LA peeps - how are you finding qualified tenants?

5 Replies

Hello all, I am a newbie who has been lurking and reading these posts for awhile. First of all thank you for all the knowledge that has been shared!

Having watched the CRAZY LA market for few years now. I am wondering how do you find qualified tenants with the current prices. Median rent in LA is $2,442 and median household (one or more people contributing) income is 61k. So if the guideline is 3x rent to get approved, you would need a 88k salary to support it. And GREAT if you do, but just curious to see how hard it is to find tenants. Or is it with the housing crisis at the moment people are resorting to all kinds of creative ways to live > Rent out the hammock in my shed.

Data sources: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/losangelescounty...

https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-rent-slowdown-20180921-story.html

@EC Eriksson

With over 10 million people in Los Angeles County its not hard to find qualified renters. The hard part is finding a property that will cash flow because the house prices or so high.

There just isn't enough housing in Los Angeles County.  This helps in finding renters.

Not hard to find good tenants, even, I would say, in C areas. We've got quite a housing crisis here, and people find ways to make it work. I am aware of single family rentals in places like south LA, Compton, Watts etc where 7 and 8 family members (maybe more, who knows) are living in 3 bedroom houses. I suspect this happens in areas that are a little better also.

Advertise on Zillow, Trulia, and possibly Apartments.com. I'd avoid Craigslist because I think you don't need it, and the quality of tenant on there is lower. Screen everyone fully for credit and evictions. 

One thing I've done, on the advice of a mentor, is to offer a slightly lower rent, in exchange for a longer lease (24 or 36 months). You'd be surprised how many people agree to it, and given the high mortgages and lower cash flow here, it makes sense vs. turning over the unit more often, and having that month of vacancy where you pay mortgage and other costs. But yeah, even in what those of us in LA would think of as "the hood", you can find tenants. 

Im going to reiterate what has been said but its a simple supply and demand. Even with the exorbitant rents here, there are jobs and people that can afford them. If you, as a landlord, offer a clean modern place and take care of it, there are tenants that can meet or exceed your qualifications. Its just like the posts about finding tenants say, screen well and cross all you Ts, the good tenants are out there.

I just use craigslist, I don't even post on any other sites. Never had a problem finding good renters.

I meet the renters, and I do a criminal background check and look at 2 months of bank statements to see if they keep decent cash reserves. If they keep over 10K in the bank and no criminal record, I give them the apartment. I call one previous landlord also. I don't do credit checks, cash is all that matters. I also don't do that long form where you ask for every bank account, credit card account, and previous landlord they have had since 1981. It's just annoying to everyone to pile on the paperwork. Sometimes people pull up online banking on their phone and I approve them on the spot.

I've had 2 problem renters over the years. I have a property manager friend of mine stop by and talk to them, see if they are agreeable to leaving. Every time they decide to leave.

The most dangerous kind of renter is a heroin addict. I always look for needle marks on their arm when showing the room. Very easy to spot. I also have 5-10 minutes of conversation where I try to detect criminal tendencies. One applicant stated he was selling stolen sneakers on eBay, his friend worked at the Nike factory. I did not approve him.

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