Author Topic: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?  (Read 10894 times)

MaxRules

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Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« on: July 15, 2015, 04:07:33 PM »
I just put my first house up for rent and got everything set up thanks to much help from this forum. The only trouble I'm running into now is that a very poor selection of tenants have been applying to rent my house. The rent is $750/month for this four bed, two bath home which is priced right and above your basic run down house rents of about $400. I was hoping to get mid to upper range renters but all I've seen so far is bottom of the barrel renters and some are just plain scary. I advertised it on Craigslist per the advice of many and have received lots of calls and I've showed the house to six. Maybe Craigslist is not the best pool of renters? Maybe just a good run of bad luck? I expected some entertaining prospects during this adventure but this has been not only alarming but also discouraging.

Any advice? Most common problems are low income, unverifiable income/lying, past evictions, and even one currently being evicted according to my online source.

mskyle

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 04:12:00 PM »
What's the neighborhood like?

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 04:48:21 PM »
What's the neighborhood like?

It's a real quiet working class neighborhood. I've seen plenty of kids and families around, no trouble that I've seen in three months of fixing the house. Home values $55k to $75k in this neighborhood, pretty typical for this rural county. Easily a place I wouldn't mind living myself, which is how I judge when I buy a house to resell or rent. If I would live there I'm sure others would also. Should attract a decent renter...?

Another Reader

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 05:19:35 PM »
I never use Craigslist.  Get acquainted with Postlets.  You want to be on the higher end websites - Zillow, Hotpads and the like.

I don't show the house until I have prequalified the tenant by phone or e-mail.  Get your list of criteria together.  It should include minimum acceptable credit score, minimum verifiable income (most people use 3-3.5 times the rent), no felony convictions, no major misdemeanor convictions, no evictions, and good references from two prior landlords, to list a few.  Have that conversation before you show the property and say the exact same thing to everyone that calls.  When tenants realize you will check all this and you will reject their application, they probably won't show up to look at the house.  If they apply anyway, reject them and give them the reason.  Word will get around. 

Some "working class" neighborhoods that are near large employers don't have a high quality tenant population.  That's because people that have steady jobs and an income of 3.5 times the rent are buyers, not renters in those neighborhoods.  "Rural" also could mean a long drive to work, and renters don't drive.  They find something close to their jobs at the same price point.

Finally, if all you get are bad tenants, it's likely your rent is too high.  If similar run down houses are $400, you are probably going to get $450-$500, depending on how bad "run down" is.

Read Eric's "No Nonsense Landlord" blog, as he encountered many of the same issues and now has good tenants in his properties - nononsenselandlord.com.

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 07:30:20 PM »
I never use Craigslist.  Get acquainted with Postlets.  You want to be on the higher end websites - Zillow, Hotpads and the like.

I don't show the house until I have prequalified the tenant by phone or e-mail.  Get your list of criteria together.  It should include minimum acceptable credit score, minimum verifiable income (most people use 3-3.5 times the rent), no felony convictions, no major misdemeanor convictions, no evictions, and good references from two prior landlords, to list a few.  Have that conversation before you show the property and say the exact same thing to everyone that calls.  When tenants realize you will check all this and you will reject their application, they probably won't show up to look at the house.  If they apply anyway, reject them and give them the reason.  Word will get around. 

Some "working class" neighborhoods that are near large employers don't have a high quality tenant population.  That's because people that have steady jobs and an income of 3.5 times the rent are buyers, not renters in those neighborhoods.  "Rural" also could mean a long drive to work, and renters don't drive.  They find something close to their jobs at the same price point.

Finally, if all you get are bad tenants, it's likely your rent is too high.  If similar run down houses are $400, you are probably going to get $450-$500, depending on how bad "run down" is.

Read Eric's "No Nonsense Landlord" blog, as he encountered many of the same issues and now has good tenants in his properties - nononsenselandlord.com.

I've always had the 'low quality' impression with Craigslist and posting my house there did concern me. I've bought and sold many small items on there but have also had plenty of contact with crazies. I am checking out Postlets now.

