Landing Locals’ tenant selection process

Since the spring, when Tahoe became a mecca for many of California’s city dwellers to wait out the pandemic, we have seen the real estate market explode

This has created an unprecedented boom in prices of homes but has also meant that an increased demand for our area’s limited supply of rentals has created even more competition than there was pre-COVID-19. 

The mission of Landing Locals is to prioritize those that are locally employed as we help make matches between tenants and homeowners. We have a tiered system for how we prioritize locals, which you can read more about here. Still, even when all applicants for a home are locally employed, we unfortunately can’t place them all (we really wish we could!). 

There has been some interest from prospective tenants in how we help homeowners with the selection process, so we wanted to share our method.

Last month, we listed a local’s dream home: an unfurnished 3-bedroom/2-bathroom rental with 2-car garage in Prosser Lakeview. For a 12-month lease, the homeowner was asking $1800/mo. (an increase of only $50/mo. from his previous tenants). We posted the home on our website and immediately reached out to 35 locals in our database (those who had filled out our renter profile), whose search criteria matched the house specifications. We instantly received applications from about 20 of those people in response. 

As we received them, we forwarded them onto the homeowner three at a time. We would then get a yes or no from them on who they wanted to move forward with, at which point we would send the next three applications. 

With these homeowners, we heard pretty standard feedback that certain tenants were not chosen because they did not meet (what most landlords require) the 3:1 income:rent ratio. This means that if a house is $1,800/mo, the landlord would like to see a combined income (pre-taxes) of at least $5,400/mo. Other reasons that some applicants are not chosen is if they have too many adult tenants (often this has to do space for cars), and if they have pets. Both of these last two factors greatly contribute to the wear and tear of a property. We do explain to all of the clients that we work with that they have to follow Fair Housing Act laws and cannot discriminate against protected classes. 

Every day, we receive 10x more inquiries from prospective renters as we do from prospective landlords. 

You can help our efforts by sending possible leads our way. We’re starting to list individual rooms in addition to whole homes, and seasonal rentals in addition to year-long. We’re excited to continue working with this community that we love to help house more locals. 

Charlie Rermer


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