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Anyone here a landlord?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Orlando, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Orlando

    Orlando Set The Hook!

    I'm buying a property behind my house for a rental and wondered what I need to know and do legally when screening tenants? This is all new to me so any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'm buying it on a home equity loan and can afford to sit on it for 4-5 months if I have to before I find the right tennants. This place is fairly nice and I don't want it tore up so I'm going to be picky about who I let rent it to. Thanks guys
  2. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    I have ten rental units. It's a roll of the dice, really. I screen my prospective tenants through an agency. I've had people with perfect credit, and no criminal background move into a unit, only to trash it and quit paying rent after a month or two, leaving me to go through the whole eviction process, which is very expensive, and takes a lot of time. On the other hand, I've had people with less than stellar credit, and maybe been in a little trouble that have been a landlords dream (pays rent in a timely manner, cleans the place very well before moving, ect.)

    Until you start learning the ropes of owning rental properties, it can be very, very humiliating, and expensive.

  3. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    check this site out

    This site has applications, rental agreements, and more. They will also screen the perpective tenants for $20. I tell the person submitting an ap that I also require $20 for the screening. If the screening company says that they are a decent credit risk, and they end up renting the unit, the $20 will come off of the 1st months rent. If they are denied, the $20 is non refundable.

    There are a million ins and outs of what you are considering. The tenants can literally have you by the groinal area if you don't aren't aware of your legal rights. Unfortanately, I've been there. It isn't fun. I've been doing it a while now. If you ever want to talk about it, drop me a line, and we can talk about it over the phone or something.
  4. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    i'm not a landlord,but have been "the tenant"in several places over the years,and can tell you a few things most often looked for.i'm sure you're aware of most,but i'd do about the same.
    obviously a credit check/history,including previous rent or mortgage,etc.(late payments,etc.)
    verify employment/income.
    be thourough in verifying those things.
    possibly even question prospective tenant's present neighbors(if you want to really want to get personal ;) )
    of course,make sure they know what you expect from them,astenants and what they can expect from you.
    an important part of screening,in my opinion,is meeting and talking face to face at least a couple times,just to get a feel for can often tell a lot about people just by doing that very thing.
    that's exactly what sold my present landlord on me :)
    i've lived here for 5 years(the past 4 without a lease(nice twin)and the landlord only recently bumped my rent(which is still the lowest in the neighborhood) by 15 bucks to cover the water/sewage increase.
    after a couple meetings,he told me i could pay the rent and deposit and move in immediately.he told me right then,that he just "felt" my wife and i were the right people,and didn't even check the employment or our landlord at the time.he wanted non-smokers,but i was up front and told him "well,being a smoker,that puts me out".he didn't even finish screening several others.he is what you might call a "particular" landlord,but the best i've ever had,and he's never gotten a late rent payment.and we both keep the place well maintained.
    i said all that because renting a house is altogether different than apartments,involving a more "personal" relationship,and some tenants,no matter how good they look on paper,may not be responsible,or respectful when it comes to "your" property.and you can sometimes pick up on those things by just spending a little time talking with them.
  5. We own a duplex in Alliance, Oh and rent both sides out. I've been wondering about the screening process myself. We've been renting it out for a long while now and now one side is possibly up for rent.

    Our duplex is actually for sale if anyone is interested! Feel free to PM me.

    Hetfield, I may PM for more info on screening new candidates. Our next set of renters that move in I'd like to put through a screening process. We've been lucky with our current renters.

    Orlando, I'd definately have the prospective renters screened. Some of the real estate agencies may also do this for you but it might be more expensive.

    I've thought about using an Equifax Credit Report. Basically as far as I know when you have the people come to look at the place have them sign a form that says your performing a credit check and have them pay for it up front. .
  6. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    Good points, MisFit. Meeting person to person is probably the most important factor. That is the reason I let the less than stellar on paper tenants I spoke about below rent a unit. I could tell by walking through the place, and talking to them that their heart was in the right place. They were also up front about not having the best credit. I've had people tell me they had perfect credit, and hand me the screening fee, only to find out they they did have perfect credit, perfectly horrible.

    Whatever you do, don't rent to a friend, or a friend of a friend. You'll never win. It's a lose, lose situation any way you look at it.
  7. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    lol,looks like we were posting at the same time,hetfielinn.
    your first post pretyy much reflects what mine said,as to the types of tenants you get.just never credit wasn't in the best of shape,but wasn't checked anyway,and i doubt it would have mattered.i became disabled a month after moving in,and times were tough for quite awhile,with the lost income and still aren't what they were when i was working.but we've hung in there,and i know the landlord is asappreciative of us as we are of him.i'll probably live out my life here unless he sells first,and i get a "bad landlord" ;)
    but he's had the place for quite awhile,and lived here himself,before building a new home.he even changes out the glass and screen in my storm door every year,though i told him i could do it myself.i've only called him 3 times for maintenace issues.
    kitchen stove crapped out and i had a new one the next day.
    garage door opener crapped and was fixed the next day.
    bathtub faucet blew apart on a dunday afternoon,and was replaced that day.(i didn't have tools to do it myself)
    don't get no better than that :)
    he even hires out the lawn maintenance :)
  8. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    more pretty good advise,only i was on the other end,lol.that's exactly how i ended up here ;)
    i have no hard feelings and understand,but been through that twice.rented from family several years ago,but got the boot,so they could move their daughter in.
    next,rented a house from friends who came to me.they bought another.then 3 months before our year lease was up,they sold the other one,gave immediate occupancy,and moved back,only to sell and move again in less than another year :rolleyes:
    luckily(for my friends),my wife saw this place in the paper at the time,and we were out in less than a week.the friends thought they were gonna have to store everything and move into a hotel till my lease was up,and would never have tried to break the lease.they were sure happy we saved them all that money and hassle :D
  9. I haven't ever really been a landlord other than my uncle staying in an old bus in our back yard for a couple months but we didn't charge him. Although we did eventually ask him to leave for deficating too close to the house and for things the neighbors accused him of doing that I will not mention to keep the P.E.T.A. people off my case.

    However, I do know a lot of people who have been landlords and it seems like a lot of headache if you get the wrong tenants. As far as screening potential tenants, I too agree with a face to face meeting of all people who will live there. What people do is some seemingly little innocent young lady inquires about your place, you give it to her (the place for rent) and the next thing you know she has four biker boyfriends living there beating your dogs and stinking the place up with reefer smoke and tattoo ink. Another tool you might consider other than a polygraph is that most Ohio Counties have on line court access so you can look up people's criminal history to an extent.

    I have heard that in the event you need to evict someone, it could take months to obtain the appropriate paperwork from the courts. Therefore you may need to hire some muscle to go in and remove the tenant and burn all of their stuff on the front lawn. But before renting your place out, let the people know you are a no nonsense person and be sure that renters have references. And if your tenant becomes a problem, go after the references too.

    DISCLAIMER: Bikers are good people, for the most part. This disclaimer was added because I know someone will send me a PM about knocking bikers. I actually used to be a biker myself. I had a BMX 3000 when I was about 8 and when I turned 12 I got a Huffy with a bananna seat and big front springs for ramping, it was so sweet!)
  10. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    An eviction takes about thirty days. Unless the references co-sign the lease (and why would they), you can't do a darn thing to them.
  11. Orlando

    Orlando Set The Hook!

    Thanks for all the help guys. The most important point one which I already decided on is don't rent to relatives or friends. I live in a small community and the property behind me is fairly close to mine. The elderly lady that lives there now is going into a retirement home. Iv'e had such good neighbors for years and I'm basically buying the property so I can continue keeping good neighbors. Thanks again guys