Don’t Overlook About Renter Due Diligence! (Podcast #391)

On this week’s episode, Podcast Host, Property Supervisor & Enterprise Proprietor, Andrew Schultz, chats concerning the significance of doing due diligence as a landlord, together with calling different landlords.

Properly, you’ve discovered the most effective tenant ever and also you’re so excited for them to signal the lease. However, yikes! It’s been ten days and also you haven’t heard a peep. Discover out what to do!

Final, however not least, one among your aged tenants referred to as to request a security bar in your rental. How must you deal with the request?

Andrew Schultz: (00:00)
Hey everybody. Welcome again to a different episode of the Lease Prep for Landlords podcast. That is episode quantity 391, and I’m your host, Andrew Schultz. On as we speak’s episode, we’re gonna be speaking about aged tenants making cheap modification requests, sendings out for signature, and never doing due diligence in your renters. We’ll get to all that proper after this.

Voice Over: (00:24)
Welcome to the Lease Prep for Landlords podcast. Now your host, Andrew Schultz.

Andrew Schultz: (00:29)
Earlier than we bounce into as we speak’s episode, have you ever had an opportunity to hitch the free Lease Prep for Landlords Fb group? We’re simply over 13,000 members now, which signifies that we’re on the hunt for 14,000. And in the event you’re not a member, now’s the time to hitch. If in case you have a query or a scenario that you just’ve by no means encountered otherwise you simply must bounce an thought off a giant group of housing suppliers, that is the place. In the event you haven’t checked it out but, do it as we speak over at Don’t overlook to say the podcast when answering the questions so we all know the way you discovered us.

Voice Over: (00:59)
Water cooler knowledge. Knowledgeable recommendation from actual property professionals.

Andrew Schultz: (01:07)
We’re kicking this episode off with our water cooler knowledge phase. We’re gonna forward and bounce proper in right here. An aged tenant has requested an added security seize deal with to help in getting out and in of the bathe. Is there a legal responsibility concerned if I buy and set up it? What in the event that they buy and I set up it at their request? So I’m not an legal professional, so I’m not gonna converse to the legal responsibility on this. And if that’s your main concern, I might advocate that you just attain out to an legal professional that focuses on that space. I do wanna spend a while speaking about cheap lodging and cheap modifications, what they’re, who has to conform, and I’ll give some examples. First, cheap lodging and cheap modifications should not the identical factor. what the Honest Housing Act has to say about all this, we now have some stable definitions and a few good examples right here.

Andrew Schultz: (01:54)
An inexpensive lodging is a change in a rule, a coverage, a observe, or a service in order that an individual with a incapacity has an equal alternative to make use of and luxuriate in an condo or a typical house. Examples of this could be issues comparable to permitting a paper software as an alternative of a web based software, printing a lease in a bigger font, permitting a service animal with no payment, assigning a parking house close to the entrance door in order that the tenant has simpler entry to their car, issues alongside these strains. Affordable modifications are structural adjustments made to a premises in order that an individual with a incapacity, once more, has that very same equal alternative to make use of and benefit from the condo or the frequent areas. Examples of an affordable modification could be including a seize bar to a tenant’s rest room, putting in a unique fashion of fireplace alarm with a flashing a lightweight to alert a hearing-impaired individual, uh, or putting in a ramp to make bodily entry to the constructing simpler.

Andrew Schultz: (02:47)
One is basically coverage associated and one is generally bodily associated. It’s kinda the differentiator between the 2. Okay, so who has to adjust to all of this? The FHA makes it illegal to refuse to make, make cheap lodging to guidelines, insurance policies, practices, and companies when these lodging could also be essential to mainly give somebody with a incapacity the equal alternative to take pleasure in an condo or a typical space. There are very, only a few exemptions comparable to owner-occupied buildings of 4 or much less items, single-family houses rented by the proprietor with out the usage of an actual property agent or property supervisor as a result of brokers and property managers are all the time imagined to be truthful housing compliant and housing operated by non secular organizations or non-public golf equipment that restrict occupancy to solely their membership. So basically, in the event you’re providing housing, I might say plan on being compliant with this. The subsequent part comes proper from the HUD web site as a result of I wished to be clear on who pays for what.

