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Thoughts on renting to program tenants

  1. #26
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants


    Quote Originally Posted by The Architect View Post
    //I personally have no problem with people on assistance. The problem I have is that about 95% of the applicants I have interviewed are milking the system. They make no effort to conceal that they are milking the system, some even brag. They are proud of how easily they can "earn a free living" and how creative they are in taking advantage of the multiple programs.

    Bottom line, too many are robbing the system. If they are comfortable screwing all of us (the system,) then they'll have no issue screwing you.//
    This is right on.

    We had a prospective tenant tell us she'd just slipped on an escalator in an MBTA station and was trying to figure out how she could sue them.

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  2. #27
    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    I don't want to go too far off track but what are some good screening questions to bring this stuff to the surface?

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  3. #28
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggeywackyo View Post
    I don't want to go too far off track but what are some good screening questions to bring this stuff to the surface?
    I would use the tenancy bureau

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  4. #29
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    I would use the tenancy bureau
    Can you say more about this Randy? How does the bureau get its information? Is it reliable? I went here and punched in my name for Boston and it didn't find anything though I've rented in Boston before. Curious.

    TENANCY BUREAU, BAD TENANTS LIST, TENANTS REGISTRY DATABASE

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  5. #30
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    Can you say more about this Randy? How does the bureau get its information? Is it reliable? I went here and punched in my name for Boston and it didn't find anything though I've rented in Boston before. Curious.

    TENANCY BUREAU, BAD TENANTS LIST, TENANTS REGISTRY DATABASE
    I meant to say "a " tenancy bureau, there are others out there, just like there is more than one credit reporting agency, they work much like a credit reporting agency, as a landlord, you pay a fee to the agency for a report just like a bank pays for a credit report when you apply for credit

    I had a client once that ran such an agency, started it up nearly 30 years ago and sold the business about 20 years ago, don't really remember much about it, or even what the name of his company was, just remember going to his office one day to discuss the project I was working on for him and I asked him what his company did.

    obviously the information out is only as good as what is reported, so not having a tenancy record is much like not having a credit record, it is likely that its mostly just larger rental management companies report and not the common joe schmoe that is just renting the other half of his duplex

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  6. #31
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    You can search the courts online in MA for people that have had evictions filed. I used that, credit and CORI. The line I came up with in searching for a tenant was "I look at all applications as a whole and pick the best tenant for my house."

    Saying you don't accept programs is against the law and anyone is a damn fool for saying that. Picking a tenant that is not on a program is just fine.

    My best prospect has two small children and I didn't have lead certs. I got them after a little bit of remediation. Total for both tests and remediation was 2k. The 1500 tax credit covers most of it and I know have an amazing tenant that I never want to leave. Rent is early, she is unbelievably respectful, her apartment is spotless and the two minor issues she had she felt bad bothering me about. (shower temp fluctuation due to my on demand system not being tuned properly)

    I handed out 50 applications got 15 back and would have rented to 2. The biggest thing I learned (which is very hard for me) is to shut up during the showing. Answer all questions quickly and let them talk. They'll tell you everything. It's illegal to ask how old people are, but adults have to file an application. When they say they have kids ask if they are a minor or not because all adults have to file an application. They'll tell you their exact age, what they're favorite food is and if they have a favorite color.

    This is my first multi and while I spent a good deal on an lawyer to make my documents and school me on the process and the minefield of illegalities I am quite happy that I now have a source for any legal question and he doesn't charge me a dime and won't unless I have to start an eviction. He also regularly sends me updates I should add to my lease. While it can be a minefield, your best bet is to have all your ducks in a row and stay on top of everything.

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  7. #32
    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by obsolete View Post
    You can search the courts online in MA for people that have had evictions filed. I used that, credit and CORI. The line I came up with in searching for a tenant was "I look at all applications as a whole and pick the best tenant for my house."

    Saying you don't accept programs is against the law and anyone is a damn fool for saying that. Picking a tenant that is not on a program is just fine.

    My best prospect has two small children and I didn't have lead certs. I got them after a little bit of remediation. Total for both tests and remediation was 2k. The 1500 tax credit covers most of it and I know have an amazing tenant that I never want to leave. Rent is early, she is unbelievably respectful, her apartment is spotless and the two minor issues she had she felt bad bothering me about. (shower temp fluctuation due to my on demand system not being tuned properly)

    I handed out 50 applications got 15 back and would have rented to 2. The biggest thing I learned (which is very hard for me) is to shut up during the showing. Answer all questions quickly and let them talk. They'll tell you everything. It's illegal to ask how old people are, but adults have to file an application. When they say they have kids ask if they are a minor or not because all adults have to file an application. They'll tell you their exact age, what they're favorite food is and if they have a favorite color.

