Scott Safadi of Saratoga, California, has been in the property management business for the majority of his career. As owner of CBPM, Scott Safadi is committed to ensuring clients are satisfied, so he personally visits with property owners and tenants. Scott Safadi has learned housemates can be a blessing or a disaster when it comes to leasing property together. In the following interview, Scott Safadi explains how to choose the right housemate.
Oceans2003: Welcome, Scott Safadi, and thank you for joining us to offer your insights on housemates.
Scott Safadi: Happy to be asked.
Oceans2003: Why is choosing the right person so important?
Scott Safadi: Housemates are going into a financial contract together and sometimes one of the parties doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Many times, individuals just don’t plan for this type of situation and get stuck.
Oceans2003: What happens when one housemate doesn’t pay the rent?
Scott Safadi: Tenants must remember that in most circumstances, if two or more persons sign the same lease and one defaults on the rent, the other(s) will be liable for all rent and fees. This is a situation that can tarnish everyone’s credit.
Oceans2003: What can lessees do to avoid problems with troublesome housemates?
Scott Safadi: Sometimes problems arise no matter what, but a little work before signing with a housemate can be very helpful.
Oceans2003: What steps should people take when seeking a housemate?
Scott Safadi: Interview the prospect. Talking at length is a good way to find out more about the person and get a feel for whether or not you are compatible.
Oceans2003: What topics should be covered in that interview?
Scott Safadi: Discuss what you both like to do for fun, work schedules, significant others, whether either one smokes or drinks, or has pets. Make a list of criteria desired in a housemate and form questions around that list.
Oceans2003: Is the interview a good place to talk about finances as well?
Scott Safadi: Absolutely! Ask questions about work history and current employment. Don’t be afraid to ask for a credit report and a reference from an employer.
Oceans2003: What if the interview doesn’t provide enough information to make a decision?
Scott Safadi: If the decision is still unclear after the interview, this might not be the right candidate. For further research, call some references to help paint a more accurate picture.
Oceans2003: How do lessees address safety issues when choosing a housemate?
Scott Safadi: Surf social media sites, call former housemates, and talk to his or her co-workers. A criminal background check is also an easy and affordable way to gain peace of mind.
Oceans2003: Are there safe guards to protect lessees, once a housemate is signed and moves in?
Scott Safadi: Develop a contract based on the criteria everyone discussed and agreed upon to use if any problems should arise.
Oceans2003: Any final advice?
Scott Safadi: Trust your instincts!
Oceans2003: Thank you so much for your time.
Scott Safadi: Glad to help.
About Scott Safadi:
Scott Safadi is a Northern California native and a Dartmouth graduate. While his company, CBPM, keeps Scott Safadi extremely busy, he always finds time to enjoy time with his wife and daughter and many outdoor hobbies. Scott Safadi is committed to providing quality property management services to apartment owners and tenants in Silicon Valley.