The prequalification idea is starting right now. I'm not wasting any more time meeting with people until I see some people that are more qualified. Missouri has a "CaseNet" website where you can see anyone's criminal history for free just with their name. It's really been a big help and was recommended to me by a local guy. Cases for "rent and possession" (eviction) have been common themes for the people I've looked up.

I checked on rental prices before, during, and after buying this house and I really think I'm good on price. The only thing that made my house more difficult to price was the fact that has a huge garage behind it, which I think adds some value (and it costs me to own it). I originally listed the house last week for $650 and had the garage at an optional $150/month more, thinking that would widen the selection of people who just wanted the house and I would rent the garage to someone else who really wanted it (separate driveway). Long story short I had many people only interested in the house and still several more were not at all bothered by the $800/month for everything (although no one qualified). I decided not to hassle with separating the garage and list the whole thing at $750. Still the same volume of interested yet unqualified renters.

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 07:33:33 PM »
Picture of house and garage located behind the house:

« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 07:36:52 PM by MaxRules »

bluestone

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 07:42:23 PM »
Nice looking house. One thing that I have done with craigslist is not give a phone number, but ask that interested potential tenants write me and tell me a bit about themselves and when they are looking to move in. I don't reply to those who don't follow directions or don't offer any real information about themselves or ask questions that are answered in the listing. It saves time and has worked so far. I've only been a landlord for six years or so, but it's worked for me.

Another Reader

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 07:56:59 PM »
What else can you rent for $750 in the area?  If there are much nicer houses at that price point or nothing at all at that price because it's not affordable, your rent is too high.

I think you may be confusing what you value and would pay a high rent for and what the tenant pool values.  Yeah, a nice garage is a feature for you, but maybe not your tenants.  If no one was interested in the garage at $150, that tells you something. 

If you post on better sites and get the same low quality applicant pool or no calls at all, it's time to drop the rent.

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 09:11:15 PM »
What do you guys think about posting the full address online? So far I've only posted the area, then when someone calls and sounds interested I gave them the address so they could drive by and see if the house/location fit their needs.

How do you feel about posting "house for rent" signs on the street?

Fishingmn

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2015, 05:49:47 AM »
Another Reader's advice is spot on. Use Postlets (I post to CL too). Have written list of qualification criteria and review on phone before scheduling showing. Another thing I do is if they are qualified and you schedule a showing tell them that they need to call or text you 1-2 hours before the showing to confirm. It puts it back on them to verify that they won't be a "no show" and also gives you some level of understanding whether they can be responsible.

I would review your rent on things like rentometer.com, hotpads.com and padmapper.com to verify if your rent is in line with the alternatives.

I do post the address but you'll have to decide if that is a security risk, especially if it's vacant.

Zamboni

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 06:13:56 AM »
I want to congratulate you on being thoroughly diligent in screening potential tenants. Sure, it's painful to realize how many deadbeats and criminals are out there, but not nearly as painful as having one of them end up in your house!

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2015, 07:17:23 AM »
Read Eric's "No Nonsense Landlord" blog, as he encountered many of the same issues and now has good tenants in his properties - nononsenselandlord.com.
Thanks for the mention!

You are overpriced, or under-marketing, by definition.

Remember, good tenants can go anywhere they want.  They look for the best value and take it.  Lower quality renters take the places that are offered.  Remember, all the places you see advertised on Craig's are vacant.  They might not be at the right price either.


Also, low quality tenants apply at many more places than quality tenants.  And they move 2x+ times as often.  So, 95% of tenants will be unqualified to rent at any given time, even though only 30% are actually 'bad'.
http://www.nononsenselandlord.com/2014/02/why-do-tenants-that-look-at-my-property-seem-under-qualified/


Pre-screen.  I have a email already to go to send to prospects regarding more information (FAQs) and tenant qualifications.  If they call directly, I have them text their email address and I send the information.


« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 09:07:57 AM by NoNonsenseLandlord »

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 06:45:39 PM »
Thanks for the tips everyone! I knew there would be plenty to learn. I put just about every tip to use here including the pre-screen when people call. I put a list of basic requirements on the ads, such as income must be 3x rent, no evictions, no felonies, and informed them I do background checks. That has really cut down on the number of deadbeats calling me. I'm happy to report I have a potential tenant coming to see the house Sunday that sounds good and checks out so far.

