How to get potential landlord to choose me over someone else.
By - michelle_js
Can your salary actually carry a three bedroom?
That's the fear - your student roomies stop paying, will the landlord have to evict you all, or will you cover for them?
It's a 2 bedroom. They are a couple.
And yes I could carry it, although it would be tight.
I would be willing to sign the lease solo if needed. I'm solo on our current lease because when we moved in my (now ex) husband had bad credit.
The arrangement could deter some landlords, that’s one thing working against the group.
Or maybe you and the person with good credit sign the lease. That way the cost looks more comfortable, but no bad credit?
The student piece could also be a pickle. If your landlord discloses student status to an insurance company, many companies won't insure them, or may charge a higher rate. This apples to grad students as well.
Are you sure? Our insurance companies (we’ve had 2 now) have never known information about any of our tenants
Yes. When I first signed insurance they wanted to know about renting, if I was living there and renting rooms, if it was an Airbnb, if it was students or otherwise. Students meant I could no longer be covered by Wawanesa and would have to find a higher risk/alternative insurance provider.
My understanding is that this is new within the year. Some other policies might be grandfathered in, or have a don't ask don't tell situation moving forward.
I didn't know that about students or grad students. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me and seems discriminatory.
I'm planning on going back to school (while keeping my job). I assume that wouldn't apply? Not that I need to disclose it to my potential landlord. It's not a done deal.
I guess their reason is insurance companies lump all students into one category assuming keggers and such. I spoke to my insurance broker and mentioned I had friends in their 30's doing PhD's that were not a huge risk. I guess it is just how companies calculate risk. I agree it is garbage.
All that being said, if a student seemed responsible, I would rather pay a higher premium to have them, than a non student I thought would destroy things. However between two responsible parties, if one requires you to search for a new insurance provider, I can see why you wouldn't want to do that.
I can see that.
It makes me wonder if that's why every single landlord I have ever had except 1 only listed 1 single person in the lease regardless of who else lived there.
Even my current landlord only out me on the lease even though my 2 roommates and now ex spouse moved in at the same time.
Someone mentioned below about the two unrelated people per house. I forgot about that. Three unrelated people (student or not) also meant a high risk insurance provider.
It depends when your landlord got their insurance, and how honest they are with the company.
Show proof of all rent payments on time since covid started
I could definitely offer that. I currently pay by post dated cheques so I'm always on time. I would be even if I didn't though.
Post-dated cheques aren't that much of a benefit to a landlord. A tenant could always tell their bank to void those post-dated cheques at any point before the landlord cashes them in.
I know. I'm pretty sure my current landlord ask for them because they are in their 90s and that's what they did 40 years ago
I'm just saying that since it's automated I don't have to worry about timing
I liked TenantPay, it's the same as paying a bill, you're assigned a number, go onto online banking (or the bank itself, I suppose, have them type iit in) and you get an instant receipt, immediately withdrawan, timestamped, permanent bank record. Free and secure.
Cheques are too easy to dispute later. Money orders are a pain in the ass. Plus there are so many bad cheque schemes out there I wouldn't deposit one from my grandma.
If it's a 2 bedroom, then a landlord may, all else equal, prioritize applications where there are only 1 or 2 people living in the unit. Having more people in a unit increases the wear and tear on it. Is there a way you can highlight how well you kept your last rentals?
How long would you be looking to stay? Since rents are still at pre-pandemic levels, a landlord may prioritize an application where the tenants are only looking to stay a year or two so that they're not stuck at a low rental rate for very long. Is there a way you can convince the landlord that you're not going to be locking in the low rental rate for many years?
Can/would you agree to get tenant insurance for all the tenants if that isn't already required by the landlord?
Hes a new tenant so the landlord can charge whatever they want, what are you talking about pre pandemic rent rates?
The rental rate right now is still lower than what the rental rates were before the pandemic. If the landlord thinks that the rental rates will soon go back up to what they were before the pandemic, then the landlord wouldn't want a tenant who is going to be staying for many years and locking in the current rental rate.
So why wouldn't they just charge more initially then?
I don't understand what you are suggesting.
