renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by jaim

Posted by Kim on July 27, 2001 at 20:11:48:

Well said Lazaro in both your posts. I down with you on this. :slight_smile:

renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by jaim

Posted by jaim on July 27, 2001 at 03:07:47:

I would like to buy a house and rent the rooms to people that are just coming to the country. What is the way to do it properly? Is it very risky?

Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by Swati (MA)

Posted by Swati (MA) on July 27, 2001 at 16:01:27:

Firstly, I want to get rid of the prejudice that immigrants have to be illegal. There are more legal immegrants than illegal ones. And hey! America was build by immigrants, that is what makes this country so great. Most of the immigrants come here with the intention of making a living the right way. Most are ignorant about the rules of this country and might need more explaining than the usual tenants, but all in all I believe they make better tenants than the rest.

I can atleast vouch for the Asian/Indian community. They can’t speak the language correctly, the might not have the same food customs, the same culture but the rents will come on time all the time. Some aren’t even sure the deposit money is supposed to come back to them and yet they take good care of the property.

Of course there have to be exceptions to the rule but this is most of the time.

Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by jaim

Posted by jaim on July 27, 2001 at 12:42:24:

Thank you very much for your help.I was born in South America and my idea is to rent to hispanics,so i can communicate and understand them.Most of these people are ilegal.Sometimes you can rent a room, but sometimes you have to put 3 people in the same room .In others words ,renting a bed .How do i do that properly ?

Like Dan T. sez, sometimes under… - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on July 27, 2001 at 09:00:00:

…the guise of darkness, they slip out into the night for parts unknown. That?s what happened to me.

I bought my duplex with an immigrant family in place. REALLY nice family. Kept the place immaculate. Their 11-year old daughter translated for the family.

The only draw-back was they kept burning up their stoves! Long about the THIRD one going out, I decided to check things out over there and discovered that the Mom had a friggin? PICNIC table set up in their teeny weeny kitchen and was feeding the ENTIRE work crew from the tomato fields! I ALSO discovered that she was just letting her bean and taco mixture boil ALL over the stove and THAT?s what was burning out the stove elements.

Got smart a little to late (but better late than never). The third stove I bought, I told them that that one was THEIR?s to KEEP when they moved and GUESS what! They took REAL good care of it from that point on! (we learn as we go in this biz) :slight_smile:

The Dad?s employer, local tomato-packing plant, paid their rent each month like clockwork?kinda like HUD, I guess. I had them about three year?s as renters. THEN?right around Christmas their last year, their RENT didn?t show up in the mail. I high-tailed it over to the duplex only to discover that they had packed up and left the WEEK before (with NO notice)!!! AND—in that week?s time, vandals had busted in and COMPLETELY annihilated my little two bedroom. :-((

Holes in the wall that you could have thrown a basketball through. Motor oil poured ALL over the wall-to-wall. Door busted in?ad infinitum?

Here?s the REAL kicker, the Dad called us about two weeks AFTER this and asked for his security deposit back!!! Said he had left the place in tip-top condition (and I am QUITE sure that he did).

Turns out that they had moved to larger quarters. Happy turn of events though. The employer MISTAKENLY sent us their rent check intended for their new quarters (to the tune of $750.00)!!

Man, I cashed that baby before the INK was dry!!! Happy ending: the $750 PLUS their security deposit helped to get our duplex fixed up and back on the market again. [P.S. I was SO broke back then that without that unexpected money, I was really considering giving the property back to the bank.] :frowning:
Someone ?upstairs? was watching out for us THAT day, that?s for sure!!

Good luck with your decision!


Re: Simple Immigrant Housing - Posted by DJ

Posted by DJ on July 27, 2001 at 07:56:21:

I have a buddy of mine who’s got the right idea. There is an older section of town that used to be the prominent section back in it’s day with these huge 2 story houses that for the most part has become the
less than desirable part of town. He has bought a couple of them and done enough renovation to make it comfortable to live in, and pass city inspector standards. We live in North Carolina which is tobacco territory. We have a lot of hispanics that come in for tobacco season, most of who are not legal. These older houses have atleast 5 or 6 rooms he has made into bedrooms. So he rents them to the hispanics for 50 bucks a head per week. He finds one of them who can speak enough english to communicate with and puts him in charge of collecting rent from the rest of them. In exchange the one in charge gets free rent. He is there every Friday afternoon to collect and usually does not have a problem. There are usually 10 to 15 guys staying in one house. Do the math: $50 x 15 = $750 per week x 4 weeks= $3000 month for 1 house. Not bad considering he doesn’t have but about 40k in the house! Did I mention he has 2 houses side by side? Not Bad! I’m looking at one on the same block! DJ

Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by DanT

Posted by DanT on July 27, 2001 at 07:24:58:

I worked in the hotel industry for a number of years and dealt with a good number of immigrants. The biggest issues we had were always cultural. Often when they first arrive their hygene is not what we are used to. Some countrys use no deodorant. This may not sound like much of an issue but some cultures have a diet that really brings on the worst in terms of body odor and they of course are used to it, your other tenants may not be. In terms of diet they also cook different and some of the food odors you may wind up with may be difficult to get rid of. Also in many countrys it is acceptable to have 2,3,5, or more people living in a room. They are not trying to cheat you, where they come from this is ok. And of course you have the language issues. You will have the same personality issues that you see anywhere else, you just can’t communicate as well. I think it is not a bad idea, but you may want to “specialize” in a given nationality so you can learn the traits and tendancies and can learn to communication skills. Also some- times they get home sick and just leave. I think evictions would be difficult. DanT

Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by SandyFL

Posted by SandyFL on July 27, 2001 at 05:38:10:

Well without a seasoned social security number you won’t be able to check their credit. Or, relatively new legal aliens may have a SSN with no credit history on it. Lots of times new arrivals pay for everything with cash. You could insist on money orders if you wish, as it is easier to document. And it’s not illegal to rent a residence to illegal aliens, just illegal to employ them. I would however recommend that you have the lease agreement written in english as well as their primary language (with a translator present) and witnessed. You have to make sure that should things reverse, you can prove they understood and agreed to the agreement they signed (as with any tenant). And, as with any tenant who starts giving you excuses and not paying rent, be swift with eviction.