I want to congratulate you on being thoroughly diligent in screening potential tenants. Sure, it's painful to realize how many deadbeats and criminals are out there, but not nearly as painful as having one of them end up in your house!

Thanks, I'm looking forward to more rental properties if this is something that works out.


Thanks for the mention!

You are overpriced, or under-marketing, by definition.

Remember, good tenants can go anywhere they want.  They look for the best value and take it.  Lower quality renters take the places that are offered.  Remember, all the places you see advertised on Craig's are vacant.  They might not be at the right price either.

Also, low quality tenants apply at many more places than quality tenants.  And they move 2x+ times as often.  So, 95% of tenants will be unqualified to rent at any given time, even though only 30% are actually 'bad'.
http://www.nononsenselandlord.com/2014/02/why-do-tenants-that-look-at-my-property-seem-under-qualified/

Pre-screen.  I have a email already to go to send to prospects regarding more information (FAQs) and tenant qualifications.  If they call directly, I have them text their email address and I send the information.

Good info and I do enjoy your blog.

monarda

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2015, 07:58:21 PM »


Remember, good tenants can go anywhere they want.  They look for the best value and take it.
Lower quality renters take the places that are offered.  Remember, all the places you see advertised on Craig's are vacant.  They might not be at the right price either.

Also, low quality tenants apply at many more places than quality tenants.  And they move 2x+ times as often.  So, 95% of tenants will be unqualified to rent at any given time, even though only 30% are actually 'bad'.
http://www.nononsenselandlord.com/2014/02/why-do-tenants-that-look-at-my-property-seem-under-qualified/


Mostly good info here. Remember, the good tenants have a choice.

We advertise on CL, because Postlets aren't used much in our area (not more than 50 listings, compared to huge numbers on CL). Our units are fully occupied when we advertise them, so no, they're not all vacant on CL.

True though, often when we get a lot of applicants, many are not qualified, and it really appears that they are applying all over the place.  We haven't been charging an application fee, but after our experience this round, we probably will start. We tell applicants that we check credit before they apply, but some with just awful credit scores decide to apply anyway. Waste of our time.  Will they still apply even with a fee? who knows,  but maybe some will be deterred.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 09:51:57 AM by monarda »

Bearded Man

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2015, 11:04:38 PM »
Nice looking house. One thing that I have done with craigslist is not give a phone number, but ask that interested potential tenants write me and tell me a bit about themselves and when they are looking to move in. I don't reply to those who don't follow directions or don't offer any real information about themselves or ask questions that are answered in the listing. It saves time and has worked so far. I've only been a landlord for six years or so, but it's worked for me.

I like that. I have not had problems with CL finding quality renters in a somewhat bad part of town on a busy street. I price the rent below market but not too low. Then I pick the best from the interested parties. Works well so far.

yeahgofigure

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2015, 12:00:58 AM »
Half of my renters come from CL and no difference in quality versus other sources such as MLS, realtors, and Zillow. Maybe it's the location as most of my rentals are in the nicer part of town however still do fine with CL on my couple rentals in less desirable areas. I'm sort of weird as keep my places very nice, charge a little above market (10-20%), fix things promptly, keep my tenants happy, they often stay for years, and because of quality my places rent fast which double minimizes vacancy.

Maybe it's your CL posting that causes quality prospects to skip over the post? My posts look professional with lots of good pictures and a nice descriptive yet concise 4 - 5 sentence description talking up the quality. I also put my phone number and rental address. At first tried to hide these as concerned about crazies but was missing out on many qualified prospects that do a drive by before viewing and text/email contacts 99% are flakes.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 12:10:40 AM by yeahgofigure »

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2015, 06:33:39 AM »
Do not forget to pre-screen when you get an email from a prospect.  And if you get a text first, have them text you their email address.  Here is my prescreen email that i am sending out now for a vacancy I have.  This one is a bit tougher to rent, so I reduce price every couple of weeks.

