Landlords who have had bad luck with tenants have a new web site that can help weed out troublesome renters.
Donotrentto.com was created four years ago to help property owners determine if a potential renter is an acceptable choice for their property. It is also a way for landlords to inform other homeowners about undesirable or just bad tenants.
This can save landlords lots of legal and collection fees and costs like repairs by helping them to avoid irresponsible residents.
“We currently have around 1,000 members and they are mainly focused in New York,” said Joseph Collins, creator of the site.
According to Collins, the site was started because he was having trouble with a tenant and the occupant owed over $3,000 in rental fees. During the eviction a refrigerator was stolen and damaged property was left behind.
“We wanted to make sure that any other property, managers did not run into the same tenants as we did,” Collins said.
Usually freeholders check to see if someone is a good candidate for their property by checking their credit score, but the credit reports will not provide information on whether the person damages property or if that person steals from the premises.
There is an annual fee of $29.99 to search for other landlord information on the tenants. To post someone on the list is free of charge and no membership required.
“It is interesting, it is nice – a good idea to help struggling landlords,” said Edward Sanz landlord from Astoria.
Sanz, native of the Dominican Republic, has owned property in Astoria and indicated he will try to use the web site for future scouting.
There are opposing viewpoints to the site because residents feel that it is a way of judging people and unfair in certain aspects.
“Very poor way of judging someone and not everyone is able to get along,” said Jonathan Diaz, tenant living in Astoria. “That type of thing, donotrentto.com, is bias and unfair to someone who is willing to reform for a mistake that they know of and cannot get a second chance because of the web site.”
“There should be a limitation to how long someone can be posted on there,” said Nicole, tenant from Astoria. “Like maybe a couple of years or something.”
Collins makes it known that he tries to create a very fair environment for everyone involved in the matter.
“I have discussed it with several lawyers and they have indicated that it is perfectly legal to list the issues that they had with a certain tenant on our web site,” said Collins. “We ask for documentation indicating what the issue is to keep the fairness for the tenants because we do not believe that every tenant is a bad tenant.”