Renting Your Seattle Condo
In the year that I’ve been renting my condo I’ve had my fair share of adventures but nothing too outrageous; a tenant’s first rent check bounced (he then paid me in $100’s) and another tenant wanted to contest my lease because he changed his mind about the length of the lease (I told him I’d gladly go to court, he decided the lease was valid.)
Here’s my quick guide to renting your Seattle condo.
Search Craigslist, Seattle Rentals, and rent.com for similar rentals. Be sure to figure out all your costs (mortgage + HOA + taxes + maintenance + who knows what.)
Read up on the Seattle Landlord Tenant Information page hosted by the government.
Check With Your HOA
Are there rules concerning how many units can be rented? Is there a move in/out fee? Are there any stipulations on minimum lease terms?
Advertise on Craigslist
I’ve had the most success with Craigslist. And oddly I find it hot or cold. That is I’ll go a week without getting any calls and then get a flood. Keep in mind people likely look the most on the weekend so time your ad to appear Friday or Saturday.
And it helps to have a great ad. Fortunately I have some high quality photography of my unit from when I tried to sell it. If you have a high end unit it might be worth the $150 to get really good photos taken. I also include as much information about the unit, building and neighborhood in the post as possible. My phone number is included so they can contact me as easily as possible. I’m also upfront up all the fees etc. $35 application fee. $750 refundable deposit (kinda high, but my unit is fully furnished). $250 non-refundable deposit (for cleaning, lock changing, etc.)
Do a credit/background check and/or call their last two landlords.
Here’s the lease [doc] and the property condition checklist [doc] that I use. Disclaimer: I am Not a Lawyer. Use at your own risk.
That’s it. It’s not too hard. Post your questions, war stories in the comments. I’ll add to the post as I think of more.
And of course, thanks to Chelsea for helping me through this.