    This is my first multi and while I spent a good deal on an lawyer to make my documents and school me on the process and the minefield of illegalities I am quite happy that I now have a source for any legal question and he doesn't charge me a dime and won't unless I have to start an eviction. He also regularly sends me updates I should add to my lease. While it can be a minefield, your best bet is to have all your ducks in a row and stay on top of everything.
    Good advice. I have searched CORI but it's a very cumbersome system and if they don't tell you everywhere that they've lived, it can be very tedious. Also starting to look for a lawyer to draw up some custom documents as I'm finding that the generic MA Lease is a bit weak.

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  8. #33
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by obsolete View Post
    //I handed out 50 applications got 15 back and would have rented to 2. The biggest thing I learned (which is very hard for me) is to shut up during the showing. Answer all questions quickly and let them talk. They'll tell you everything. //
    That's for sure.

    We kept up good relations with the neighbors and it's paid dividends. Used to snow-blow the sidewalk for the neighbor across the street. Now they report on anything they see that's unusual. Ditto the neighbor behind the house. It's handy to know when your tenants decide to build a bonfire in a backyard about 30'x40'.

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  9. #34

    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by obsolete View Post
    The biggest thing I learned (which is very hard for me) is to shut up during the showing.
    you and me both

    I swear I once talked some good applicants out of a place, by talking too much once!

    sound advice to noobs tho..

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  10. #35
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    How are you guys in Mass getting copies of their CORI?

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  11. #36
    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    How are you guys in Mass getting copies of their CORI?
    https://icori.chs.state.ma.us/icori/...presentLanding

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  12. #37
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggeywackyo View Post
    Wow, thanks

    I was not aware this was available, and now looking into it, it hasn't been available all that long (since around 2012ish)...looking more closely at the details, in the landlord access area, there are tons of things that WON'T appear on the CORI supplied to landlords but would appear on a "regular" (full) CORI, like any charges that were dismissed, nolle prossed, beaten at trial, or the most common one, those which ended in CWOFs, or even older charges that ended in convictions (only five years ago for misdemeanors and 10 for felonies!). In other words, as a landlord accessing criminal records under this system, you will only catch people who are in deep shit right now or very recently, pretty much.

    There is also the ability for anyone who has been queried under this system to determine who has accessed their record, and all kinds of conditions and penalties for employment or property rental refusals based on the results without the employer/landlord jumping thru a bunch of hoops in terms of notification and opportunity to challenge.

    Interesting...I've seen many hundreds of "full" CORIs and can tell you that with all those things stricken, looking at the ones supplied to landlords on this site would usually result in a VERY rosy picture compared to a full CORI. On average, I bet if you took some random full CORI with 20 entries (charges, often with three or four on the same date), and applied all these filters to it, you might see nothing at all or two to five entries.

    Thanks again for posting though, this whole area of access is news to me!

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    Last edited by Imbeek; 12-11-16 at 10:17 AM.

  13. #38
    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    Wow, thanks
    It's pretty neat but like I said, it's a bit clunky.

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  14. #39
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    I went back and edited/added to my post, yeah clunky and rosy

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  15. #40
    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    I went back and edited/added to my post, yeah clunky and rosy
    I agree.

    Currently, I rely mostly on SmartMove coupled with whatever I can find on:

    https://www.masscourts.org/eservices/home.page.3

    This allows me to see that at the very least, they aren't going through eviction proceedings at their current place and I can somewhat trust the current LL's story. I think I'm guilty of talking too much and I will be toning that down in the future.

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  16. #41
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggeywackyo View Post
    I agree.

    Currently, I rely mostly on SmartMove coupled with whatever I can find on:

    https://www.masscourts.org/eservices/home.page.3

    This allows me to see that at the very least, they aren't going through eviction proceedings at their current place and I can somewhat trust the current LL's story. I think I'm guilty of talking too much and I will be toning that down in the future.
    SmartMove requires consent of the tenant correct? So you assume that if they don't provide consent, that itself is a red flag?

    How do you search for anything on the masscourts website? What court department / court division / case type combinations? Or do you do every combination? That could take a while, couldn't it?

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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 12-11-16 at 01:51 PM.

  17. #42
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    Re: Thoughts on renting to program tenants

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    I had a coworker who was listing one of his apts in his 3 family home on Craigslist. (His house wasn't exactly in the nice part of town.) He listed in the ad "No Section 8".

    He got a couple phone calls asking about Section 8, he was just like "Oh, I've just never done it, and I'm not familiar with the process, etc etc" - as his excuse to not have to rent to Section 8 people.

    Turns out those phone calls were from a state housing authority or whatever, and you cant discriminate like that, so he got hit with a $5k fine or something crazy like that.

    After that incident he resorted to doing credit checks on potential tenants.
    Just include in the rental ad, "Credit Check REQUIRED." That aught to help narrow it down to a better tenant while remaining within the confines of law.
    Just my advice, I'm not a landlord or a lawyer, but I decided many years ago to stay away from the rental market unless I was going all the way.

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