Good luck


NOT all hispanics are illegal!!! - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on July 27, 2001 at 19:33:49:

I am not a big fan of using the racism factor but I did find your comment offensive. NOT all hispanics are illegal. Most hispanics come to the US legally and ready to work. I am not saying ALL are legal but you should not judge a book by its cover. I think you should re-think your statement. I was actually born in the US but my parents are hispanic and I can tell you that they arrived legally to this country.
ps you spelled illegal incorrect.

yard sales (nt) - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on July 27, 2001 at 14:01:24:


Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by Tom – IN

Posted by Tom – IN on July 27, 2001 at 10:53:42:

Actually, Dan, evictions are easy. Just ask them to leave by a deadline, and they’ll be long gone.
Make sure to tell them up front that they are responsible for the stove, and set the rent a little bit high. Also, I’ve had good luck writing a newletter from time to time and having it translated. I also go to a lot of trouble to watch out for things in the community which they might enjoy, or benefit from, and keep them informed. For instance, the Mexican embasy was here last Saturday bearing 500 passports. I went by every day and browbeat my tenants to make sure that they’d be the first in line Saturday morning. The embasy issues 300 passports in this small town.
You can’t treat immigrants exactly as you would Americans, but it you treat them well, soon you’ll find that every time you go to collect rent, that their cousin is coming next week and he needs a house.

Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by Wayne-NC

Posted by Wayne-NC on July 27, 2001 at 08:28:43:

I’m sure INS will handle evictions for you. Be careful of that issue. Harbouring illegal immigrants may be a problem.

You’re right on target here, Dan! [nt] - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on July 27, 2001 at 07:47:26:


Re: NOT all hispanics are illegal!!! - Posted by Jaim

Posted by Jaim on July 29, 2001 at 23:44:21:

HI Lazaro!
You missunderstood my post.
Firstly, That i am hispanic myself. When i said that , most of these hispanics , that i want to rent them rooms , are illegals , it is because this is exactly the case. I know many hispanics ladies in my area,to whom i help them finding them a job cleaning houses and the americans friends that they work for , are calling everyday to my wife or to me, to translate everything to make sure that they know what they have to do and also to arrange the payments for the hours they work.I am helping both parties for free.Since we are the only ones in our appartment building who are spanics , everybody ask us for cleaning ladies, translations,etc.These ladies they come to America to work hard , are honest ,they are giving an outstanding service , and in the future they are going to be legals.That usually take some years.So,my friend,these are the people ,whom also i can help in other area,finding a place where to live,dealing with someone who speaks their language,who can help them finding a job,someone who understands them.My question is : How can i do that properly? Leases contracts.Are lease contracts for just a bed or how to implement that.Thank you ,and we are all friends.

I think you miss understood… - Posted by Todd W (CO)

Posted by Todd W (CO) on July 28, 2001 at 24:21:36:

Lazaro…man…I think you miss understood his post. I read it five times and it seems to me, that he is refering to those he is in contact with and has in mind to rent from him, not a general statement of all immigrants. read it again my friend…see… not so bad…
have a great day
Todd Williamson

Why can’t you treat them the same??? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on July 27, 2001 at 19:36:58:

In you post you state “You can’t treat immigrants exactly as you would Americans…” Why can’t you treat them the same??? They are human just like us. EVERYONE deserves the same respect!

Re: renting rooms to inmigrants - Posted by Tom – IN

Posted by Tom – IN on July 27, 2001 at 10:56:02:

Wrong. As a landlord, you are under no obligation to check for immigration status. And the first time you call immigration will be about the last time you rent to immigrants.

Re: I think you miss understood… - Posted by Kim

Posted by Kim on July 28, 2001 at 01:38:08:

Sterotyping and bigotry are still…sterotyping and bigotry

Re: Why can’t you treat them the same??? - Posted by Tom – IN

Posted by Tom – IN on July 28, 2001 at 02:08:43:

I’m not talking about respect, I’m talking about cultural differences. For instance, with Americans, most people think that it is essential to have a lease or contract or something. Mexicans assume that the landowner has all the power, and have never dealt with a contract. So, I sometimes write a newsletter explaining things like changing furnace filters and where to buy Combat Gel, etc. With Americans, you need a contract to require them to do certain things. With Latins, you generally need only to explain what needs to be done and how to do it. Another for instance. Americans know how to sell a junk car to the junk yard, but freequently won’t do it. Mexicans don’t have a clue how to make an unwanted car go away, so frequently, if they want, I call the junk yard and arrange for the yard to buy the car from them. Mexicans don’t have any idea how to rent a carpet shampooer, so I take them in hand and walk them through the process. My general take is that many Americans would walk all over me if I gave them the kind of assistance I give my Latins, but the Latins really appreciate it. And they have totally different ways of trying to walk all over you. For instance, no matter how many times you ask, the Latins will NOT go to the city to have the water turned on in their name. Until I have it shut off. And they will pay any utility bills which come to the house, no matter what name they are in. But frequently, I do have to scream and shout to get them to mow the grass. And getting them to pull the weeds is impossible.