOTE: This isn’t an all inclusive list – it only lists items related to Section 8. You’ll still want to vet the PM company for all the “normal” things you would ask for a market tenant. Just do a search here on BP or Google for a list of these – there are a bunch of videos, blogs, etc out there on that.
If a potential property manager can’t quickly & clearly answer these questions, I wouldn’t recommend going with them. Section 8 is amazing when done right but it is quite different than market tenants in a lot of ways and PMs without the knowledge and experience will cost you.
Have more questions or want to learn more about succeeding with Section 8 rentals? Reach out to me through the Contact page today!