====>>
Thank you for inquiring on INSERT ADDRESS HERE

This unit will be available August 1st or September 1st.  It will likely not be available much earlier.  It is a 3BR, 1BA duplex, with the rear unit open.

I have a Real Estate license, so if you are preparing to buy a home, this is a perfect fit.  If you purchase a home through me, I can make sure the lease transition is easy, and also give you up to $500 back at closing to help with your moving expenses or anything you want.

I will be looking for tenants with a 625+ credit score, and a solid household income of at least ~$45,000 per year.  If you are marginal on both of these items, I will generally decline you.  Your criminal and rental history must be clean.  If you have had a foreclosure, I can work with you a bit on this.

This is a non-smoking rental.  If you smoke, you will likely be declined.

Pets are allowed, however no Akita, Chow, Pit-bull, Rottweiler, or any cross breed with wolf are allowed.  A $25 fee per pet is a general rule of thumb. 

The unit is vacant, and I have additional work to do.  I will be re-paving the parking area.  There is virtually no grass as the back of the unit is mostly a parking area. 

This is an older building.  There is no garage, but there is off-street parking.  There are no stairs to get into the unit, although there are stairs going to the basement.  There is a washer and dryer in the basement of the building, there is no cost to use the washer or dryer.  The unit has central air and forced air heat.

Utilities are provided by Xcel Energy.  Based on the past 12 months, they typically run ~$150 per month.

While it is on a busy street, the rear location of this unit is extremely quiet from a traffic perspective.  The front of the building is a music lessons store, where you will hear soft music through the walls up until ~8 PM.  It is not loud, but you may hear bad versions of several songs multiple times over.

The rental agreement will include a lead based paint addendum as the property was built prior to 1978.  You can read more about lead based paint here.
http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/library/enforcement/pyf_eng.pdf

I generally show the unit on weekends between 11 AM and 4 PM and sometimes during the week between 6 PM and 7 PM.  You will need to schedule an appointment first, and then confirm the appointment ~30 minutes before you arrive.

I do not take Section 8.  If you have had an eviction, or you have had recent criminal activity including DUIs, I generally will pass on you.  If you are not a legal resident of the USA, I will not be able to rent to you as I cannot perform a valid background check.

The rent price includes water, sewer, garbage, lawn maintenance and snow removal.  It does not include gas or electric. 

If you are still interested and want to look at the apartment, please let me know.

<<===

yeahgofigure

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2015, 09:03:10 AM »
Email & text is all low quality flakes to me. I stopped accepting emails and if someone texts me I text them back to call me. My theory if they're not willing to talk then they're probably just kicking a lot of tires and wasting my time. A pant load of text contacts maybe resulted in 3 scheduled showings 2 of which flaked. Texting is very good after I talk over the phone though. Plus you can tell a lot about a person over the phone, i.e. do they sound professional and courteous. Way more useful than someone's typed words IMO.

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2015, 09:32:26 AM »
And the saga continues. I found a great couple that loved the house and I offered it to them. I gave them until today to accept and they just emailed and said they have decided not to move, as they are saving money to get their own place. They are currently renting a 3 bed 1 bath house for $600. I offered them my 4 bed 2 bath house with garage for $700.

I'm going to fix a few negatives in the house (very minor) and try it again. The house has a place for a dishwasher but I did not intend to supply one. Should I include one or no? I'm not sure it would make a difference. House comes with fridge and stove.

 I'm putting yard signs up to get some local attention.

Another Reader

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2015, 10:04:59 AM »
Install the dishwasher.  Built in appliances and ranges are generally provided in rentals.  No tenant is going to buy an expensive appliance with an 8 to 10 year life that they cannot take with them.  I supply the refrigerators as well, because they are expensive and difficult to move.

mskyle

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2015, 12:14:50 PM »
I'm going to fix a few negatives in the house (very minor) and try it again. The house has a place for a dishwasher but I did not intend to supply one. Should I include one or no? I'm not sure it would make a difference. House comes with fridge and stove.

Like, there's an empty hole under the counter where a dishwasher could go, but no dishwasher? That would seem super-weird to me as a tenant. No one wants to buy a dishwasher and have it installed when they're on a one-year lease. And no one wants to live with an empty dishwasher hole. Someone else said it earlier: good tenants have lots of options. If you want to attract good tenants, your house needs to be really desirable.

