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I have a 2000 sqft, 4 bed/2 bath house for rent and first time trying to be a landlord in Anaheim, CA. I was asking for $2K per month with 2K deposit. I think I can ask for higher but have been told that lower price will encourage tenants to stay longer. After advertising in Craigslist, there have been quite a few people interested in renting it and they are mostly for family.

Two of those interested asked me for a reduced deposit of 1K. Should I just take them out of the possible tenant list and focus only on those that do not ask for a reduced deposit?

Among them, there is a group of 4 single guys interested. I think I should choose these guys because even if one moves out, they can easily find another roommate to fill in and therefore, they will tend to be a lasting type of tenant preventing me from having to look for new tenants later on while also in reality losing money when the house is empty. From what I heard, adults will likely putting less strain on the property...

What do you guys/gals think? Is there anything making it a better choice to choose a family over a group of single people as your tenant?

Any advice will be appreciated and thanks so much in advance.

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vegetation (Apr. 27, 2013 @ 1:47p) |

I agree with you - you may not be able to reach the landlord in the way I described. However, IF you can confirm via th... (more)

civ2k1 (Apr. 27, 2013 @ 4:55p) |

Take a look at the inside of their car, if it looks trashed so will your unit.

mastroadam (Apr. 28, 2013 @ 9:46a) |

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There is no magic answer here.

Honestly the 4 guys could be great or they could be partiers who will trash the place.

On the other hand a family with kids can be much harder to evict.

California is very tenant friendly... Keep that in mind when picking someone. You pick the wrong person it could mean months or in rare cases a year of no rent with lots of legal bills to get them out.

Personally I would lean towards a family in high tech where both parents work and have good credit, but honestly they could both lose their jobs tomorrow and you would be back to suing.

I would also make sure that your math on renting still works when the place is vacant or non-paying at least 20% of the time. You can try to reduce this risk by pricing it low and similar, but there is no guarantee. Also keep in mind on the one hand repairs may be cheaper since you care less to get the highest quality, but renters have minimal incentive to keep up the place meaning they may be more common. YMMV again.

OverRuled said:   Two of those interested asked me for a reduced deposit of 1K. Should I just take them out of the possible tenant list and focus only on those that do not ask for a reduced deposit?
It is a red flag if they can't afford one month rent as deposit.

You want a deposit at least as big as one months rent. That way when the very first rent check fails to arrive you have some money to use so you can evict them.

OverRuled said:   From what I heard, adults will likely putting less strain on the property...

What do you guys/gals think? Is there anything making it a better choice to choose a family over a group of single people as your tenant?


LordB said:   There is no magic answer here.

Honestly the 4 guys could be great or they could be partiers who will trash the place.

On the other hand a family with kids can be much harder to evict.

You can't discriminate on the basis of whether they have kids or not, that's illegal.

When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

stanolshefski said:   OverRuled said:   From what I heard, adults will likely putting less strain on the property...

What do you guys/gals think? Is there anything making it a better choice to choose a family over a group of single people as your tenant?


LordB said:   There is no magic answer here.

Honestly the 4 guys could be great or they could be partiers who will trash the place.

On the other hand a family with kids can be much harder to evict.

You can't discriminate on the basis of whether they have kids or not, that's illegal.


Of course not. But, off the record, landlording remains probably the most racist, sexist, discriminatory industry in this country.

OverRuled said:   
Among them, there is a group of 4 single guys interested. I think I should choose these guys because even if one moves out, they can easily find another roommate to fill in and therefore, they will tend to be a lasting type of tenant preventing me from having to look for new tenants later on while also in reality losing money when the house is empty. From what I heard, adults will likely putting less strain on the property...


How would you structure the lease in this situation? All 4 guys sign the lease, and 1 leaves, the other 3 are responsible for his share?

Krazen1211: YES!

The reason is if guy #1 leaves, the other 3 are not going to give you 3/4 of the rent...they give you the complete rent.

If guy #1 stays in the house but says "I can't afford rent"...guy #2,3 &4 are going to be riding his A$$ to get his rent money turned in as they are all on the hook.

You never split up rent when dealing with room-mates. Make each room on the hook for the entire rent and you only take 1 payment. All room-mates have to get together and submit 1 rent check each month.

Krazen1211 said:   OverRuled said:   
Among them, there is a group of 4 single guys interested. I think I should choose these guys because even if one moves out, they can easily find another roommate to fill in and therefore, they will tend to be a lasting type of tenant preventing me from having to look for new tenants later on while also in reality losing money when the house is empty. From what I heard, adults will likely putting less strain on the property...


