What Do You Look for in a Rental Home?

From the Nesting Place mail bag::

We just bought a second home and are in the midst of fixing up our current home to rent.

We will be replacing kitchen cabinets, painting the interior and exterior. and replacing the carpet in addition to some minor touch ups and repairs.  My question for you is, as a renter, what do you look for/what is most important to you?  Do you view a rental property differently than one you would consider purchasing? Neutral paint and carpet?  Storage? – We have a couple of outdoor storage units I would like to leave with the house and some shelves in the bathrooms I would like to leave for future tenants.  Does it matter if all the appliances match?  What would be an incentive for you – garbage service included, a discount for paying on time as opposed to a late fee, etc.  What would be a deal breaker?

What great questions.  Yes, I do look for different things in a rental than in a home we are considering buying.  In some ways I’m more forgiving of a home we’d own because I know we can change things~sometimes we purposely look for a home we can fix up.

I also love the idea of getting a discount for paying on time instead of the usual punishment for paying late~the money exchange could still be the same, it just feels different.

What about you?  Do you have pressing answers to any of those questions?

 

 

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Comments

  1. A discount for paying on time- that would be amazing! If my landlord ever suggested that, I’d renew my lease every year. For me, it doesn’t matter if the appliances match. I look at my rental property as a place to build from, so neutral walls and floors are a good thing, though if there’s color on the walls (and I like it), it could be a selling point. Also, lots of storage options is a huge bonus.

  2. I have not rented in a really long time, but when we did rent the LOCATION of the home was the most important thing to us.
    A small discount for paying on time sounds wonderful to me. Maybe even a discount if they set up a direct payment from their bank to yours…
    The extra storage would be welcome. It would not matter to me if the appliances matched. As long as they worked.
    Good luck.

  3. Neutral walls are great, but having the landlord’s approval to paint is even better. Although I prefer neutral paint in the common living areas, I have 2 teenagers who like to make their rooms ‘cute’ like all of their friends’ rooms are and this often involves paint. Pet friendly is a huge plus for me since we have a small dog. Matching appliances would be great, but not a deal breaker. And a discount to pay on time would be wonderful!

    • Danielle M. says:

      I totally agree with what Cyn says. I have been able to paint at the rental home that I have lived at for three years now. Knowing that I can surround myself with colors I love (with landlord approval) is huge!

      I have one of the most wonderful landlords EVER. When the economy went south a couple of years ago, she (wait for it…) LOWERED MY RENT, because she lost her job. I treat that house with the kindness and care I would treat my own, and therefore she wanted to keep me. I was valuable to her as a tenant. In two years, she has not inreased the rent at all, because she still wants me there. I think being willing to consider these kinds of things matters!

      • I would love to be able to paint my walls!!! I have been renting for about 4.5 years, and I miss being able to change the wall color. Although, the antique-y white color on the walls isn’t too bad at all!!! Could be stark, flat white…eww!

  4. i think neatural surroundings in general. no crazy wall colors, or carpet colors or exterior colors.. that way you aren’t staring at a purple wall you hate and thinking “i can’t wait to get out of this rental so i don’t have to go mad looking at this purple wall every day.” i think the exterior is really important too. the people who rent probably won’t put a lot of money into gardening and all that, so i think the landlord should really be in charge of making sure the exterior is nice. that makes a ton of difference to me if the outside areas are nice. i mean, obviously that’s the first impression they get of the property and they probably won’t be doing much to change it.

    • oh and i meant to say this; if you do neutral colors in the home, pleeeease don’t just spray everything “builder beige”. that drives me even more nuts than purple walls… well maybe they are tied.

  5. First: Will it fit us & our stuff? We’ve got 8 in this fam, so fitting us is harder than for most; and storage is really important when you’ve got six kiddos’ clothes & ephemera to hide.
    Second: Location!!!
    Third: Cleanliness & state of repair. I can deal with a lot of things if the house is really, really CLEAN, and everything’s in good working order!
    Fourth: No carpet. Carpets in rentals just. get. funky. If you’ve got laminate or wood floors, it’s sooooo much easier to keep things really good and clean. Don’t replace the carpet–put in laminate, instead. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.
    Fifth: If the landlord will let me paint. ;o) Light & neutral is the best place to start, though, if you’re going to paint.

    One note: if you’re really going to rent the place, don’t make a lot of upgrades. Nice cabinets are great for selling, but if you’re going to rent, don’t replace them. Tell the tennants that they can repaint them if they’d like, and you’ll split the cost of materials with them. ;o)

    Hope this helps!!!

