Tag Archives: tenants

How to Add a Roommate onto a Rental Agreement

roommates-moving-in-horizAs a Chico Landlord or property manager, you will find it extremely common to have to modify leases and rental agreements to accommodate your tenants. Sometimes you are asked to remove a tenant because they have to move away, other times you may need to add on a tenant.

Roommate Dynamics-

You will find that roommate changes happen very frequently in this college town. The in- and outflow of students can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it is a fact of life and a part of the business. Roommates who grew up together and have been friends for decades may find that they cannot live together now that they are out on their own. They may argue loudly and bother your other tenants or they may have physical altercations that put other tenants at risk of bodily injury.

Behind on Rent-

A roommate may also have difficulty paying rent. It is far better to allow that tenant to vacate than to have the entire renal unit go vacant. This is where knowing your tenants and knowing how to negotiate plays a huge role in keeping your rental units occupied.

Finding Roommates-

Suggest to the tenant that remains that they can advertise in common areas that they are seeking a new roommate. They can also advertise on campus and in the newspaper. You can certainly help them find a roommate to replace his old roomie.

Sublet options-

Of course, in a college town, you are also faced with the very high probability that many of your tenants will want to return home for the summer vacation, leaving you with a lot of vacancies. This, of course, is why rental agreements and leases in college towns are 12 months long rather than 9 months long so you get the assurance of those 3 summer months of full rent.

This is not to say that your tenants won’t go home anyway. You can earn a lot of good will simply by suggesting to your college-age tenants who want to return home that they find people they can sublet their rental to. This is a common practice in towns and cities that have thousands of college-aged students.

The concept is quite simple: As a landlord or property manager, you can consent to a subleasing agreement between your tenant and his subtenant. You can absolutely also decline. Your tenant is still financially responsible for all rent that is owed to you and he will be held liable for any non-payment.

However, you will be better off in the long run if you help your tenants find subtenants. They will most likely return when school starts up again. You will also get the benefit of having an occupied apartment for the three months that your tenants are gone. You may be amazed at how quickly an apartment unit goes downhill when nobody is in it. You will have way more maintenance and cleaning to do if you do not fill the space with a subtenant.

Preparing Your Rental Before Winter

WinterThere’s no doubt that in most parts of the country, winter weather is just around the corner. As a Chico landlord, you may think of fall maintenance at your rental properties as raking leaves and tending to flower beds. However, fall is the best time to prepare your rental property for winter weather. Winters here in Northern California may not always be the worst, but still it is smart to take the time now to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

If you don’t deal with potential issues now, before they actually happen, you could end up with some significant repairs to work through that could have been prevented. Here are 13 ways that landlords can prepare their rental properties now for the coldest months of the year.

Clear rain gutters. It’s important that you don’t skip this fall task, because it could have a big impact on the rental property in the winter. Clear out leaves, sticks and other debris so the gutters can easily drain water from the roof. If the gutters are clogged, the roof could suffer damage from poor drainage and excessive rain.
Inspect the roof. It’s much easier to repair or replace shingles in the non-winter months and that ensures your rental property roof will be strong enough to withstand even the biggest winter storm.
Winterize yard sprinklers. If the rental property has a sprinkler system, you can empty them of any leftover water to ensure they don’t freeze and burst. Whether you do this yourself or hire a service, it’s a small task that could have a big impact if not done.
Seal sidewalk and driveway cracks. Water gets into cracks in sidewalks and driveways and expands them via freezing and thawing. What was a small crack in the fall can turn into an eyesore or a safety hazard by spring. Use a concrete sealer manufactured for just this purpose to stop the process.
Take care of the A/C unit. If your rental property has an A/C system, fall is a wonderful time to safeguard it for the winter. Clean out any debris and cover it up, especially if you live in an area of heavy snow or ice. Protecting the A/C unit will ensure that it will be ready to kick on next year when it is needed.

