Author Topic: Question from a renter regarding references  (Read 1808 times)

Zikoris

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Question from a renter regarding references
« on: November 02, 2013, 10:48:50 AM »
Hi landlords of MMM! I may be in the market for a new apartment some time in the new year, and have a reference question.

I've been living in a housing co-op for several years now. In a co-op, there is no landlord - there's an elected board of directors, and committees that handle different parts of operation(membership, finance, gardening, etc). I imagine the places I apply at will be looking for references, and I'm not sure who I could use.

I could put down a random board member, but I'm on the board myself, so that would basically be putting down a friend. We have hired office staff who handle paperwork and repairs, who would probably do it, but they're not people with any authority or anything like that - they submit things to the board of directors that need decisions. The membership committee is only involved in bringing in new members, not dealing with existing ones, so couldn't really be used. As landlords, who would you guys want me to put down? How would you feel about the situation?

I've been here for several years and don't have contact info for my old landlords anymore - my last place was run through a small property management place that I believe didn't do references, the place before that I left on bad terms - it was a basement suite, kept flooding, landlord wouldn't fix it or answer her phone/respond to messages(she got back to me remarkably fast when I left a message that I was leaving though!), I bailed.

Other that that, me boyfriend and I meet all the usual requirements - long term stable employment, make good money, great credit, no criminal records/evictions, never sued anybody, good references through other sources like current and past employers.

Thanks!

Dulcimina

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Re: Question from a renter regarding references
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 03:52:29 PM »
The co-op info would be more relevant to me.  Like, does the co-op housing mean you were an owner for several years? Did you pay co-op fees every month and on time, things like that.  Did you get along with neighbors? Are you leaving on good terms with board. 

Zikoris

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Re: Question from a renter regarding references
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 04:07:42 PM »
I'm in a rental housing co-op, so the tenants are not owners - we pay monthly rent, and it's run basically the same as an apartment building - the only difference is really that instead of a landlord, we have an elected board, which I sit on. I imagine most people leaving would use a board member as a reference, but since I'm on the board now, it would seem inappropriate - it's basically putting a friend down as a professional reference. I suppose the office staff or accounting firm could confirm that we pay rent on time, though I don't know if it would be appropriate since in a way they're employees and report to the board?

For neighbours, we either get along with or have no relationship with the majority, with a few who strongly dislike us for political reasons(they were very pleasant until they found our our stances on issues various local issues). We've certainly never done anything like throw a party or anything that would give someone good reason to be pissed off at us.

We're on good terms with the board, and actually don't want to leave, but the rent is going up more than we're comfortable with.

ritchie70

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Re: Question from a renter regarding references
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 10:36:55 PM »
I'm in a rental housing co-op, so the tenants are not owners - we pay monthly rent, and it's run basically the same as an apartment building - the only difference is really that instead of a landlord, we have an elected board, which I sit on. I imagine most people leaving would use a board member as a reference, but since I'm on the board now, it would seem inappropriate - it's basically putting a friend down as a professional reference. I suppose the office staff or accounting firm could confirm that we pay rent on time, though I don't know if it would be appropriate since in a way they're employees and report to the board?

For neighbours, we either get along with or have no relationship with the majority, with a few who strongly dislike us for political reasons(they were very pleasant until they found our our stances on issues various local issues). We've certainly never done anything like throw a party or anything that would give someone good reason to be pissed off at us.

We're on good terms with the board, and actually don't want to leave, but the rent is going up more than we're comfortable with.

You're over-thinking it in my opinion.

Your prospective landlord basically wants to know two things: did you pay on time, and did you trash the place. That's a question for the office staff.

Unless you're going to direct the office staff to give a false answer, I don't see anything inappropriate.