Finding good tenants

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  #1  
Old 04-19-17, 12:37 PM
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Finding good tenants

As I look at full retirement one option will be some rentals. But some of the stories I have heard and some of the rentals I have visited while duplex shopping for others have me concerned. I understand there are RULES for selecting who you rent to and who you avoid but I'm hoping there are ways to approach that process that will increase the prospect of getting a good renter and decrease the risk of being sued.

Thoughts

Bud
 
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Old 04-19-17, 12:54 PM
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Well one thing I know is, the more updated a place is, the more you can charge, which would better insure getting a good renter.

eta, why are you worried about getting sued? I think it's usually the other way around?

I know stickshift has rentals, so hopefully he'll chime in when he sees this.
 
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Old 04-19-17, 12:54 PM
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Not sure there is a lot you can do other than check references and maybe credit score. .... and don't fall for any sad stories!
 
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Old 04-19-17, 01:25 PM
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Hi Becky, my concern about being sued is for refusing someone for my reasons which can't be used. I haven't researched this as yet but I think I can say no pets (although I love them) but cannot refuse kids or bad financials.

One thought is to not put it up for rent and just let the word out through friends and relatives and hopefully get someone we all know. But there comes a time???

The upscale "new" condition and high rent should screen out some.

But where I'm located, top notch school district and walking distance to it, a 2 bedroom will undoubtedly attract children. One bedroom units would have fewer children but less rent.

BTW this is just the planning stage as I just got the land approved by the soil engineer, tiny stream close by.

Can an apartment be limited to seniors?

Bud
 
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Old 04-19-17, 01:56 PM
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We're in court a lot (couple times a month, maybe) but it's mostly us suing former tenants who left more damage than their deposit will cover or just plain skipped out on rent.

We don't do it but a buddy of mine charges something like $35 for the application fee when someone wants to rent a unit and he says that weeds out a lot of bad eggs. Another meets prospective tenants at their car and takes its condition into account - if it's a mess inside, he figures they'll leave his unit the same way.

We call references, employers and prior landlords. One of the most important things is simply to verify they have sufficient income for the unit - no one wins if they can't pay.

We do not take any assistance-type programs. We also prohibit any flames inside the units, specifically calling out tobacco products, candles and oil lamps because the soot accumulates and causes us more paint work to turn the unit over.

We allow dogs and cats in out units but restrict some of them for dogs due to lack of yard. While we have had some problems caused by dogs (and we disallow any german shepard, pit bull, rottweiler or doberman without even seeing them), the vast majority of pet damage has been cats and having two or more cats makes the likelihood of issues way higher than just one.
 
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Old 04-19-17, 02:21 PM
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Thanks SS, good thoughts (except for the court visits).
Maine may be a bit different as we have extensive renter protection laws, I will be sure to study those. From some of the tenant apartments I have seen I would rather have my space sit empty as opposed to destroyed.

Any thoughts on construction material, carpets vs laminate or vinyl? Or any other features I should add or not use?

Bud
 
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Old 04-19-17, 02:24 PM
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I'd shy away from carpet as it can be hard to clean and if pets are allowed it gives fleas a good place to hide and multiply Paint wise it's a good idea to use standard colors that you can touch up. I've done numerous rentals where I more/less just painted the bottom half of the walls.
 
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Old 04-20-17, 08:01 AM
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Actually, we have good luck with carpet - we buy quality carpet and the tenant must have it professionally cleaned when they move out (the lease literally states it must be professionally done and a receipt provided to us, they cannot use a Rug Doctor or similar). Our units were built with vinyl in the entryway, kitchen and bathrooms but we found several years ago that we could replace it with ceramic cheaper than new vinyl so we are slowly transitioning as vinyl gets damaged.

We do not put laundry tubs or garbage disposals in our units based on what we've seen tenants put down them....
 
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Old 11-20-17, 03:30 AM
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Clark Howard has some ideas here is a site with them. This may help
Becoming a landlord: How to find a good tenant | Clark Howard
 
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Old 11-20-17, 03:46 AM
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When I had rentals, my #1 hard and fast rule was never rent to family or friends. What happens if the family/friend falls on hard times and can't pay rent? How do you evict the person and still keep peace in the family or keep the person as a friend?
 
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Old 01-24-18, 06:37 AM
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Not sure there is a lot you can do other than check references and maybe credit score. .... and don't fall for any sad stories!
+1 on this. I definitely would check their credit score. I fell for a "sad story" because both husband and wife were employed and made a combined income sufficient enough to pay the rent. They were also very nice people. They took great care of the place, but started falling behind on their rent. One excuse after another. Ended up having to evict them, and they still owe me $3,000.

I personally would not allow pets. Too much to worry about. Hair gets everywhere, soiled carpet, subfloor, torn up yard, etc, etc. I would charge a security deposit of at least one month's rent as well. If their credit and references (previous landlords) check out, they have steady income/stable work history, and can come up with $1,000+ cash for a security deposit, then those are all good signs. It's always a toss-up though.

I would not recommend using Craigslist to find tenants. I've used MilitaryByOwner with good results. It's always a gamble though. Comes with the territory. Stay firm in your dealings and don't let people take advantage of you. It's a business deal and tenants should be treated as tenants, not friends. May sound a little harsh, but that's how it's gotta be. Good luck.
 
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Old 01-24-18, 07:00 AM
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As a Broker, and BEFORE taking responsibility for introducing prospective Tenants to a LandLord Client, I would also check for prior criminal activity, regardless of how minor, and or restraining orders and court ordered evictions within Vermont . . . . actually ANY involvement with our Law Enforcement or the Vermont Court System.

But that didn't help with people bringing a lot of such baggage from other jurisdictions, or that which was accumulated under another identity.
 
  #13  
Old 01-24-18, 09:56 AM
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This thread's almost a year old, guys. He may not need help with this any longer.
 
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