Author Topic: How to be more appealing to a landlord?  (Read 3925 times)

Beckyemerson

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How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« on: August 19, 2013, 06:11:12 PM »
My current landlord is terrible and so our family (me, my husband and three small children) are moving but our lease doesn't end until the end of September. I found the perfect rental today. It is cheaper than where I live now and from the pictures looks nice. I haven't found anything this nice in this price range. Rentals in this area go quickly. Unfortunately my downfall is that I don't want to pay double rent for the next five weeks. I spoke with the landlord today and asked him the latest date he would let me start a lease and he said it depended on my credit score and some other criteria. He said if I met his criteria he would be willing to be flexible. Other than credit score he was not specific about his "criteria". I think perhaps he just wants to feel me out. See what kind of "vibe" he gets from me. I meet him tomorrow and I really want this property is there anything you can suggest I say or do that might sway him? We have great credit scores. My husband has a great job. We both have college degrees. We are low key. I am a stay at home mom. I don't know what else to say that might persuade him.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 06:18:53 PM »
Maybe mention that you are good about keeping an eye on maintenance issues and will call them in promptly. All of my landlords have asked me to do so, and my previous one REALLY emphasized it and thanked me profusely when I called in a problem with the sprinkler valve that was slowly flooding the crawl space. I think some people procrastinate to call and the problems become really expensive to fix. Obviously landlords don't like that.

Daleth

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 06:29:45 PM »
You're working on one end of the problem: the future landlord. But there's another end that you should be working too.

Ok, first a bit of background: If you live in the US, if you move out early, landlords can't just sit back collecting rent for the last three months (or however long is left) of your lease. We have a legal obligation to put the house back on the market and make reasonable efforts to rent it ASAP. If it takes us a month to rent it out, then you owe us rent for that month... but not for the entire term left on the lease. Of course, that's the law, then there's reality... if you move out early and the apartment is empty for a month or two, the landlord will probably keep your deposit even though they're not supposed to (assuming you left it clean and in the same condition it was when you moved in).

Here's a way to avoid that. This is what happened when one of my tenants moved out early (SEVEN MONTHS early!). He let me know he was moving out, asked me for the text and photos of my craigslist ad, put an ad up himself with his own email and phone as the contact, and showed the house to a bunch of potential tenants. He kept me updated and sent me all the info on the potential tenants (names/contact info, where they worked, when they wanted to move in). I then contacted the ones who sounded decent (i.e., wanted to move in ASAP and were employed) and had them go through my usual application process.

In other words HE did all the legwork to find me a new tenant. (If your landlord won't give you the text of his ad, you can put up your own ad, with your own photos, for free.) The place was rented before he even moved out, with the new tenant moving in on May 1; the old tenant moved out on like April 20 or something and of course he paid me the full rent for all of April.

If you do something like that, then you don't have the double-rent problem (or at least not for very long), you endear yourself to your old landlord and impress the new one, and you don't need to meet such a high bar (perfect credit or whatever) with the new landlord because you're not asking him to do you the favor of letting his apartment sit there unrented for five weeks.

impaire

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 06:36:44 PM »
I found the perfect rental today. It is cheaper than where I live now and from the pictures looks nice. I haven't found anything this nice in this price range. (...) I meet him tomorrow and I really want this property.

Just a question-by "meet him tomorrow," you mean you are meeting him to visit the apartment, right? Don't forget that this is a two-way transaction, make sure you get what you think you are getting :)

Beckyemerson

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 07:04:50 PM »
You're working on one end of the problem: the future landlord. But there's another end that you should be working too.

Ok, first a bit of background: If you live in the US, if you move out early, landlords can't just sit back collecting rent for the last three months (or however long is left) of your lease. We have a legal obligation to put the house back on the market and make reasonable efforts to rent it ASAP. If it takes us a month to rent it out, then you owe us rent for that month... but not for the entire term left on the lease. Of course, that's the law, then there's reality... if you move out early and the apartment is empty for a month or two, the landlord will probably keep your deposit even though they're not supposed to (assuming you left it clean and in the same condition it was when you moved in).