How would you structure the lease in this situation? All 4 guys sign the lease, and 1 leaves, the other 3 are responsible for his share?
. Is there a different way? Joint and Several Liability.. All 4 need to fill out app and make application. Decision and Security Deposit amount to be determined based on all four.

Be interesting to know if 1k amount was from 4 roomies.

ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

I rented a house with 3 other girls. We partied and smoked cigarettes in the hottub in the backyard. Then the neighbor showed up wearing a stab-proof vest and spouted off a list of demands. The boys pulled out pistols. It was crazy...

No expereince landlording ... but I might lean toward a family if the following are true:

Good, secure family income
Kids just starting school
Home is in a good school district

In situations like these, you can end up with a tenant who does not want to move because of the good school, low(ish) rent, and just general stability. Certainly no guarantee (but neither are 4 single people). If things line up right, you have a decent tenant that stays for 15-20 years.

qcumber98 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

I rented a house with 3 other girls. We partied and smoked cigarettes in the hottub in the backyard. Then the neighbor showed up wearing a stab-proof vest and spouted off a list of demands. The boys pulled out pistols. It was crazy...
. Hopefully the demands were toward the girls, lol.

ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

One of my units is rented to single guys and gals and one of the condition of the lease was that I'd do a walk through of the apartment each month when I come to pickup the rent. No problems for the last three years.

ach1199 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

One of my units is rented to single guys and gals and one of the condition of the lease was that I'd do a walk through of the apartment each month when I come to pickup the rent. No problems for the last three years.


A walk through once a month? Seems a bit excessive.

ach1199 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

One of my units is rented to single guys and gals and one of the condition of the lease was that I'd do a walk through of the apartment each month when I come to pickup the rent. No problems for the last three years.


Damn, I wonder how much money you left on the table for that? If my landlord told me that, I'd need at least a $200 rent reduction overall to justify it.

ach1199 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

One of my units is rented to single guys and gals and one of the condition of the lease was that I'd do a walk through of the apartment each month when I come to pickup the rent. No problems for the last three years.
. No offense but seems unreasonable amount of access to me, nor do I drive anywhere to get paid.

qcumber98 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

I rented a house with 3 other girls. We partied and smoked cigarettes in the hottub in the backyard. Then the neighbor showed up wearing a stab-proof vest and spouted off a list of demands. The boys pulled out pistols. It was crazy...


Lol I want to re-read that thread this weekend.. I haven't a clue what it was called though. Anyone?

Krazen1211 said:   How would you structure the lease in this situation? All 4 guys sign the lease, and 1 leaves, the other 3 are responsible for his share?

I think I will ask that there will be only one person in charge and responsible.

In the mean time, I am rethinking about the case that they might be partying and trash the place...

ach1199 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

One of my units is rented to single guys and gals and one of the condition of the lease was that I'd do a walk through of the apartment each month when I come to pickup the rent. No problems for the last three years.



I rent a house to three individual guys, three bedroom house. I am in the common areas of the house at least once a month. Never had a problem even though the cast of players have cycled through several times in the last 3 1/2 years. Tenants are told up front that landlord will be in the house regularly. House is near a large university and most tenants have been students.

BradisBrad said:   qcumber98 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

I rented a house with 3 other girls. We partied and smoked cigarettes in the hottub in the backyard. Then the neighbor showed up wearing a stab-proof vest and spouted off a list of demands. The boys pulled out pistols. It was crazy...


Lol I want to re-read that thread this weekend.. I haven't a clue what it was called though. Anyone?


Good times

OverRuled said:   Krazen1211 said:   How would you structure the lease in this situation? All 4 guys sign the lease, and 1 leaves, the other 3 are responsible for his share?

I think I will ask that there will be only one person in charge and responsible.

In the mean time, I am rethinking about the case that they might be partying and trash the place...


Horrible idea. You want each tenant to be jointly and severally liable. WhiteGuy an JaxFL are right. That way each tenant is wholly responsible for the lease. If 3 of the 4 guys flake, you can go after each of them AND the "good" tenant. None are off the hook until you get ALL your money - you don't care which of them ponies up for the total amount due. It's better for you as LL to have MORE responsible parties, not less. Be sure to get an application and background/credit check on EACH tenant.