Andrew Schultz: (03:42)
And admittedly, like with most issues authorities regulated, it’s about as clear as mud housing suppliers might not require individuals with disabilities to pay further charges or deposits or place some other particular circumstances or necessities on them as a situation of receiving an affordable lodging. Below Part 5 0 4, cheap lodging should be offered and paid for by the housing supplier until offering them could be an undue monetary or administrative burden or a elementary alteration to the housing program. Once more, beneath Part 5 0 4 and the ADA public housing companies or different federally assisted housing suppliers and state or native authorities entities are required to supply and pay for structural modifications as cheap lodging. Part 5 0 4 particularly states that non-public landlords, and that is the crucial half, receiving Part eight vouchers should not thought of a recipient of federal finance just because they’re receiving Part eight funds. In order a technicality and that is my opinion right here, I feel that lodging are largely going to fall to the expense of the tenant, however most of them are seemingly going to be the burden of the housing supplier, and most of these are going to be just about low or no price for essentially the most half.

Andrew Schultz: (04:54)
We’re speaking about printing leases somewhat bit bigger and issues of that nature. We’re speaking about lodging at this level now again into the direct data from the HUD web site beneath the Honest Housing Act, cheap modifications. Bear in mind, these are structural adjustments. These work otherwise beneath the Honest Housing Act, prohibited discrimination consists of refusal to allow on the expense of the individual with a incapacity, cheap modifications of present properties occupied or to be occupied by such individual if these modifications could also be essential to afford that individual full enjoyment of the premises. So a request for an affordable lodging or modification will be denied if offering the lodging or modification would impose once more, that undue monetary or administrative burden on the housing supplier. And the dedication of an undue monetary burden should be made on a case-by-case foundation involving varied elements. If an undue burden or a elementary alteration exists, the housing supplier remains to be required to supply some other cheap lodging as much as the purpose the place it will not end in an undue monetary administrative burden.

Andrew Schultz: (06:01)
So right here’s the place issues begin to get somewhat bit difficult beneath that Part 5 0 4 and the ADA public housing companies, different federally assisted housing suppliers, and state native authorities entities are required to supply and pay for these structural modifications as they’re thought of an affordable lodging. However once more, part 5 0 4 particularly states that non-public landlords receiving Part eight vouchers should not thought of a recipient of federal monetary help merely since you’re receiving these funds. So in the event you aren’t receiving federal funding, likelihood is your cheap modifications are going to be the duty of the tenant. So you possibly can kinda see what I imply right here. Mainly, all of that is as clear as mud and we’ve achieved as a lot as we will to kinda decipher what’s accessible to us on the HUD web site. Anyway, going again to the basis of the query, on this occasion, it will appear to me not less than that this tenant is making a request for an affordable modification, and I might set up these seize bars on the tenant’s expense

Voice Over: (07:00)
Discussion board quorum, the place we scour the web for ridiculous posts from landlords and tenants.

Andrew Schultz: (07:09)
Shifting proper alongside, we’re gonna bounce into our discussion board quorum phase. This one once more involves us by way of the Lease Prep for Landlords Fb group. Let’s go forward and bounce proper in right here. What must you do when the lease has been despatched out for signature but it surely’s not being returned? Do you ignore it and transfer on? Am I imagined to formally withdraw the provide to signal the lease to keep away from any confusion sooner or later? How lengthy ought to I maintain ready? And once more, this one involves us by way of the Lease Prep for Landlord’s Fb group. So we do digital lease signings out of our workplace. Basically, we write up the lease and convert it to a PDF file, which we then add into our signing software program and ship it out to the tenants in order that they will log out on their lease. We additionally get their safety deposit in licensed funds throughout this stage.

