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Frequently Asked Questions 
Common questions from landlords & renters answered below. 
Not finding the answer to your question?
Use the Contact Blue Mtn. Rentals page to ask it now!
 

I want to find out more details about a rental I see on your site, should I phone you?
While we love hearing from those using this site to find housing, Blue Mountain Rentals only promotes the listings for the landlord. You will need to contact the person shown at the phone number or e-mail address under the property information to find out details that may not be disclosed in their listing if it is one that we are promoting. In some situations, the owner may have us provide services for showings. In that case, you will find our number listed in the ad.

I need a copy of the current State of Washington Residential Landlord Tenant Act or the State of Oregon RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD AND TENANT PROPERTY RIGHTS AND TRANSACTIONS, where can I look?
Links have been provided on the Housing Info and Links page for both. They have helpful information for both Landlords and Tenants. If you have a matter you feel needs more insight, I strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney for legal advice.

I just emailed my ad to you, how long will it take for it to be posted on the website?
Average turnaround time for your ad to be listed on this site is within one business day. You will receive a confirmation email or phone call once your listing has been placed on the website. Please review the ad details for accuracy, including viewing it on the website. We are not responsible for grammatical errors and will not post any ad that is blatantly not in compliance with the Fair Housing Rules and Regulations. Once your approval has been received, your listing will be promoted to all the listing sites (see table below for full list of sites). You will receive a bill after the listing has been posted on the sites shown below for your ad pkg.

I don't want the address of the rental property to show in my listing. What options do I have?
To place an ad, we will need the actual address even if it does not show in the ad. It is a requirement of some of the listing sites. We may not be able to list your property on all the listing sites available, without a physical address. In the description, you may wish use crossroads, a brief 2-3 word description or a landmark to describe the area. This provides prospective renters an idea of the area they would be moving to, while protecting the privacy of the rental address. You can still make appointments to show based on the rental agreement you have with your current renter if it is occupied. State of WA requires 24 hours notice to show a unit per the Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

I am worried about scams, phone calls from people that aren't interested in the rental or I just don't want to use my phone number or e-mail address, what do you suggest?
There are many websites that offer free e-mail addresses - www.hotmail.com  www.yahoo.com  www.google.com  www.juno.com and more. Another suggestion is getting a prepaid cell phone and only keep it active while your ad is running. Many local area retail stores such as Walmart and Radio Shack provide prepaid cell phones. Lastly, I can use Blue Mountain Rentals contact information and forward you all of the prospective renters while your ad runs. There will be a delay in all prospective renter contacts you receive by using this choice and you may be charged an administrative fee of $20/week for this answering/forwarding service. 
*Side note: If you find a scam ad from a listing either you or I placed, the best thing to do is report it to the listing site. If it is one that I placed on your behalf, also notify me, so I may report it as well. Most scam ads come from craigslist ads, but can come from anywhere. I have also seen them on Hotpads and Trulia in the past. Craigslist has an option to flag an ad - when it's a scam, use the "prohibited" option. I also send an email direct to craigslist with a link to the scam ad and request that they remove it. Feel free to do this as well. The email address I use is abuse@craigslist.org.

What are some things I should include in my ad to help get my vacancy get filled?
I have created an Ebook "Tips on Ad Creation" . It goes over tips on how to create a rental ad, elements you need to include and common features / benefits that you may want to include in your rental advertisement. You may think of other items that I have not included, please use them! Below is a suggested list of priority items to include in any rental ad, whether you list through Blue Mountain Rentals or on your own.
Pets allowed? Pet Rent, Deposit or Fee for Pets?
Rental / Lease terms - Month to Month - 6 month - 1 year?
Available? Now? Date? Approx. Month?
Utilities - Included? Water, Sewer, Garbage, Electric, Gas, Cable & Internet

If you do not allow smoking in the unit, mention it - it will help your screening process
Laundry facilities - hook ups, on site, w/d included?
Parking - Assigned? Off Street? Garage- size? Carport? Shop?
A/C & Heating types - Fireplace?
Extra storage & type - Shed? Utility Room with Cupboards?
Flooring - Tile, Hardwood, Carpet?
Appliances included? Microwave, Stove, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal?
Yard - maintained by tenant? Owner? Shared? Private? Fenced? Underground Sprinklers?
Extras: Balcony? Deck? Patio? Porch? Alarm System? Gated? Pool? Wheel Chair Access?
Rooms - Seperate Dining Room? Basement? Office? Family Room?

