Panicking

44 Replies

Hello BP,

I am not renewing my current tenant's lease after 6 years...lots of late payments, damage, and disrespect as i live in one of the units in the duplex.  I posted in postlets for new tenants and have been screening interested applicants...most people did not meet the 3X income, most have DDS/sec 8.  Let me say that this is a great house (Brick/Stucco/high ceilings/original wood floors 1921 2-story house, huge DR, LR, Den, Molding on walls in DR and LR, ceiling molding in DR and LR, huge pantry--you get the picture) but it happens to be in an area that is not highly desirable.  As i mentioned I live in one of the units and I am worried I will not be able to find good tenants to move in Oct.4th...current tenants move out Sept. 30th...any suggestions?

Thanks, Meg

I would still screen the tenants.. I've dealt with some amazing section 8 people, but with that being said you should rather wait putting the perfect tenants in there rather then rushing and putting the wrong in. Hope that helps.

If you can't afford the place without the rent, you are in a bad spot, either because you need the money to supplement your income or because you can't cover the house note without it. If that is the case, you probably can't afford that house altogether.

If that is not the case, you should a) advertise everywhere, and b) continue to screen tenants. Why bother getting rid of the current 6-year tenants to get 6-month tenants with the same problems? 

One thing about REI, whether it is renting, flipping, build and sell, etc - you cannot panic or be time-crushed, because you will make bad decisions otherwise. The worst RE decisions I have ever made, and I had a couple of bad ones, were in conditions when I was strapped for time or money.

@Nick Britton,  I'm weary of section 8 because of the inspections, not because of the tenants...i had an inspector tell me to fix stuff like painting the attic while that is NOT part of the tenant's space.  I dont want to deal with inspectors.

@Jd Martin, I am not panicking about the approaching deadline but more for the long term...yes I cannot afford the place with my 40K a year income..that means I cannot afford to rent either!! 1 bedroom is about $700-$850...i'd rather live in my 3 BD :) :) I do have a back up plan just looking for ideas on where else to advertise...being Deaf I miss out on a lot of incidental learning :)

My buddy does all his own repairs and "managing" of his rentals, but he pays a rental agency to find and screen tenants for him.  You might try this, as they will have a good list of prospective tenants to pull from.

@Jd I've had the house for 12 yearas...we shouldnt always assume just because a person cannot afford the place they should give it up...12 years with 14 to go!! I'd say that's an accomplishment...

Late rents for years is why i am letting them go and breaking the lease--bringing pets then claiming they are hearing dogs and getting non-profit lawyers to vouch for them...and the rent is below market...that s why i am letting them go and they take advantage of the fact that i never collected late fees for rentals..they trash the hallway and have like 4 grills in the back yard/..they caused a fire and dont want to pay for repairs...im taking them to small claims...time for a different set of people LOL

@Carlos Enriquez--i did that in the past and the finder was more interested in the 1 month rent finders fee :)

I have a similar tenant that I inherited and I will not be renewing his lease when it expires for similar reasons as well.

It sounds like you have a cool head on your shoulders, so don't panic and try to use outside resources that can help.  I would call several rental agencies but not sure if you can hire more than one at a time for finding tenants.

I've had good luck in craigslist too, believe it or not!

sounds like you should lower the rent. depending on what you're asking, i'd drop it 8-10%.... still cheaper than a month's vacancy.

@Will Stewart--It has been below market for 5 years! Tee hee  Only raised the rent $15 dollars with old tenants in 6 years...you'd think they'd be grateful...honestly they will not find a better place than mine...free garages (2), attic and huge basement for storage...:) they had it good ;) they screwed up...i cannot continue to be a door mat...

@Carlos Enriquez   I have a post on craigslist too...the good thing about social media nowadays is that I am able to check public Facebook profiles...you will not believe what you can garner from FB...the main issue is: I live in one of the units...so I am being very picky!~!