Andrew Schultz: (07:50)
From the time that we approve an applicant, they’ve 5 enterprise days to get us their safety deposit, once more in licensed funds and for everybody to log out on the lease. We additionally defined to the applicant that the house will not be assured to them till each the deposit is paid and the lease is signed in full. Now, I perceive you can’t do that in each state. Some states do have restrictions such that it’s a must to settle for the primary applicant via the door that qualifies for the condo. In different states, you’ve the best to type via purposes and select the most effective certified. So double-check your state legal guidelines on that, be sure to’re in compliance with regardless of the requirement is in your state. One of many good issues about doing digital lease signings is that it makes it not possible for a tenant to overlook an preliminary or a signature since you’re specifying earlier than you ship the doc out precisely the place they should preliminary and signal.

Andrew Schultz: (08:37)
That is additionally a pleasant answer as a result of it provides the tenant the flexibility to spend as much as 5 days studying that lease. If a tenant calls us and so they have a query concerning the lease, we will’t present them with any kind of authorized recommendation, however we will inform them that they will take that lease to an legal professional and have the legal professional assessment the lease with them, and so they have a five-day window wherein to do this. They’ll mainly share that lease with anyone that they need to throughout that five-day interval to get the solutions that they want to be able to really feel comfy. We are able to additionally check out the time that the tenant opened the lease and the way lengthy it took them to signal it as soon as they opened it. So if a tenant opens the lease and instantly indicators it with out studying something, we’re gonna learn about that and we’re gonna have a dialog with the tenant about the truth that they simply signed off on a authorized doc with out really spending any time to learn the authorized doc that they’re signing off on.

Andrew Schultz: (09:26)
As for safety deposits, we require our tenants to pay in licensed funds. Candidates have the choice of dropping off a licensed examine or a cash order within the Dropbox at our workplace. They’ll ship us a wire switch. And thru our property administration software program, we’re additionally tied in with a service that permits them to make a cost at just about any Walmart seven 11 CVS, or Walgreens location throughout the nation. So there’s actually no such factor as I didn’t know how one can get the funds to you. In the event you can’t determine it out, then you definitely’re, you’re not attempting at that time. Um, otherwise you don’t have the funds accessible to make your safety deposit cost. We don’t settle for ACH deposits, private or enterprise checks or some other non-certified type of cost till the second month of the tendency. The explanation for that’s if somebody provides you a private examine for his or her safety deposit and that examine bounces per week after they transfer in, it’s a must to undergo the complete eviction course of to get that individual again outta your home.

Andrew Schultz: (10:21)
So ensuring that you just get licensed funds upfront in order that not less than that your moving-in funds are assured is fairly essential to all the course of. My sturdy advice is that in the event you reside in a state that doesn’t require you to just accept the primary certified applicant, proceed to indicate your condo till you’ve a signed lease and a safety deposit. Don’t waste time taking your home off-market when you’ve provided it to somebody till they’ve really dedicated to it. By signing that lease and getting the safety deposit into you, the time that you just lose advertising and exhibiting the house whilst you’re ready for somebody to signal a lease could possibly be the distinction between getting a brand new tenant and never getting a brand new tenant. In the event you’re taking the condo off the marketplace for 5 days each time someone qualifies, it could possibly be a really, very lengthy highway when you have a few people who don’t wind up signing.

Andrew Schultz: (11:06)
Now, I wished to spend a minute and speak about a few completely different choices for digital signings as a result of that’s changing into increasingly more standard. There are a number of corporations on the market that provide the service, and quite a lot of the property administration software program are beginning to combine it natively. However two corporations that I’ve had good success with previously are DocuSign, which actually they’re beginning to get costlier, however they do have a free trial. And the opposite one which I like fairly a bit is Panda Doc. Once more, they do have a free trial. I feel it’s a 14 day free trial, after which there’s a cost to it. However in the event you’re not doing an enormous quantity of leases, you most likely don’t essentially must have, , a paid choice or one thing like that. You may most likely get by with one of many free choices and simply use the uh, the free trial.

