Hi From Rent Hello

    Common Landlord Faux Pas – Part 2: Too Many Tenant Restrictions

    Many cities are experiencing a rental market crisis, with a rental vacancy of less than one percent in many different cities such as San Francisco, Vancouver and Miami. Some landlords are using this to their advantage and are being very specific on tenant requirements. However, the more specific landlords are in the rental listing, the smaller the demographic the landlord is advertising to.

    There was a rental listing back in September for a property in Vancouver that made the news as the tenant restrictions were verging on outlandish. Below I have provided a short excerpt from the listing.

    Our Ideal tenant would not cook much (only because the smell travels upstairs directly into our living room) and we are vegetarian so we don’t like the smell of meat either.

    Doesn’t mind the sounds of my 3-year-old daughter’s footsteps running back and forth from time to time.

    Doesn’t play loud music, doesn’t party, not many friends over, works lots, barely home etc.

    Yes I know I’m asking a lot but what they hey…

    This property was a 2 bedroom basement suite for $1400, with no laundry or parking on-site, and utilities such as Internet, TV and Hydro were not included. Not surprising, but it wasn’t pet friendly either.

    Even the landlord seems to understand that they are asking a lot and I personally couldn’t help but shake my head.

    Now this may be an extreme case, but we often see landlords that ask for vegetarian tenants or tenants who are out of the house often.

    Listings with multiple tenant restrictions would not only make me very hesitant to contact the landlord, due to concerns of what other restrictions will come up that they have not advertised. And it would make me very concerned about what could likely turn into a very turbulent landlord-tenant relationship with so many unnecessary restrictions.

    A few concerns that I would have: Will the landlord be difficult and possibly limit the length of showers? Will there be restrictions as to when I can run the dishwasher? What qualifies as “loud” music and will the landlord constantly be complaining about normal day-to-day noise?

    Not only can these restrictions make tenants hesitate to contact a landlord and cause strife between landlord and tenant, but these restrictions can also immediately narrow your potential tenant pool.

    Consider: if advertising to “Vegetarians ONLY.” With under 5% of North Americans being vegetarian (Wikipedia tells me it’s only 3.3%) out of what could be 100 potential tenants, now only 3 of those possible 100 tenants could apply.

    As a landlord, generally, the more inquires on a property the better so why would you want to immediately remove 97% of the rental market? Doesn’t make much sense to us here at Rent Hello.

    Ultimate, we always encourage landlords not to include tenant restriction in their listing, but rather focus on screening the tenants. By sitting down and speaking with a potential tenant you would be able to discuss your tenant restrictions and determine if the potential tenant is the right fit of you. You may even be surprised and end up with a tenant you never expected as you and the potential tenant click in unexpected ways. They could be a meat-eater but are an avid mountain-biker just like you, and now you have an awesome tenant and a mountain biking buddy!

    Something worth considering.

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