Inspect doors and windows. Locate areas around doors and windows where heat is most likely to escape, such as loose caulking, torn weather stripping and gaps where doors and windows meet frames. Take the time to repair these areas now before the cold weather arrives, because it is easier and will save your tenants money on their heating bill.
Wrap pipes before winter. Look for un-insulated pipes and wrap them with foam sleeves to ensure they won’t freeze when temperatures drop. Frozen pipes can easily burst, causing all kinds of water damage. By getting a jump on it, you can prevent this kind of catastrophe. Don’t forget to detach garden hoses from spigots and draining those lines as well.
Inspect the heating system. Turn the heater on to ensure that everything is working properly so you can get a service person out before it’s the middle of winter and the waiting list is very long. Also, replace the furnace filter and make sure vents open and close properly.
Arrange for a furnace tune-up. Many professional services offer winterizing tune ups for furnaces, and it’s always a good idea for a professional to perform maintenance on the furnace than it is to wait for it to break.
Check alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are a critical part of keeping tenants safe, and it’s your duty to ensure that they are all in proper working order. Carbon monoxide detectors are particularly important in winter, as people tend to keep windows closed.
Clean ducts out. Every few years, it’s a smart idea to get the ductwork of the rental property vacuumed out. Debris can build up, restricting the flow of air and putting strain on heating and cooling systems.
Inspect the chimney. If your rental property has a fireplace and chimney, make sure it is taken care of before tenants use the fireplace for the first time. Arrange for a professional to inspect and clean the chimney, clearing it for debris and checking to make sure no other repairs are needed. A faulty chimney can become a health hazard as well as a safety and fire hazard.
Consider adding more insulation. While there is a cost involved, many home owners add insulation to the attic in the fall to help with heating and cooling. Adding to the existing insulation can make a big difference in how well the rental property stays warm or cool.

Sooner than you think, winter will be unleashing its full fury, and it is up to you to make sure your rental property is ready for the serious frost, rain and cold that is being predicted. The time to prepare is in the fall, well before the first winter storm arrives in your area. While your rental property may not be able to withstand every single winter-related disaster, by being prepared you can minimize the damage and problems, thus saving yourself time, stress and money.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Chico Property

Ants-II-iStock_As a property owner, you are always looking for ways to reduce your expenses to get rid of ants.  Some landlords are way too quick to just call for help when they could very easily do it themselves or find an alternative solution.

Here’s some helpful advice when it comes to dealing with ants:

Ants Don’t Like the Heat

Ants tend to make their way indoors during times of excessive heat, so there’s not always a whole lot you can do at this point.  Spraying for ants might not work since nature will continue to drive them inside.Normally, you get ants because they are looking for a food source or water.  But if the heat is what’s driving them inside, they’re going to keep coming and there’s not a lot you can do to get rid of ants.

Keep Your Food Sealed

This might seem like an obvious one but if you’re experiencing trouble with ants, make sure that you put all your food in plastic containers or ziploc bags around the kitchen area.  Ants especially love sugary substances so make sure that you wipe down and clean up any juice spills or dirty dishes.

Dry Them Out

If ants can’t eat or drink, they will tend to die off or move on.  One tip that really works well to get rid of ants is to make sure your sink area is completely dry once you’re done cooking or cleaning dishes.  That way, the ants won’t have anything to drink and they’ll have to find water somewhere else, hopefully outside of your house.

Ant Traps and Spray

Ants are pretty dumb but apparently not quite dumb enough to walk right into an ant trap.  Bug spray works pretty well but you have to be careful spraying that stuff around your kitchen area. Try and avoid spraying on surfaces that you will be eating off of.  Spraying in cracks or corners where you won’t ever place food is always best.  Find the entry and exit points and try to spray there too.

Hopefully, all these efforts will combine to help you get rid of ants in your Chico rental property!

Frequently Asked Questions About Security Deposits and California Law

security_depositMost Chico residential leases and rental agreements in California require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month’s rent, that’s intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of California landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.

Q: Does California law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?

A: Yes. Under California landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a renter the equivalent of two months’ rent for the security deposit if the residence is unfurnished, and three months’ rent if the residence is furnished. California landlords can also add an extra one-half month’s rent if the tenant has a waterbed. Landlords may not charge nonrefundable fees in California.

Q: What about when a renter moves out? What is the deadline in California for returning a security deposit?

A: Under California law, a landlord must return the renter’s security deposit, with an itemized statement of deductions, within 21 days after the renter has surrendered the rental property to the landlord (that is, returned the keys and vacated the property).

Q: Is there additional information that California landlords must provide to renters when it comes to security deposits in California?

A: Yes. In addition to complying with California laws on security deposit limits and how (and when) the deposit must be returned to tenants, landlords in California must provide renters with advance notice before taking any deductions out of the security deposit, such as for the cost of repairs for damage to the property.

Q: Where can I look up California law on security deposits?

