advice wanted for renting out a house

User Forum Topic
Submitted by cantab on July 3, 2018 - 7:32pm

We own a house in north Pacific Beach with some good tenants who will unfortunately move out soon. Any advice about how to find good new tenants and anything else connected with being a landlord would be welcome.

For example, where and how should we advertise, what should we fix up before showing the house, and should we do some sort of staging? We want to keep the house in good condition and not let it gradually deteriorate like many rentals do.

Some additional context: We do have a property manager but we need to take initiatives in asking her to do things. The house is upper end, worth about $1.6M with an ocean view. We live in a different time zone, and this is the only property we own, so we lack updated knowledge of the current state of the market.

Are there aspects of the lease that are attractive to good tenants, or turn-offs for them? For example, should we offer to pay for a regular gardener? Should we be restrictive about pets? How much new paint and new carpet do good tenants expect for a house like ours?

The current tenants have been in place for two years. How much have rents changed since then? The balance between supply and demand? Other changes in the rental market? Any other questions that I should ask?

Submitted by gzz on July 5, 2018 - 2:24pm.

Property manager handles all this, or should do so.

Hope you aren't paying 10% fees to them and then you have to find a tenant and have the tenant contact you about repairs.

You are lucky to find a two-year tenant in such an expensive place. Most people who can afford the 5 or 6k in rent are much better off buying and getting the tax deduction.

With all the questions you have, I suggest you find another property manager. There are many of them out there, including some with a PB headquarters.

I won't answer all 75 of your questions, but staging a rental with temporary furniture sounds needlessly expensive, and pets are large risks in rentals and most people do not allow them.

Submitted by barnaby33 on July 6, 2018 - 10:50am.

I secretly suspect if there were a channel or font of good tenants, it would quickly become the advertising portal of the millennium.

You might consider going the short term rental route. However since you are in a different time zone that would take a very trusting relationship with whomever you had doing the hosting. You could potentially make significantly more money.

Josh

Submitted by Escoguy on July 7, 2018 - 8:44pm.

I usually post my listings on zillow. Today I put one on and got 100 viewings and 3 favorites as saved. The tenants contact you and you can screen them with applications, credit scores, etc.

Submitted by gzz on July 11, 2018 - 12:16pm.

In an efficient market, you won't make *significantly* more with short-term rentals. The rents will certainly be more, but the cost in time and expenses will be too. For one thing, you have to pay the utilities, and short-term tenants won't be economizing on them either. Short term renters will also cause more wear and tear to the house.

Submitted by flu on July 11, 2018 - 1:09pm.

I use to use craigslist, but of lately Craigslist is filled with sketchy people... So my friend recommended and I used Zillow. It's free. And I like how it automatically cross posts on two other websites....

My listingsnusually include something like

"Must provide proof of verifiable monthly income of 2x monthly rent and a credit score of 750 or above, no exceptions. Must provide proof of renter's insurance before move in date, no smoking and no pets"

Although I never ask directly, tenants with impeccable background usually volunteer information that they are such and are usually the first to respond.

They usually say something like. "Hi, my name is X, my credit score is 750+, I make X working at employer Y for Z years"....By them doing that, it makes your job a lot easier.

For starters, if they volunteered the information that they work at a major company like Intel, Intuit, Qualcomm, County of San Diego,whatever....Employment/income verification is a walk in the park with the company....And you probably don't need to do a background check, since that large employer already did it for you.....Chances are you only need to do a credit check with something like Experian tenant check.

The sketchier applicants usually don't say anything or try to say something to get around rules or are professional renters trying to get you to make a mistake by saying something that can be construed as discrimination. For example: "I have an emotional support animal that doesn't count as a traditional pet....it's a pitbull BTW"...Yes, I shit you not. This is where that movie trailer tagline is good advice..... "silence is golden". run far far away.