It could also be that a 4/2 is just not what the typical "good renter" in your area needs. Like, that's a house that appeals to a family, but it sounds like in your area, a stable family with good credit and a good income would be able to afford a mortgage on a similar house...

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2015, 01:05:15 PM »
Install the dishwasher.  Built in appliances and ranges are generally provided in rentals.  No tenant is going to buy an expensive appliance with an 8 to 10 year life that they cannot take with them.  I supply the refrigerators as well, because they are expensive and difficult to move.

I hear ya there, although they could certainly take it with them. I guess to me a dishwasher is something easily installed and removed,  but to some people who never connected a water line it could be a big deal. I think I'll put one in there even though dishwashers seem like something that breaks/screws up often. I guess I was going for a maintenance free house.


I'm going to fix a few negatives in the house (very minor) and try it again. The house has a place for a dishwasher but I did not intend to supply one. Should I include one or no? I'm not sure it would make a difference. House comes with fridge and stove.

Like, there's an empty hole under the counter where a dishwasher could go, but no dishwasher? That would seem super-weird to me as a tenant. No one wants to buy a dishwasher and have it installed when they're on a one-year lease. And no one wants to live with an empty dishwasher hole. Someone else said it earlier: good tenants have lots of options. If you want to attract good tenants, your house needs to be really desirable.

It could also be that a 4/2 is just not what the typical "good renter" in your area needs. Like, that's a house that appeals to a family, but it sounds like in your area, a stable family with good credit and a good income would be able to afford a mortgage on a similar house...

I am going to work to make it more desirable. I think I have been mostly led down the wrong path on setting up a rental by other rentals I have seen. Every rental house I've ever been in (and I mean every) is in much worse shape than I would expect someone to live in. A good example is this couple I almost rented this house to. Their current house, rented at $600/mo, has an electric furnace too small to actually heat the house above 60 degrees in winter so they have to use two space heaters. That's because it's on the old 100 amp service many house here were built with and was designed for propane. I upgraded my service to 200 amp so I could install a furnace that would actually heat the house. He said their bath tub has had a crack in it forever that the landlord won't fix and it has rotted out the floor. In my house the master bathroom is all brand new, and the original bathroom is mostly new with a new floor and fixtures. Then there is a scratched up area on one of the bedroom floors (laminate wood) and it turns people off? I don't get it. I could go on and on....

Candace

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2015, 01:11:21 PM »
I used to rent until two years ago. I was a very desirable renter -- always paid on time, quiet, clean, considerate etc.

I would not have rented a place without a dishwasher unless it was dirt cheap. As a renter, I don't want to supply appliances. That's part of the point; I don't have to have all that stuff myself and worry about replacing or repairing it. And a place with a gaping hole where a dishwasher was supposed to go? Uh, no way.

Scratches in the floor? Depends on how noticeable they are. Do they make the place look run-down, or do they just look like normal wear and tear? Would it be possible to put an area rug on top of it?

galliver

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2015, 02:54:07 PM »
Install the dishwasher.  Built in appliances and ranges are generally provided in rentals.  No tenant is going to buy an expensive appliance with an 8 to 10 year life that they cannot take with them.  I supply the refrigerators as well, because they are expensive and difficult to move.

I hear ya there, although they could certainly take it with them. I guess to me a dishwasher is something easily installed and removed,  but to some people who never connected a water line it could be a big deal. I think I'll put one in there even though dishwashers seem like something that breaks/screws up often. I guess I was going for a maintenance free house.

As a tenant...not having a dishwasher in a 4/2 where there is space for one would be off-putting. I would expect a 4/2 to house more than 1-2 people, which means lots of dishes, which makes a DW worthwhile to run. As for tenants buying their own dishwasher...maybe if that was a standard, it would make sense, but since they would probably not need one at their next place, they'd have to deal with selling it, and that becomes a hassle, and that makes it a negative point about your house for the tenant.

mskyle

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2015, 03:53:49 PM »
How would you feel about going after those people you liked more aggressively? Depending on electricity prices in your location you might be able to make the argument that they would actually save money in the end by moving to a place with a more efficient heating system (it helps if you have last winter's utility bills to back you up) and you could offer them the first month's rent for free (especially if it looks like the place is going to be vacant anyway).