A: If you want to go right to the source and look up the California laws on security deposits — or if you’re writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law — the relevant statute(s) can be found at California Civil Code  1950.5 and 1940.5(g). Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in California, especially if your rental property is covered by rent control.

Check out our blog on repair costs and security deposits for more information!


Water Preservation and Lawn Upkeep for Summer Months

garden-hoseChico summers tend to bring with them high temperatures and ample humidity—both of which can take their toll, not just on homeowners but on their lawns and gardens, to say nothing of their utility bills. In fact, many homeowners throughout the country find that their water bills increase significantly over the summer months, especially if irrigation systems are in use to keep lawns lush and green. However there are some simple yet effective steps homeowners can take to reduce water waste.

One way to conserve water during the hot summer months is to implement the correct lawn and garden tools. For instance, a standard hose and nozzle will lead to copious amounts of wasted water—including water that’s lost as mist or as runoff. Instead, homeowners should water their grass and their plants with a soaker hose or a sprinkler wand.

Of course, overwatering is another cause of wasted water. Generally speaking, lawns need about an inch of water each week to survive, though in Chico a full two inches might be more appropriate. The best rule of thumb is to keep the soil lightly moist, and also to keep eyes open for signs of wilting—but to avoid simply watering the lawn past the point of necessity. A related tip is to avoid soaking the plant’s leaves or watering past its root zone; this is simply a waste, and does little or nothing to help the plant stay hydrated.

Mulching is encouraged, as it helps plants to retain moisture—homeowners should regularly inspect mulch for crusting-over, breaking up these crusts with a rake. Crusted mulch actually prevents moisture from reaching the soil, which can in turn lead to wasted water.

A final tip for homeowners eager to keep their lawn and garden water waste to a minimum: Water in the mornings. Watering when it is still relatively cool outside prevents there being too much water lost to evaporation. Watering in the evenings or at night is also acceptable, but runs the risk of fungus formation.

Signing a Check

The Move In Process and Ideas

Signing a CheckSigning the lease paperwork and handing over the keys sounds simple enough. So why is it that so many problems happen when the tenants move out and their idea of what they moved into does not match your own? Did you have a detailed move-in process checklist completed? Perhaps you didn’t think it was necessary because they were so nice, or you just ran out of time while doing turnover repairs, they were in a hurry to move in, you were busy cleaning or you were in a hurry to move someone in. Whatever the reason, this simple task is often overlooked or not completed in a satisfactory manner.

When Tenants Move Out
Have you ever heard a landlord who had moved in their own tenant and they basically gave him a free month of rent and no security deposit requirement because the condition of the property was not ideal. So what happens when the tenant moves out?

If there is any damage to the unit, you cannot recover any of that money you’ve paid for repairs if they never completed a move-in inspection sheet. The tenant does not have to pay a thing because you cannot prove anything. Meticulous documentation is absolutely necessary — all parties must sign a move-in inspection form and show that everyone is in agreement on the condition of the place.

Tenant Move-In Process
I have found it often difficult to coordinate the documenting of the move-in inspection, failing to do things properly, and then wishing I had done better in the beginning. Now I am doing the move-in inspection first before signing any lease paperwork and then following with the lease paperwork so that it is fully complete without exception.

The lease paperwork will also state the following:

  • Every occupant that lives there
  • What the prorated rent is
  • A receipt for the security deposit
  • The term of the lease
  • What will be accepted as far as payments
  • All of the rules and addenda required for that state and age of property
  • Whether there are any pets, what pet fees are paid, and what is nonrefundable

If something is not spelled out at move-in, then it will undoubtedly cause potential arguments later.

Tenant Screenings are Vital
You can set whatever screening criteria you want as long as it is followed consistently, complies with state rental laws, and is not discriminatory. If an applicant cannot meet those requirements, I send them an adverse action letter explaining why they’ve been declined, similar to the letter you might get if you are denied credit. For my own tenants, I require:

  • three times the rent in gross income
  • a credit score of 650 or higher
  • no criminal history
  • a year of positive rental history
  • no more than two occupants per bedroom

Your own criteria can be more or less restrictive, as long as the tenant or tenants understand it before they apply. Read more about our tips on doing good background checks.

property management checklist

Property Management Gems: Tenant Screening Tips

property management checklistThe 80/20 rule of the landlord-tenant relationship dictates that 20% of your tenants will be responsible for 80% of your grievances and headache. Since a few bad apples will end up consuming the majority of your time/energy, and in turn stunt your efforts to grow your business, a proper tenant screening should be at the top of your mind when it comes to filling your vacancies.