* The unit's market rate is $2000/month before the pandemic
* The unit's current market rate is $1600/month.
* The landlord believes that in 2023 the unit's market rate will be $2000/month.
The landlord couldn't just charge $2000/month because the current market rate (i.e. what someone is willing to pay today) is less than $2000/month.
I hate moving so I was planning on staying so it's seems disingenuous to try to convince him otherwise but maybe I can do that. Because who knows for sure anyway. I always try to be honest and straight forward. That is probably what screws me...
I'm not exactly sure how to highlight how well we keep our current place except maybe photos?
About the staying long part, that's fair. The landlord's appetite for a long-term tenant at the current rental rate may depend on their financial picture for the rental property.
About the wear and tear, what would be attractive is to have the contact information for your previous landlords. The landlords being able to vouch for how well you kept the place would be great. The landlords being able to vouch for how self-sufficient you were when minor things went wrong would be good (i.e. would you complain about a broken light bulb or call because you didn't understand how to reset an electrical fuse?) would be great.
Are utilities included? If yes, then offering to adjust the rental rate so that you pay the utilities would alleviate the landlord's concern that more people would consume more utilities.
For a place that you really want, you could always offer to pay a higher rent.
What do you mean by "government income support" because if you mean welfare your better off taking the rent on your own.
In the situation of really wanting a specific place, things I've done to get chosen:
Stressed I'm single working professional, non smoking, non drinking/non drug using, no pets, no kids.
I'll attach to my email/application without being asked:
- credit report/credit score
- 5-7 years of landlord references
- letter of employment
- Resume/link to my LinkedIn profile
I'll request the application at the time I view the unit and fill it out and submit it the same day. I'll respond to all follow up emails ASAP.
I will offer 3 months rent upfront (landlords cannot request this, but tenants can offer it).
It's worked for me almost every time.
I never seem to get a straight answer on how these things work. If you left, and the others stayed, how would the landlord remove them, should the landlord want to? I don't want my house high-jacked by an endless stream of people I have no say in screening.
Barring that, if you need roommates, what's to stop you from having a trashy roommate in the future that causes problems.
Your not just going to fill my rooms up, and make profit with almost zero risk, are you (illegal btw)?
I know you're to pay damages, but will you do so willingly, or do I have to go to court? I can't take a damage deposit after all.
If they left, how would you pay. Are you just going to make it my problem?
Aside from what other people have mentioned, this is exactly how I would be thinking if you applied to one of my units.
Don't do the deposit thing, when people wave money in my face, it's a red flag. Contrary to popular opinion, most landlords just want a smooth tenancy. They aren't going to find just taking more of your money very appealing.
Do you have all of your info together?
Do you have this for all of your roommates?
I like to ask for 3 non-family personal references.
2 landlord references (current and previous).
and of course I want to speak to your employer.
When it comes to income, I want your gross monthly income to be around 3x the rent. Not exactly, but if it's too far off, I start to worry about you making rent if an emergency crops up.
Have all this info for the showing, type it up and have it together. Don't wait for an application. Of course do the application as well.
I need evidence you're responsible. You need to show them your best.
If you want to put a landlord at ease, you need to be as transparent as possible. Even offer bank statements. Take the initiative and offer this info.
Most, if not all applicants I've had, don't do this. If someone did this, without prompting, it would make a great impression, and ease some of my concerns.
I also tend to ask for proof of your credit score (through an app on the phone) and a paystub, with ID at the door, before the showing. If they don't ask, consider showing them anyway.
> If you left, and the others stayed, how would the landlord remove them, should the landlord want to?
By filing an A1 application with the LTB.
> Barring that, if you need roommates, what's to stop you from having a trashy roommate in the future that causes problems.
The fact that you can file an N5 or N7 to end the tenants lease for their roommates actions.
> Your not just going to fill my rooms up, and make profit with almost zero risk, are you (illegal btw)?
As long as they stay in the unit, it’s not illegal. The provision in the RTA forbids tenants from charging their sublets more than then rent, not their room mates.
This is all good advice
I'm curious about a couple things though?
Why would my having roommates matter? I'm pretty sure my situation is different than most people but my roommates are my family.