Here's a way to avoid that. This is what happened when one of my tenants moved out early (SEVEN MONTHS early!). He let me know he was moving out, asked me for the text and photos of my craigslist ad, put an ad up himself with his own email and phone as the contact, and showed the house to a bunch of potential tenants. He kept me updated and sent me all the info on the potential tenants (names/contact info, where they worked, when they wanted to move in). I then contacted the ones who sounded decent (i.e., wanted to move in ASAP and were employed) and had them go through my usual application process.

In other words HE did all the legwork to find me a new tenant. (If your landlord won't give you the text of his ad, you can put up your own ad, with your own photos, for free.) The place was rented before he even moved out, with the new tenant moving in on May 1; the old tenant moved out on like April 20 or something and of course he paid me the full rent for all of April.

If you do something like that, then you don't have the double-rent problem (or at least not for very long), you endear yourself to your old landlord and impress the new one, and you don't need to meet such a high bar (perfect credit or whatever) with the new landlord because you're not asking him to do you the favor of letting his apartment sit there unrented for five weeks.

Daleth,
Your suggestions are great except that my property managers are horrible like I mentioned. 5 months ago I accidentally backed the car into the garage door. Obviously this was completely my fault, but accidents happen. I call the property management company explain what happened openly and honestly. Tell them I have the money to pay for it. 5 months later...they still have not fixed it. Oh and every couple weeks when I call they make some excuse and then lie and say there is a work order in place. This house is priced a tad bit high for the neighborhood. But now, not only is the price a little high, but it also has a crumpled garage door that doesn't work. It is a huge eye sore. Also I don't know if I could sleep at night if I encouraged someone else to sign a lease with these people. There are more reasons that what I have revealed but my time can be better spent on something other than complaining about them.

Beckyemerson

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 07:18:07 PM »
I found the perfect rental today. It is cheaper than where I live now and from the pictures looks nice. I haven't found anything this nice in this price range. (...) I meet him tomorrow and I really want this property.

Just a question-by "meet him tomorrow," you mean you are meeting him to visit the apartment, right? Don't forget that this is a two-way transaction, make sure you get what you think you are getting :)

I read what you wrote several times and now I am suspicious. This property is priced low. Thank you for pointing this out.

honobob

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2013, 07:33:37 PM »
I would be suspicious of you that you seem desperate to rent sight unseen.  I don't rent to desperate people.  The landlord may be looking for better tenants instead of top dollar. I like tenants that genuinely like my place and express how it meets their needs.  I also like a tenant that comes prepared.  Have a tenant resume.  Does 't have to be fancy, rental and employment history, basic references and contact info..

Beckyemerson

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 09:00:25 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, especially honobob. Before looking at the property I sent the landlord a tenant resume. Then as we looked at the property, we bubbled over about all the features we love. When it came time to negotiate a lease start date he asked me my ideal date and then gave it to me. Yeah!

Your advise saved me about $600 a month on rent!

ender

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 09:16:04 AM »
Stories like this are why I haven't moved.

Our onsite property manager is unbelievably interested in making sure we are fine. Our AC went out on a Thursday night a few weeks ago (it was 95+ outside) and wasn't going to be able to be fixed until Monday of the next week. Our property manager set us up with a portable window air conditioner unit (which was awesome).

I think part of it is myself and my roommates are always friendly and personable and pay rent completely on time. We very clearly (and unintentionally) showed ourselves to be tenants which would be no hassle, accommodating, and not the "omg NEED THIS FIXED NOW" people. I suspect landlords love that.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How to be more appealing to a landlord?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 09:48:28 AM »
Definitely don't give him the desperate vibe. Landlord/tenants relations are very akin to dating. Be relatable without spilling your entire life story. Write well, respond promptly.

Are your finances in a tight spot? Because in the grand scheme of things, one month of rent shouldn't be that big a deal. Moving is rarely a perfect operation and leases will overlap a little every now and then. And definitely tell your current landlord to start putting up ads for your current place. Should he find someone to move in immediately, your problem disapears.