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General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Joshua D.
Pro Member
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Pittsburgh, PA
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Having hard time finding good tenants

Joshua D.
Pro Member
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Pittsburgh, PA
Posted Jun 21 2016, 17:58
So we have a half duplex that is available for rent and another split entry house available for rent. We are having a hard time finding good tenants have shown both places but when do background check nothing good at all. Should we not go through smart move trans Union. Just go by what we think? Frustrating having 2 properties sit for 3 weeks. We have had open houses and tons of people really interested but when do background checks there horrible.

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Teresa F.
  • Residential Real Estate Broker
  • Clinton, MD
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Teresa F.
  • Residential Real Estate Broker
  • Clinton, MD
Replied Jun 21 2016, 18:19

Hi Joshua -- I always use smart move but I also talk with landlords and employers in addition to asking for pay stubs.  I ask applicants about discrepancies, look at social media, and now I visit their current home to get an idea of what my property will look like in the future.  Are their pets (when their application says they don't have pets)?  Is the wall full of holes or are the furnishings old but well kept?  

Sounds like a lot huh?  Your tenants are the people who are going to either make your business a pleasure or a nightmare.  My tenants expect prompt service and a rent increase every year.  Take a hard look at your processes and your community.  Talk with other landlords about their processes.   If there is a type of applicant that seems particularly good to you, market to them.  I give security deposit discounts to police, fire fighters, military, healthcare workers, and teachers.  

Good luck and hang in there.  There are great people just hoping to become your tenants!  

Teresa

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Sai T.
  • Investor
  • West Chester , PA
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Sai T.
  • Investor
  • West Chester , PA
Replied Jun 21 2016, 18:38

hi Joshua 

I have the same issue my unit has been on market more than 10 weeks

A lot tenants seen and applied when you run the credit below 600 plus criminal records overspeeding, driving with revoke licensed etc

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Sue K.
  • San Jose, CA
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Sue K.
  • San Jose, CA
Replied Jun 22 2016, 14:16
Originally posted by @Joshua D.:

So we have a half duplex that is available for rent and another split entry house available for rent. We are having a hard time finding good tenants have shown both places but when do background check nothing good at all. Should we not go through smart move trans Union. Just go by what we think? Frustrating having 2 properties sit for 3 weeks. We have had open houses and tons of people really interested but when do background checks there horrible.

 When you say you run background checks, do you mean when you run the smartmove checks?

Are you priced correctly?  And by that, I mean are you priced too low?  Because well-qualified applicants will wonder if something is wrong with a place, if it's priced too low.  And no matter how you price a place, you'll get a ton of applicants who are bad tenants because they just play the numbers game and try everything, hoping some naive landlord will take them.

So, I'm wondering if you're priced too low?  Or is there something about your properties that makes them undesirable to good tenants who have more options?

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Rick S.
  • Fort Collins, CO
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Rick S.
  • Fort Collins, CO
Replied Jun 22 2016, 14:31

@Joshua D. don't stop running the background checks as those are key to avoid a bad tenant.  What are the background checks typically returning, low scores, evictions, criminal, late payments?  Is SmartMove returning a Reject recommendation on all of them or just higher deposit requirements?  Don't overlook prior evictions, late payments, etc. just to get someone in your property.  

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Michele Fischer
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  • Rental Property Investor
  • Seattle, WA
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Michele Fischer
Pro Member
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Seattle, WA
Replied Jun 22 2016, 17:09

Are you marketing everywhere you can?  Are there bulletin boards you can put notices up, facebook pages, etc?

Good advice on looking at pricing.  Look at other nearby units on Craigslist and maybe in person to calibrate well.

Can you listen when folks tour to understand why they aren't putting in an application?  Do you share your criteria for acceptance and is anything especially high or unusual?  We don't charge an application fee to get as many applications as possible.

Have you considered broadening your pet policy to attract a different niche?

Is bad credit due to consumer debt or medical debt?  I overlook that.  Is criminal activity long ago or not many counts?  I can overlook that too, some of our best tenants have been folks with criminal activity who are having a difficult time finding housing.

I use a scoring sheet to look at different aspects.  Evictions is about my only denial item, the rest depends on how many things they have stacked against them.

Good luck!

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Monica Labrada
Pro Member
  • Investor
  • Miami, FL
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Monica Labrada
Pro Member
  • Investor
  • Miami, FL
Replied Jun 22 2016, 23:15

Hi Joshua,

I strongly recommend that you avoid accepting any tenants that have any type of felonies,as this will save you from future headaches including liability issues. I would suggest that you provide all of your prospects with a form which states your rental criteria as well as charging them a non refundable application fee. This will weed out prospects that do not meet your  rental criteria. Applicants will usually not give a fee if they know that they will not qualify and lose their monies. You may want to post your rental in Zillow as well as Postlets. These are both free websites. These websites have worked out very well for me in Miami.