As a landlord or Chico property manager try to be as comprehensive and efficient as possible in the tenant screening process.

Qualify the Applicants
Your tenant screening process actually begins before you even meet the applicant. Any time you are asked to do an individual showing of the property, avoid making work for yourself later by pre-qualifying the interested party to make sure he/she has a chance of being a good fit.

Essentially you want to ask the questions that will make or break an applicant’s chances with your property.

If an applicant has one of the “deal-breaker” qualities (e.g., owning a pet when the owner has specified that no pets are allowed), you’ve saved yourself the time of showing the property to someone who couldn’t rent anyway.

Show the Property and Give out Application Forms/Instructions
Once you’ve pre-screened the interested parties, you should show the property. Aside from letting these prospective renters see the unit, the showing gives you the perfect opportunity to interact with them in person. You’ll be working with your new tenant a lot in the coming months, so it’s worthwhile to meet all the candidates face-to-face and determine who you’d most enjoy working with. Some property managers even check IDs to make sure they are meeting the person who will be renting the property, not just a friend representing the applicant.

Make sure to offer the application to anyone who is interested so that everyone has a fair chance to apply. Not only can you violate fair housing laws if you pick and choose who receives the application, it’s also a violation if you give out different application forms to different individuals, so make sure you ask every applicant identical questions. Charge a fee for your time and to cover the cost of the credit check ($30 – $50 is reasonable).

Check Their Rental History
When it comes to reference checks, your main objective is to confirm the applicant’s rental history and employment information according to his/her application form. Rental history is arguably the more critical of the two since it gives you an idea of the applicant’s credibility, specifically as a tenant.

Aside from contacting the applicant’s current landlord or property manager, you should also contact his/her previous landlord or property manager. This is because an old landlord has no reason to lie to you about the tenant’s past behavior, whereas a current landlord who is trying to get rid of this bad tenant may be incentivized to cover up the tenant’s poor behavior in hopes of “unloading” this tenant to the next property that would take him/her.

Check Their Employment Information
Not every property manager performs an employment reference check, but it may be worthwhile if you’re uncertain an applicant can afford the rent. When it comes to confirming an applicant’s employment history, the process tends to be trickier because companies are limited on the employee information they can disclose. Unlike the types of questions you ask current and past landlords, your questions for the applicant’s employer should have Yes/No answers to make it easy for them to answer.

Run a Credit Report
A credit report reveals an applicant’s financial and legal status for the past seven to ten years. You should order one for all the applicants you are seriously considering since it is the one piece of evidence that cannot be faked.

You should have obtained every applicant’s name, address, and social security number in their application forms, which you need to obtain a credit report. Depending on the type of report you order, you may also get a FICO score that reflects an applicant’s credit. The score ranges from 300 to 850, and typically an applicant with a score above 650 is considered medium-to-low risk.

Make Your Decision
After you’ve scored all the applicants, it’s time to make your decision. For the tenant you’ve selected, review all the rules together so that he/she has a clear understanding of your expectations. Make sure he/she understands his/her responsibilities to receive the full security deposit back at the end of the lease, since security deposit disputes are among the most common in court. This is a particularly good time to clarify how and when you will perform your move-in/move-out and/or periodic inspections to record any damages incurred during the tenant’s stay.

For the applicants you do not select, if the cause of their rejection is negative information on a credit report or because another applicant has a higher credit score, you must provide him/her with the name and address of the agency where you obtained the report. You must also tell the person that he/she has the right to request a copy of that report within 60 days of receiving rejection from you. This is a requirement of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.


The Easy Way to Keep Good Tenants

????????????????????????Retaining good tenants in your Chico property can be more challenging than finding reliable tenants in the first place. Continuing with the same people in your properties is hugely beneficial for you as either a landlord or a property manager, as it prevents void periods where the property is empty and receiving no rental income. It also reduces the amount of time and paperwork dedicated to each property, due to the fact that the current tenants do not need to be continuously regulated and checked in the same way new tenants require.

Here are some pointers to help keep your tenants happy and encourage them to stay in your property:

Go the Extra Mile
Don’t underestimate how much a little extra effort on your part will be appreciated by your tenants. Always keep in mind there is influx of rental property due to poor selling conditions and homeowners becoming DIY landlords.

