A great way to take the hassle out of renting a home.
Have you or your clients ever tried to rent out a home? Well if you have then most of the time, it is a lot of wasted time having prospective tenants call you and arrange a time for you to meet, you show up and they are not there. Why because they drove by and decided they did not like the location or something else and because they do not know you they have no problem just not showing up and leaving you sitting there wondering if they are coming.
The other one is they do show up and they look like they crawled out of a culvert and not to be discriminatory but the old needles and beer cans that fall out of their car as they attempt to introduce themselves can be quite un-nerving especially if the appointment to show the rental home is in the evening.
I think you could add a bunch more stories here but you get or know the idea.
So what to do?
A few years back when I had rental property I went through this a thought there had to be a better and more controlled way to rent out my homes so here is what I came up with that worked great.
1 - I would place an ad in the paper with full address and more detail than normal describing the home and that their will be a ‘Tenant open house' this Sunday from 1 to 3:30 (whatever time I wanted) and also my contact phone #. This way when I got a phone call I could describe the home more. In most cases they would attempt to arrange an appointment and I would say sorry ‘no appointments' but I do have an Open House and you can tour the home then. This way they can drive by the home and if they are still interested, they will be at the Open House.
2 - At the Open House I will have copies of the ‘Rental Agreement & Application' as well as a separate highlight sheet noting the minimum amount of rent I want for the home and what is or is not included etc.
3- I would then state to each person that came to look at the home that I will not be making any decisions today. That after touring the home and your still interested, to fill out the application and make a note on the side of it the amount of rent they would pay (if it were more than my minimum) and then I will let them know on Tuesday if they got it or not.
(This stops someone from handing you a cash deposit right there and saying I will take the home, and then if you don't they can claim discrimination)
4- Once the Open House is over, collect up all the applications from those interested and then pick your top 3 prospective tenants. Note the amount of rent they are willing to pay, as some will offer more than your stated minimum. Call the references but keep in mind the present landlord will always give a great referral just to get them out of their home if they are not good tenants, but I still call them.
5- Then on Tuesday (if that is the day you picked) drive up to the home of your #1 choice and knock on the door. When they open it up you can quickly look around to see if they run the type of home (clean or pig pen) that you want in a tenant. If it is an absolute garbage dump and that is not what you want then hand them back their application and say " I am sorry that you were not picked but I wanted to personally thank you for your time and here is you application back' (and move on and do the same thing with you #2 choice.) If they appear to be clean and the home condition looks like what your want in a tenant then say ‘Congratulations you got the home if you want it'.
I have found this to be a very positive way to find a good tenant without all the usual hassles that come along with it.
This is the kind of advice my clients get when dealing with me in Prince George BC. I hope it can help you out.
Dean Birks - Realtor at Royal LePage Prince George