In this week’s Ask Landlord Hank question, he gives his thoughts on best practices for renting during the moratorium on evictions to new tenants.
Dear Landlord Hank:
I’d love to know your thoughts or advice on renting during the moratorium on evictions. Can you have a new tenant waive the right of not paying rent?
My husband and I have two units of a triplex ready to rent. However, the day they announced the “no evictions for 120 days,” I received 12 leads of “groups” of individuals wanting to rent. Fortunately, our criteria is high and none qualified, but it concerned us, so we pulled them off the market. I don’t know how long we can afford to keep doing that, but I heard some larger complexes have put units on hold, too.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Dear Landlord Debbi,
You are right to be VERY cautious during this novel situation, as you know some people are going to try to move in and not pay rent.
We have continued to market our rentals.
We are lucky to be in an area of the country where first, last and security up front are standard. You could ask for this monetary arrangement to give you the cushion on one additional month’s rent.
When we do our background screening we are looking very carefully at work histories, specifically if someone is in a business considered “essential.” That way, the tenant is more likely to continue working.
We are also checking to see that their hours haven’t been cut.
It sounds like you have high standards to begin with, so you should be OK to accept a tenant that meets your normal qualifications, especially if he or she is in an essential job.
Good luck and stay safe out there.