Be Responsive
Communication is vital in the tenant/landlord relationship, especially if you are wishing to keep them as renters. Don’t ignore their requests simply because you don’t agree. Talk through the issue and explain why you’re not happy with their suggestion and try to reach a compromise between both parties. Never ignore calls, texts, or emails from tenants. Make sure to answer or return calls immediately, as delaying the conversation is more likely to cause issues to increase in severity. Tenants do not like to be ignored, and this practice will make them disregard the property and you as an authority figure.

Address Problems Quickly
If your tenant complains of a loose drawer or squeaky door, try to fix them as quickly as possible. It may seem a minor issue in the grand scheme of property management, but these problems cause irritation and annoyance to tenants on a daily basis. Do not wait for tenants to call several times before you address these problems. Make sure to have a contingency plan if you are busy, rather than leaving a backlog of issues to resolve when you finally have time. Be sure to call a contractor promptly if you feel you cannot fix it properly yourself. If the problem needs time or extra parts you need to order, explain the process to the tenants so they have a better understanding of progress being made.

Find Ways to Help Out
Aside from addressing “fix-it” calls, you will need to find additional ways to help and please your tenants to ensure they stay at your property. They are doing you the favor of choosing to rent from you over other companies, so treat them as your customers. Housewarming gifts such as welcome baskets delivered on moving day can be an inexpensive idea but extremely thoughtful, and they are sure to be appreciated by a stressed-out tenant. Sending a small note or card at Christmas to thank them for looking after the property is friendly and respectful.

Invest in the Fixtures and Fittings
Quality materials and appliances make everyday life easier, as well as giving the property a more luxurious feel. Renters are more inclined to pay slightly higher rental fees if they can see it is a high standard of property that is well maintained. They also tend to stay longer in a place they can be proud to show and entertain family and friends in.

Rent to Pet Owners
The thought of tenants having pets is enough to make many landlords think twice about accepting a tenant. However, it has been proven that properties accepting pet owners are in much more demand, and tenants are less likely to move once they and their pets are settled. Ensure that there are rules in the contract that the tenants must repair or replace any damaged areas, clean up after their pet, and adhere to respectful practices concerning communal areas and interactions with neighbors.

Keep in Touch
Do not become overly involved in your tenants’ lives because they can see this as interfering, and it may cause boundary issues later on in the tenancy. However you should always remain approachable and friendly. Regular communication will give your tenants a heads up to any issues or future work that is planned.

Respect Their Privacy
Even if you own the property, do not just barge in whenever you feel like it. Not only is this illegal to do without giving proper notice, but it is also extremely rude and disrespectful to your tenants. Unless it is an emergency, make sure to call in advance and schedule a visit.

Screen Potential Tenants
Screening potential tenants will not only help you rent to trustworthy people in the first place, but it will help maintain your current renters. In shared properties and apartment blocks in particular, a bad tenant can affect the rest of the renters and discourage them from staying long-term.

8 safety tips: Avoid these common holiday mistakes!

christmas_lights-01Safety is the best gift to give your family this time of year. Keep their holiday season safe, merry and bright with these simple tips.

