Rental Property Update June 2009

Front of House

This post is an update on my rental property in Philadelphia. In this section, I talk about my landlord experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. All my posts that are related to the rental property can be found in the Rental Property section, including the bad tenant saga series).

In May, the house renovation was completed. I had ask my real estate agent, Earl to rent out the house. A few people called to inquire about the house for rent. He told me that the  best applicant was the ex-cop.  After waiting for two weeks, Earl told me that the applicant needed an answer and asked me to make a decision soon. The applicant had good income and had good references from previous landlords. I told Earl to fax the applicant’s credit history papers to me.

I looked at the applicant’s credit score and it was only mediocre. Earl told me to not focus on the credit score because most people in that area would not have a good credit score. Earl mentioned that he pay his credit cards and rent on time every month. The only problem was that he had outstanding balances on medical bills. Earl said that it was not uncommon for people to have problems with medical bills. The applicant had a sick kid and the hospitals/medical facilitates charged ridiculous prices.

Before my decision, I called two of my friends and asked them for advice. They agreed with the assessment that an applicant can have medical debt but can still be a good a tenant. I understood that health care in the U.S. is expensive and most people cannot afford to foot the bill, especially when the health insurance does not cover them. As long as the other indicators showed that the applicant was a good potential tenant, I tried to overlook the medical bills.

I gave it some thought and decided to rent the house to that applicant. Besides, I did not want to leave my house vacant for too long. I told Earl to proceed with the applicant. Earl had the applicant signed a one-year lease agreement, put in a two-month deposit, and pay the first month’s rent of $900. The first month’s rent money was collected by Earl as commissions for renting the house.

The house was rented for June 1 and applicant was expected to move in the house on the last weekend of May.

Read more:
Rental Property Update July 2009
Rental Property Update May 2009

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