  6. i wou say HECK YESSSS leave the storage units…that is the one and only thing that i hate about this rental we are in now!! i have kitchen appliances in my bedroom closet because there is no storage…ANYWAYS!! We are searching for a different house with more storage and an extra room….and there are 3 things that we must have with no exceptions….1.) storage, 2.) wood or laminate wood floors in the main living area (because carpet is so nasty and with kids and pets…well, it is self explanitory.) and 3.) a flexible landlord when it comes to painting and so on. which means that if the landlord spent time and money painting the whole houser to prepare for tennants….they more than likely will not want us comming and repainting.

    since we are long term renters and very good tennants, we are looking for a house just as if it were a house that we were going to buy.

    xo
    jessica

  7. After living in 3 rentals in the last 3 years – 1 year in one place (left because we hated it), 2 years in the next (law school rental – graduation forced us to leave), and 2 months in our current spot here’s what we have to say about our renting desires…
    1. Carpets do indeed get funky. I would prefer to purchase a rug and walk around barefoot on that. Wood, ceramic, or vinyl is much better for keeping clean.
    2. The ability to paint is GREATLY appreciated. Living with someone else’s wallpaper choices gets old super fast.
    3. Matching appliances are nice. At my owned house before law school I had matching appliances and miss them now. My kitchen just looks like a rental with white stove and almond refrigerator.
    4. Storage space is also great. If there is not a closet in the bathroom, shelves are great. Living in New England I’m also amazed that not one of our rentals has a mudroom. With 2 girls we have a lot of storage needs in the form of snow suits, sleds, boots, etc (This was another problem with the carpet – see number 1).
    5. Windows! I assume if you don’t care about natural light a lot of windows would just be covered with window treatments. However, it’s hard to open up a wall to get the afternoon sun!
    6. Finally, all utilities included (except cable/phone) has been huge. We’re attempting to live within a very meager budget and the knowledge that our bills each month are static is most helpful. This was the biggest reason we left our first place. The windows were old, the insulation non-existent, and the heater expensive to run. We had no control on the windows, the insulation/weather-proofing, or the efficiency of the heater but were responsible for paying the gas bill for the thing. We were away for 2 weeks in our first December and our oil bill was $500! We decided to move that day.
    Hope this helps.

  8. My biggest request in a rental:
    1. Caring landlord — someone who will stay on top of repairs and needs for the home. The home we are currently in is owned by a couple who are slow and behind on taking care of so many things, I’m not sure we’ll renew the rental in a few months just because of this. If we wanted to deal with the headache of taking care of the actual house and appliances we would buy our own home.
    2. Neutral decor: no crazy, bold colors on walls or floors. The fixtures don’t have to be super-high-end, but they should be up-to-date and neutral. And give me the permission to paint a little, please.
    3. A dream come true would be to have the lawn mowed by someone else, c/o the owners. My husband and I own a home in Arizona that we rent out, we have the pool and the (grass-less) lawn cleaned and taken care of for the renters.

  9. My husband and I have been married for a little over 9 years and in that time we have lived in 7 different houses/Apartments. For the most part we have little choice to the house we get since we are military and prefer to live on base, but through those experiences we have come to know what we are looking for in a house. I am with all those that say solid surface floors, although I love me a living room with carpets since we have small kiddos and enjoy camping out with them on the floor to play. Storage is also huge. You can never have too much storage IMO. Being that we have lived in primarily base housing I have come to HATE contractor grade white/cream paint. It may be super cheap, but does not do well with small children and pets, so you get what you pay for. We still have marks on the walls were the mover bumped into the wall and left a grease mark, no scrubbing in the world will get it out. A washable paint is prefered and semi-gloss in the high traffic areas will help your tennants and yourself in the long run…consider a nice light tan color nuetral enough to work with any decor and gives enough color that it will be warm and inviting for showings. I think appliances that match will rent your place faster, but not necessary as long as they are clean and work correctly. More importantly is that if something breaks that you get to it asap and don’t hide anything that will surprise the tennent later on. The best tennent is the one that is happy and isn’t looking to move out as soon as the lease is up. Love the idea of getting a discount for paying on time, we always set up a direct deposit payment when we have rented and would have loved getting a discount for being responsible.