  1. Look into the lights. It pays to spend at least as much time looking at your holiday lights as you do looking for them. Once you pull your holiday lights out of the attic or that dusty storage closet, give each string a careful inspection. Look for frayed wire, broken sockets and signs of significant wear. When in doubt, toss them out. Also, check for the UL symbol from Underwriter’s Laboratory or a similar tag showing the product has passed the safety tests of a national lab. Finally, before you hang a string of lights, plug it in to make sure everything is working properly.
  2. Three’s company, four’s a hazard. Stringing strands of lights together is a lot like golf–a lower number is better. Connecting too many strands can overload circuits, so play it safe and follow the rule of three: connect no more than three strings in a row. Also, avoid tucking cords under rugs (which creates a fire hazard), and keep them away from walkways where they can trip someone or be stepped on and damaged.
  3. Right lights, right place. It’s natural to want to showcase your holiday style with a brilliant outdoor display. Just be sure to use lights and power strips that are approved for exterior use. And remember, outdoor equipment is sturdy, but not invulnerable. Use common sense and keep connectors off the ground, out of gutters and away from downspouts.
  4. Turn off the show before you go. When you pull out of the driveway at night, it’s tempting to leave your house glowing in full glory, like a beacon to guide you home. But if safety and savings are top priority, turn off holiday lights whenever you hit the road. Want the best of both worlds? Set up a timer to turn lights on and off automatically. That way, you can enjoy the spectacle when coming and going, and never worry about forgetting to shut down the show after hours.
  5. Prevent forest fires. When you bring an evergreen indoors, the same precautions apply to your forest of one. Campers know that dry pine needles are great for starting fires, so keep live trees far from candles, heaters, stoves and fireplaces. And make an effort to keep the greenery green. Water your tree as diligently as you would a pet–up to a gallon of water per day will help keep your tree safe and fresh. After the holidays, or if your tree becomes dry, don’t wait to take it down and take it outside.
  6. Don’t skimp on safety. Artificial trees are gaining in popularity, but don’t sacrifice safety in the name of style or savings. Before you decide which tree to bring home, make sure it’s been tested and labeled as fire–resistant. If the tree comes with lights, look for a sticker showing it’s been safety-tested by Underwriters Laboratories or a similar national lab.
  7. Keep cool with LEDs. There’s nothing wrong with blending time–tested tradition with cutting–edge technology. When shopping for indoor or outdoor holiday lights, consider light–emitting diodes (LEDs). These high–tech, high–efficiency bulbs are shatterproof, shock–resistant, and cool to the touch, which greatly reduces the risk of fire. Even better, they can reduce energy consumption by up to 90 percent. They also last up to 25 times longer, which means they can be part of your holiday celebration for years to come.
  8. Look up and live! Before stringing lights on outdoor trees, make sure tree limbs haven’t grown into or near power lines. Branches, entire trees and even the ground adjacent to a tree can become energized when trees contact power lines. Never place yourself or any object — like a ladder — in a position where you or it may come in contact with a power line — the result can be fatal. Keep at least 10 feet away from overhead lines.

Property Managment Gem: Use Background Checks

evictionsThis seems obvious. But we are surprised to see how many problem properties we are hired to solve that could have been avoided with some level of effort. Completing a credit and background check of your applicant can help you detect a potentially troublesome tenant early on and weed them out. However, interpreting a credit report can be tricky – at what point does an applicant become a risk? Credit score cutoffs aren’t always so black and white, especially once you’ve looked at the details of their credit and debt situation. Studies show that more than 750,000 US renters in class A and B properties, here are some trends that you should keep in mind when looking at credit and background check results.

Beware, credit score isn’t the only measure of tenant quality
Don’t forget income verification! Sure, the credit score will tell you where an applicant is in the spectrum of creditworthiness, but it’s not always the deciding factor when it comes to approving a prospective resident. Looking at the rental applicant credit score distribution, 85% of the rental applicant population has scores in the 501 to 799 range, putting them in the three lowest credit score ranges. These renters were also likely to be younger and have a lower credit score.

Understandably, young renters entering the market may be loaded with student loans and credit card debt, but that doesn’t mean they’re unable to pay rent – they just don’t have much of a credit history. Alternatively, you may also see older renters who have gone through foreclosure and are now becoming renters, another factor that will impact credit but doesn’t necessarily indicate inability to pay rent. Keep in mind that many applicants are in an in-between stage: recently graduated, newly employed, or recently unemployed. This doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher risk tenant, especially if you look for the following details in their credit and background check.

Evictions are a deal breaker
Instead of relying on credit score alone, look for the applicant’s previous rental record. Talking to prior landlords looking for evidence of late payments will tell you much more when it comes to how risky a renter is. Eviction is most likely the result of multiple late or missed rent payments – a red flag that you want to avoid.

How many missed payments are too much?
In essence, you rely on a monthly payment from your tenant. You are just another bill. So if they have trouble paying their bills, you will not be an exception. A renter might have been late on one payment because they were out of town or in the hospital; certainly not a cause of great concern. However, when a renter is late repeatedly, it increases the likelihood that they’ll be late again. Surveys show that renters who have had two or more debts in their rent payment history are six times more likely to have it happen again. Also, while renters with two or fewer late payments have about an 8% rate of default, applicants with three or more late/non- payments have a default rate of 17%. When looking at an applicant’s rental record, note how many times they’ve been late or neglected to pay rent. If it has occurred more than two times, the renter presents a significantly higher risk.

Let us do the dirty work and get your Chico Rental Property leased with quality tenants. Ask us how we do it.