California landlords, you suck! ;-)

9 Replies

OK, so, I've got that off my chest.

Here are my gripes, from a tenant's perspective:

All of my rental properties are in Georgia, where I don't want to live. So, whenever I end up in California, I rent. My problem is that I don't fit into this neat little box: I am self-employed (plenty of income, but not a regular paycheck), I have a dog, Don't have a lot of landlord references, because I've lived in my own houses for most of the past 25 years.

So, what irks me the most is that landlords or property manager think that the way to deal with those not fitting what they're looking for is : just ignore them. Don't have the courtesy to respond to any inquiries, don't tell them that they chose another applicant over them, just ignore them long enough until they get the picture and go away.

While nobody likes to give bad news, it's really unprofessional, in my opinion, to not respond at all and just let the person hang.

How long should a potential tenant hang on, if they've inquired about their 'perfect place'? Should they automatically try to find 10 places and apply with all of them, hoping that one sticks? I know that landlords don't like that either, if they've finally chosen 1 person and they're no longer interested, because they've found something else. But by not responding, you're forcing tenants into exactly that behavior.

I think it's one of those things that comes with being a landlord, like it or not: Telling people in a timely manner, that the vacancy is already filled, that they've chosen someone else, that they don't fit the profile of the tenant they're looking for.

I've noticed that over and over in SF and now in LA, where I'm moving. The only way in the past that I've found rentals is by placing my own ads, which I've done now. And the other day I received the offer of the 1000sqf 3rd floor of a mansion. And would I have a problem if the other people are in the adult industry? Am I 420 friendly? Well, do I swing? Not interested? Oh, well.......

Michaela,

You also have to look at it from the landlord's point of view. CA is a tenant friendly state so the less the landlord talks, the less s/he can get in trouble. Profession or unprofessional depending on who you're dealing with. Big PM company or mom and pop shop? In CA, opening your mouth can get you sued so might as well just shut up.

If you have found the perfect place, did you sweeten the pot to seal the deal right there? For example, I have seen people who offered to pay 6 months in advance to get the place, $50 to $100 over asking price plus first month, last month and deposit, and some agreed to pay for the place from day 1 if you approved them.

It's kind of like rent control. Who does it benefit? It's always the individuals on the short end of the stick complaining. Anyways, I'm not defending CA landlords. Just offer a different perspective. Like leverage, it cuts both ways.

Sorry that you're on the wrong end of the stick this time. I understand that you have to release some steam so........ Just let it go. There's much more to live than aggregating over this. Hope you have better luck next time.

@Minh L.

I don't understand how a courteous 'I'm sorry, but we have someone for this property' can get a landlord sued?

I really think it's more laziness and not wanting to do the 'dirty deed' of informing someone of bad news.

While I may be on the others side now, I never do this as a landlord, because I look at it from the tenants point of view as well and I think it's really unfair to not tell them. Not hearing for 2 days could be the landlord checking the references, or it could be the landlord still collecting more applications or it could be that they're not not interested. And to not be clear to a potential tenant is really unfair.

Kind of like the 'why don't guys call'? ;-)

Promotion
Contracoin
Bridging between Crypto and Real Estate
Get ready to buy your next property using Crypto
Using crypto to own property, leverage #CTCN in buying your next home and more
Time to buy property
Originally posted by @Michaela G. :
@Minh L.

I don't understand how a courteous 'I'm sorry, but we have someone for this property' can get a landlord sued?

I really think it's more laziness and not wanting to do the 'dirty deed' of informing someone of bad news.

While I may be on the others side now, I never do this as a landlord, because I look at it from the tenants point of view as well and I think it's really unfair to not tell them. Not hearing for 2 days could be the landlord checking the references, or it could be the landlord still collecting more applications or it could be that they're not not interested. And to not be clear to a potential tenant is really unfair.

Kind of like the 'why don't guys call'? ;-)

If you called the tenant back, some would press on why they didn't get accepted, etc....and it might snowball if the PM gave the wrong response. We're in CA. Tenants can sue any landlord as they please. Maybe you're right that they're just lazy. But then again, if everyone is as courteous as you as a landlord, we would have nothing to talk about.

The last question is interesting. Did you place an ad on Craigslist? Maybe you need to show more skin on your pics? LOL..... I might get in trouble now so I'll shut up.

@Minh L.

- just to be clear - those were questions that a caller asked me. When I said that I don't think this is the right property for me he hung up

Where in California are you? Depending on the area, landlords can get hundreds of people for their property, and calling all of them back would be difficult. However; they could say, we will be making a decision on X date, and if you don't hear from us then, assume it's rented, and thank you for your interest.

You also might want to take a copy of filled in rental application, your credit report, and reference letter with you; and try to make the deal on the spot.

As for people having fear of speaking, that's just crazy (oh saying that I could be sued for hate speech against people that might possibly read this and have mental illness- and yes I know mental illness is a very serious disease and have great compassion for those that have it) Please people, don't give into that type of fear.

@Michaela G. Sorry to hear that is your experience. We always call, email or text everyone back that has given us an application and let them know the outcome within 36-48 hours. We also don't run credit checks unless the information on the application is complete and is not disqualifying and then only for the first qualified applicant (and then the next if something was disqualifying with the first), this way all the others get their application fee back. People appreciate that because often they are applying to other places as well which I would as well if I were in their shoes. The beauty of taking the first qualified applicant is that if they press you for why you can honestly state that someone else had an application in before they did - nothing illegal about that.

Well, I suck cuz I don't call people back and I'm fine with that. What someone thinks of me that I'll most likely never run into again isn't high on my daily concerns list. Not that I even have one of those. I get lots of applicants and I'm not about to sit around making calls that make me zero money just to be courteous. Plus, I don't want to deal with their rejection issues. I'm too busy to explain why I'm not interested.

It's a two way street though cuz lots of applicants apply to several properties and when I call to tell them things look good, they inform me they have already selected another property... If I even get a hold of them.

Originally posted by @Michaela G. :
@Minh L.

- just to be clear - those were questions that a caller asked me. When I said that I don't think this is the right property for me he hung up

Sorry for misinterpreting your post. The fact that you're a single lady, and you ended with that last question made me think you were jokingly asked that question. I guess my mind was elsewhere when I read your post. My bad.

Cheers.