When you have a Kirkland property or a property in another area, and you’re ready to move out of it either to buy a new home or to relocate, there’s a huge decision that needs to be made: Should you sell that property or rent it out?
If you sell your property, you have the advantage of accessing the money immediately. But, if you’re not putting that money into another real estate investment or a new primary home, you have to decide what to do with the money. Maybe you want to invest it in the stock market or bonds. These are good alternatives, but the better option may be to rent out your home instead of selling it.
A number of laws and regulations govern the landlord and tenant relationship in Bellevue. We’re talking about some of those laws today so you can be sure you and your rental property are in compliance. (more…)
A question that often comes up from prospective Seattle Area rental property owners is whether or not they have to accept Section 8 applicants.
Many do not even know what exactly Section 8 means.
Understanding the Section 8 Program
Section 8 is basically a program developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where a low-income tenant can apply for housing assistance. This means the government will pay a portion of the rent every month directly to the landlord and the applicant will pay the remaining portion. That portion will change based on the income status of the resident. There is paperwork that needs to be filed with HUD in order to have a Section 8 person in your property. The property also must be inspected and designated as safe and habitable.
Do You Need to Accept Section 8 in Your Seattle Area Rental Property?
In Washington State, there is a law that impacts Section 8 tenants and your responsibilities as a landlord. The rule states that you need to accept certain forms of income when you’re accepting tenants. Because Section 8 is a form of income, this means every landlord needs to accept a Section 8 applicant who is otherwise qualified. This would apply state wide.
Some property owners are wary of Section 8, but at SJA Property Management, we have found that this can be a really great and positive situation if done correctly. You have the government guaranteeing a certain portion of the rent every single month, which provides some security and consistency to your rental income. Also we’ve found that Section 8 tenants say longer on average, decreasing your vacancy rate.
Follow the Section 8 Policies
When you have accepted and approved a Section 8 tenant for your rental home, you want to make sure you have certain policies in place to give you the best chance of positive outcomes. You want to make sure you are screening the applicant as you would any other tenant.
There is an exception with this, and that pertains to what you’re looking for when you’re evaluating rent to income ratio. You may be using a rent to income ratio of three times the monthly rent or two-and-a-half times the monthly rent, which means that in order to be approved for your property, a prospective tenant must earn at least the equivalent of two-and-a-half or three times the rent every month.
However, with a Section 8 applicant, you would only be making that requirement on the portion that they are paying towards the rent. So, if they are paying $500 of a $1500 a month rental, they would need to make two-and-a-half or three times the $500.
If the tenant does meet all of your other rental qualifications and you do your walk-throughs and get the properly set up with HUD, it can be a very beneficial landlord/tenant relationship. Often, we have found that these HUD applicants stay in the property a lot longer, which means lower vacancy rates for you. This works out really well.
If you have any more questions regarding Section 8 or any landlord related issues, please feel free to contact us at SJA Property Management.
You may be wondering whether you should rent your property out for the short term or if you should stick with long term leases. We get this question a lot, and today we’re talking about the pros and cons of each type of lease.
At SJA Property Management, we are leaders in the property management industry, serving the Puget Sound area including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle, and the surrounding cities. Today, we want to talk about the importance of consistent rent collection. How can you ensure your tenants will pay the rent in full and on time every month? (more…)
SJA Property Management is a leader in the property management industry, serving the Puget Sound area including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle, and the surrounding cities. Today, we’re talking about maintenance and its responsibilities.
Maintenance on a property can often be a tricky topic in regards to who is responsible for paying to have repairs done. Knowing what a landlord or a tenant is responsible for is important. As a landlord, when you move a tenant into a property in Washington State, you are responsible for maintaining that property, keeping it habitable and fixing anything that may break that wasn’t caused by the tenant’s misuse.
There are some exceptions to that general rule that you will need to be aware of. (more…)
SJA Property Management is an industry leader in the Puget Sound area, including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Seattle. Today, we’re using our expertise to talk about what you should do when your tenant wants to vacate the rental property early. This essentially means the tenant is breaking his or her lease, and there are a few things to think about when this happens. (more…)
Vacancy is one of the biggest drivers of an investment’s performance, and even one month of vacancy is about eight percent of an investor’s gross revenue. SJA Property Management is a leader in the property management industry, serving the Puget Sound area including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle, and the surrounding cities. We have some ideas about how to control vacancy, and today we’re sharing five steps to help you do that. (more…)