Legal immigrants who are easy to deport. We have somebody who takes really good care of the place and doesn't even use the TV (has his own TV sitting in front of it).

You should not discriminate. You should set some reasonable credit worthiness standards and a deposit to protect yourself. Then once you initiate contact with an interested party, you should rent to them if they qualify.

The 1st thing that you want to do is educate yourself on the rights/responsibilities in your state/jurisdiction.

When you consider the worst-case scenarios (months of a dead-beat tenant trashing your property while the wheels of justice grind slowly) it is worth the efforts (time, $$, etc.) to forge a good contract & carefully choose (references, etc.) your tenants.

Get a credit/background check and ask for landlord references. That's what you should be most worried about. I had a couple recently try to rent from me, willing to pay extra money. Without even doing a background check, I looked up their names online and wouldn't you know it both had been arrested for assault, battery, harassment and being a "fugitive of justice" with previous addresses matching where they were arrested (multiple times). Do your homework.

A friend of mine swears that the best tenant ever is a 30 - 50 year old single female. No kids, no pets, stable job. He will seriously do what it takes to get someone fitting that profile over families who will pay more.

He swears that a woman will keep the place cleaner than a guy or several guys would, the 30 - 50 year old age bracket reduces the chance of crazy partying, and the no kids, no pets rules lowers the chance of carpet/floor/wall damage and pee/puke stains, and women with stable jobs are most likely to pay the rent in full on time.

ensignlee said:   ach1199 said:   ryoung81 said:   When I rented a house with 3 other guys in college we partied and trashed it....

One of my units is rented to single guys and gals and one of the condition of the lease was that I'd do a walk through of the apartment each month when I come to pickup the rent. No problems for the last three years.


Damn, I wonder how much money you left on the table for that? If my landlord told me that, I'd need at least a $200 rent reduction overall to justify it.


I keep my rents $50 to $100 lower than other units in the area to keep tenants stay for 5 or more years. I have a single guy as a tenant in one of the units for 20+ years. As for the single guys and gals, the walk-through was the condition of the lease and they're okay with it so I've got to do what I got to do to protect my unit. They're free to move if they don't like it and after three years, they stayed put so I guess I'm not bad of LL

rent to drug dealers.

johnfkennedy said:   rent to drug dealers.
done that!

dont recommend it.

gooddealie said:   A friend of mine swears that the best tenant ever is a 30 - 50 year old single female. No kids, no pets, stable job. He will seriously do what it takes to get someone fitting that profile over families who will pay more.

He swears that a woman will keep the place cleaner than a guy or several guys would, the 30 - 50 year old age bracket reduces the chance of crazy partying, and the no kids, no pets rules lowers the chance of carpet/floor/wall damage and pee/puke stains, and women with stable jobs are most likely to pay the rent in full on time.


It's anecdotal, but a buddy of mine rented a house to a single female fitting that demographic. His experience was: there was a reason why she was single in her 40s (divorced and mentally a little off), she told him no pets (but she had 3 cats), she didn't know how to fix simple things and was always calling him (light bulb replacement at the front door, etc), and when she got laid off from her job there was no 2nd income to maintain the expenses and she fell behind on rent. Not to be sexist, just a realist: but she probably had a tougher time finding a replacement job also.

I think it's really had to pre-judge how a tenant may be based on their age, sex, familial status, etc. I've had families with kids pay their rent on time every month and return the rental in spotless condition. OTOH, I've had retirees fall behind on their rent, cause mold issues with hoarding, and cost me thousands of dollars in restoration expenses.

The best way is a credit report (with court records search), income verification, and a *real* prior rental verification. By a real verification, I mean:

- be sure to compare the addresses on the credit report with the reported prior addresses (they could be providing a false prior address, or conveniently leaving out the landlord they stiffed last year)
- confirm ownership of the property / name on property records matches the name of the person doing the verification (make sure they aren't having their friend pretend to be their prior landlord)
- independent confirmation of landlord's contact information / google or other search for the landlord's phone number (tenant could be providing you the prior landlord's name, but friend's phone number)
- check with more than just the current landlord (current landlord might provide a positive reference just to make them your problem and not his anymore)

Lots of people say they meet with the tenant and go with their gut feeling. While I certainly think you can rule someone out based on gut feeling, I think there will still be lots of people that your "gut" said ok to, but have a poor history. I wouldn't buy a property based on "gut" (I would pull comps, hire inspector, etc) and this is just part of the due diligence process to ensure you get your ROI.

civ2k1 said:   gooddealie said:   A friend of mine swears that the best tenant ever is a 30 - 50 year old single female. No kids, no pets, stable job. He will seriously do what it takes to get someone fitting that profile over families who will pay more.

