Craigslist Rental Listing Do’s and Don’ts
It’s amazing how far Craigslist has come. I remember when I first started using it, back in the mid-2000s. At that point, it was mostly used by people looking to buy used furniture or sell their junk cars. Nowadays, you can find jobs here and apartments for rent; anything you want can be found on Craigslist if you look hard enough. That being said, there are some rules to posting a Craigslist rental listing that should be considered before making your post:
Do get a free email address specifically for your Craigslist rental listing.
If you plan on posting a lot of rentals, it’s best to register for a free email address that is specifically for Craigslist. This way, if you ever need to delete the account or change your mind about using it, all of your postings will be gone without having affected anything else in your life.
A good option is an “alias”–an alternate email address that forwards messages automatically into one inbox (the main one). If this sounds like too much work and commitment for you right now, no worries! You can always create aliases later when you’re ready.
Do include detailed information about the home.
When you’re posting a rental on Craigslist, it’s important to include as much information about the home as possible. This includes the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but also other details like whether or not there are laundry facilities or parking available. If you don’t have access to these amenities yourself and need to find someone who does, including them in your listing will help potential tenants make an informed decision about whether or not they’d like to rent from you.
Additionally, don’t use unfamiliar abbreviations when describing the property; rather than saying “dbl dr,” write out “double door.” A prospective tenant won’t know what “dbl dr” means unless he has been inside before–and if he hasn’t seen your place yet then why would he assume that there are two doors?
Do post photos of your unit.
- Do post photos of your unit. Pictures are critical to attracting attention and creating a sense of credibility. If you don’t have professional photos, consider using a cell phone camera or taking some quick shots with an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera (or even just use the webcam on your computer).
- Don’t post too many pictures that are too small in size or quality–you’ll overwhelm readers and make them lose interest.
Do be specific with your contact information and availability.
You can’t expect people to call you back if you don’t give them a phone number or email address, or even a time frame in which they should expect the response. Be clear about what information you need from potential renters, as well as how long it will take for them to hear back from you after sending their application (if applicable).
Don’t give out your personal phone number in your email/contact info on Craigslist.
When you’re looking to rent out your place, it’s important to give out as little personal information as possible. This means that your contact information should only be provided in an email address that doesn’t contain your name, and not include any phone numbers or other personal details. If someone wants to reach out to you about renting their property, they can do so through the Craigslist ad itself.
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Google Voice provides a great way for renters and landlords alike to stay anonymous while still being able to communicate effectively (and cheaply). You can set up a Google Voice number with whatever area code you want–it doesn’t matter where the property actually is–and then use this number in all of your rental communications with interested parties. The best part? Rental applicants won’t even know who they’re calling!
Don’t ask for social security numbers or credit card information on a rental application or by email.
- Don’t ask for social security numbers or credit card information on a rental application.
- Use an online platform to take applications, like ApplyConnect, so you can store the information securely and not have to worry about it being lost in the mail or stolen in person.
Don’t hesitate to check people’s references.
You need to be sure that the person you’re renting to is a good fit for your property. To do this, it’s important to check references.
You may have heard horror stories about landlords who were scammed by fake references or people who simply lied about their income in order to get approved for an apartment. In these cases, it’s not just your property that’s at risk–it could also be your personal finances! So don’t hesitate when checking references and make sure they’re legitimate before signing any contracts with prospective tenants
Know what you’re getting into when you put that post up on Craigslist.
Craigslist is still a popular service for finding an apartment. However, there are other methods you can use to find your next home that may be more effective and less risky than posting on Craigslist. If you decide to post on the site anyway, make sure you take precautions so that no one can identify who you are or where they can find your personal information.
There are many ways for renters to protect themselves when using Craigslist:
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect rental for your lifestyle. If you don’t find what you want in our listings, try searching elsewhere! There are plenty of other sites out there that offer apartment-hunting tools like ours, so keep checking back until the right place comes along.