A lot of really smart people comment on this blog, so today I’m asking for advice. No politics, no “big” question involved, just a practical dilemma.
Over the last few years, my husband and I have found ourselves accidental landlords. For reasons not relevant to this post, we have two properties we rent: a small condominium on Indy’s northwest side, and half of a double on Brookside Parkway, South Drive.
We’ve been fortunate in that the person renting the condo is an ideal tenant who has been there several years. Not so much for the property on Brookside. The last tenant moved out without any notice–just vanished. And the one before that had trouble coming up with the rent (and was surly when reminded).
I think we are pretty good landlords: we keep the property in good repair. We recently upgraded the electrical service. We’re in the process of cleaning and doing touch-up painting and yard work after the unanticipated move-out, and we’ve done our homework to ensure that the rent is reasonable for the area and the property. The unit has three bedrooms, bath and a half (the kitchen and baths were installed new six years ago). There’s a front porch and a back deck, a storage shed, and appliances: washer/drier, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave. The unit has a full basement (unfinished, but good for storage). It is directly across the street from a really nice city park with a community center, playground and pool.
The neighborhood is not fancy, but it is safe. (Our son lives in the other half.) I’m going to attach photos. Rent is 750/month.
So here is my question: how do I go about getting a responsible tenant, preferably long-term? What is the best way to check references? In other words, what am I doing wrong?
All advice is welcome–and if anyone local reading this knows someone responsible who might be interested in leasing this property, that would be FANTASTIC!