Landlord Rant #2: Why I’m not renting to Jasmine

I seldom rant and even in doing so I will try to be kind – but this is the way it is.  If you rent for any length of time, from anyone, please pay attention.  And to be fair to Jasmine, this is not just about her but a compilation of several experiences renters have given me – the not-so-good surprises that I talked about here in “Are you still coming?” post which was Landlord Rant #1.  This is meant to help you renters get that space you want.

  1. If you want to impress a prospective landlord positively with that first phone call, be prepared to ask some intelligent questions. Could I suggest ones like “How much is the rent?” and “What do I need to move in?” “Do you accept pets?” “Are utilities extra?” “Is there a lease?” The answers to some of these will determine whether you should ask for a showing and may save you and the landlord a lot of time.
  2. If you make an appointment to see the rental, keep it and be on time. Please!
  3. And if it’s not simple and something comes up, use your cell phone and call to reschedule. Life happens.  If you don’t make that call, you’re not going to get a second chance – at least not from me.
  4. Be honest on your application because I am going to check it out. If something needs explaining, just explain. Don’t lie.
  5. Complete the application. Yes, I want to know how much you make because if you’re spending 99% of your income renting my unit, I’m pretty sure we are both going to be in for a hard time. It’s for your good too.
  6. Don’t be afraid to let me know your circumstances. I may be able to help you even if I can’t lower the rent just for you.  Remember, you don’t know my circumstances (like how I’ve been underwater on this investment and been paying people to live in my unit for seven of the ten years I’ve had it…).
  7. If you know other people will be living with you, include them in the preliminaries so I can know them as well as you. Disclose them in the application, please.
  8. Expect to sign the lease before you move in.  This was the last lesson I learned as a landlord when my compassion got out of control.  The lease has important protections in it for the renter as well as the landlord and is just a good idea.
  9. Stay in touch until you know whether you are a renter or not. Answer phone calls.  Show your interest by communicating.
  10. There is no #10. Read through the above 9 suggestions again, and hope you are never a landlord yourself.

Talk (write) to me.

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