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On the local front ~

As 2012 looms around the corner, it is going to be imperative for landlords to closely watch the rental market as more than 170 positions are cut at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary. While there are other job opportunities opening up and with continued growth in the Ag industry, it will be interesting to see if they will offset the layoffs coming.

With many of the market analysis reports showing a slow downturn in the average prices of rentals in the last 6 months, it may continue on into the next year here locally. Make sure you do your research before you list your rental and make sure you are not priced above other local landlords. With today’s economy, price will start to outweigh features more and more with unemployment, foreclosure and many other housing triggers. You can always request a free Rental Market Analysis to get an idea of current market values before you advertise your vacancy. Remember, an empty rental is lost investment income. $33 lost a day for a rental that lists for $1000 a month adds up fast.


Credit issues have you singing the can’t find a home blues?

I hear from a lot of people out there searching for housing that they have less than perfect credit and it is a big concern for them. Not to worry, there are ways that you can rent even with bad credit. Just remember, not every landlord will be willing to work with you, but with todays economy, many will…

 First – you should always know what is on your credit report. It may not be as gloomy as you think it is. http://www.annualcreditreport.com allows every consumer a free copy of their credit report per year. Make sure you look it over well and dispute any items that are incorrect.

Find a way to have a co-signer as a backup. Ask family or close friends with good credit to be prepared to provide their credit report, proof of income and sign on the dotted line to assist you. Many students take this route as first time renters.

If you have a good padded savings account, you can provide a current copy of your bank statement to prove that you have cash on hand to cover the rent for may months in advance. You may also consider working out an additional payment (of a month or more in rent) up front to show the landlord you are willing to take care of the rental obligation.

Give the prospective landlord an explanation for the bad credit – Were you unemployed for a period of time but have had steady income since? Provide paystubs to show this and sometimes they will overlook the credit issue. Medical bills are also another item that some landlords will be more lenient on if they are the reason for your bad credit.

Have great rental references because you have never been late on your rent? Get your prior landlord to write up one for you. Landlords will sometimes take these into consideration, especially if they are from property management companies or apartment complexes that make the reference easier to verify.

If all else fails, there are companies out there called “Lease Guarantee Companies”. For a fee, they guarantee that you will make your rent payment. The two I have heard of recently are Insurent and Aon Rent Protect.

Best of luck in your housing search!


Some information you may need to be aware of as a landlord FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS Going into effect in 2012- Taken from:


Adverse action: A credit denial or a conditional approval is an adverse action. When an adverse action occurs, it triggers a duty to provide a report to the affected consumer. As of July 2011, if a credit score was relied upon in making the decision, the report must include a credit score, the range of possible scores under the model used, the key factors that adversely affected the credit score, the date on which the credit score was created, and the name of the person or entity providing the credit score.

Labor relations signs: Effective January 31, 2012, most employers must post an “11X17” sign outlining employee rights unless such posting is not physically feasible, in which case the employee should be provided a hard copy of the notice. If a hard copy is provided, the employee should sign an acknowledgment of receipt. If employers post policies on-line, a link to the notice should be included. See https://www.nlrb.gov/poster for more information.

Red flags: Creditors are required to establish and apply written policies and procedures for 1) identifying “red flags” which could lead to identity theft and 2) protecting against such fraudulent practices. Pursuant to a 2010 amendment, landlords are included in the definition of creditors for the purposes of the application of this law.


Lori Hartjoy: I am the owner of Blue Mountain Rentals. I bring over 20 years of clerical experience to my clients. My background includes processing employment, tenant screening, background checks and working as a property manager and payroll clerk. The information contained on this blog and from any communication related to the Blue Mountain Rentals website is provided for informational purposes only. All information you choose to use is at “your own risk”. Please visit http://www.bluemtnrentals.com for more information on how I can provide a win-win situation for your housing needs.

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