How do you drive traffic to your website? How do I know my ad will be seen?
We drive traffic to this site by advertising online, listing in various online social media outlets, submitting to search engines quarterly and advertising in various forms of online and print media ads. Blue Mountain Rentals is listed in many online yellow page directories as well as business listing sites. Your rental listing is manually promoted to the websites shown below. Many of these websites also syndicate their listings to other housing and classified listing sites (approximately 25 that we have found). This ensures that:
Your ad will be seen more people on their schedule ~ Greater exposure means you'll rent it faster!

I am a landlord and I need someone to manage my property. Can you help?
Blue Mountain Rentals is not licensed as a Property Management Company in the state of WA.  Therefore, we will only perform the following tasks for our landlord clients - 
(Unlicensed assistants may...):
 
 
Please see the services offered for landlords on our pricing page here. We offer ad packages as well as Tenant Placement Services with options right up to the lease signing - we prefer that our owner/clients sign their own lease agreements with the approved tenants.

 
Are there any companies that you would recommend to manage my properties for me?
I am in contact regularly with many of the local Property Management Companies. There are several in our local area. For a full selection of property management companies in our area, please visit local yellow pages, or try an internet search.

I am a landlord - How do I run background checks? Do you have any suggestions?
There are several options that you can take. We have listed 3 of the most common that our clients use below to help get you started. Please note, the differences between the options. Make sure you research well before you decide because it's best to use the same policy for EVERY applicant. Some landlords choose to refund the application fee if they accept the tenant - that is an individual choice and up to you.
 
1. One option is to use a company that many of the landlords we work with use and information can be found at www.myscreeningreport.com it will require online access of both the landlord and the tenant for this service. It can be initiated by either party, but the tenant pays for the background check (Fee varies by report depending on what you require) and the prospective renter fills out their information on the site and provide you an access code to review the results. This company allows the tenant to dispute incorrect information and share with any landlord that will accept it for their screening process for 30 days. Basically - it belongs to the tenant & is portable.
 
2.  A similar report is run by transunion - one of the 3 credit bureaus and it also provides 2 different reporting options. Again it will require both the landlord and tenant to have online access. The information can be found at www.mysmartmove.com and is also a way for the tenant to keep their information private while providing you the results you need to make a sound qualifying decision. Cost varies depending on which report you will require for your rental decision. You can choose to pay for this service or if you wish to require the tenant to pay, you can do that as well when you send them the link. The tenant does not receive the results from this company, and cannot share the report with other landlords - basically the report is the property of the landlord that requested them to use this service.
 
3. Another option is to run a credit/criminal check through www.applyconnect.com. They have an online application that you can also use with their services. You will still need to make phone calls to verify rental references and employment. They have a $28.50 fee per person and it is almost instant once the applicant goes through their process and releases the report to you for consideration. The report is there for your use for 30 days or you may print a copy for your files. This report can be tenant or landlord initiated.
 
4. The last option only requires the applicant to have online access. Have them request a copy of their credit report run within the last 30 days from www.annualcreditreport.com and provide you a copy of the report. This service allows every consumer one free credit report per year with information on it from all 3 credit bureaus, it is free of charge and no credit card information or payment is required to obtain it. You can then request references for current and previous housing, current and previous employment (paystubs) to confirm their rental history and employment status. This option will not provide you any criminal or eviction information. The State of WA has a criminal record search option for a minimal fee. You might want to consider signing up in advance and collecting at least this fee or the fee plus a nominal amount for your time in making reference check calls from the prospective tenant.
 
Keep in mind that these are not the only options when considering tenant screening. These are companies we have used in the past and have familiarity with. There are many other companies available. Please make sure you are consistent with whatever your method ends up being to avoid Fair Housing issues.

I am a landlord considering allowing section 8 renters. How do I get started in this program?
With todays economy, it may be a benefit to you to allow section housing vouchers from your renters. There are many questions that can be answered on the local Walla Walla Housing Authority website about the Section 8 voucher program. You will need to contact the housing authority directly for any questions regarding section 8 vouchers. Their local phone number is (509) 527-4542. Current Section 8 Voucher amounts are linked on the Housing Info & Links page on this site.

I have some legal questions about lease violations, lease terms or evictions. Who can I call?
Please check your local yellow pages and look up attorney's that specialize in real estate law for our area. You may also try to find one by initiating a Google Search.

 Blue Mtn Rentals Advertising and Housing Search Resources as of 08/2016