All depends just how much difficulty you're having finding tenants, though. I know a lot of landlords feel like all tenants are out to screw them, and I'm sure many of them have good reason for believing it, but as a renter (with a good-paying job and an awesome credit score) I can attest that a gesture of good faith on the landlord's part can build a lot of good will with the renters.

SONKEV

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2015, 09:48:45 PM »
I never use Craigslist.  Get acquainted with Postlets.  You want to be on the higher end websites - Zillow, Hotpads and the like.

I don't show the house until I have prequalified the tenant by phone or e-mail.  Get your list of criteria together.  It should include minimum acceptable credit score, minimum verifiable income (most people use 3-3.5 times the rent), no felony convictions, no major misdemeanor convictions, no evictions, and good references from two prior landlords, to list a few.  Have that conversation before you show the property and say the exact same thing to everyone that calls.  When tenants realize you will check all this and you will reject their application, they probably won't show up to look at the house.  If they apply anyway, reject them and give them the reason.  Word will get around. 

Some "working class" neighborhoods that are near large employers don't have a high quality tenant population.  That's because people that have steady jobs and an income of 3.5 times the rent are buyers, not renters in those neighborhoods.  "Rural" also could mean a long drive to work, and renters don't drive.  They find something close to their jobs at the same price point.

Finally, if all you get are bad tenants, it's likely your rent is too high.  If similar run down houses are $400, you are probably going to get $450-$500, depending on how bad "run down" is.

Read Eric's "No Nonsense Landlord" blog, as he encountered many of the same issues and now has good tenants in his properties - nononsenselandlord.com.

I just wanted to drop in and say excellent post sir, very grateful for this information!

monarda

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2015, 08:52:44 AM »
I'm going to fix a few negatives in the house (very minor) and try it again. The house has a place for a dishwasher but I did not intend to supply one. Should I include one or no? I'm not sure it would make a difference. House comes with fridge and stove.

Like, there's an empty hole under the counter where a dishwasher could go, but no dishwasher? That would seem super-weird to me as a tenant. No one wants to buy a dishwasher and have it installed when they're on a one-year lease. And no one wants to live with an empty dishwasher hole. Someone else said it earlier: good tenants have lots of options. If you want to attract good tenants, your house needs to be really desirable.

It could also be that a 4/2 is just not what the typical "good renter" in your area needs. Like, that's a house that appeals to a family, but it sounds like in your area, a stable family with good credit and a good income would be able to afford a mortgage on a similar house...

I do agree that if there's an empty hole, just install one.

This post reminded me of a place where I was a tenant in the 1980s outside of Boston, where I had to provide my own refrigerator!  No idea if this is common in ANY city anymore, but it was common then...

We have a dishwasher in our 4/2 side of our duplex and our tenants never use it. Our SFH has a dishwasher- the family living there uses it often. None of our other units have dishwashers, and they are A/B rentals. Nobody has asked for one. It depends upon your market.


mskyle

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2015, 09:18:44 AM »
I do agree that if there's an empty hole, just install one.

This post reminded me of a place where I was a tenant in the 1980s outside of Boston, where I had to provide my own refrigerator!  No idea if this is common in ANY city anymore, but it was common then...

We have a dishwasher in our 4/2 side of our duplex and our tenants never use it. Our SFH has a dishwasher- the family living there uses it often. None of our other units have dishwashers, and they are A/B rentals. Nobody has asked for one. It depends upon your market.



I think an empty dishwasher hole is actually less attractive than no dishwasher at all. I've rented plenty of places without dishwashers (went 10 years without a dishwasher, in fact!) but an empty dishwasher hole cries out "cheap landlord." And I mean, I've also rented from a cheap landlord or two. But only when the place was very desirable for other reasons (price, location, tight rental market).

galliver

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2015, 11:25:20 AM »
This post reminded me of a place where I was a tenant in the 1980s outside of Boston, where I had to provide my own refrigerator!  No idea if this is common in ANY city anymore, but it was common then...

