Feb 7, 2014
commented on What The State Can Do Today to Help Renters
As a resident manager, I am leery of a standardized screening report. I don't mind it for the credit report, which will be the same no matter who pulls it, but there is the matter of verifying employment and rental history. That screening needs to stay personal. A third party is not going to care as much as the manager of the property. A third party might not get accurate information or may just accept obvious lies as truth because it's easier for them.
For example, I had a prospective tenant put a family member's house/name as one of her rental references. She claimed it was an apartment but an internet search showed it to be a single home, not an apartment. Also when I called for a reference, the "landlord" had the same last name as the tenant and when I flat out asked if they were related, he waited three seconds before he said, "No." I can easily see a third party screener just shrugging and saying, "Okay" in that situation.
Now I can already see that some would say that there is nothing in the new bill that would stop me from doing that and I agree but I do think that there should be an additional fee for that. It is more work for me to do, and the building has to pay me for the extra time so I think it fair that they pass on the cost of that.
I would like to see someone sponsor a bill of not allowing landlords to accept multiple application fees. As a resident manager, I don't take multiple applications. Here's how I do it: The first person who wants to put an application on it has the option of putting a $150 holding deposit on the unit while I run his/her application (an additional $45 charge). If the application is approved the tenant gets that unit and the holding deposit becomes the non-refundable cleaning fee. If he/she is not approved, the $150 is returned to him/her. If he/she changes his/her mind while the application is being ran or after it is approved, we keep the $150 as a penalty for backing out of the agreement. Seems fair and I don't see why everyone can't do it this way. It's more fair to the prospective tenants and still very fair to the property managers.
Before, I became a property manager, I looked at an apartment with my roommate and we were going to put in our applications. When I went to deliver our applications, the man started to put them in a pile of no less than 20 other applications for the same apartment. When I saw that I took my applications back. Property managers/landlords who collect multiple screening fees are scum. Try to avoid them if you can.
Feb 2, 2014
commented on Philip Seymour Hoffman Is Dead
I always thought he was the best actor out there. Damn. This is a huge loss of talent. My condolences to his family and friends.
Dec 18, 2013
commented on Property Management
@4 - I am a resident manager for an apartment building in West Seattle and I ALWAYS check past rental history. Every time. And lying about it has cost some prospective tenants the opportunity to rent there. I always tell them that I can handle a "weird" rental history but I have no tolerance for an inaccurate (deliberately so) rental history. I am only saying this so someone doesn't think that NO ONE checks rental histories, even if that has been your experience.
That said, this management company should be taken to court. I cannot believe that they got away with treating people this way. Here is another good resource if anyone finds themselves in similar circumstances: http://www.tenantsunion.org/
Dec 10, 2013
commented on Girl Named to Head General Motors
@2,3,8 - I agree. Goldy, please update that headline to read "Woman" not "Girl." Regardless of how you intended that headline to be read, it's insulting to women.