Q:I have a couple of rental properties in Griffin, GA. I live at Lithonia, GA close to Stone Mountain. It is about 45 miles from here, by hwy155 (back road), one way to Griffin. I have to have a job to support me and my primary residence for sure, it always seems.

My tenants do not pay the rent on time ever. When I evict one of them I just replace a bad tenant with another bad tenant. And I loose the money to the one who left plus more money for the time when I am looking for the new tenant.

How can I fix this problem? Is section 8 the answer to it? I tried that too but Mr. Pruitt, who came from Carrollton GA to check the place, told me that my houses have LEAD BASED PAINTS and it is no good for section 8. I put new paneling on all the walls and sheet rock on some rooms, painted the entire house with new paint. I painted entire house, windows and doors but now he says still it is no good I have to put new doors and windows in order to qualify for section 8. Is that correct? In other neighborhoods he is extremely easy.

A: You can check out the rules for Section 8 housing at www.hud.gov. If you feel you are not being treated fairly by this individual, you can contact his superiors at the central Atlanta HUD office, or contact people in Washington.

I’m not sure Section 8 is the way to go however. You may just need help better screening your tenants. Sometimes elderly individuals are better tenants because they pay on time, and usually stay for longer periods. Go to the library and see if you can find any of Robert Irwin’s books on renting property. You might also try looking for Robert Shemin’s “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.”

Jan. 1, 2004.