Hi Meg, I remember your other posts about the subject, and I wasn't trying to be judgemental, just kind of stating the obvious. Being that close to the edge, it is risky business to cut loose tenants that pay, even if they are late or aggravating. That is part of the tradeoff when you are in that kind of situation. This is double since you said the area is not very desirable. I would probably sell and find something in a better area and let the new owners deal with the tenants.

Hi Meg,  Two suggestions -- don't give up on voucher tenants as each inspector is different and if you get someone who says paint the attic -- call the inspection department and ask what's going on.  Second,  I am managing a place in Baltimore for a client and he suggested www.GoSection8.com.  I had never heard of it but I believe they are nationwide.  I went ahead and paid for the $48 premium service and am surprised at the interest I received.  My Craig's list ad didn't get interest and I didn't put it on the MRIS at the request of the client.  Although the site appears to be geared toward voucher tenants, many of the people who are contacting me do not have vouchers.  

Best, Teresa

Hi Meg,  Here in Utah I find that most tenants don't start looking seriously for a new place until about 2 weeks prior to moving.  Disappointing!  And this is with a vacancy rate of less than 3 percent.

At this writing you have a little over a month to find a replacement.  Hang in there and find the "right" tenant.

In the future, when you find a replacement, start building a reserve account of money so you will not have this pressing issue on you and you can afford to wait for the right tenant.  

Do you have any equity? if so, can you sell it? how much would you make? 

@Scott W.  Honestly i dont understand those who say that i should sell and find another place.

1. This is my primary home

2. The equity is a measly $3,600

3. I don't have money for a new place

4. What is a better place? better location means I cannot afford those properties

Hi Meg, I'm relatively new at the investing game and being a landlord. At this point in time I'm trying to rent my only single fam house. We have a add in the local paper which has provided 0 leads. We also have 2 adds on CL. 

The adds on CL have surprised me. The first add goes into great detail about the house, property and has 10 pics. This add has only provided a few leads. The second add on CL is only 3 sentences, no pics and has provided about 18 +/- solid leads. As a newb the results have left me scratching my head. I hope this little bit of info helps, best of luck!

I second the comment above about it being too early. You're really unlikely to find a renter in late August who is looking for an early October move-in date. You've got plenty of time.

You have plenty of time

Post your add every where.  Zillow Craigs list etc etc.  Do you have pictures?  Get someone to clean the back yard up.  If you allow a dog you will get more applicants and you can charge extra

Raise the rent to the level you can and still be competitive.

You will be much happier with your new tenants. Don't get too friendly with them.

Good Luck

You WILL get it rented. Do not compromise either the rent you are seeking or the qualifications for the tenants. Don't panic!

Originally posted by @Carlos Enriquez :

I have a similar tenant that I inherited and I will not be renewing his lease when it expires for similar reasons as well.

It sounds like you have a cool head on your shoulders, so don't panic and try to use outside resources that can help.  I would call several rental agencies but not sure if you can hire more than one at a time for finding tenants.

I've had good luck in craigslist too, believe it or not!

 Hi Carlos: I was going to suggest Craigslist also; I got one of the best tenants ever from there. He was moving here from another city and I believe there are probably quite a few people who are relocating on Craigslist.

Originally posted by @Meg K. :

@Will Stewart--It has been below market for 5 years! Tee hee  Only raised the rent $15 dollars with old tenants in 6 years...you'd think they'd be grateful...honestly they will not find a better place than mine...free garages (2), attic and huge basement for storage...:) they had it good ;) they screwed up...i cannot continue to be a door mat...

 Hi Meg: I have a feeling they won't find a better landlord than you either, but don't ever expect people to be even a little grateful, right? These are "The Entitled Ones" and I think there's a special place in Hell for them. Do try Craigslist as well; there are always people who are relocating so it really expands your market. Best of luck to you!

Originally posted by @Meg K. :

@Carlos Enriquez   I have a post on craigslist too...the good thing about social media nowadays is that I am able to check public Facebook profiles...you will not believe what you can garner from FB...the main issue is: I live in one of the units...so I am being very picky!~!

 Oops! Saw this just after I suggested Craigslist...