Rental Advertisement Advice - Tacoma

8 Replies

A year later and we're finally ready to rent.  I'd love feedback from anyone in Washington State (in particular the Tacoma area) on our advertisement.  We've done quite a bit of research and seem to be within the law...but this is our first so I'd like to be as certain as we can.  Following is the advertisement (followed by photos):

Property Description

Property Title

House near PLU

Property Description

We are renting a newly renovated home just a couple of blocks from PLU. Refinished hardwood floors in many areas, one carpeted bedroom, and new laminate in the master bedroom. Large backyard and simple, easy to maintain landscaping. Incredible view of Mount Rainier!

Washer and dryer are provided in the laundry room, a new high efficiency furnace has been installed, kitchen and bathroom have been completely refinished. Includes a dishwasher. New roof to be installed in next month.
Note: fireplace in master bedroom is non-working.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Gross income must be three times the rent and must be documentable (meaning income must be $3,750/month or $45,000/year)
No evictions or foreclosures in the last 5 years
No felonies or other criminal activities in the last 10 years
Landlord contact information for last two places you've lived or the last two years - whichever provides more contacts
Co-signer is acceptable if you have no rental history (co-signer must meet all standards and may be subject to additional requirements upon review)
No pets/animals over one pound - no exceptions
All occupants must be on the original lease (no sub-leasing)
All occupants must be met by property manager/owner (exceptions for military personal with recommendations and contact information for commanding officers)
Maximum occupancy = 4 adults or 2 adults + 3 children
12 month lease
No Section 8

Required for Move-in:
1st months rent ($1,250+$48)
Last months rent ($1,250+$48)
Damage Deposit ($750)
Utility Deposit ($150)
TOTAL $3,496

Rental application fee paid by tenant. Online application. $35
Must have valid US social security number

Blocks from PLU, Wilson High School and Keithly Middle School. Moments to 512 and one exit from I-5. Minutes from JBLM and McChord AFB.

Originally posted by @James Townliand :

If close by PLU, your nearest high school [1/2 mile] is Washington HS not Wilson HS which is clear across town.  And, it is located immediately adjacent to Keithly Middle school.

 Thank you for catching that @James Townliand

@Caroline Hedin -- Welcome to renting. A couple of points:

  • Style: I've found tenants don't like to read a lot of text (it took me awhile to figure out how many bedrooms it had), so keep it to bullet points, for example:
    • 2 bedrooms
    • 2 full bathrooms
    • Washer/drying in laundry room
    • etc.
  • King County Occupancy: Fair Housing in CA has a 2 per room + 1 rule. So the maximum occupancy for a 2 bedroom is 5 people, not 4. You should check this document on King County to make sure you're within specifications. I think you probably already did this, but just double confirming.

Looks like a nice house.  I'm not in Washington but I'll give you my feedback anyway.  :)

I don't see where it clearly states how many bedrooms and baths there are or anything about the size of the house.  (You'll get a lot of time-consuming calls about that if it's not clear in the ad.)

Also, what's the +$48 for after the rent amount?  Maybe that's a local thing, but I don't quite get it.  Is it some sort of utility you're billing for?

And just a couple thoughts on your qualifications.  With regard to the one about "No evictions or foreclosures in the last 5 years", there's nothing wrong with having that as a criteria.  I also have a "no eviction" criteria (though mine is "no evictions ever").  But (in my own experience) some of my best tenants have become my tenants right after they lost their house to foreclosure.  I've found that they know what it's like to own a house (so they tend to complain less about little things and take better care of the house), and their credit is usually so messed up that I don't have to worry about them buying another house or moving for a while.  Just something to consider.  You could miss out on some good tenants.

Lastly, with regard to your qualification about "No felonies or other criminal activities in the last 10 years".  I would just suggest maybe clarifying that a little better.  For instance, what do you mean by "criminal activity"?  (In some jurisdictions, a landlord cannot consider an arrest that did not result in a conviction.)  And while we can all understand you not wanting any felons, what about a relatively minor misdemeanor from nine years ago on an otherwise stellar candidate's record?  Not trying to tell you who you should or should not accept, but there can be a big difference in types/severity of crimes, frequency (one time thing vs someone constantly getting arrested), and length of time since they were last arrested.   For what it's worth, I word mine like this "No prior criminal convictions in the last 5 years for violent acts, drugs and/or any felonies."  

Anyway, just some things to think about.  Good luck with your new rental!     

@Dana Dunford for mentioning that).

The $48 is for sewer, also mentioned in a different part of the ad not showing but I'll try to clarify that too.  In reading other people's ad's in the area, it seems to be pretty standard to place that adder on the rent.

Noted about the evictions and criminal activities.  I pulled those from a post here on BP but I like that clarification better.  My husband and I have had a number of conversations about our requirements.  We want to be flexible because I historically was someone that on paper many on here wouldn't rent to (bad credit, moved a lot, some slow pay but always paid) but all of my landlords were happy to have me as a renter, so we're trying to remember that.

Our intended market is (was) college students but we missed the bullet for most of that pool by not having the house ready last August.

@Peter Woodward that is true but the document also has Tacoma guidelines in it.  While the property is actually under Pierce County jurisdiction (not Tacoma), both Tacoma and King County provide decent guidelines...I haven't been able to find any guidelines for Pierce County specifically and haven't heard back from them :-).