10 Property Manager Interview Questions You Should Ask For Section 8

Blog April 2024

Investing in Section 8 housing or transitioning your rental property to Section 8 rentals is a complex process that demands astute legal knowledge and savvy market experience. Engaging a seasoned property manager, well versed in managing Section 8 properties, offers a wide host of advantages to enjoy steady revenue streams.

But in order to find the right professional, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for and ask the right property manager interview questions. Given the intricate nuances of HUD regulations and financial obligations involved within Section 8 housing, you need a property manager with extensive legal and real estate experience. That’s not all.

A property manager who networks with government officials, caseworkers and inspectors will empower you with a wealth of options and opportunities. Navigating the legal complexities, inspections and approvals of Section 8 becomes incredibly simpler with a seasoned property manager guiding the way and attending to all the paperwork and managerial duties.

At GCG Real Estate, we empower our clients with a standardized process that allows them to enjoy passive income streams while we tackle the hassle. Our property management system is designed to streamline every aspect of Section 8 obligations and tenant management. Get in touch with our team to learn more about our processes.

Why are Property Manager Interview Questions Important?


A detailed consultation session is an integral part of the hiring process to gain clarity on what services each applicant is capable of providing. We strongly suggest compiling a list of property manager interview questions to cover every aspect of your needs and the applicant’s experience.

These questions will serve as a window into the manager’s skills, providing a comprehensive overview of their qualifications, communication skills and problem-solving abilities. The initial consultation will set the tone for your work relationship, allowing you to build a rapport and feel confident delegating responsibilities. More importantly, these questions will give you clarity while setting expectations and defining the responsibilities associated with this role.

Read on to explore 10 crucial property manager interview questions that will help you find the right professional to grow your real estate portfolio within Section 8.

10 crucial property manager interview questions for Section 8 Property


1. Do you have the Relevant Qualifications & Licensure?

You cannot engage a property manager without verifying qualifications and licensure. Most states across the US require property managers to complete standard coursework and obtain real estate or business qualifications. In order to work as a property manager, aspirants must pass an exam to obtain real estate licensure.

While some states don’t require licensure, it’s always wiser to work with a professional adept in handling legalities and financial obligations. If you prioritize qualifications and licensure, you can find an experienced manager with specialized certifications. Verifying licensure will protect you from fraud and lend credibility to the work relationship.

As you review their qualifications, inquire about each applicant’s technical skills.

Here are some property manager interview questions to ask:

  • Which property management tools and software do they use to manage their duties? 
  • Do they understand the complexities of taxation, leases and legal contracts? 
  • Are they well versed in the safety standards and ensure your rental properties are in top shape to pass strict HUD inspections?

Having an industry wide network of inspectors and government officials isn’t enough if the individual doesn’t have the skills to manage rental properties. At GCG Real Estate, we strongly urge property owners to entrust their hard-earned assets in the hands of a qualified, licensed property manager.

2. What is your Experience Managing Section 8 Properties?

It is imperative to ask property management questions relevant to Section 8 in order to gauge the applicant’s experience within this sphere. The Public Housing Authority (PHA) imposes strict regulations and landlords must comply with a series of stringent regulations to maintain the Section 8 status.

You need to have an in-depth discussion regarding the property manager’s experience with Section 8 properties, inquiring about their strategies of interacting with government officials, handling problematic tenants, and property inspections.

Here are some aspects to scrutinize:

  • Dealing with officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the local PHA authorities is by far the most challenging aspect of managing a Section 8 property. We strongly advise inquiring about the applicant’s approaches of handling legal and governmental matters to ensure they are capable of managing your portfolio.
  • It’s also important to ensure the professional has extensive knowledge of the legal intricacies and regulations of the Section 8 program. You must ask all applicants to share their knowledge about the annual inspection process and how they will help you follow all guidelines. Inspections can be particularly stressful as HUD inspectors are unbelievably strict and thorough.
  • Moreover, be sure to quiz the applicant about the rental regulations and how the HUD Fair Market Rents Documentation system works

3. Do you Network with Government Officials and Real Estate Professionals?

Unless you want to spend your days lounging in an understaffed HUD office, waiting in a long line of frustrated landlords, it’s wise to find a property manager with an extensive industry wide network. Building a profitable rental portfolio within Section 8 is all about building and nurturing relationships, and creating opportunities for growth with astute property management.

Hiring a property manager who has an extensive network of caseworkers, real estate attorneys, inspectors and housing officials will elevate your portfolio with a wealth of advantages. For instance, you can gain insider insights to make well-informed decisions, enjoy strategic support in legal approvals and regulatory checks, and breeze through inspections without panicking.

When compiling your property manager interview questions, be sure to include a few inquiries about their industry network and how they use it to their client’s advantage.

4. How do you Deal with Difficult Tenants?

If you’re considering applying for a transition to the Section 8 housing program, you’ve probably heard horrible stories involving difficult tenants who violate laws and destroy properties. If you’re a landlord of a Section 8 rental, you may have a story or two of your own. Difficult tenants are a common struggle for landlords, and dealing with disgruntled renters becomes increasingly challenging under Section 8, given how it favors tenants.

