Working with Rentals with Gary Garrison

Working with Rentals is a valuable class to attend to reduce your liability exposure in this heavily litigated real estate industry.

In this modern day of technology, a lot of things are easier for real estate agents while some things are not. Now more than ever, it becomes more critical for us to determine how to be good time managers, and decide which listings are worth our time. This leads many of us to consider rentals.

If you’re trying to determine whether to work with rentals or not, here are some rental-specific points that you may want to consider. In the sales shortage inventory market of today, rentals are another way to consider making a living, but there may be more risks, including legal liabilities.

Here are 7 things you may want to consider before working with rentals:

1. The pros of Working with Rentals – Rentals can give you showing experience, help you learn different areas and new-to-you neighborhoods, and rack up a rolodex of potential future home-buying clients and their future referrals. It’s also solid, steady, income – especially if you connect with several landlords and prospect pools and can be easier and quicker than the sale of a house.

2. The cons of Working with Rentals – Rentals can run you ragged by spending a lot of time with clients that aren’t serious or don’t qualify. Make sure your client is qualified before showing them properties and ask the right questions, like if they have pets, annual income and a monthly rental budget, a reason for moving, and references from prior landlords. Remember, you can’t help everyone. Additionally, the liability is the same for a rental as it is for a sale. Know the laws and your client responsibilities.

3. Keep rental expectations realistic – Straight out of the gate, make sure your client knows they can’t rent the White House for $1500 per month (as an example). Ask about their geographic desires, number of rooms and bathrooms, price range, and timeline for moving. Clarify needs versus wants to keep their expectations attainable, and show them what you’ll be looking for so they know what to expect before you waste their time or yours.

4. Stay out of jail – Rentals can have a lot of legal repercussions, so make sure you know what you can and cannot do. For example, you cannot help someone break a lease. You also need to be well-versed on Fair Housing laws. (Our next comprehensive Fair Housing webinar will be on June 6, 2023) Fair Housing is serious business and you need to know the federal, state, and county protections. It’s also extremely easy to fall into traps where you accidentally say something to violate Fair Housing, (for example – “You just moved here from Japan, so you might not have enough for the deposit”) so knowing what you are doing is essential.

5. County and HOA restrictions – There are rules and restrictions for both homeowners and renters. You should look up HOA and county restrictions for the areas you can plan to work in so you can properly advise your clients. This may include things like maximum number of unrelated occupants, vehicle or recreational parking, easements, etc. You can find more specific guidelines from the appropriate Homeowners Association and from the county/state zoning boards.

6. Applications – You must know the applications inside and out, whether provided by the association, the listing Broker, or 3rd party service. They are legal documents that you are helping, as an agent, the applicants or their agent to ensure it is accurately and completely filled out and all necessary documents are attached for the processor. If submitting a paper application, make sure handwriting is legible, all fields are filled out, and all relevant paperwork is attached, correct, and clearly visible. Obviously, this is critical for any real estate deal, but it’s a different ball game here, so you have to make sure you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.

7. Denials, Disabilities and Accommodations – You must be versed in disabilities and how to accommodate and screen prospective tenants. You also need to know HUD laws and how to properly arrange for background screening, as well as when and how to properly notify those applicants whose applications were not selected.

HUD’s Fair Housing Rights and Obligations

Obviously, there is a lot you need to know before Working with Rentals. Sign up using one of the links in this post today!

If this was helpful to you, or you’d like more information about working with rentals, Virginia area real estate agents may want to register for our upcoming virtual seminar, Thursday, June 1st, 2023 from 9:30-11:30am. The course is approved for Virginia continuing education credit, and more information on the class and how to register can be found at The class offers a credit fee registration as well for Virginia continuing education only as well as a No Credit registration. This class is helpful for any agent in any state.

Click Here to Register for the upcoming Working with Rental Class June 1st 9:30-11:30 Virtual using Zoom.

Here is a description of what the virtual class will contain:

Explanation of why about 50% of the filed Fair Housing and Ethic complaints involving agents result from rentals? We want to help you understand how to work with rentals properly to avoid filed complaints with state level disciplinary and fair housing boards.
This course is designed to integrate basic real estate practice and regulations along with a detailed explanation of how to prepare and conduct a rental transaction to properly protect you
and the consumer. Knowing what you need to do, and of course not do, is crucial to the success of keeping your license.

You will be provided policies and resources to ensure you are conducting appropriate oversight in compliance with directives and regulations. Once you understand and know what you need to do when you are working with rentals,  you will be protecting yourself and helping clients the right way.

You will also be provided guidance and tools to better understand how to best protect your client’s interest as well as following the letter of the law and staying in those boundaries.

Looking forward to seeing you in class!!


Cindy Bishop Worldwide is a Virginia licensed school offering Virginia continuing education credit for all required categories for Post Licensing, Continuing Ed, and Broker Management licenses in Virginia. Agents from surrounding states attend our classes even if they don’t have a Virginia license by using the Non-Credit Registration option. Our quality education is remarkable and agents regularly say once attending their first class that they will be taking their education with us.
Cindy Bishop is a licensed broker and has been holding a license in Virginia since 1988. All instructors are exemplary and hard to compete with their quality education.
Check out all of our upcoming events by clicking here.

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