Price your unit well, and you shouldn't have a problem getting a good pool of good applicants. That's where I use craigslist as a "feeler post"... I'll use craigslist to post rental in the general location with general pictures not specific to my property and noty specific address just to see how many responses I get within a 5 day window. İf you get slammed with a lot of replies within 24 hours, you priced it to low. İf you only get 1-2 responses over 5 days, you priced it too high. You can adjust it accordingly until you get a decent flow of interest..Then you can use that price on your real posting on Zillow.

This is also what I did before buying a rental property in a given location. Its a good test to see how much you really can fetch for rent.

Renters be aware, a lot of postings on Craigslist aren't real for this reason.

a slightly related topic. When you are renting something out, get a "burner" email address and phone number from something like Google voice. That way , when you finally rented the place out, you don't need to deal with any of the applicants that you rejected who might be coocoo... you simply throw away your burner email address and phone number. Kinda like what you should do when you buy a new car or if you planning to sign up for a online hookup website like tinder or bumble, and never want to talk to that person again (obviously not speaking from experience...just some tricks I learned from some of my single women friends) lol.....

Submitted by DataAgent on July 20, 2018 - 4:38pm.

These people are good property managers:
http://renthomes.com/

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 20, 2018 - 6:00pm.

Pretty much what flu said.

I would add that the fake listings on Craigslist are mostly from realtors looking for leads.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 20, 2018 - 6:20pm.

gzz wrote:
In an efficient market, you won't make *significantly* more with short-term rentals. The rents will certainly be more, but the cost in time and expenses will be too. For one thing, you have to pay the utilities, and short-term tenants won't be economizing on them either. Short term renters will also cause more wear and tear to the house.

I make quite bit more. I rent fully furnished on a monthly basis. Then I "fill in" with under 30 days rentals (maybe a problem with local laws and HOA).

An efficient market actually prices furnished homes a lot more.

There are lots of younger more educated, savvy people who like to be able to rent something fully furnished for a few months. And I find that wear tear is actually less. It's like corporate rental. With innovations like Airbnb, people don't have to stay in boring hotels or corporate suites.

Anyway, I like it because I get to play architect/interior designer. I'm quite good at it and my tenants appreciate it. Think Crate Barrel showroom -- my rentals are better with some luxury features!
I have had computer programmers, travel nurses, resident doctors, various professions under contract, and plenty of tourists. I even had a well-off family seeking political asylum.

I charge more than the market so I get less demand but my tenant pool has been great.

Submitted by gzz on July 25, 2018 - 8:09pm.

Flyer, if you rented your places on 12-month leases and used your additional time to work in the labor force, would you have a lower income?

I briefly tried doing short term furnished vacation rentals, and concluded the extra time it took me was not worth the extra income. Not even close.

If you are especially good at marketing, hospitality, and contractor management, and also like it, then sure. By that isn't most people with 1 or 2 rental properties. And the original poster appeared to have little to no experience in property management.

Really if you have an extra SFH worth 1.6M, you are probably best off selling it unless you have some awesome low tax assessment/mortgage locked in you don't want to lose. Few 1.6m SFH are renter-occupied for a reason.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 25, 2018 - 9:32pm.

gzz wrote:
Flyer, if you rented your places on 12-month leases and used your additional time to work in the labor force, would you have a lower income?

I briefly tried doing short term furnished vacation rentals, and concluded the extra time it took me was not worth the extra income. Not even close.

If you are especially good at marketing, hospitality, and contractor management, and also like it, then sure. By that isn't most people with 1 or 2 rental properties. And the original poster appeared to have little to no experience in property management.

Really if you have an extra SFH worth 1.6M, you are probably best off selling it unless you have some awesome low tax assessment/mortgage locked in you don't want to lose. Few 1.6m SFH are renter-occupied for a reason.

Agree with regard to OP and in general.

But like in any business you need a niche and delight your customers.
Were you charging $300 and up for your place in OB?

You also need a good maid. Es porque estudio el Espanol. I’m able to do it even remotely and also with a regular job. But I have no time to watch TV or read novels.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.