Is Renting Sometimes Better than Buying? Four Reasons to Rent Instead of Buy

Ezra Makaza 20/07/2017
  1. You don’t have a down payment, you can’t afford the mortgage installments, or you can’t qualify for a loan. (Uh, that would be me.)
  2. You might be moving in three years or less. These days, the amount of time you need to stay in a house for it appreciate enough to cover inflation and closing costs might be even longer.
  3. You are not handy, you don’t have a green thumb, and you don’t ever want to unclog a gutter.
  4. You are new to a city and you know very little about the area.  Renting can be a great way to buy time as you figure out where you really want to live.  (A house is not an island.  Finding the best neighborhood should be the first step in your search

10 Ways to Find a Good Renter for Your Home

Ezra Makaza 18/07/2017

If you own a house that you can’t sell and are thinking of renting it out, finding good tenants who will take care of your home is challenging — but essential.

As you begin your hunt for the right renter for your home, use these 10 tips offered by real estate experts.

1. Understand the Laws

Research federal and state laws that cover tenants and landlords. For example, you could base your decision on credit or criminal history but not on race, religion, national origin, gender, age or family status.

To ensure you conform to state laws, go to the government website or consult a local attorney or legal information sites . Landlord organizations, could be useful resources.

2. Know Where to Advertise

Start online, says Jayci Grana with the National Association of Residential Property Managers. At a small fee, you can advertise property on sites like

To expand your approach, Hertzog suggests:

  • Take out ads in the online and printed classified sections of local newspapers.
  • Put fliers in area grocery stores and Laundromats.
  • Contact human resource directors at local businesses to post ads in employee lunchrooms and new-employee information kits.
  • Broadcast your rental to your friends on social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Get referrals from family and friends.

“Screen everyone the same no matter where you find them, even those from family and friends,” adds Hertzog.

In your listings and fliers, include a photo of your house and basic details, such as:

  • Neighborhood where it’s located.
  • Number of rooms and bathrooms.
  • Garage size.
  • Special features like a swimming pool, fireplace or basement.
  • Rent amount.

3. Clean Your House

Even before putting the word out or advertising, make sure your house is clean and ready to show. Remove clutter and take care of repairs.

Because many potential tenants in need of housing already have been looking, they could respond within hours of an ad posting. “A well-maintained house increases your chances of securing a responsible tenant,” says Grana.

4. Use a Rental Application

“The rental application is the document used to collect personal information about the applicant and co-applicants so that you can perform background checks,” says Hertzog.

Rental applications could request:

  • Applicants’ names
  • Social Security numbers
  • Previous addresses
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Income sources and amounts
  • Children’s names and ages
  • Number of pets and their breeds
  • Employer contacts and job title
  • References (not family)

Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to charge a nonrefundable application fee of $25 to $40 to cover the cost of background checks. “If someone refuses to pay this fee, there’s your first screening tool,” says Hertzog.

In addition to the application, provide a rental policy sheet that clearly spells out the terms and conditions of the lease, such as pets, cosigners and renters insurance requirements.

5. Require Renters Insurance

During the application process before a lease is signed, let your potential tenants know you will request that they show proof of renters insurance on the move-in date. Renters insurance will cover the cost of the tenants’ belongings as well as damage they could cause to your house. Consider purchasing landlord insurance to provide the coverage you need to protect your rental property.

6. Avoid Interviews

It may seem like common sense to conduct interviews as part of the screening process, but Grana advises against them. “That alone is opening you up for Fair Housing lawsuits. Also, the way people dress or act in person doesn’t tell you how they could perform in a lease agreement,” she explains.

7. Do Background Checks

“The only way you can determine whether they will be good tenants is based on their past history,” says Grana.

8. Wait for the Check to Clear

To avoid problems with a personal check clearing the bank, ask for a deposit in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. If you accept a personal check, don’t stop marketing the house and taking backup applications until the check clears and a lease agreement is signed, urges Grana.

9. Use a Lease Agreement

A strong lease sets the terms and conditions for tenants living in the house. These include facts like who will live there, when rent is due, penalties for late rent and so on. A good lease spells out the policies and basis for eviction.

10. Don’t Settle

Be picky. “Have high standards; don’t settle out of desperation. You’ll end up with a lower quality tenant who could cost you in the long run,” says Grana.

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