Home sales boom affects rental property options in Michiana

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- With the housing market booming many folks here in Michiana are now struggling to not only purchase homes, but also find places with affordable rent. As more homes sell property managers say it’s leaving less inventory for those renters who aren’t able to jump into owning property just yet.

“It seemed like at first there was gonna be lots of options but then as soon as like we were kind of ready to come start seeing stuff we’d never hear back from them or by the time we got out here someone else had already signed," said Taylor Hensley, a renter in South Bend.

Hensley recently moved to South Bend and says she never considered moving into an apartment. With a dog and a three year old space was a priority, but between high prices and low inventory she had a difficult time finding somewhere to call home.

Property Manager Daniel LeRoy says while rental rates haven’t hit an all time high he is seeing rentals require more up front to move in.

“What I’ve more or less seen, groups of tenants that aren’t as fully qualified to rent some of the houses that we have available," said Leroy.

Hensley says she feels her age was partially to blame for the difficulty, but even with meeting salary requirements she was still asked to bring forward almost as much paperwork as buying a home would have.

“Credit checks, income statements. If we were switching jobs we had to have like a letter from there of the contract and how much. We had to have vet paperwork for our animals like it was a lot of hoops to jump through," said Hensley.

While LeRoy says they’re still down half of their normal inventory they’ve been making exceptions for unqualified renters like allowing co-signers or letters of recommendation from previous landlords.

“I think that really worked and I think that’s a scenario that we will continue to implement as far as maybe some forgiveness on rent for a limited amount of time," said LeRoy.

Property managers say having transparency is the best way to get your application pushed forward during this time even with the increased demand.

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