Ways to Rent a Californian Apartment When You’re a Prospect with Bad Credit

Man giving handshake to real-estate-agentBad credit is a major drawback that can stop you from renting a property in California. As you may already know, the competition on the Californian real estate market is fierce. Thousands of buyers and tenants may be looking for a new roof over their heads in Cali as we speak. So how could you possibly get one step ahead of those who have already started their house hunt? Moreover, would it be possible to get the keys to a nice rental when you have bad credit?

In all honesty, while trying to rent a new house or an apartment, blotchy credit can become an important obstacle, even if you have a sizable salary and a faultless renting history. Can you blame Californian landlords for being picky? Taking into consideration the large pool of individuals who would do just about anything to find a decent, affordable rental in some of the trendiest and prosperous Californian cities, it goes without saying that most landlords implement strict tenant screening policies and tend to favor candidates with a spotless credit history. Nonetheless, if you get rejected by a bunch of lessors, it certainly won’t be the end of the world. Here’s what you can do in this situation.

Evaluate Your Situation in an Objective Manner. Do you know how bad your credit actually is? If the answer is no, then there’s only one way to find out: start by checking your credit report before giving the green light to your house or apartment search. Get data from all three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) because you can never know which of these sources your landlord will rely on to check your credit history. While taking a closer look at your reports, you may spot inaccurate information. In this case, feel free to start a credit report error dispute to have the erroneous data removed as soon as possible.

Find a Landlord That Doesn’t Do Credit Checks. Let’s face it: most landlords do extensive background checks when it comes to renting their properties. This is perfectly understandable, considering the risks associated with an unscreened tenant, including late or no payments or property damage. Owners and property managers of large apartment complexes usually do credit checks. On the other hand, some individual owners may be inclined to skip this step, for one reason or another. You can increase your odds of meeting such lessors by reading the newspaper and circling ads. You could also tour the neighborhood where you would like to live and keep an eye out for properties with a “for rent” sign on their premises. Also, you should know that there is a much simpler method to reach landlords in real time without actually landing on their doorstep. With the iConnect feature brought to you by Apartment Hunterz, California’s most loved apartment finding service, you can connect with thousands of landlords and property managers with just a few clicks, submit applications online, schedule face-to-face meetings and discuss the particularities of a potential rental agreement.

You can determine whether or not a landlord performs credit checks by simply asking him the right questions. Find out what kind of criteria he sets in place when it comes to screening and approving tenants. If credit checks are not a part of the equation, you can rest assured knowing that you have high odds of being accepted, especially if you count on a stable source of income and have great references from your previous landlords. If you have your heart set on a certain property, but your landlord sees your bad credit history as a potential deal-breaker, note that there are a few things that you could do to clean up your image and build credibility and trust.

Prove That You Count on a Steady, Considerable Source of Income. A well-known rule of thumb says that you have to spend less than 30% of your monthly income (after tax) on rent. This means that your salary should be three or four times bigger than your rental rate to allow you to maintain a satisfying quality of life. Multiple recent paystubs indicating that you make a sufficient amount of money and have a secure job could help you convince landlords that you a reliable person and a low-risk tenant.

Rely on Solid References. Landlords get very skeptical when dealing with individuals with a bad credit history. You can try to eliminate this disadvantage by contacting people who have influenced your financial background one way or another (employers, your bank or past landlords) and ask them for reference letters. If this strategy doesn’t do the trick, it may be time to bring out the heavy artillery. Talk to your landlord and try to make him understand your delicate situation by explaining the causes of the financial hardship that impacted your credit history at some point (such as unemployment, medical bills or divorce). To provide extra guarantees, it may be a good idea to rely on a co-signer who would basically vouch for you by co-signing your lease. Of course, finding that special someone who meets certain credit qualifications and is also willing to stick his neck out for you can be difficult, but it’s always worth a try. Last but not least, remember that most landlords are open to negotiations, especially if you know how to sweeten the deal. For instance, you could agree to pay more money upfront; in some cases, certain landlords could require a bigger deposit or up to three months of rent paid in advance to keep risks at bay.

All in all, renting in California can be an extraordinary experience, even when you have bad credit. The key is to reach the most dependable landlords and spot fantastic properties that won’t drain all your resources. You can do all this and more by counting on the apartment finding services brought to you by Apartment Hunterz. Check out thousands of verified listings online, find the Californian rental that appeals to you the most and move in your new home in less than a week.

