First vacancy of my landlord career

4 Replies

Hi BP community, 

I have my first vacancy of my landlord career. My tenants moved out 2 weeks ago and I am currently giving the place a facelift. I want to start to market the apartment for April 1st. I am really at a standstill on how to proceed. I am very interested on how landlords fill a vacancy. 

How does one advertise their apartment? 

How does one screen tenants?

How does one find the market rent to their area without calling a property manager? 

How do you do a credit check?

I listened to podcast #265 and now I am thinking that I need to have a rental policy in place so that if someone accuses me of discrimination or unfair treatment, I can say that I have strict guidelines of who can rent. 

If you have  rental policy in place, how did you build it? Did you work with a lawyer? 

Any help would be extremely helpful

Thank you

Updated 6 months ago

How do you check for evictions?

@Tarcizio Goncalves If this is your first vacancy I would hire a Real Estate professional to assist you in this particular rental scenario. Once you learn these steps maybe it would be ok to handle it on your own. There is much more to renting a unit then just showing the property and accepting a monthly rent. You have to check credit, employment, background checks, references, etc. Good luck!

I agree with @Jack V. Ospina above.  

Frankly, you can do it....but those are too many questions to be confident.

Some short answers:

A PM Software like Cozy will offer background checks, screening, etc.

For lease up, simply place ads in multiple places and screen people.  Facebook Marketplace is huge lately and makes it very easy to rent most units.  Craigslist of course, with more scammers on there.

Rental policy, yes, have one in place so that everyone meets strict non-biased criteria as to your choosing, though be sure it's ran by an attorney so you do not violate any Fair Housing laws within those criteria you set.

Market rent, go to Rent O Meter and check out the area listed properties.  Also email a few PM companies and ask what they would lease it for and look for a confluence of opinions around a certain price.

Best of luck!

It seems that you have lots of ground to cover to get comfortable with this process. If I were in your shoes, I would follow  @Jack V. Ospina suggestion and get some help. Will most likely cost your a little money, but will save you time and give you peace of mind for now. You can take time afterwards to get more acquainted and comfortable with the process. 

Hi Tarcizio,

Great questions! 

For most of what you're looking for (rental marketing, screening-credit, background, eviction and pricing your property accurately) you can find in free landlord software out there. Luckily, a lot of the process has become very automated, saving you both time and money. 

I would also set specific guidelines before you start searching for tenants. Included in this should be a minimum credit score, income, evictions, and criminal record. You do not need to consult a lawyer, just make sure you are strict on your qualifications and always consistent! 

If you need software recommendations, feel free to reach out directly! 

Jenifer

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