It's very common (though not universal) in the Los Angeles area. Shocked the heck out of us (I've never even heard of such a practice! Every other place I lived, landlord supplied stove&fridge at least!) We got lucky, though, and our place came with one. And in a sub-$2k 1BR, no less! #winning

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2015, 11:32:21 AM »
Yeah a missing dishwasher would scream "s***hole" to me.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2015, 02:29:42 PM »
Some thoughts based on my limited experience as a landlord -

-We put a sign up in the front yard the first time. Never again. Too many people who called about the house and then couldn't afford it, didn't want four bedrooms, etc.

-We have a lot of people come by who aren't qualified. This is how we solved the problem - twice a week, we had an open house. At first it was three hours, then we cut it to two hours. We told people we were going to be at the house, and they were welcome to stop by, take a look, and take an application. If they actually showed up (about 50%) then we would go into more detail about the qualifications (they were listed in the ad if the person read it). And, here is the key based on your scenario, we told everyone that seemed fairly interested that we were going to continue to show the house until we had a deposit and the first month's rent. I would recommend not waiting on a tenant or giving them a deadline again. With this system, we never wondered if someone was coming, we never wondered if they were going to turn in an application, we never wondered really anything at all. The first qualified person rented the home, after about three weeks. We had no application fee for the initial application, and if we liked that application we did a credit and background check for $30.

Feel free to ask me questions if you have any, and best of luck to you. Just to give you an idea, we were fielding about 8 calls a day for those three weeks. The most interesting person wanted to operate a halfway house at our rental.

MaxRules

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2015, 12:45:39 PM »
I'm happy to report that I am signing a lease today with a very nice couple that will hopefully be good renters. The house brought $700 /mo so I am also happy with that.

That being said, searching for tenants is the most miserable experience I've been through in a while. So much so that I am putting any further rental investing on hold. I met maybe three or four decent people through the whole process and the rest were just a mess. I turned down one guy because he had a 'Rent and Possession' case (eviction) on his record and I contacted the landlord that filed it and she told me 'do not rent to him' with many examples of aggravation she had. Now he's mad that I turned him down and emails me with excuses for it. Then he said he'll file a discrimination complaint for it. Then the next day he makes another excuse, like I might reconsider renting to him. I think I have him blocked now.

I avoided other people like him by getting their basic info on the phone and doing a quick online court case search. I found some with prior and current evictions, as well as one with a pending unlawful use of a weapon charge that he is due in court for soon. Luckily he didn't call back. I highly recommend doing this screening before meeting, some of these people could be dangerous.

Wish me luck on today's lease signing and I hope for a better experience from here!

MillenialMustache

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2015, 08:05:29 AM »
I'm happy to report that I am signing a lease today with a very nice couple that will hopefully be good renters. The house brought $700 /mo so I am also happy with that.

That being said, searching for tenants is the most miserable experience I've been through in a while. So much so that I am putting any further rental investing on hold. I met maybe three or four decent people through the whole process and the rest were just a mess. I turned down one guy because he had a 'Rent and Possession' case (eviction) on his record and I contacted the landlord that filed it and she told me 'do not rent to him' with many examples of aggravation she had. Now he's mad that I turned him down and emails me with excuses for it. Then he said he'll file a discrimination complaint for it. Then the next day he makes another excuse, like I might reconsider renting to him. I think I have him blocked now.

I avoided other people like him by getting their basic info on the phone and doing a quick online court case search. I found some with prior and current evictions, as well as one with a pending unlawful use of a weapon charge that he is due in court for soon. Luckily he didn't call back. I highly recommend doing this screening before meeting, some of these people could be dangerous.

Wish me luck on today's lease signing and I hope for a better experience from here!

Glad to hear you found someone! Both my times looking for a tenant were a little crazy (see post above). To avoid being alone with a crazy, that is why we do open house format only. There is nearly always 2-3 people looking at the house at one time.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2015, 01:49:11 PM »
This is why I own REIT's for my real estate exposure. :)

gimp

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2015, 03:37:58 PM »
Pets are allowed, however no Akita, Chow, Pit-bull, Rottweiler, or any cross breed with wolf are allowed.  A $25 fee per pet is a general rule of thumb. 

