Section 8 dispute - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by mawi on December 02, 2002 at 11:56:29:


Section 8 dispute - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on November 27, 2002 at 17:05:51:

Hi All,

I have a problem with a section 8 inspection. Last year the unit was approved and rented as a two bedroom house. This year the new inspector told me they will only approve the place as a one bedroom. The reason being is that you gain access to the bathroom through the bedrooms. To give you a better idea, it was like the brady bunch kids bathroom. You know, where you have a door to the bathroom from each bedroom, but not a seperate enterance. Also, there is no way to make the a seperate enterance.

Any suggestions on how to fight this?


Re: Section 8 dispute - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on November 29, 2002 at 14:24:55:

Tim Jensen----------------

We had the same thing happen with a small w-bedroom house my partner and I own in Oakland, CA. The bathroom is accessible only through the larger bedroom.

We had a renter ready to move in when the Oakland Housing Authority told us the same thing you have been told. We did not fight it, though. We just rented to the open market, non section 8.

Good InvestingRon Starr

Some Section 8 ammo for you, buddy… - Posted by Hal Roark

Posted by Hal Roark on November 29, 2002 at 07:44:44:

Hey Tim,

I know the feeling. One thing some folks don’t like about the section 8 program is the need to deal with government bureaucrats. Understandable. In my particular case, I think I could easily make the argument that I have had, seen, and experienced some of the most unimaginable horror stories around.

For example, our local hud used to be so corrupt that the feds placed the entire program on federal receivership with a judge acting in control! Furthermore, there is $800,000,000 (that’s not a typo) in funds given to our local hud office that can’t be accounted for over the last decade. (And you thought those $200 toilet seats to the navy were expensive? These guys renovating the projects… many of whom were politically connected… made an absolute fortune. 800 million. That’s criminal). Finally, our inspectors were so corrupt that our New Orleans inspections are now done by a company out of Tennessee!

Tim, I promise you: NOBODY has had harder times with this program than me (and us) down here. And here is the great news: if it can make a fortune for me, it can do the same for you. Now let’s give you some ammo to solve this easy problem.

First, you need to know the regs, or at least have access to them when this problem arises. Go to and you will find a pdf file you can download it. When you do, you will clearly see that your bathroom situation is NOT a violation. Looks to me like you got a faulty inspector.

Download the docs, make sure you are in compliance, talk to anyone in your local reia group that may have gone thru this before (maybe with this inspector), and prepare yourself. Next, follow the procedure for a reinspection. Always remain calm, polite, and professional. Point out the discrepency and resolve it the second time on the spot. If it is still a problem (which I doubt it will be), ask the inspector for the name and phone number of his/her supervisor so you can go over their head.

People make mistakes. This was likely an honest mistake by a perhaps unseasoned inspector. Whatever. Armed with knowledge, skills, a good team, and the right attitude, you can solve almost anything, especially this small deal.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.


PS. It’s exactly this kind of thing that drives many from this program. And: THANK GOD for that! These small hassles dissuade the amateur landlords, creating a supply shortage, with huge demand… and that’s RIGHT where you want to be throwing your line in the water… where there is small supply and huge demand for your product. (Why work to get business, when, if you do it right, you can have it running at full speed towards you?). Wishing you the best, friend.

Re: Section 8 dispute - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on November 29, 2002 at 01:28:56:

That’s bogus…as long as you don’t have to go thru one bedroom to get to the other, they should be considered separate. Maybe if you put a lock on each door between BR and BA so you could lock-out the other side if need be…?? Ask them to show you the regulations that define a bedroom as something other than what you provide!


Re: Section 8 dispute - Posted by M. Martin

Posted by M. Martin on November 27, 2002 at 23:43:58:

Talk with the case manager at the HA. If you read the inspection form and how it defines bedrooms and bathrooms you will see that the inspector is wrong. Bedrooms are defined as a room used for sleeping and must have a window and closet. Bathroom must have toilet and tub or shower with door for privacy. If you have a door from each bedroom for privacy then you have a bathroom. Here in New Orleans we have a ton of Shotgun style houses where you must go through each room to get to the other one meaning you may have to go through two bedrooms and the kitchen to get to the bathroom.

Good Luck

I’m armed and ready - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on November 29, 2002 at 22:17:06:


Thanks for the link.

I already have a call into the head of the section 8 program. I will probably have to call her again on Tuesday.

I was polite with the inspector and she told me that I needed to call the head of section 8. With the info you gave me, I am sure that I can get them to see things my way. Then again, whoknows.

Thanks again,

What’s the best way to get in Section 8? - Posted by mawi

Posted by mawi on November 29, 2002 at 19:11:06:

Hal (or anyone else who can answer):

I think I’d at least like to look into the possibility of offering Section 8 housing. Do you know if HUD or anyone else offers to help people do that?

In our area, I never see rentals advertise the fact that they accept S-8, but we do have a rental assistance program run through our county. Some landlords take that and some don’t but they tend to advertise whether or not they take it. Don’t know if it’s a substitute for S-8.

Anyway, thanks in advance for trying to answer my questions.

Tim, I forgot to mention… - Posted by Hal Roark

Posted by Hal Roark on November 30, 2002 at 09:42:25:

They don’t put phones in any of the section 8 offices. I’m serious. O! You get a phone number; and, you make a call… but I’ve NEVER had a live human being answer my call, and I could go on a trip around the planet, return, repot my petunias, bake a cake, and still be refreshed by the time they return the call. Don’t hold your breath. In my experience, a personal visit, unannounced, to resolve the situation on the spot goes a long way.

Good luck, and keep us informed.


Re: What’s the best way to get in Section 8? - Posted by Hal Roark

Posted by Hal Roark on November 30, 2002 at 09:46:47:


Call your local hud office to get info on the program in your area. They often have a landlord packet they can send out to you. If not (in your area), don’t fret. Find out how many vouchers they have, how much demand is there, and how much they pay. Does it interest you? Do you want to get into it?

I would also check out the other support program. Many landlords hate these programs, which may mean an opportunity for you, if you learn their tricks and problems and capitalize on both.

Good luck,