Mar 2015

10 Spring Escapes That You Should Plan and Enjoy in California

iStock_000026798699_SmallSummer is months away, and still you are constantly thinking about the warm embrace of gentle sun rays, green fields, colorful wild flowers and the breeze of the ocean. If you can barely focus at work, feel tense all the time and find yourself daydreaming about your upcoming vacation 24/7, don’t hesitate to take a few days off work and spend some quality time in some of the hottest Californian towns and cities that look their best during spring. In case you’re looking for inspired ideas for your spring break, here are a few suggestions that you might appreciate.

  1. A Long Walk in an Urban Park. Urban parks are a lot of fun. Irvine’s Great Park is the perfect example that backs this statement. This grand outdoor space features a lot of greenery and also enables visitors to profit from a large selection of amenities, including carousel rides, soccer fields, garden workshops and an art gallery.
  2. Learn How to Go Green at Hopland’s Solar Living Institute. Want to live a cleaner, greener life? In this case, get the right training from Hopland’s Solar Living Institute. Here you can welcome spring while perfecting your eco-friendly attitude. A day spent in Hopland and a quick trip to this institute can turn you into an enthusiastic farmer who knows everything about tree planting, mushroom production and biodiesel brewing.
  3. Visit San Francisco. If you don’t really appreciate rural scenes and would much rather spend your spring break in a cosmopolitan city that has a little bit of everything, choose to pack your bags and take the next plane, train or bus to San Francisco. The city with some of the best job offers in Cali is also well-known for its trendy clubs, restaurants and bars, so if you’re into quality entertainment this is definitely the ideal vacation destination for you.
  4. Check out the Natural Wonders of Anza-Borrego. Located within the majestic Colorado Desert, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park represents a hot spot for tourists who have a thing for secluded havens with a unique wild beauty. This place is famous for its colorful spring flowers and breathtaking views.
  5. Admire Napa Valley during Spring. During this time of the year, the vines begin to grow and the yellow mustard is still dotting the countryside. Since the area is not crowded during spring, you may want to find the perfect vacation rental here and make the most of a few days of tranquility and relaxation.
  6. Plan Your Trip at the Green Gulch Farm. In spring, you may feel the need to find new ways to recharge your batteries and balance your body, mind and spirit. A Sunday at the Green Gulch Farm (situated near Muir Beach) offers you the perfect opportunity to do just that. The public program created by this facility includes dharma talk, tea, meditation instruction, lunch and a Q&A session. All in all, the Green Gulch Farm is a well-known zen center offering training in “ordinary work and Zen meditation”. This could be your best chance to learn something about new ways to unwind and improve your communication with your own body.
  7. Spend a Few Days in a Palm Desert Resort. Would you like to visit Riverside County and spend a few days in a cool resort? In this case, don’t forget to book a great vacation rental in Palm Desert. This is the place where newcomers start to forget everything about colder climates and often choose to put down roots. Due to its mix of golf clubs and upscale resorts, Palm Desert is recognized for its hospitality and diverse accommodation options. Counting more than 30 motels and approximately 5,000 motel rooms, this city is your best bet when it comes to finding convenient lodging alternatives.
  8. Find the Perfect Vacation Rental in Goleta, California. In case you are determined to spend at least a weekend in Santa Barbara County, consider putting Goleta on your “to-see” list. Known as a major lemon-growing area in the 19th and 20th centuries, Goleta is now appreciated for its diverse, vibrant urban environment comprising business parks, beautiful houses built in the 60s and a shopping venue based on “big box” stores.
  9. Organize a Picnic in Dry Creek Valley. If you love a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc sampled in a picturesque location, think about turning Dry Creek Valley into your next spring vacation destination. This Sonoma County-based viticultural area encompassing more than 50 wineries will definitely awaken all your senses and give you all the elements that you usually need to create lovely memories during your holiday: fantastic views, cheap rentals and a glass of fine wine.
  10. Get an Early Tan in Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach is all about excellent surfing, a friendly, mild climate, and almost ten miles of sandy beach. In a few words, this area represents the perfect place where you could rent a house or an apartment and rest, get a nice tan, make new friends and explore the coolest entertainment options that you could ever hope to experience in California.

Clearly, California offers you plenty of things to do and see year-round. If you’re looking for the cheapest and most attractive vacation rentals in your favorite Californian cities, let a trusted apartment finding service simplify your search. Spot exceptional deals on the local real estate market with Apartment Hunterz, pack your bags and take your spring break to a completely different level.

