Landlord frustrated, Section 8 tenant left house a mess

By  | 

An Omaha landlord is fed up. He tried to help by renting to those who get assistance from the Omaha Housing Authority, but those tenants left his property a mess and OHA won't help clean it up.

"If they can afford to leave all this food then apparently they don't need the assistance." William Mora is upset. The landlord rents to Section 8 tenants. One recently left his property a mess. Mora will have to move out all the stuff left behind, clean it up and repair the place with the cost coming out of his own pocket before he can rent the place out again.

"What's frustrating is we as taxpayers are paying for them to do this to us on our tax dollar and they're getting a voucher and they're going to do this to another property." Mora says he can't get any help from OHA and it's a waste of time to take his now former Section 8 tenant to court. "Well, if they're getting all their rent paid, what can we get for recourse? If they can't pay their rent and rents being paid by tax dollars then you cant get any reimbursement."

OHA officials say they are funded to provide rental assistance. "Basically we don't get involved," says OHA Director Judy Carlin. "Our assistance is paid to the landlord on the participant's behalf so the landlord and the tenant have the same kind of relationship any landlord and tenant have."

OHA officials say they don't get involved after a tenant leaves a Section 8 property. Mora says what if OHA added a move-out inspection to check out the property before the tenant moved out? "If the house is not the same condition they left it in subject to fair wear and tear, they shouldn't get a move voucher 'cause that's the taxpayer paying for this. That's my tax dollars, your tax dollars, everyone's tax dollars paying for all this and that's not right."

OHA officials say they are not funded for such inspections and renting to a Section 8 tenant with the exception of OHA writing the check is no different than any other landlord-tenant relationship. "It makes you not want to rent to Section 8 and there's a lot of people out there who can use the housing," says Mora. "We would like to provide the housing, but when you do us like this and we get no support from housing then you don't want to deal with public housing anymore. I'll go with private."

OHA says it will conduct "complaint inspections" if they receive a complaint from the landlord that the tenant is violating their lease terms. OHA makes sure the landlord receives their rent, but the landlord and tenant have their own lease the same as any "market-rate tenant."