And so, the madness of renting out the upstairs apartment begins. I’ve got to get a lot done quickly. My to-do list:
- Put new ads on Craigs list and the University off-campus housing site
- Put up the yard sign
- Clean up the yard
- Get that contractor to put the new front storm door, entrance light and porch windows on asap
- Paint the front hallway so it looks better for prospective tenants (if I can do it quickly. I’d rather not be showing the apt. when it’s in-progress)
- Clean up the basement so it doesn’t look like such a crazy dumping ground
- Any other small little sprucing-up things I can think of
- Change my voicemail so that it mentions the apartment
- I should see if I can get that neighbor landlord guy to get rid of those old gutters he’s dumped on my side of his house, right on the property line. I wonder if those are good for scrap metal? If they are, I bet I could get someone to pick them up for free…
I get very nervous when looking for tenants. Last time it seemed like I was parading hundreds of people through; no one wanted it, and I kept lowering the rent little by little. Then when it was 30 days out, I had three groups that wanted it all at once. I actually had a waiting list.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
I should be able to (hopefully) raise the rent at least a little, and make some needed changes to the lease. It’s too bad, though, that I just got a new washing machine. I kind of did that in the spirit of tenant-retention… for the sake of getting new tenants I would have been better off getting them a new fridge… Oh well, at least the washer will be in good working order for the new tenants.
And they did stay for almost 2 years, on a one-year lease that rolled over to month-to-month. I think that the month-to-month status encouraged them to stay a bit longer, since they didn’t have to make the decision and commitment of staying for another entire year. This way, they could just stay on by default.
Well, in previous years I’ve discovered that there’s a flurry of people looking for apartments right on or after the 1st of the month, so I need to move fast right now, and get my ads and sign up.
I also need to not get too nervous and lower the rent too soon. Some people are on a 30 day notice, and many don’t get serious until it’s a month out.
- Phone skills for landlords
- Preventing Rental Vacancies
- Preparing for the moving marathon
- Apartment showings--six in one day!
- Advertisting (and the traffic counter miracle of 2006)
- Ceiling fan light kits—I can update those ugly pull chain lights without hiring an electrician!
- My ad is up, I'm getting inquiries. I never realized that there were so many, er, interesting people in the world.