Design and Structural Flaws That Can Make Tenants Avoid Your Californian Vacation Rental

Don't throw trashCalifornia has always been listed among the hottest holiday destinations worldwide. Encompassing multiple climates, a diverse geography and a virtually endless list of attractions that could satisfy your inner explorer any day, California has what it takes to convince you to find the perfect vacation rental in your favorite city. Truth be told, vacation rentals are not hard to come by. As a matter of fact, in the sunny state of California, one could easily find a plethora of diverse accommodation options, ranging from modest yet elegant and comfortable B&Bs to luxury hotels and private residences. In this context, it goes without saying that tenants have plenty of freedom of choice and can select their preferred rentals based on one or more filters, such as price, location, square footage or amenities.

Can you actually believe that you could find comfortable, secure and sophisticated housing alternatives based in Napa Valley for only $150 per night or that you could spot a great place to crash in San Francisco for around $130 per night? Clearly, tourists who wish to visit California and get acquainted with its wonders have more than a few attractive options at hand. Assuming that you are one of the many enthusiastic landlords striving to fill their vacancies by finding the perfect tenant for your vacation rentals, could you identify the factors that might stop you from achieving this goal? If you still can’t name the most common issues that could put your tenants on the run, keep reading to discover capital flaws that may already impact the looks and functionality of your Californian property available for rent.

  1. Clutter. Clutter is your worst enemy when it comes to attracting potential tenants. Let’s face it: the idea of spending most of your spare time in a house that looks messy and cluttered can be quite depressing. People who are on vacation want to relax and recharge their batteries; they don’t have time to start digging in your living room, hoping to stumble across a coffee table where they could put their newspaper and coffee mug. Reorganize your stuff, toss or donate the items that you no longer use and consider renting a self-storage unit to deposit the valuables that you don’t feel ready to part with.
  2. Walls Covered with Family Photos. We will let you in on a little secret: tenants love the homey ambiance that rustic, unpretentious accommodation options always manage to preserve. At the same time, they also appreciate a neat and clean indoor space with a neutral décor. When they’re looking for a “home away from home” that they could use for a longer period of time, they basically want to find a vacation rental that provides as many customization options as a blank canvas. The last thing that they want to see is a wall covered with your family photos. Therefore, it might be a good idea to put those frames in a cardboard box and make sure they are properly stored. Depersonalize your rental and let it breathe. Spaciousness and a neutral, minimalist design can increase your odds of finding the right tenants for your vacation rental in no time.
  3. Outdated Designs and Plastic Coverings. In some vacation rentals, potential tenants can be horrified by a hideous design based on outdated furniture and decorative items with the lowest practical and aesthetic value. For instance, floral chairs, ottomans and couches paired with plastic coverings are a match made in design purgatory. Moreover, plastic coverings may expose tenants to major fire hazards, especially when they are placed on furniture pieces positioned near lamps or fireplaces.
  4. Old Appliances. Old appliances are a major deal-breaker. After all, how could you possibly live in a rental apartment equipped with an old fridge that turns your icecream soup, an ancient TV set that looks like it’s about to explode every single time you try to change the channel or a HVAC system that lets you freeze to death or melt slowly but surely during the hottest and coolest days of the year? To help your tenants avoid such unpleasant surprises, make an effort to replace your old appliances with newer ones that will enable your tenants to feel comfortable during their entire stay.
  5. A Faulty Plumbing/Electrical System. Most landlords like to think that they can manage their properties on their own, without involving an expert. When it comes to solving electrical or plumbing glitches, it is always best to let an expert provide the best solution to your problem. Defective sockets, leaky pipes and clogged toilets are only a few of the most common issues that could turn your tenants’ holiday into a real nightmare, so make sure you call a plumber or an electrician when dealing with this type of complications.

What If Your Property Is Flawless, and Yet You Still Can’t Attract the Right Tenants?

You clean your vacation rental weekly. You invest hours and top dollar in a regular maintenance routine. Your house or apartment is modern, welcoming and spotless and still there’s no sign of the deep-pocketed, reliable prospects that you are hoping to see on your doorstep. In this case, you may have to work a little bit on your marketing strategies. The Californian rental market is highly competitive; thousands of landlords could already be fishing for clients in your area by using the hottest apartment finding services and tools. If you want to gain a competitive advantage, you have to benefit from the highest level of exposure and reach a larger audience. Apartment Hunterz can offer you all the support that you could ever need when it comes to promoting your Californian rental. Using this service, you can list your property, describe your rental in the most effective manner, bring your ad in front of a big segment of prospects (Apartment Hunterz attracts around 20,000 unique visitors per day), edit and manage your listings and get in touch with potential tenants with just a few clicks. Scheduling meetings and submitting applications is now easier than ever before, due to this convenient apartment finding platform. Give it a try, create your landlord account today and get the most accurate tips and expert support designed to maximize your odds of finding the perfect tenant in only a few days.