  10. sorry to be so late to the game but here are some of my thoughts: STORAGE. my husband and i are renting will probably do so for the next five years, we were looking for a place that we could see ourselves in for that entire time – including, could we make this space work with babies? (we live the mega-expensive city of London UK) the place we have we LOVE except there’s NOT ONE BIT of storage. no shelves, no cabinets and b/c we’re in the UK, no closets…so we’re going to be putting all of that in – but it would have been a bonus to NOT have to do it. we also have all high-end appliances which match when necessary (the dishwasher, hob/oven, and fridge are all stainless steel and makes the tiny kitchen feel more pulled together) the laundry is tucked behind a door, so it doesn’t match and it doesn’t matter. the high-end nature of the applicances is also a bonus as we know we won’t be having to call on our landlords or the repairman regularly. finally, as a renter the biggest thing for me is the ability to decorate it as i want to. i’m happy to put it back to the way it was rented but 99% of the time, I know that what I’m doing is a)improving the space and b)looks good to everyone – let me paint, put up pictures, hang curtains change light fixtures – I’ll return to the original condition if so desired, but I want to make the house a home….
    and finally, it sounds like you’re already doing this, but don’t treat me as the enemy who will ruin your place and make your life awful – if you screen candidates well and get references, chances are you’ll find a landlord’s dream, so be a tenant’s dream too! friends of mine leave a bottle of champagne and chocolates in the fridge when a new tenant moves in – it’s the little touches right?

  11. My husband and I have been renting the same house for the last 6 years. Prior to that we were homeowners for over 20 years (previous marriages). Our landlord is wonderful and has NEVER raised our rent. We keep the house as if it were our own and he appreciates it. He’s always on top of emergencies (the house is over 40 years old). While the appliances aren’t matching or new, we manage. We create our own storage shelving that can be removed and we have a pet. Our landlord pays for yard maintenance. Would we love laminate floors over cheap carpeting, yes. But we are grateful to have such a great landlord who works with us and not against us and we show appreciation by caring for his property/investment.

  12. First of all I would like to thank the Nester for posting my question and helping me out! Also, thank you to all who have taken the time to offer some advice. We lived in the home for 19 years and in the end were bursting at the seams so for me anything I can do or provide to a future owner or tenant to make the home a better place is my goal. We are in a great location, near shopping, schools, public transportation and more specifically in the center of the development adjacent to a large greenspace

    • Ack! My comment posted all by itself.
      As I was saying… we are near a large green-space, tennis court, picnic tables and play ground. The only yard a tenant would be responsible for is a small area in the front and along the sides of the house. These are easily mowed with a push mower which we intend to leave for the tenants. The remainder of the grass and all trees are cared for by the landscapers. The other side yard is fenced in and has an enormous deck so there is nothing to maintain.
      The home is in a modest neighborhood, so upgrades such as granite counter tops are not expected. However we do still have the original particleboard cabinets in the kitchen so replacing them is a necessity. Additionally, replacing them will make the kitchen more functional and improve the storage available.Something I had longed for when we lived there. It does look like we will be leaving all the appliances (sob). They are all newer, higher end stainless steel. I had hoped originally to take them with me, but will not fit in the new house.
      I’m not sure my Type A husband will be willing to allow a renter to paint, but I will bring up the possibility to him. We are currently taking the Nester’s advice and painting everything a nice crisp white.
      Thanks for all the input regarding storage. We had installed closet organizers in the bedrooms which improved the storage and provided flexibility to re-arrange as needs changed. Additionally we will leave a couple of our storage units for the tenants, as well as overhead garage storage.
      I am trying to find a balance between what worked for me, and what I wanted to improve in the home, and creating an inviting space for someone to come in and make their home.

  13. Maintenance … with that, I mean get the carpets professionally cleaned, the heating system professionally inspected, etc, and then show proof of that with paid receipts to the new tenants. My landlord thinks his DIY upkeep is good enough, and its not. I think taking care of the yard is important too. I guess the biggest advice I have to a new landlord is to show that you care about the house and the tenants will care too. If we mention our landlord’s name, I get so mad because the lack of real maintenance on this house feels like a lack of respect. Rent is a big chunk of our income, and we work hard for that money.

    We had to rip 35 year old carpet out of one bedroom just to feel good about putting our baby in there. So there is subflooring in there right now. When my husband called the landlord to talk about replacing that room, he was told “Its fine, I steamcleaned it. So I’m not replacing it.” The investors who own this house (and others adjacent) are millionaires, so it starts to feel very disrespectful and slumlord-y. I’m not saying this house is that decrepit … its not, but it is a 35 year old house that is need of some basic upkeep.

