rental steps questions

2 Replies

Hello, I have some questions about the process for having the property rented out, so here we go:

1. How do you make sure they pay the water bill? I already plan to have it included in the lease and agreed upon but doesn't the water bill follow the owner of the home? Can they still change it to have the bill under their name?

2. For those of you who still do applications in paper, how do you collect the application fee and photo ID? When showing the unit, I will give them the application, but how do I collect the application back? It seems like I'd waste too much time going back to the property to collect every single application. The workaround is that they can just scan it and email it along with their photo ID but I need to collect the application fee before I process their application. So what's the best way to handle this? 

Note: I am aware of online applications like cozy that makes sure they fill out and pay their background/credit check but the applications for those types of software doesn't cover everything I want to ask and Brandon suggested paper applications is the way to go so it being my first rental I'll follow his advice on that but I just need a robust way of doing it.

3. If an applicant gets denied because you think they're dirty or for any reason, and they do qualify for all your criteria, then how do you deny them?

Any help is appreciated, thanks (:

1) I am currently paying the water bill, but I just pass through the cost in the rent amount. Since the water bill is attached to the property, I think it would stay with the property regardless of who it is billed to (assuming you even can change that). I've heard of investors just paying the water bill and then billing back the tenants or just collecting a flat amount for water each month.

2) I ask that they email me the application back and I get a copy of the photo ID at lease signing. As far as collecting the application fee, I don't need to. I use a 3rd party service that allows me to request the prospective tenant pay for their background check online and then the 3rd party will generate the background check and send it to me. 

3) Well, in that case, you are in a tough spot. The only way I could see out of that is if you have a more qualified applicant that you can rent to. Even then, I don't think you'd want to "deny" them, but inform them that the unit was rented to a more qualified applicant. However, I would do some research on what type of notice the regulations require in that situation. 

Originally posted by @Sergio Aguinaga :

Hello, I have some questions about the process for having the property rented out, so here we go:

1. How do you make sure they pay the water bill? I already plan to have it included in the lease and agreed upon but doesn't the water bill follow the owner of the home? Can they still change it to have the bill under their name?

2. For those of you who still do applications in paper, how do you collect the application fee and photo ID? When showing the unit, I will give them the application, but how do I collect the application back? It seems like I'd waste too much time going back to the property to collect every single application. The workaround is that they can just scan it and email it along with their photo ID but I need to collect the application fee before I process their application. So what's the best way to handle this? 

Note: I am aware of online applications like cozy that makes sure they fill out and pay their background/credit check but the applications for those types of software doesn't cover everything I want to ask and Brandon suggested paper applications is the way to go so it being my first rental I'll follow his advice on that but I just need a robust way of doing it.

3. If an applicant gets denied because you think they're dirty or for any reason, and they do qualify for all your criteria, then how do you deny them?

Any help is appreciated, thanks (:

Here's what I do:

1. I pay the water bill. then email or mail the water bill to the tenant. I book the water bill as a receivable. At first I had the billing changed to the tenant's name. Like you say on moving they never paid it, I was unaware, so the water bill and penalties was added to my property tax.

2. I do open house showings, so I collect the application there and review photo ID's at the showing. Any additional info they mail to me or drop it off at the rental. I don't charge application fees as it slow down the whole process, my normal turnover of a month can stretch to two. I cover the credit bureau fees etc., so at most it's $35.00. I at most spent $200 on credit bureau  fees for one turnover, but a month's delay will cost me $2,000, which is what the rents are around here. BTW, after retirement, I worked at a senior center, and helped members apply for apartments. If they need it quick, they'll have to apply for a few, like half a dozen, and folks can't afford to pay six fees of $35/each, so we apply to the no fee ones, and there's plenty of those.

 3. I usually are swamped by applicants. I tell them if they don't hear from me in five days, the place is rented. So wait 5 days, call or email me and find out. In that case, I tell them we usually get too many applicants and the place is rented, so it's not necessary to give him a reason. I don't have too many cases where it drags on, and I have to tell the guy why I am not renting to him.

In one case, no one qualified  for a month, and one persistent applicant kept bugging me. The reason for not picking him is he had a unsteady history, he moved around too much, lived in several places within the last two years. So if I have to write down a reason it would be "Applicant must live in last place for 2 years." He only had a part time job, but his girl friend from Brazil, whose dad is a business tycoon will be paying the rent. Finally, I figured I either rent to them or wait another month or two. He was a talker and ask me the real reason why I wouldn't rent to him. So I told him I like steady tenants and you won't last a year. He replied I'm full of it, don't know what I'm talking about because he planned to stay a few years. Then he bet me that he'll be there a year, and if he last that long, I'll lose the bet. I agreed. In the meantime he's bugging me to paint the outside hallway. I said no, because you won't last a year and I'll have to paint again.

What happened? On the 10th month he taunted me, saying he'll soon collect on his bet soon. I told him the year is not up yet. Then on the end of the 11th month, his girl friend threw him out. I was watching him move out, and I told him "When I look at a tenant application, I'm so good at it that I can tell exactly what will happen. So tell me if that is so or not". And added, "when I say you won't last a year, you won't last a year". And it's my turn to taunt him, asking him "am I psychic or not?"

Oh, I found out later why I didn't get many renters that year. I always rent a little below market, attract a crowd, but I didn't realize rents dropped due to the recession, so I was asking a little too much for the market.