Common Problems That Californian Landlords Face Regularly (and Ways to Prevent Them)

man suffering from a headache with a woman standingRenting a house or apartment can become an effective way to supplement your monthly income with minimal effort. Once you find the right tenants, the rest is easy. You just have to make sure that they pay the rent on time and keep your property in good condition. In theory, renting a slice of Californian real estate is a child’s play. Nonetheless, people who have already rented their houses or apartments at least once know that landlordship isn’t all roses. As a landlord, you may have to face different kinds of problems that could put a tremendous pressure on your shoulders. The good news is that lessors can now count on a great variety of tools and services designed to make their lives a whole lot easier. For instance, Apartment Hunterz lets landlords market their properties in a time and cost-effective manner. By counting on this service, they have higher odds of filling their vacancies and meeting the ideal tenant in only a few days. Moreover, the California’s favorite apartment finding service also has a management center designed especially for landlords, which one can use to create and edit listings, call the landlord hotline, get free credit reports, rental forms and applications and connect with potential clients online, with just a few clicks. Through this portal, landlords can schedule meetings with tenants who meet their criteria and simplify their screening process.

If you want to give landlordship a try, start by identifying the most common problems that you could be dealing with while renting your Californian property:

Payment Problems. This is by far one of the most pressing issues that will inevitably bother you at some point. The ugly truth is that there are many tenants who usually send late payments (or don’t send them at all!). The first thing that you should do to avoid this problem is to put late fees in the rental agreement. When it comes to dealing with tenants who can’t pay or refuse to pay rent, starting the eviction process as soon as possible is vital. You can begin the formalities once your tenants have missed a payment. Keep in mind that delays are not in your favor, especially since the eviction process can take up months.

Damages. Worried that your new tenants could turn your apartment upside down and leave you with a pile of unpaid bills? If you’re concerned about potential damages, you should know that the rental agreement offers you a certain level of protection against this risk factor. In some cases, the security deposit paid by your tenants may not cover all damages that have impacted the looks and functionality of your rental. In this situation, you could always decide to drag your tenants to court. However, you should always remember that prevention is better than cure. When possible, go for reliable tenants who have solid references from their previous landlords. Screen all potential candidates carefully and once you find the right tenants, ask them to fill out and sign a property condition form. This way, they will take note of pre-existing damages and you will attain peace of mind, knowing that your agreement is based on transparency.

Complaints. You can avoid some of the most common types of complains coming from your tenants (especially the ones revolving around high noise levels and parking) by creating a set of rules and making sure that all the people who are renting your property are following them.

Lease Violations. There are quite a few types of lease violations that you may be forced to cope with as a landlord. For instance, your tenants could keep pets in your house or apartment although you’ve made it clear that you wish to stick to your no pets policy. Moreover, your tenants could try to accommodate more people on your property without asking for your permission. These unpleasant situations can be prevented by elaborating a contract that lists all your rules and guidelines. When dealing with such an issue, you should immediately send your tenants a written notification that describes the nature of the lease violation. Also, you should do everything in your power to follow the protocol listed in the rental agreement; this would help you obtain a favorable verdict if you were to file a lawsuit against your tenants.

Demanding Tenants. Let’s face it: not all tenants have realistic expectations. Some people are always bothered by something: their neighbor’s dog, noise or property management issues. How can you avoid dealing with people who are always displeased with you and your property? First of all, you should be able to separate justified complaints from the ones that do not have a solid fundament. For example, a tenant has all the reasons in the world to complain about a broken pipe that has turned your bathroom into a pool. As soon as your tenants signal a problem and request repairs you should pay them a visit and inspect the property. Note that you could avoid contact with troublesome individuals by simply screening your tenants meticulously.

Vacancies. Dealing with vacancies for a long period of time can be scary. This is precisely why you should use all the tools and services available out there to promote your Californian rental in the most effective manner. Explore both online and offline channels to attract tenants. Start by listing your property with Apartment Hunterz and benefit from the highest level of exposure. A partnership with California’s largest apartment finding service can help you reach a large audience (this platform gathers no less than 20,000 unique visitors on a daily basis), market your house or apartment the easy way, get in touch with potential tenants online, handle less paperwork and close a great deal in a matter of a few days. Give this premium service a try and see how it can actually turn landlordship into a wonderful experience.