    What keeps us here is the great location and good floorplan. And right now, rentals are hard to find, with so many people in foreclosure and needing to rent. And in my town, there was so much new construction that many rentals have a high rent to cover their recent mortgages purchased during the boom.

  14. Honestly I am not picky but a place that is clean, doesn’t smell or have holes in the walls…repairs are done and the place is ready to go. Since we have kids it is nice to have a safe not creepy environment for them. Discounts for rent paid on time would be great, but honestly not raising the rent for a long time would be nice too.

  15. 1. Clean, Updated Bathrooms! My pet peeve is discolored tile or grout! I want to take a bath and not think about who was there before me!
    2. Solid-Surface Floors – I have small children and clean our carpet every other month. Most people small children won’t do this and you will be replacing that carpet. It would be my dream to rent a home where I didn’t have to send my kids away for a whole Saturday and steam the carpets! And it would save me money!!!

    • I second that! hardwood floors are definitely the preference (says the woman sitting in a CARPETED dining room! sigh…).

      • I hear ya … i have carpet in my dining room too. It was stained by previous tenants and it can really make me bummed out. I just did some inexpensive re-vamping of the kitchen … new light fixture, papered the backs of the cabinets and took of the doors from the uppers … and it helps me keep my vision up at the recent improvements rather than focus on that carpet.

  16. Because I am contemplating becoming a landlord, this has been very helpful. One thing that I would be very concerned about is letting a tenant paint. I lived in apartments for several years and have seen some really BAD paint jobs. If someone does not own the property would they do the necessary prep work that is vital to a good paint job?

    • ask yourself, what’s more important: a happy tenant who will rent longer (and pay faithfully) b/c it feels like home? or repainting when they move out (which many, if not most, landlords end up doing anyway?

      • If it’s the quality of the paint job you’re concerned about … maybe you could handle it this way.

        Tell them you’ll handle the painting/ hire painters if they want to choose the colors. If they don’t have specific preferences, tell them you’ll have it painted white or beige before they move in — but if they ever want to paint… to let you know and either you help, or hire painters you trust.

        I can understand how irritating it would be if you graciously allowed renters to paint… and then realize a year or two later that they didn’t bother to tape the trim and painted over light switches, etc. I think my solution would help prevent that.

        I once moved into a very cute 1920s building, and the owner hired a paint crew to do so with the spray machines. Imagine my disappointment to find the charming pane-glass doors to the built in dining room hutches painted over!! I took a razor blade to them, and easily peeled the paint off the glass… no damage at all. I always chuckle a bit when I realize that I appreciate and value the place more than the people who own it!!

  17. dealbreakers are easy: pet rent, unable to paint, frequent inspections. These may seem strange, especially coming from someone who doesn’t have a pet, but I’m wary of someone who will charge for lifestyle extras; I love a house in bright colours, but want to reserve the right to pain my kids’ room, for instance; the threat of regular frequent inspections stress out this mom of three messy kids. Storage is a must. And I love having cabinets in the bathroom or wherever! Anything in the house already that allows me to decorate or personalize so it actually feels like my home… that’s what’s important. I hate feeling like I’m living in someone else’s house.

  18. We are renters as well. What do we want? Someone to leave us alone! We had a previous landlord that did all of our yardwork (sounds good in theory), all of his own repairs, plus regular “inspections”. He was at our house at least once a week for the entire year we lived there. It was the longest year of our lives.

    In our current house, the floor near the back door is squishy and probably rotten, we’ve battled rodents, the windows are original 1950s not-insulated and form condensation all winter plus high heating bills, and I have THREE drawers in the entire kitchen, which is, did I mention…panelling. And yet, it’s the best house we’ve ever rented. Great location, landlord that lets us paint, lets us do our own yardwork (we will never again agree to having yardwork provided for us), and most importantly, I think, is a neighborhood that embraces renters as well as owners. We are part of the community association, part of the community garden, members of the neighborhood pool, and no one makes any demarcation between renter and owner. That’s really, really great.

