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Calling All Landlords!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Trailblazer, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I could use some advice from landlords if anyone is a landlord, preferably in the United States since that is where I live. If you live in Washington State that would even be better, because the rental market varies a lot by state.

    I have been advertising one of my rental houses for a couple of weeks in order re-rent it and I have had about 100 people respond to my ad. I have several criteria I use to narrow it down to those I would want to rent to and those who are most qualified but I am finding that there are still too many people to pick from since many people who have contacted me make a lot of money and have a really good rental history.

    I had narrowed it down to two people who have already seen the house and are ready to rent it, and they have first last and the deposit in hand. I am sure either one of them would make good tenants but I cannot decide. I am doing the final screening now so I am hoping this helps me decide, but since I still have my ad on Craigslist more people are contacting me and they also meet my criteria and are qualified!

    I have never been good at making decisions and I also feel really bad for the people I have to turn down, but I only have one house to rent, at least at that location, which is very unique and desirable because it is in the county close to town on 3.5 acres on the river. I also keep my rent lower than comparable properties so that is another reason I get so many interested parties.

    I have rented this property out numerous times but I have never had this much trouble deciding who to rent it to because I have never had this many qualified applicants. I did not expect this to be the case given we are still in the middle of a pandemic, but because we are I have to be absolutely certain that whoever rents it can afford the rent and will pay it because the no eviction moratorium is still in place and my attorney told me it is highly likely it will be extended past March 31st.
     
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  2. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    If you've pulled their credit reports and there are no concerns there; if you've made the calls to verify employment, I'd flip a coin between the two.
     
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  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    You're thinking too much. If they have good long term employment, make decent money, have a good credit history, and no indications of drug or alcohol abuse, rent it to them and be done with it.
     
  4. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Depends how much money you have because if there is enough interest in that area and the council is prepared to let you develop you could subdivide and allow more applicants a slice of the good life.
     
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  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Advaita Vedantin
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    I would say if you've already done your due diligence with credit checks, background checks, and reference checks, go with your gut on who would be the best take care of the property.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I give priority to the first applicant.
    To ensure no trouble with Fair Housing laws,
    it's good to have a consistent policy.
     
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  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Under the fair housing laws, it's dangerous to ask about
    substance abuse. I never did because it could be illegal.
    Alcoholics who are in a recovery program are a protected
    class. It's a disability under the law.
     
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  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I wouldn't ask. An addict will just lie, anyway. But we can look for the physical signs, and the personality traits. It's certainly not infallible, but it may help to feel better about a decision.
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Tis better legally to have objective criteria that one applies
    consistently. Otherwise one could be found discriminating
    either for or against a tenant. That can get very expensive.
     
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  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    The problem is that many, many people have all of that, so I have to decide which one would be best for me to rent to.
     
  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I have so much money so I do not need any money and that is one reason I keep my rents low. But just because I have money does not mean that tenants don't have to pay the rent.

    The property cannot be subdivided since it is not zoned for that.
     
  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I had narrowed it down to two candidates who I had thoroughly checked out -- their income, their rental history, and I also called their business references and personal references. I just now got the SmartMove screening reports back for these two candidates and I am sure glad I decided to do the screening! The prospective tenants had to pay for the reports. From the report I found out that the family I almost rented to, because of a gut feeling, have two evictions on their record! The other candidates which are just two people, a husband and wife who own a bakery, have no evictions. This just goes to show that a gut feeling can be wrong. Also, the family that had the evictions reported a income higher than their actual income, as they sent to me on their W-2! Maybe they think I don't have a calculator. :rolleyes: The other ones who own the bakery reported an income lower than their actual income.

    I was only thinking about the couple with the eviction (before I looked at the eviction report) because of a gut feeling but I hesitated because they have two sons in their 20s living with them and four dogs and I did not want that many people living in my house or that many pets, especially because it is on a septic system. The other couple with the bakery have only one dog and no children, and they are 50 and 60 and have been married for 12 years which shows stability. I will probably rent to them, but since they are self-employed I have asked for their tax return to verify their income since that is the only way I can really know.

    I am also looking for tenants who will stay in the house for a long time, indefinitely, so that is a big consideration. I do not want to rent to people who are going to buy a house and vacate in a year. The tenants who just vacated were the best ever but they vacated because they bought a house. I knew that had wanted to buy their own house when I rented to them but they were such good tenants I am not a bit sorry I rented to them. The couple with the bakery wants the house so much they offered to sign a two year lease so I will probably rent to them. They said they want to stay indefinitely but two years is long enough for me because that means I won't have to re-rent that house for at least two years.
     
    #12 Trailblazer, Feb 26, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The first ones.
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Why should I rent to the first ones that came along? Why would they be better than others who saw my ad later and expressed an interest?
     
  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    As a smaller landlord, you're less likely to have legal problems
    resulting from accusations of discrimination.
    1st come - 1st served to the first qualified tenants is a legally
    safe standard.
    - It's widely accepted as fair, & won't look discriminatory in court.
    - It's random relative to protected classes, unlike waiting, which
    can allow bias to influence one.
     
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  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Because they met all the criteria and you wouldn't still be sitting around stewing about it if you'd simply rented to them. All things being more or less equal, pick one, and move on.
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    They met all the criteria until I screened them and found out they have two evictions.
    All things are not equal because one is four people and four dogs and the other is two people and one dog.
    Now I am thinking I should pick the two people with one dog I have been considering who saw the house on the same day.
     
  18. Kooky

    Kooky Freedom from Sanity

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    As a non-landlord, I want to thank you all for providing some insight into a landlord's mindset and priorities.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I finally made the decision to rent to the couple who own the bakery, but now I have to tell the other people they were not chosen. I feel really bad about that because I like those people but after I saw they had evictions I would not have ever felt safe renting to them. Besides, there were too many people and dogs in their family and I had told them that from the start.

    I am glad this is finally over but it is not really over till the new tenants sign the lease and pay the rent and security deposit, not that I am worried about that because if they can keep a successful bakery running through the pandemic I am sure they are responsible.
     
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