Potential Tenants

Since I will be spending time in Austria again next year, I decided to rent out my house again.  I’ve been searching for the right tenant since late April.  Yesterday, I finally received the deposit and signed lease from the new tenants.  I am very happy about them moving into the house.  The search was a bit ridiculous though.

In order to advertise, I use Craigslist, DurhamRent.com, DukeList, and Duke community housing.  Craigslist always has a few response of people saying they are “very interested” and all I need to do is to send them all of my personal information and they will have their father, who is living in London, transfer me the money.  Usually, the responder is doing some volunteer work in Africa or something.  These emails get ignored.  As for the Duke community housing website, I am so confused about how it works.  They just redid the site and I never know if my ad is actually posted or not because the navigation is so confusing for me.  For a while, I had my office number listed there and did not know how to change it; poor Susanna and Jason kept receiving phone calls from interested people.  DukeList is pretty good, but has very little traffic.  My favorite of all of the places that I have advertised is DurhamRent.com.  I had to pay to use this service ($45 for the year), but I get good leads from them.  In fact, the tenants who just moved out found me through DurhamRent.com.  The company was started by someone from Chapel Hill or Carrboro in 2003, and now it is a pretty big company (hometownrent.com) in many cities.

This time around I screened more people than usual for renting the room.  Perhaps this was because I was interested in renting out both rooms (either separately or as a unit).  Twenty applicants made it onto my Google docs spreadsheet, and many others didn’t even make it that far.  Living in Austria during this time made it a little more difficult than usual, but Dave, Darrell, and Brian helped me out by showing potential tenants the house.  To exemplify how frustrating this process can be, let me describe a few applicants to you.  I will use their initials to avoid fully identifying them.

When talking about the terms of the rental, JC told me:

I’m still interested in the room but I’m really not looking to sign a lease

She won’t sign a lease?  Like fun will I let her move into my house!

NC sent me 14 emails with a grand total of  249 words (and I am being generous at what I consider words).  No email was sent with a subject, many words were misspelled, and no punctuation was used except for a period to end a sentence (but never the last sentence).  My fully articulated emails in response to NC never invoked her to send me a proper email in response.

AP, a Duke student, was supposed to meet Dave and Darrell at the house.  She sent me an email shortly before she was supposed to be at the house (after Dave and Darrell were already there).  She was unable to come because:

I’m sorry but I won’t be able to make the 6 45 appointment. My aunt who lives in Durham told me today that she is leaving for Africa for 9 months. I know it sounds ridiculous but she keeps insisting that I come because she won’t be able to see me during the said time. Unfortunately my mother and I plan to leave early tomorrow morning and will not have time to see the apartment anytime tomorrow.

Then, she decided that she was not interested because:

Sorry for the wait.  I was able to present to my dad a power point justifying my off campus housing option.  He would like me to live in a single room.  For him safety, price, and location are most important, in that order.  Unfortunately he doesn’t like the idea of me sharing such a large common area with another roommate as cleaning will be a problem.  I’m sorry and good luck on your search!

I’m not sure if the need to clean your house falls under safety, price, or location.

HW was an angry person who found me on Craigslist.  She never used punctuation, and all emails were short, rude, and one sentence.  The favorite part of any email I received from HW was:

good luck and hope you find another dummy because sorry she’s not here and be careful because if unit is not yours you just may be breaking landlord codes for the state of nc and somebody is going to sue, may want to check that.

After assuring her that I was not breaking any laws (even if I didn’t own the house, I am not breaking any laws), she claimed to be “licensed”.  I am not sure what she is licensed in, but I think she was trying to imply it was in Real Estate.  I find that hard to believe, as she told me things that were just wrong.  I believe that she has a driver’s license.  That must be what she is licensed in, driving.  At least she is not a liar.

Finally, there was ED, who gave my email out on some website, since I received an email entitled: “ED has invited you to ShoeDazzle”.  How rude!  I sent her a courtesy email saying “Did you know that ShoeDazzle says that you invited me?”, giving her the benefit of the doubt that her computer had a virus or something.  I received no response.

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