Andrew Schultz: (11:47)
We even have used a service referred to as the Signal previously that’s really tied proper in with our MLS software program. Actually, I don’t know as if I might advocate that one versus the opposite two on the market. It’s cost-prohibitive, primary. And actually, I feel that Panda Doc and DocuSign do a a lot better job total. Basically all of them are gonna present the identical service. They’re gonna provide the potential to add a PDF in order that you can ship it out for digital signature to your tenants. And the good factor is, as I’d talked about, you get to specify the place the tenants must signal an preliminary in order that issues don’t get missed once you go forward and ship it out. And the, actually, my favourite characteristic is realizing how lengthy it takes somebody to look via the lease and signal it. It’s in the end as much as them in the event that they select to place their title on a authorized doc that they haven’t learn, however not less than you’re armed with a information as as to if or not that tenant has any clue as to what’s really of their lease or not.

Andrew Schultz: (12:35)
However in the end, on the five-day level, if we don’t have the safety deposit within the first month’s lease, we’re simply gonna proceed shifting ahead and that individual is not gonna be provided the condo We, we mainly ship them an electronic mail at that time or give them a telephone name and say, Hey, we haven’t heard from you. We’re assuming that you just’re not . If you’re nonetheless , tell us. However greater than seemingly at that time, in the event that they’ve been provided the condo after which didn’t signal the lease and get, didn’t get their safety deposit in, they’re most likely not gonna be provided that condo once more as a result of it’s a fairly good indicator that we’re going to have points with them as a tenant shifting ahead.

Voice Over: (13:09)
Feed on the road, Actual Tales from Actual Property Managers.

Andrew Schultz: (13:18)
Our remaining phase on this episode of the podcast shall be our ft on the road phase. This one, it involves us by way of Reddit. Truly, this one doesn’t come from the Lease for Landlord’s Fb group. That is an attention-grabbing one on tenant screening. Let’s go forward and bounce in right here. I’ve been booting egregious non-payers and troublemakers out left and proper. They’ve all discovered new locations to reside. Not a single landlord known as for references for these individuals. I can prevent a lot ache, however you by no means referred to as the applicant’s earlier landlord. You haven’t seemed up their historical past, you haven’t checked their credit score, you haven’t achieved a legal data examine, you haven’t checked for evictions at your native tenancy physique. Do you suppose that you just’re taking over a brand new lessee? You’re taking over somebody who’s going to destroy your home, occupy it for months with out paying, spoil your frequent areas and be horrible neighbors?

Andrew Schultz: (14:01)
Don’t invite ache into your life. Do your homework and examine. And once more, this one comes by way of Reddit, but it surely’s fairly close to and expensive to us as clearly, we discuss fairly a bit about tenant screening on this podcast. And this can be a basic instance of what I imply once I speak about individuals not doing correct tenant screening. So I learn into this thread somewhat bit extra, and basically the one that posted this initially, they bought a constructing with a bunch of unhealthy tenants in it, and so they’re slowly turning the constructing round by eliminating the unhealthy tenants and RET to good tenants. And so they’re legitimately shocked that they’re simply not getting landlord reference calls from anyone. They know that they’re throwing these individuals out. They know that these individuals are gonna reside someplace and so they’re simply shocked that they’re not getting any kind of requires landlord references and issues like that.

Andrew Schultz: (14:48)
Now, the explanation that this landlord is now getting good tenants is as a result of they’ve a robust set of written choice standards and so they’re following these standards each single time. Clearly, as a part of the screening course of for this landlord, they’re doing landlord verification right here at On Buffalo. We’ve stopped doing landlord verification for essentially the most half, and I’m going to elucidate why a landlord verification is simply nearly as good as the knowledge that you just’re getting from that landlord. And basically, quite a lot of the knowledge that you just’re receiving from that landlord goes to be subjective data. Had been they an excellent tenant? Did they maintain the place clear? Would you lease to them? Once more, all three of these are subjective questions. Everybody has completely different definitions of fine tenant. Everybody has completely different definitions of fresh, and everyone seems to be somewhat bit completely different with regards to whether or not or not they’re going to lease to somebody once more.

