Neighbors house burns down and they want to rent mine ...But

4 Replies

I just got a phone call , guy says his house burned down . Lives about 10 houses away  , now there are 7 people in his family ,  He wants to rent both sides of my duplex , each are 2/1 ,   Only 1 is ready .I told him he has to go thru the credit/background  approval , I cant let him move in until that and it takes 2 days . I got his whole life story etc .  And I tell him 7 people is too many for a 2 bedroom thats less than 800 sq ft .   I feel bad , but I dont like to be rushed , and too many occupants.

Don't be rushed into this.  Perform your due diligence as always.  Their insurance or some charity will ensure they get a hotel room for the immediate future.  In the meantime, have him fill out an application and go through the same process as any of your other tenants.

Oh, and be careful how you phrase the "too many people for my rental" conversation with him.  There was recently a thread on this forum that discussed the legality of such landlord reasoning.

If you don't feel comfortable renting a duplex to a family of 7 and don't like the idea of being rushed then don't do it.

I don't see any point in going through all that stress unless you have vacancy problems, but if you have vacancy problems I think you have bigger issues to solve.

@Matthew Paul take a minute now and write down all your requirements for tenants. Use that to screen the new applicants. One thing you can require is a year lease. Most people expect their current property to be fixed before a year. You can (and should) also require that everyone over 18 years of age complete and application and each one pay the app fee.

Again, number of people as a criteria should be avoided as it can be construed to illegally discriminate against families. 

I have my criteria written ,  His house did burn I called a fireman buddy ,  He offered up the info as far as the amount of people , 7 people in a 2 bedroom 1 bath thats 750 sq feet . The house is too small  its 2 bedrooms and a living room/kitchen combo.  I have also seen how the guy lived , I ride by his house weekly , you notice his yard , not for how nice it looks , but for the collection of "stuff". I told him I am showing it sunday , and will have the applications available .

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