I could afford to live by myself but I like living with them. I make alot more money and I pay more than my percentage share if the rent but it's worth it for me.
My 1 roommate is like a surrogate kid to me in many ways. He has lived with me since he was in high school, since he had family problems the other one is his partner. We are unconventional. Queer chosen family and all that. But I don't really understand why that would be so off putting for a landlord. Especially since I'm willing to out my name solely on the lease if I need to.
I'm also curious about the talking to my employer thing? Is that really a thing? I know I can get (and plan on this week) a letter from HR about my employment. It's usually same day. But I have never heard of anyone actually talking to them directly.
I work in the public sector in a union and our hourly rate etc is easy to find online as well.
Also do you think an average gross if 80-90k is enough for a landlord to be with $2300 monthly rent?
I doubt this guy is going to rent to me since he is already hedging but I want to have my ducks in a row for next time I find a place I like. I've already decided not to move until I find a place I like better than where I am now so I'm not in a huge hurry.
What makes roommates different is that there is a general expectation that they eventually cycle through. If one leaves for whatever reason, it is thought you would get a new one. This is unlike a traditional family member, where if a kid leaves or something, they aren't going to get another one to fill the vacancy (generally).
One problem is a consequence of the fact that I can screen all initial roommates thoroughly, but for any subsequent ones there after, I'm limited by the RTA, since having roommates is a tenant right, and I would have to prove I have a good reason to reject them, which depending on the person is subjective.
Another big difference is insurance. If I have X amount of unrelated people sharing the dwelling, they will drop me. They tend not to like more than 2 people who are unrelated in the house. Insurance for more than that is a different price point.
With respect to the employer. I like to talk to them directly, to make sure they exist. HR letters are easy to fake. It also gives me a sense of what their profession relationships are like (Which is what we would have). A fake phone call is harder to accomplish than a fake HR letter. I don't always call however. Sometimes other info is enough, but if someone really really didn't want me to, it would kind of make me nervous. In fact, someone who really didn't want me to ended up being a real POS.
Maybe more established rental brands don't bother, but they also have a full legal department and can afford more risk.
I wouldn't have a problem with your stated income. This would depend on your debt load, which can be seen with a full credit report.
I have rejected people with a great credit score, but seemed like they were taking too much on. However those people weren't very transparent either, or rather, the opposite.
With respect to your specific situation, it's great that you get along with your roommates, and that you would take responsibility with them. I rented to a pair of two roommates, and one of the first things I wanted to know was how long they have rented together.
Since they provided me with all the references, I was able to track them through their history, and confirm that they had a lot of experience living and getting along with one another.
I knew so much, that I really didn't have any problems with the fact they were roommates and not family.
Did the guy mention the roommates being an issue? Maybe he just like someone else more, for whatever reason.
The guy didn't actually say anything. He said he would send us the application but instead sent a message saying he was going to show it to more people and then send out applications by next week. I'm not sure if he was blowing us off or not and I'm not sure if I should follow up in the meantime and what I should say.
The employment reference thing to make sure it is genuine makes sense. I'm not sure it really applies in my situation because I work for the city and there are 15k employees. I doubt my manager knows my name. You only go see the boss if you've done something either bad or very good. I wear a work uniform that is instantly recognizable in the city and I was wearing it when I went to see the place because it was directly after work. I would have no problem giving my employer contact info though. It's just that I'm pretty sure all they are allowed to do is confirm that I work there and the dates.
Thank-you for all you help. It has given me a lot of insight and much to think about.
As to your first questions, if I left my roommates would leave as well.
If they left and I wanted to stay I would possibly look for a roommate. But I know it's illegal to profit if that, nor would I want to. And if I couldn't find a suitable roommate and I couldn't afford to stay I would give my notice and move out. But I wouldn't not pay the rent. I have no interest in screwing over a landlord or screwing my credit or dealing with small claims court. I just want to rent a place I like and live in peace.
It's good to see that you are reasonable.
Reasonable people tend to think that other people are reasonable as well, but when you become a landlord you find out the world is full of unreasonable people, and they are all applying for your rental.