Mar 2015

6 Things That Tenants Never Want to Hear Before, During or After Their First House Hunt

iStock_000033900152_SmallRenting a nice house or apartment in the state of California can give you the opportunity to see more than a few spectacular places, travel extensively, get a fabulous tan on the beach, find new hobbies, change dozens of jobs, pursue new career ambitions and meet new people. In other words, a new roof over your head located in Cali can keep you quite busy and satisfied on a day-to-day basis.

Understanding the Mechanism of the Californian Real Estate Market

Nonetheless, finding a good rental property that could be cataloged as a total steal isn’t exactly an easy task. On the contrary, potential tenants have a lot of competition. Let’s face it: who would miss out on the opportunity to rent a modern apartment with an amazing view for less than 1,000 dollars per month? While the real estate market is definitely hiding more than a few appealing offers that one may considered a real bargain, such deals often come and go in a matter of a few seconds. This is precisely why you should stay active and consistent during your house hunt to spot a fabulous rental matching your budget before anyone else. In other words, in order to become a happy tenant, you must track down and compare listings while they’re still hot. In-depth research and proper preparation can help you prevent disappointment and misguided decisions. In case you want to prep yourself for success and anticipate all the negativity, drama and potential scams that could come from a potential property owner, keep reading to discover a list of things that no tenant would ever like to hear from his or her new landlord.

  1. “We Don’t Have to Put Everything in Writing”. Actually, it is highly recommended to put all the important aspects of your rental agreement in writing. This is the easiest way to prevent misunderstandings and fraudulent schemes. Pay special attention to the rights and responsibilities that you would have as a tenant and don’t forget to scan and filter all the details related to potential penalties and rental expenses.
  2. “You’ll Never Find a Cheaper Rental in This Area”. This is one of the common tricks that landlords still rely on to justify their rental rates and convince inexperienced tenants that they will never be able to find a better deal in the same ZIP code. Just because your landlord tells you that his rental is a real bargain, this doesn’t mean that it’s true. Fortunately, now you can understand and analyze the local real estate market by conducting research online. With a few clicks, you can start your house or apartment search while browsing through hundreds of interesting listings brought to you by Apartment Hunterz. Feel free to target certain neighborhoods and be as specific as you want. Most apartment finding services rely on an advanced search engine allowing you to perform a personalized search based on the criteria that matter to you the most, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, amenities, age and current condition, location and price tag. If a landlord keeps telling you that his rental is the most convenient one available in a certain area, you can always count on the latest listings available online to prove him wrong.
  3. “Your Noise Complains Are Not One of My Concerns” At some point, you may realize that all the other tenants have no respect for quite hours. They wouldn’t hesitate to listen to their favorite rock tunes while cleaning and vacuuming their carpets on a Sunday morning. Other neighbors quarrel all the time and you simply want to put an end to this uncomfortable situation. A landlord who doesn’t have your back in this case is probably unwilling to respond to your requests and suggestions in general; and you definitely wouldn’t want to be dealing with such careless people, especially when your wellbeing is directly influenced by their actions.
  4. “Talk to the Other Tenants And Try to Solve Parking Issues on Your Own”. Every tenant should have his or her own designated parking spot. Moreover, a landlord with a positive problem-solving attitude would normally do everything in his power (including a quick phone call to the local towing company) to make sure that parking issues are no longer fueling a conflict between tenants.
  5. “I’ll Fix This another Day, I’m So Busy Right Now”. All tenants want to profit from a high level of comfort ensured by a properly maintained rental property. This means that they are unwilling to deal with malfunctions requiring repairs that would automatically involve out-of-pocket expenses. Landlords have the obligation to offer tenants the chance to occupy a livable, perfectly safe property. Those who postpone urgent repairs inevitably lower their tenants’ comfort; not to mention the fact that property owners who ignore potential safety hazards expose themselves to major legal consequences.
  6. “Sorry, It’s Rented!” You spend a few hours checking out ads, visualizing different pictures and enjoying virtual tours. At the end of the day, you narrow down your search and get the contact information of a few landlords. You call them and hear the same old story over and over again: “I’m sorry, this property is no longer on the market”. How frustrating is this? At Apartment Hunterz, we understand the fact that you wish to keep an eye on the Californian real estate market without being forced to stumble across outdated listings. This is why we bring you the largest collection of recent, verified listings, allowing you to retrieve the right rentals fast and effortlessly, based on their specific location, price, amenities and various other important factors that could influence your search. California’s largest apartment finder makes it easier for you to start and end a fun, success-oriented house hunt and avoid the nonsense and real estate scams that could complicate your existence even further.


Mar 2015