I just listed my rental and showed it for the first time today. What I learned from the potential tenant is that my rent seems to be way underpriced based on everything he's seen so far, and he is itching to sign a lease because of it. I have some more people coming to look later today also. Is there any way for me to somehow increase the asking rent, either for any new people or him as well? I don't want to do anything illegal or anything, but I'm new to this and not sure if there's a way for me to do this.
Also, the tenant will be my neighbor so I have an added interest in who they are aside from credit and BG check. Can I choose the tenant I have a better feeling about as a neighbor even if they may be less qualified than someone else? This wouldn't be due to any discrimination of a protected class, but more-so their lifestyle (someone who seems to party a lot vs someone more professional).
I would see what your applications look like. Sometimes it is better to at or slightly under market rent with great applicants to choose from than over market rents with a tiny selection. Especially if you are going to be living in the property. There are some different regulations for landlords if it's a shared property with less than a certain number of units. I would look up your local housing laws and equal housing opportunity laws to clarify.
As for the rent, you could say the advertised rent was a mistake and *correct* the posted rate. Just make sure you are up-front with the applicants. I would be irritated as an applicant if I drove to a showing and then found out that the rent was actually out of my price range.
You could also do something like the lower rent is valid for a two year lease and shorter term leases will have a rent increase of X amount per month. That way you are incentivizing a longer lease and less turn-over. I do this on my personal properties, but it is in the ads that the advertised rate is valid for leases that are at least 2 years long.