  19. Your rental should be in good repair and when something does go wrong fixed quickly.
    One place I lived furnished basic blinds on all windows and installed rods for curtains or drapes if we wanted. Floor length somewhat wide drapes kept heat in for winter, and fit other sized windows at other places. The blinds gave privacy from day 1. Furnish a washer and dryer. Renters don’t want to buy them and you install once and do it right. The #1 reason my wife liked our 2nd apt was W/D in unit vs going to basement for laundry. One landlord was replacing carpets and gave us a choice from the ones she liked. She picked neutral colors but we picked the ones that looked better with our furniture. Also knowing that the carpets were all new was a big deal. She was also the one that let us paint and she paid for the materials.
    At most of the places I have lived we were able to add a second shelf above clothes rods to give you more usable storage. Add additional shelves to kitchen cupboards, less wasted space with shelf added. Some open shelf units in basement and/or garage help with storage.

  20. I don’t know if this is still relevant, but thought I would throw in my 2 cents. We’re a young, military family so renting is what we do! We’ve lived in 4 places in our 4 1/2 years of marriage. Some things I didn’t see posted:

    -Offer rent discounts for different (pre-approved) improvements to the house. For example, I landscaped the front yard, painted the door, and replaced a worn mail box. I supplied reciepts and was ‘paid’ for my time too with a discounted rent.

    -My fav landlord scheduled visits/inspections about every other month with me. He made note of any repairs that needed to be done and I’m sure was generally checking the place out. This worked for both of us…repairs were done and he had peace of mind on a schedule that worked for everyone.

    -Please be pet friendly. I don’t mind paying a deposit, but a fee/pet rent is just dumb.

    -Complete a check in/out with your tenant. Show what is already worn or broken (if anything) and let them point things out and/or ask questions as you’re with them. When they’re leaving, do the final walk through with them and explain what you’re not happy with.

  21. Just wanted to add our two cents on renting. After being homeowners for more than 10 years we recently decided to sell our house, pay off our debt and now are embarking on leasing as a way of life! We are TOTALLY happy and found an AMAZING house, in the PRIME neighborhood we wanted to be in, for the right price, with a great (so far) landlord. He expects a lot of us, keeping the grass mowed to a certain length, cars parked ONLY in the garage, etc BUT at the same time he has allowed us many things too. It’s all about give and take. I am totally happy with having some rules to keep our neighborhood looking great! For us, condition and SPACE was the most important. The house we ended up with was only built 2 years ago and was not builder “standard” when it was built. It had upgraded everything. I backs to green space and a pond. I am not SUPER happy about the flooring being all carpet but the carpet is brand new and as I understand when the owner has to rip it out he moves to hardwood instead. So… if we stay very long we will be looking at hardwood soon :) There were a few things we had to compromise on like having a basement and a fenced yard but the owner has already offered to go in HALF of any fence we would want so… that is a REALLY nice option to have! For right now our Buddy boy (dog) will just have to enjoy life from a leash! He doesn’t like being outside in the winter anyhow so that is fine… in the spring we may explore our options :)

  22. We have a good landlord – very responsive, clearly cares about his house and cares that he has renters who will treat it well. He did give us a discount on the rent for setting up direct deposit (awesome!).

    The paint colors in our home are very neutral and probably not what I would have picked, but they worked PERFECTLY with our furniture! So we’re thankful and happy in that regard! If the paint were anything but flat paint we’d be even happier. :) There’s also some owner-installed trim detail that looks nice but my 12 month old daughter peels right off the wall… I try to make sure and glue it back on before the landlord comes by! No guilt about using glue on it, because I think that’s what he used in the first place.

    We have carpet and hardwood, but would prefer the hardwood throughout – so much easier to clean! Plus, having the baby crawling around on carpet that we don’t know the history of kind of grosses me out. We do have it cleaned every six months as our lease stipulates, but still… there’s this ultra-stinky patch in one spot in one room… yuk!

    Bottom line – I like to rent a home that is not only well-maintained, but is set up for me to maintain well. Washable walls, easy-care floor, non-fussy landscaping, etc. kathryn you sound like you’re going to be a great landlord – hope you find some fantastic tenants!

  23. I am a landlady. My husband and I have owned five different rental homes, and now own just two. Usually, our tenants stay a long time, like 5 years. We always establish a businesslike relationship at the start, and maintain good but not invasive communication. We want them to know that we take pride in the property, and so we encourage tenant to call us immediately if there is any problem at all, whether it’s with a neighbor, an appliance, the heating or cooling or plumbing systems, or any other maintenance issue. We never stall or cut corners, but either do the work ourselves or hire professionals. Having an unhappy person living in your major investment is the last thing you want.