How do you pick the dogs you don't allow?

clifp

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2015, 04:21:55 PM »
I'm happy to report that I am signing a lease today with a very nice couple that will hopefully be good renters. The house brought $700 /mo so I am also happy with that.

That being said, searching for tenants is the most miserable experience I've been through in a while. So much so that I am putting any further rental investing on hold. I met maybe three or four decent people through the whole process and the rest were just a mess. I turned down one guy because he had a 'Rent and Possession' case (eviction) on his record and I contacted the landlord that filed it and she told me 'do not rent to him' with many examples of aggravation she had. Now he's mad that I turned him down and emails me with excuses for it. Then he said he'll file a discrimination complaint for it. Then the next day he makes another excuse, like I might reconsider renting to him. I think I have him blocked now.

I avoided other people like him by getting their basic info on the phone and doing a quick online court case search. I found some with prior and current evictions, as well as one with a pending unlawful use of a weapon charge that he is due in court for soon. Luckily he didn't call back. I highly recommend doing this screening before meeting, some of these people could be dangerous.

Wish me luck on today's lease signing and I hope for a better experience from here!

Most of my rentals for roommates, and properties have been at similar price range $700-1000.  At this price range realistically you aren't going to be attracting young professionals for the most part. Sure you might find a few mustachian types looking to save money, but for the most part people making $50-60K are going to be looking to spend $1,200 to 1,500 for housing.

Compounding your problem if your house is worth $75-85K it is significantly cheaper to buy than rent if you can come up with the 20% down, and probably close to breakeven if you can only come up with 3-10%.  So for most the part you are going to be looking at people with poor credit history, and marginal employment history.Even using a property manager finding tenants is an exercise in frustration and generally one gets a bit depressed about the human race.

tallen

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2015, 05:38:31 PM »
This post reminded me of a place where I was a tenant in the 1980s outside of Boston, where I had to provide my own refrigerator!  No idea if this is common in ANY city anymore, but it was common then...

It's very common (though not universal) in the Los Angeles area. Shocked the heck out of us (I've never even heard of such a practice! Every other place I lived, landlord supplied stove&fridge at least!) We got lucky, though, and our place came with one. And in a sub-$2k 1BR, no less! #winning

Where I'm at apartments come with the stove and fridge, but with houses usually the tenants supply the fridge and sometimes the stove too.

Gin1984

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2015, 05:48:53 PM »
Pets are allowed, however no Akita, Chow, Pit-bull, Rottweiler, or any cross breed with wolf are allowed.  A $25 fee per pet is a general rule of thumb. 

How do you pick the dogs you don't allow?
Many insurances don't allow them.

electriceagle

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2015, 05:47:38 AM »
Nice looking house. One thing that I have done with craigslist is not give a phone number, but ask that interested potential tenants write me and tell me a bit about themselves and when they are looking to move in. I don't reply to those who don't follow directions or don't offer any real information about themselves or ask questions that are answered in the listing. It saves time and has worked so far. I've only been a landlord for six years or so, but it's worked for me.

Be careful. You might be in a situation where your actions are found to be discriminatory.

When renting a full unit, its best to state the requirements up front and let anyone who wishes submit an application. Once an application is submitted, process it and make a decision that way.

The situation is different if you are looking for roommates.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2015, 05:24:26 PM »
Pets are allowed, however no Akita, Chow, Pit-bull, Rottweiler, or any cross breed with wolf are allowed.  A $25 fee per pet is a general rule of thumb. 

How do you pick the dogs you don't allow?

My insurance company excludes these breeds.  I also have turned down 200lb bull mastiffs.  Pit bulls are a big problem, either the dogs are bad, or the owners are bad.  Many irresponsible people own pit bulls.  Avoid them at all costs.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Yikes why are the worst tenants interested in my house?
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2015, 02:49:44 AM »
Hey nononsenselandlord was just about to recommend your blog!!!