Long term tenant is moving out!

8 Replies

So about 5 years ago I bought a small SFR. I have an employee who had worked for me for several years, and he had been renting at his current place for many years. I knew there would be some problems renting to an employee, but for the first 4 plus years, everything was great. No late rents (its hard to see your landlord 5 days a week and not pay lol), he fixed small problems, I didnt raise rents because we had a really good thing going for both of us. I had to let him go late last year and I was concerned that this time would come. He has been paying late,yada yada yada, nothing horrible, but I taold him rent was going to go up in August and he said he couldnt afford it and would be looking for a new place. I know its a good thing for both of us, but I am a little worried about my next steps. First things first, I WILL NOT rent to another employee. This went good, but I can see it being a problem in the future. I have been a landlord for 5 years, but now I feel like I am just getting started. We just had handshake agreement about rent and such, so he was pretty much month to month. I want to be more professional to protect myself, to be better organized and be more on top of what is going on. After he moves out, I will get the house ready to be rented again, then what lol. I need applicants, but what is the best way to screen them? I need a lease agreement, what all does it need to include, and where is the best place to get one? I have talked to one PM company and they said the rent here is not enough for them to take me on as a new client, so I will continue to self manage.

I would start by reading The Ultimate Guide to Tenant Screening which you can find right here in BP. This will give you a good idea of what you need to be doing to properly screen tenants.

"I'm not going to stop until my bank account looks like a phone number!"  - Excellent, I love it!

Beyond the tenant screening guide, consider putting together a lease and putting a process in place for screening tenants, what deposits you want and how you want things to go with your next tenant.  I would highly recommend leveraging the search function to search the site and dig through the FilePlace as well as some of the member blogs.  This might also be a good opportunity to look up some of Tulsa's Landlord / Tenant Laws to become more familiar with your local laws.  And of course, consider an attorney to look at your lease should you feel that you need to.

I hope that helps.

Screening tenants is pretty straightforward, you can sign up for a service yourself like National Tenant Network (ntnonline.com) or rent prep (rentprep.com) and run the necessary background checks.  If you do not feel comfortable you can also talk to some local realtors and they may be willing to list your lease and screen applicants for you (usually for 1/3 to 1/2 a months rent fee). 

Your state or city should have a standard lease template that you can use, again, check with a local real estate agent and they should be able to at least give you a form number or perhaps will provide you with a blank one that you can fill out yourself.  There are generic lease forms available online but I would stay away from them as the local/state ones have wording that addresses specific laws in your area and the local courts are familiar with them should you ever have any legal issues.

Originally posted by @Wendy Noble :

"I'm not going to stop until my bank account looks like a phone number!"  - Excellent, I love it!


background checks need to be done and the lease needs to express what you as the landlord would expect from the tenant on your property.research a little bit more and also have your lawyer review the lease for compliance to local laws

Thanks everyone!  I have done a lot more reading, when the time comes to fill the unit I will be happy with the person I chose. 

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