Housing Search Assistance Toolkit

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Landlord Outreach and Recruitment

Establishing positive relationships with landlords in your community is perhaps the single most important factor when it comes to developing a successful housing search assistance program. Property damage, nonpayment of rent, criminal activity, frequent police calls, and evictions are all very costly for landlords. As a result, landlords typically screen applicants carefully to minimize their risk. In communities with low vacancy rates, they can often afford to be as selective as they wish. As a provider working with persons who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, however, your clients will often be the ones landlords are trying to screen out.

Individuals that possess multiple barriers typically have a very difficult time finding housing, which is why the assistance of a housing advocate or case manager is so crucial. Many communities have found that when an agency is willing to act as an intermediary, providing support to the tenant and conflict resolution assistance, landlords are much more willing to accept high-risk tenants. However, to ensure that landlords will continue to work with your clients, it is essential that you respond quickly to landlord requests for help and follow through with the services you have promised.

Establishing good relationships with landlords can have many benefits. Landlords may hold apartments for your clients, waive application fees, or agree to lock-in rent payments for good tenants. Positive relationships with landlords can literally be the key that makes or breaks your program. The Resources page provides a list of tools that will help you reach out to and cultivate relationships with landlords.

Select the Resources link above to learn more.