He swears that a woman will keep the place cleaner than a guy or several guys would, the 30 - 50 year old age bracket reduces the chance of crazy partying, and the no kids, no pets rules lowers the chance of carpet/floor/wall damage and pee/puke stains, and women with stable jobs are most likely to pay the rent in full on time.


It's anecdotal, but a buddy of mine rented a house to a single female fitting that demographic. His experience was: there was a reason why she was single in her 40s (divorced and mentally a little off), she told him no pets (but she had 3 cats), she didn't know how to fix simple things and was always calling him (light bulb replacement at the front door, etc), and when she got laid off from her job there was no 2nd income to maintain the expenses and she fell behind on rent. Not to be sexist, just a realist: but she probably had a tougher time finding a replacement job also.
Yeah cat lady is what I thought of when I read what gooddealie wrote. My target is professional white collar who makes six figures. My theory is they have the discretionary income so my rent doesn't come second to utilities, but more importantly, their jobs nowadays require background and credit checks so they have a big incentive to not let things get out of hand. So far I am three for three on my houses (strangely enough, all three couples have kids that they had with their exes, none with each other), and got my fingers crossed that number four closing in a week or two will also follow.

Make an objective decision based upon credit history, income, length of employment, rental history and criminal history ECT.

Situations may vary from one landlord to another. Some prefer to rent their property to family men whereas others prefer single people. It will depend upon you as to which option you would like to go for. Before you rent your property to anyone else, you need to make sure that the person has the capability to pay off the rent every month.

Thanks everyone for your advices.

We have finally decided to rent it to a group of 4 single people. I will have to deal with only the person in charge so in reality he basically sub-rents to the other 3. One of them is female by the way. They all work for Disney and if one moves out, there will be more of their co-workers waiting to join. I will just have to cross my fingers hoping that they will stay long without trashing the place. By the way, there was a family of 8 offered to pay extra $200 each month but we thought 8 people could be too many for a 4 bed room house to handle.

solarUS said:   johnfkennedy said:   rent to drug dealers.
done that!

dont recommend it.


I'm not familiar with the actual dealers, but we had a tenant that was busted for growing weed.

OverRuled said:   Thanks everyone for your advices.

We have finally decided to rent it to a group of 4 single people. I will have to deal with only the person in charge so in reality he basically sub-rents to the other 3. One of them is female by the way. They all work for Disney and if one moves out, there will be more of their co-workers waiting to join. I will just have to cross my fingers hoping that they will stay long without trashing the place. By the way, there was a family of 8 offered to pay extra $200 each month but we thought 8 people could be too many for a 4 bed room house to handle.


Because it would be a health hazard?

OverRuled said:   
What do you guys/gals think? Is there anything making it a better choice to choose a family over a group of single people as your tenant?

Any advice will be appreciated and thanks so much in advance.


Renting to 4 dudes (probably a roommate situation) that are asking for a 50% deposit reduction doesn't sound great in my book.
Renting to a family, sure... I'd prefer this over 4 single guys, assuming the # kids is reasonable.

I think what I'd do is ask for an application (no cost) and see who has the stronger credit history and ability to pay...

The only advantage I can see renting to 4 guys is that *maybe* you can make all 4 of them responsible for the entire rent... Course, if you've got 4 rocks, it doesn't make a difference.


Edit: 8 people. No way.

I might get crap for posting this, but I would never find a tenant on Craigslist. I have a 3br/2.2 bath townhouse near Baltimore, and for the six years that I've been renting it, I've always gone through a LOCAL real estate agent that I knew was a player in the local market.

They charge me one month's rent to do the following: advise me on the value of the unit, advertise my unit, put a sign up in the yard, answer all the phone calls and e-mails, take rental applications, run background and credit checks, communicate with me and keep submitting apps to me until I find someone I like, write up a lease, and act as a middleman so, if I want, I don't ever have to meet my prospective tenants.

The best advice I can give for you for picking tenants is to pick someone with a good credit history. If you can't find someone with no bankruptcies or defaulted credit cards on their credit report, keep looking. If it takes three or four months and you're getting desperate, lower your price, but *don't* settle for someone with a bad credit history.

Skipping 20 Messages...
Take a look at the inside of their car, if it looks trashed so will your unit.



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