We are about 30 days from moving and we don’t yet have a renter.
That makes me very, very nervous.
But how does one really advertise for a renter today? I’m loathe to pay 10% of the rent to a realtor. Craigslist is great, but there are over 1500 rental listings per day in our county! Fifteen HUNDRED!
Does anyone read the classifieds anymore, or would that $81 five-day listing be a complete waste of money?
We’ve put up a sign, but we are in a gated community, so the only people who will see that are other residents, guests and service persons.
I live in a community that allows dogs up to 40 lbs, when most communities limit the weight to twenty. That would be a great selling point, except that the only insurance I can find specifically excludes animal liability, meaning if that dog bit someone I’d be liable and have no coverage. So, no dogs.
I wasn’t going to allow cats, either. Not so much for the liability issue, but because I am horrifyingly allergic to the cute little critters and we may have to move back in after two years. I decided tonight to allow cats, since a good friend advised me that I could get the carpets cleaned and I should be fine.
Nervous. Soooooo nervous.
What about you? Wouldn’t you like to relocate here to sunny Florida? I can get you a great deal on a terrific place!!!
It’s not time to panic yet. Not near time.
But there may come a time when I’ll take cats, dogs, snakes, or ferrets, as long as they have first, last and security.
April 18, 2009 at 6:37 am
If you live within reasonable driving distance from a military installation, contact the housing office there. Many military families have need for a rental. Try to avoid renting to college students. Also, we’ve rented our home out in the past. Looking back, we may have been better off using a leasing agent. We had to clean up quite a bit after we rented out house out, to the point where it looked like a renovation. A leasing agent would have looked after the house better than we did and they would have done a better job screening applicants. Shop around; most likely you can find one who will take a bit less than 10%. Or at least one that can find a renter willing to pay a bit more to cover the 10% charge.
April 18, 2009 at 9:17 am
If you find them, let me know….
April 18, 2009 at 10:00 am
We’re in a similar situation (again) as the military relocated our tenant after 1 year. Definately try the military route if there’s a base near you (and don’t forget the Coast Guard) . You might also want to consider contacting the graduate student office if there’s a college nearby. Most grad students I’ve known tend to be pretty responsible and hold jobs as well as attend class-which usually equalls less chances for partying and destruction. While I don’t care for the 10% that goes to our agent either, she does do an excellent job screening applicants. There was minimal cleaning and no damage when she and the kids moved out.
April 20, 2009 at 8:29 am
You might want to advertise it as having access to the wonderful local educational establishments…?
… sorry, unhelpful.
April 21, 2009 at 6:29 am
Does your community have those throw-away tabloid flyers that are given away in grocery stores? A lot of people use those when looking for rentals–there’s one here devoted exclusively to rental listings.
I wonder if renter’s insurance–I mean, the kind the tenant buys to protect belongings–would cover liability for pets, the way homeowner’s insurance does. You could, in theory, require that the dog-owning tenant carry liability insurance, and have to prove to you that it’s paid up.
April 21, 2009 at 8:05 am
Funny, in any other state you’d be correct. My current State Farm Condo insurance DOES cover pet liability. But the only coverage available in hurricane-paranoid Florida these days is through Citizens – the state program – which specifically excludes pet liability.
That’s likely the only coverage the tenant would be able to get. And although I can keep my current State Farm policy and add an endorsement that would give me coverage for it as a rental for the short term, State Farm has announced plans to pull out of the Florida Homeowners insurance market, meaning that I’ll wind up with Citizens, too.
April 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm
That’s scary! Too bad the insurers can’t tell the difference between cat pee, dog bites, and hurricanes. But then…maybe there’s not such a big difference, after all!
It sounds as though the only way for a landlord to get any protection is to ask for an exorbitant security deposit. Which pretty obviously would be counterproductive.
Is there a university or community college nearby? Check with college deans or departmental chairs to see if they’ve recently hired faculty who might be looking for a rental. Often junior faculty can’t afford to buy, and since failing to gain tenure usually means you have to move on, even those that are decently paid may not purchase until they feel pretty sure they can make it or until they actually get tenured, a process that typically takes five to seven years.
Community colleges will have made hiring decisions by now; universities should be just making their decisions. So if any hiring is going on, some people will be looking to move into your area within the next couple of months.