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Need Strategy for Long Distance Rental
Old 04-02-2017, 10:02 AM   #1
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Need Strategy for Long Distance Rental

Here is my situation. We are currently renting an apartment in Michigan and want to rent a house in Washington state (Vancouver area, across from Portland).

We will visit for a few days in early May to try to find a house starting about June 1st. I'm trying to decide what I should be doing between now and then to improve our prospects. For example, I could send an inquiry to all the property management companies with my rental preferences and a resume of sorts to identify us as good credit risks with low maintenance needs. I could scour Craiglist and other on line resources to identify potential rentals just before we leave to schedule viewings, but this doesn't capture those rentals not yet listed, but about to be available.

If I go the resume route, what information would help me most with potential landlords? What should I not say?

This is a pretty hot rental market and we have a nice, but large dog, which restricts our options somewhat.

Thanks in advance for tips, especially from a landlord's perspective.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:17 AM   #2
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How long are you planning to rent ?

One issue with Craigslist is you will be offered rentals that are not owned by the person making the offer.

I would request a list of rentals that meet your requirements that will be available for when you want to rent. Property management and big landlords know when something is coming up available a couple of months prior to the date.

ex: looking for 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with fenced backyard, accepting of 1 dog, in X area or Y distance to Z. I would limit the credit risk info to stating you have great credit score, and can provide references as required.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #3
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How long are you planning to rent ? .........
About a year, then we'll buy if we like it.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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You might find more options if you expand your search to Camas and Battleground, even Woodland.

Frankly I wouldn't want to rent a house sight unseen.

Be sure to bring any dogie diplomas and references from your current landlord.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:13 AM   #5
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You might find more options if you expand your search to Camas and Battleground, even Woodland................
We are actually open to anywhere in Clark county, hope to buy in Camas eventually.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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About a year, then we'll buy if we like it.
I would not emphasize this. For a landlord, tenant turnovers are the costliest parts of the business, so the longer the tenants stay, the more profitable. If you tell them upfront that you will only stay a year, they will count that as a strike against renting to you. I'm not saying you should lie about it, but I wouldn't go and advertise it either.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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stay at an extended stay hotel/motel, do the looking when you are physically there
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:30 PM   #8
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stay at an extended stay hotel/motel, do the looking when you are physically there
Landlord in the Salem Oregon area and have several loans on properties in the Camas area. If you can find an extended stay motel that will accept your dog that is the best idea. Next would be Craigslist. You are looking for a stay starting in June. The pool of houses that will guaranteed positive sure be vacant and ready for you will be slight - and the property management company that claims they will have a place for you is blowing smoke. Heard from way too many applicants who had a place promised, but the prior tenants didn't move as promised, or the painting/refreshing didn't get done on time.

Your dog will be an issue, though houses are way more likely to accept it.

If a place is vacant and acceptable and the market is tight - grab it and pay even if you won't be staying there for some weeks... Landlords don't like to have units sit empty.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:48 PM   #9
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We are landlords and we do not even list our place until 4 weeks before occupancy. Big dog is a problem. Sorry.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:46 PM   #10
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We are landlords and we do not even list our place until 4 weeks before occupancy. Big dog is a problem. Sorry.
About half the rentals I see listed don't take pets. I can understand the perspective, but it does me no good. Our dog is part of the family and I'll rent from someone that allows dogs.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:32 PM   #11
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About half the rentals I see listed don't take pets. I can understand the perspective, but it does me no good. Our dog is part of the family and I'll rent from someone that allows dogs.
And you will find someone who will - but most likely a private landlord rather than a management company - although, come to think of it;

Studio - 3 Bed Apartments | RIVERPLACE | Riverplace Apartments

I know these places, which are pretty new, in our little town of Independence and look out at the Willamette and soccer fields and have several miles of trail along the river. They do take dogs and the cost for the apartments isn't bad. Dog owners I've spoken with on the trail have been pretty positive about them. About 1:45 from Camas though...
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:54 PM   #12
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Most landlords I know- myself included-would only take a large dog if the property was difficult to rent. In this rental market, things rent very easily so it might be an issue for you.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:04 PM   #13
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Most landlords I know- myself included-would only take a large dog if the property was difficult to rent. In this rental market, things rent very easily so it might be an issue for you.
Thanks, but the dog is non-negotiable. I'm seeing a number of places that rent to large dog owners and charge extra rent and a nonrefundable deposit, which is probably what I have to pay.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:08 PM   #14
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Thanks, but the dog is non-negotiable. I'm seeing a number of places that rent to large dog owners and charge extra rent and a nonrefundable deposit, which is probably what I have to pay.
That's great. When you are ready to move and see such a place, snap it up. My nephew also has a big dog and had problems finding someone to rent to him. He finally found a place and called within 5 minutes from it being placed on Craigslist. Hopped in his car, immediately drove from Seattle to Portland, rented it, and drove back to Seattle. In other words, move quick once you find a place you are interested in.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:11 PM   #15
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........In other words, move quick once you find a place you are interested in.
Right, that is really the whole point of this thread - soliciting tips on how to get a leg up on the competition in a tight market.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:34 AM   #16
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Be sure to bring any dogie diplomas and references from your current landlord.
I think this is excellent advice. I've never had a renter do either of these things. I charge non-refundable deposit for dogs and would prefer to rent to tenants without dogs, but I will rent to responsible pet owners. if someone had these items with their application I would feel much better as a landlord about renting to their dog....sorry, my homes aren't in Portland. (I wish they were!)
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:36 AM   #17
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If travelover is just waiting to buy in the new area, why can't he just live in the little travel trailer he already has for a while?
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:51 AM   #18
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Right, that is really the whole point of this thread - soliciting tips on how to get a leg up on the competition in a tight market.
A resume helped me in the past. It included personal and financial / credit references. You might offer a separate security deposit for the dog.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:17 AM   #19
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If travelover is just waiting to buy in the new area, why can't he just live in the little travel trailer he already has for a while?
Actually that is plan B or C. We will be towing the trailer to Washington and worst case, we could live in a nearby campground until we find a rental. We will wait to buy, however.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:22 AM   #20
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I was just joking. Your wife is unlike most women.

How about Airbnb? You may have to move around quite a bit as these are only short-term and more expensive than apartments, but more comfortable than hotel rooms. Airbnb interspersed with the trailer may be more amenable than trailer alone.

PS. Oops. Airbnb places may not allow dogs either.
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