Post # 1
My FI and I have a rental house and are in the process of rerenting it. He got a call today that threw him off. The person on the phone seemed intent on moving in without having already viewed the house. A few hours later I noticed a post on a FB yardsale group asking if anybody was renting in the area. The first name is all he remembered and there are photos of the same breed of dog on his wife’s FB.
Somebody told them to check out Zillow and they replied that they are looking to rent from a “private renter.” That strikes me as odd.
Does anybody rent and have an explanation for this attitude towards rental companies? My thoughts shift towards eviction and criminal activity. We live right next door to the house and it is something that we tell them. We also do credit and background checks. The same deposits and rent apply between private renting and renting thru a rental company, so it is not about money.
Post # 2
I have rented twice from private people. The first actually was family property that then got baught up in a divorce and became part of a rental managment company and was horrid. Most of my friends rent only from people who rent a house or two and not chronic landlords or companies.
It dosn’t have to be criminial…although as a landlord I’d always do a background check…I also pretty much decided to rent my last place sight unseen. It was more about the size and location than anything else.
Post # 3
cc1791: I prefer to rent from private renters than companies mostly because they’re more leniant. Like if the rent check arrives on the 2nd instead of the 1st they don’t freak out and charge you $50.
I can definitely see why some people would prefer not to go with rental companies.
Post # 4
When renting out property, I say that you should always listen to your gut. Your gut is telling you something is off about these people. They may be thinking that a private renter might not be doing a background or credit check, did your FI explain that you do to the person that called? On the flip side, some people have bad experiences with rental companies, hard time getting ahold of someone if there is an issue, etc and may be more comfortable with a private rental. It’s hard to say. Don’t bend the rules though, make them do a tour of the place, particularly so that YOU can meet them in person and get a sense for who they are. Make them fill out all the appropriate paperwork and do all of the checks you normally do. It’s possible nothing will show up and they still will be terrible tenants, it’s so hard to know for sure. Either way, good luck!
Post # 5
cc1791: I’d be immediately suspicious of anyone who seems over eager to move in, right away, sight unseen. Of course there are some legitimate reasons for that situation ie relocating, seoeration/break up, etc. But, generally it would be a red flag. I almost sublet my place to someone a couple of years ago, who came on super strong, wanted the place immediately, sight unseen, would move in tomorrow, and would pay more than asking. He pulled out his check book and wrote a deposit and first months rent within 5 mins of meeting. Guess what? The check bounced! Fortunately, I did not turn over the keys, before checking with my bank to verify the funds had cleared, or I would have been facing a costly and lengthy eviction process. My advice, would be to always require deposits and first month’s rent by certified check or money order.
Post # 6
We rent from a private renter and would never rent through a rental company. Our house and the one next door belongs to the landlord’s family and it’s a breeze dealing with him. He always responds quickly to any issues that arise.
A lot of times (at least in Florida) we find that rental companies are basically slumlords. And it can be a nightmare dealing with them.
Its also nice to know who you are renting from and to have a face to face chat with them vs a faceless company.
Just as you may be skeptical about people renting privately, it can be sketchy from the renter’s POV too.
Post # 7
You all have good points. We have a very good lease that requires first months rent and deposit to be paid by cash, money order, or certified check. Our previous tenants were friends of friends and bounced a few checks and per lease then had to pay cash or money order. They were typically a few days late every month, but within the grace period. I was super shocked when their soon-to-be landlord did not call for a reference. I understand some landlords will lie and say bad tenants are good tenants just to get them out of the house, but that is just wrong.
If they fill out an application there will be a reference calls, credit check, and background check. The only problem with background checks us they only say if somebody got caught… Not that they do not do bad things.
My gut tells me it is bad news. Since we will live next to them we want good renters. We also rebuilt the house, so I care a great deal about how it is treated.
Post # 8
OMGMrsW2B: Good points. I think my fears come from hearing about how property management companies typically rent out of state landlords’ homes to people who turn around and rent to establish grow houses.
At first I thought my FI was crazy when he wanted the house next door, but it has been a great investment. We see how the renters treat the house. They can’t avoid paying rent because they see us everyday. But we’ve turned around and put the money back into it. It has been such a crazy transformation that I like looking at it and seeing how far it’s come. It’s a pride thing, maybe.
Post # 9
cc1791: I currently rent from a property management company and the actual property owner lives out of state (on the other side of the country). In the future I would prefer a landlord over property management. We had an issue with the furnace last winter, it was over 30 years old and stopped working. It needed a major componenant replaced for about $2000.00 plus labor. It happened at the worst time possible, I was stuck at the house with my infant son, my husband was using our only car to get to and from work and it was about 25-30 degrees outside. We called as soon as we noticed the issue, and the property manager sent their heating and air company out to look at it. The HVAC company gave the property manager an estimate and they had to forward it to the owner. Because of the time zone difference the owner didn’t look at the estimate until the following day, and didn’t respond until the 3rd day. When he did respond it was to ask them to do another estimate to see if they could bring the cost down. Long story short, he continued to play games about the issue for 10 days. At this point I contacted an attorney and had a letter drafted threatening legal action if it wasn’t fixed. He finally agreed to the work, but the part needed had to be ordered leaving us without heat for another week. All together we had no heat (one small electric space heater in the living room) for 18 days.
In the future I would love to have a landlord in the same town, to avoid this kind of issue. I know that a landlord could still try to play games about getting something fixed, it just seems easier to deal with one person, especially someone local who you could stop in and speak with directly.
Post # 10
nikkialys: Thank you for your response. That’s exactly what I was hoping the attitude was coming from.
Post # 11
cc1791: Between the last 2 times I rented (we own now) I way preferred to rent from the person instead of the management company. And no, I’m not in to any sort of criminal activity lol!!
Post # 12
Thanks bees. I guess I was fortunate to not have had issues with rental companies before. I didn’t know there were so many problems with them and so widespread.
Post # 13
We rent out our condo to tenants, and they seem to appreciate that we don’t mind if a cheque is a few days late and that if there is an issue, we have it resolved as quickly as possible.
We rent our apartment from a property management business and getting things fixed is impossible. We had ice in our apartment all last winter because things weren’t properly sealed, and it resulted in mould growing in the spring when the snow melted. If that was my condo, it would have been fixed right away to prevent future lengthy costs. But property management companies tend not to care as much.
Trust your gut, for sure, if this particular individual is making you nervous. But I would anticipate you’d receive lots of inquiries from people trying to rent through a private individual rather than a management company.
Post # 14
cc1791: That’s crazy about the grow houses! I’ve also heard of people renting houses to use as brothels. But, that’s the landlords fault for not doing a better background check, etc.
There was also a whole thing about that vacation home rental site AirBNB where homes were being rented by “ladies (or men) of the night” to use for their clients.
That’s great that you live next door, and I think that alone will keep problematic renters away.
Post # 15
cc1791: I try not to rent from rental companies if it can be avoided because there are some really shady ones in my area. All I hear about are complaints (and I work in a law office so I know some of the truth behind many of them) about how they wrongly kept rental deposits even with no damage- taking forever to do work orders and trying to blame the tenant for the issues, our rental companies will actually snoop on the renters and I have heard of renters freaked out to find someone from the copmany looking through their front windows… Generally, If we like the owner and get a good vibe that’s what matters for us. I much prefer dealing one on one rather than with a company acting on behalf of an owner…