At GCG Real Estate, we discourage social stigma and generalizations because the Section 8 Housing program is designed to help low-income individuals and families obtain affordable and safe housing. But as experienced professionals, we cannot ignore the challenges of managing difficult tenants and neither can you.

Incorporate these talking points in your property manager interview questions to examine the applicant’s tenant management experience:

  • It’s crucial to inquire about each applicant’s approach to handling difficult tenants without violating the laws imposed under Section 8. 
  • While asking property management questions, create scenarios involving property damage or subletting and inquire how the professional will address the situation. 
  • Be sure to thoroughly quiz the applicant about the state and local laws regarding tenant management under Section 8 to ensure they’re well-versed in the legalities.
  • It’s also wise to inquire about the property manager’s experience in evicting a problematic tenant and handling court-related matters.

5. Which Skills make you an Exceptional Property Manager?

It’s important to avoid dominating the conversation and asking your property manager interview questions that discourage the applicant from opening up. After all, breaking the ice and building a rapport will help you gain a team player who’s comfortable and confident in your presence. Once you’ve gauged their experience and knowledge of the Section 8 housing program, allow them to share more about their skill set and strengths.

An astute and savvy property manager operates with a robust skill set of hard and soft leadership skills. While the hard skills refer to the professional’s license and qualifications, the soft skills, which are much more important, involve their capabilities to eliminate real estate challenges and manage efficiently. Some indispensable skills to find in a property manager include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, efficiency, discipline, tenant servicing, and organization skills.

Here’s how you can probe deeper:

  • In order to gauge these skills, you must inquire about each applicant’s communication style and how they communicate with tenants, caseworkers and inspectors. 
  • You need to know how they set prioritizes, devise strategies and execute the multitude of responsibilities that fall within Section 8 regulations. 
  • Can the professional keep track of strictly imposed deadlines and prioritize crucial matters to prevent delays?

Issues are common in a landlord-tenant relationship and you need a property manager who is adept at solving problems and ensuring they don’t recur with timely preventive strategies. Be sure to draft property manager interview questions about the applicant’s approaches of handling complaints, managing inspections and scheduling tasks.

6. How will you Manage my Property to Ensure Compliance with Section 8 Guidelines?

At GCG Real Estate, we firmly believe that clarity breeds confidence, setting the stage for a relationship sealed with trust. Before you entrust your rental portfolio to a property manager, you need to know exactly how they will manage your property. This question is particularly important for overseas investors or those who manage rental portfolios across multiple states.

If you’re unable to attend to landlord duties, you must entrust them in the reliable hands of a professional with standard operating procedures to handle every aspect of property management. Make no mistake, HUD caseworkers and inspectors are strict and can make your life hell if basic utilities like gas, water or electricity are faulty. As the property owner, you must ensure a healthy and safe living environment for your tenant. Failure to do so can lead to a frustrating spiral of legal trouble.

Therefore, be sure to quiz each applicant with property manager interview questions about how they will ensure legal compliance and manage your property to meet all HUD requirements in great detail. Inquire about their experience handling utilities, responding to tenant complaints, addressing repairs and conducting monthly, quarterly and yearly maintenance. Moreover, a proficient property manager plays a crucial role in overseeing property operations and tenant relations, ensuring seamless management aligned with the parameters of a thorough real estate due diligence checklist.

7. How do you Deal with Frustration and Pressure at Work?

It’s pertinent to ask property management questions that dwell on the day-to-day challenges of managing Section 8 rentals. Dealing with HUD officials, legal requirements, tenants and extensive paperwork can be extremely frustrating. If you’re looking for a qualified property manager, you’re probably trying to reap the benefits of a secured rental income while escaping the hassle involved within the Section 8 program.

You need to find an individual who doesn’t succumb to pressure and handles frustrating situations with a strategic game plan. The ideal candidate will walk you through their approach of handling pressure by staying organized, prioritizing crucial tasks and breaking down legal complexities into manageable milestones.

8. What are your Work Hours and how do you Manage Issues on your Days-Off?

Property managers don’t always have the healthiest work-life balance since the job demands attending sudden requests and regular maintenance to avoid tenant complaints. If there’s a fire hazard or a power breakdown in the middle of the night, you should be able to rely on your property manager to address the situation immediately.

We suggest discussing the following aspects within your property manager interview questions:

  • It’s wise to obtain clarity on the property manager’s availability and how quickly they can respond to emergency repairs. 
  • You need to know their work hours in order to streamline daily, weekly or monthly communication and get regular updates. 
  • Are they managing multiple properties without delegating any roles to their subordinates? If that’s the case, you may want to reconsider and work with an individual who can devote more attention to your portfolio.

Well-reputed property managers typically secure high-value rental portfolios only to delegate day-to-day duties to inexperienced new entrants, leading to property devaluation due to neglect.

When compiling your property manager interview questions, be sure to quiz each applicant thoroughly about their work load, availability and response time for last-minute emergencies.