Andrew Schultz: (15:37)
So basically you’re making selections primarily based on another person’s opinion. I prefer to make my selections primarily based on truth, and that’s why we’ve stopped doing tenant verifications. Now, I can already hear a few of you screaming, Oh my God, you’re not doing landlord verifications. You’re leaving your shoppers in danger on each tenant placement. The actual fact of the matter is that no, we’re actually not. As an alternative of doing a landlord verification, we’ve taken to requiring our tenants to supply us or our candidates to supply us with proof that they’ve paid their lease on time for the previous 12 months. They may present us financial institution statements with canceled checks. They may present us cash order receipts and on-line ledger, one thing alongside these strains. But when they’re paying their lease in money and so they’re not getting a receipt from their landlord, they’re gonna discover themselves in a little bit of a pickle at that time.

Andrew Schultz: (16:21)
The one means that we will confirm the lease funds is for them to get a notarized letter from their landlord, which we then in contrast the tax file of the property to confirm the property possession. It will get actual sketchy attempting to confirm individuals’s rental historical past as soon as they’re a cash-paying tenant and there’s not an excellent path exhibiting the cash popping out of a checking account and being deposited with a landlord. However in the end, we don’t settle for handwritten receipts until we will tie it again to one thing that we will confirm. If I can see a financial institution assertion with a constant money withdrawals that match as much as the receipts, that’s one thing that I can tie again to and it is sensible. So, okay, we’ve stopped doing landlord verifications. What’s our success charge? Since we’ve stopped doing them, Solely one among our tenants verified utilizing well timed lease funds have defaulted on their lease or been evicted.

Andrew Schultz: (17:07)
We’ve been doing this for a few yr now, and I can’t let you know precisely the variety of lease-up that we’ve accomplished, however I can let you know that our eviction proportion is low single digits. It’s one thing that’s working for us the best way that we arrange our tenant screening at the moment. The underside line is that this landlord is true. Tenant screening is crucial, and as know-how improves, so do the scammers. Doing all your due diligence is crucial to having a profitable tenant placement. But additionally perceive that each one tenant screening is a snapshot in time, and that tenant may actually lose their job the primary week of the tenancy. So simply since you screened a tenant and all the pieces checked out nice on the day of the screening, it’s not a assure that that tenant’s gonna be capable of carry out. It’s not a assure that they’re going to be an important tenant, however what it does assure is that you just’ve achieved your due diligence and that you just’ve given your self the very best alternative to have an excellent tenant, to have an excellent and to not have the of considerations that this landlord has had with their tenants. Good luck and good screening.

Andrew Schultz: (18:08)
Are you aware what it takes to lease to college students and Lease Prep’s newest information will assessment the professionals and cons of working to varsity college students how one can run a background examine on these renters and extra? Test it out as we speak over at

Andrew Schultz: (18:22)
That just about wraps up this episode of the Lease Prep for Landlords podcast. Thanks all a lot for listening. We really do recognize it. Our objective with the podcast is to assist as many individuals as attainable make educated selections with regards to actual property, and you’ll assist us to achieve our objective. In the event you heard one thing on this week’s episode or any of our different episodes that may assist somebody , please do us a favor and share it with them. In the event you’re seeking to get in touch with me, I will be reached over at From there, you’ll discover hyperlinks to all the pieces happening with me over at Personal Buffalo, in addition to the opposite initiatives that we’re engaged on. Seize a replica of our free deal evaluation device as we speak over at what’s true as much There’s no obligation, and it comes with a companion video exhibiting you how one can use it.

Andrew Schultz: (19:01)
In the event you’re trying Fort Tier tenant screening companies, head on over to There are a number of merchandise to select from, together with a tenant-paid choice, and in the event you’re over 50 doorways, ask concerning the enterprise-level applications and pricing. I’ve been an enterprise consumer of Lease Prep for years now, and it’s positively modified the best way that we display screen our tenants. Verify that out as we speak over at Once more, thanks all a lot for listening. We’ll be again in two weeks with an all-new episode you received’t wanna miss. Till then, I’m Andrew Schultz with for, and we’ll discuss to you quickly.

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