    There are books you can read and forums you can visit to learn about landlording. Listening to what prospective renters want is fine, but you have to be the one in control. We avoid renting to people who want to make lots of changes from the get go. Can I add more stairs to the deck? Can I switch light fixtures? Can I remove doors? How many dogs can I have? Can I pay the security deposit next month? Can I bust a hole in the wall so I can park my Harley in the living room? These are red flags.

    Since my husband and I have been professional house painters, we always paint our homes ourselves. We would no sooner agree to a renter painting than asking someone off the street to do plumbing repairs. It is very difficult to fix a bad painting job, and everyone thinks they know how to paint. My advice would be to have painting done professionally using a good grade paint with a satin finish (which will be washable but not shiny).

    The most important thing you can do to impress tenants is to have the home as clean as possible. Think of it as detailing, the way you would a car. That clean. Clean is more important that trendy or fancy. Of course, everything needs to be functioning. Nothing should leak, be rotten, creak, smell, show signs of abuse, or look outdated. It seems like you have the appliance situation all taken care of, since they are new and high end. That’s a real plus. The better your home looks when you rent it, the more you can charge. Don’t plan on making upgrades later, because you won’t want to raise the rent on a good tenant. A month or two of vacancy could erase your entire year’s profit.

    The reason landlords like carpeting, even though tenants might not, is that it can be replaced in a day, which is not the case with repairing hardwoods or laying new laminate. The life expectancy of average grade carpeting in a rental unity is only about 5 years, but it still makes sense economically, from an investor’s point of view.

    We encourage tenants to make direct deposit. Never go knocking on their door to collect, and never rent to family or friends. It looks like most of your respondents liked the idea of a discount for early payment. This system will work for you as well. Not only does it encourage your tenants to pay on time, but it keeps you from having to tack on late fees, which are unlawful beyond a certain percentage.

    It’s good that you are familiar with the home. Having lived in it helps you be a better landlord. I always do what I can to make the move easy — a welcome book that tells them all about the utilities (don’t even think about paying them yourself) , the neighborhood, schools, where the electrical panel box is, important phone numbers, appliance manuals, how to change furnace filters, etc. We always put miniblinds in every window so that from day 1 they have privacy. They can remove them if they want. And a shower curtain. And a gift certificate for pizza. Be friendly, but don’t be friends. Good luck.

    • I wish you were our landlords; it sounds like you’ve figured out the professionalism of property management. So much of a good relationship depends on respect, and landlords would do well to respect their tenants just as they wish for tenants to respect property.

  24. dominique says:

    decorating is good being able to have a place in good condition and that the owners don’t mind you adding to we have small children so being able to put up stair gates and child safety locks on the cupboards without the worry of being charged for the drilled holes is good laminate is the best thing especially in living-rooms, kitchens and bathrooms though I prefer carpets in the bedrooms

    I have to say the one thing I hate about my current rental is that the owners bought it lease hold from a local housing association witch has made getting the odd jobs done is a nightmare as the owners wont touch the exterior the cavity walls need doing and the guttering needs fixing but the housing authority will only talk to the owners and we have to go through the estate agents to get to the owners thankfully our family is out growing this place so we can move.

  25. Hello everyone.
    My husband and I found this beautiful 3 bedroom home for rent. The landlord is asking $800 a month and while we were looking at the home we found rat turds in the attic and a board loose on the outside exterior. The laundry room is located outside in the carport area which is not bad, but my concern is that $800 a month is too expensive on an old house that i believe could possibly that rodents living in the attic. Could someone give me some advice on what we should do because I really like the house because of the size of the bedrooms, but we have five kids so we’re looking out for our health as wel.

    • Did you bring your concern up to the landlord? I’d ask him if he’d have a rat man (? like someone who can get rid of them?) come and do the whole house and that you want to rent it but make sure there aren’t any critters. That’s not asking for too much!

  26. Hello, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this article. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  27. I’m a new landlord and am willing to take lower than market rent to get a good renter (at least average credit, stable job, no criminal record). My strategy thus far has been to keep lowering the rent until I get interest from good tenants, but I could offer a discount for on-time payment instead. If you’re a renter, would you prefer the discount to rent that is lower than similar houses to start out with? I’m surprised that lots of people mentioned a discount, but I didn’t see anything about how much the base rent is.

    In general, my philosophy of being a good landlord is to do the things I wanted back when I was a renter — clean place with no carpet, leave me alone unless there is a problem, and cheap rent.

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