9. What Was the Most Difficult Situation You’ve Managed within the Section 8 Housing Program?

Needless to say, managing a Section 8 rental portfolio is much more challenging than managing other properties that aren’t monitored with strict governmental scrutiny. We strongly advise you to ask property management questions regarding difficulties and challenges and encourage the applicant to be honest.

Include the following in your property manager interview questions:

  • Ask them about their experiences managing difficult caseworkers who deliberately create hurdles and delays in paperwork filing. 
  • Inquire about each applicant’s experience communicating with stakeholders like a problematic tenant, or a diligent inspector who finds issues in seemingly fine electrical components.

These property management interview questions will help you gauge the professional’s experience and capabilities in much more detail.

10. How Have You Grown as a Professional?

The last and most important question on our roundup of property manager interview questions encourages you to inquire about each applicant’s professional journey. Asking how they’ve planned and achieved professional growth will open a window into their strengths and capabilities, revealing their mindset and dedication to their career.

A property manager who doesn’t value growth and professional development won’t take the trouble to stay abreast with technological changes and evolving legal regulations. In contrast, a growth-focused property manager will stay updated with cutting-edge property management tools and strive to become aware of changing regulations.  

Final Thoughts

These property manager interview questions will help you find a professional who is fully capable of handling your portfolio while enjoying the benefits of the Section 8 housing program. The right professional can eliminate the hassle of being a landlord, allowing you to reap a stable and secure passive income without any legal frustration.

We strongly encourage you to ask property management questions that reveal each applicant’s strengths and offer valuable insights into their management strategies. At GCG Real Estate, we are pioneers in property management, empowering our clients with standardized processes and stable, passive income streams.

Get in touch with our team to learn how our seasoned property managers can help you manage your portfolio and execute the responsibilities of the Section 8 housing program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the top three skills for a property manager?

    A savvy property manager is disciplined and adept at time management, a gifted problem-solver and boasts a solid understanding of managing real estate portfolios.
  2. Which property manager interview questions are the most important?

    It’s crucial to ask property management related questions that probe the applicant’s experience and qualifications, particularly in managing properties related to your investment area. You must cover each and every aspect of your property management responsibilities to ensure they can fulfill your needs without faltering.
  3. What’s a property manager’s greatest responsibility?

    Tenant management is the greatest responsibility of a property manager, and it includes a multitude of roles, including timely rent collection, property maintenance and responding to emergency repairs.

Related Articles

What is a Section 8 Housing? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

Blog May 2024

Real Estate Due Diligence Checklist for Affordable Housing Investments

Blog May 2024

Rising Borrowing Costs & Distressed Multi-Family Properties

Blog May 2024
View all


Any questions

What is affordable housing?

Affordable housing refers to housing units designed to be accessible to low- and moderate-income families, typically costing no more than 30% of their gross income.

The definition of “affordable” typically varies depending on location and income levels but generally encompasses rent or purchase prices that don’t exceed a certain percentage of a household’s income.

What is Section 8 housing in the US?

Section 8 is a federal rental assistance program in the US run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that helps low-income families and individuals afford decent and safe housing in the private market. 

The program provides eligible households housing choice vouchers that cover a portion of the rent directly to the landlord, with the tenant paying the remaining amount. Property owners who participate in Section 8 agree to rent units to qualified individuals and families at a rate approved by the program.

How can I invest in Section 8 housing?

There are several ways to invest in Section 8 housing:

  1. Direct ownership: You can purchase a property approved for Section 8 and rent it to a qualified tenant using a voucher and receive rent subsidized by the government.
  2. Real estate investment trusts (REITs): REITs pool investor funds to purchase and manage income-producing real estate, including affordable housing.
  3. Limited partnerships: Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) offer another option for investors to pool resources and invest in affordable housing projects.
What is the difference between multi-family and single-family properties?

Single-family property: This refers to a standalone house or unit designed for and rented to one household.

Multi-family property: This refers to a property containing multiple dwelling units, such as a duplex, apartment building, or condominium complex. Multi-family properties offer the potential for higher rental income but typically require different management strategies and considerations compared to single-family homes.

What is the difference between buying and flipping houses?

Buying and holding: This involves purchasing a property to keep it as a long-term investment, generating rental income and potentially appreciating in value over time.

Flipping: This involves buying a property, renovating it to increase its value, and then selling it quickly for a profit. This is a more hands-on strategy with higher risks and rewards compared to buying and holding.

How much do I need to start investing in affordable housing real estate?

The minimum investment required varies depending on the chosen method. Direct ownership typically requires a higher initial investment for the property purchase, and renovation up to Section 8 standards, while other options like REITs might have lower minimum investment amounts.

Do I need to be a US citizen to invest and own the property?

No, US citizenship is not a mandatory requirement for investing in affordable housing in the US. However, specific restrictions or regulations might apply depending on the investment method and your residency status.

It’s crucial to consult with a professional to understand the legal and tax implications for non-citizens.

Do I need to pay US tax as an overseas investor?

This depends on the type of investment, your residency status, and any applicable tax treaties between your home country and the US.

Consulting with a tax professional specializing in international investments is highly recommended.