2020 has only driven home the importance of screening your tenants correctly. If you move-in a tenant and they refuse to pay the rent, you cannot give notice, file an eviction, or charge late fees for some time yet. You could be stuck with a tenancy that is falling further and further behind with no intention of digging out. 

Empire has always screened our tenants carefully. As every owner of Empire knows, and as we never miss an opportunity to brag, we have never evicted a tenant we moved in. That accomplishment is due in part to only approving tenants with records as pristine as our own. You can have mess-ups in your past, but it has to be the past, not last year. 

An application consists of three ingredients, what our founder Ed Waggoner would call a three legged stool. Credit, Rental History, and Income. Credit and rental history we are judging much as we ever had. We are paying extra attention to their income history. In the income section we have been seeing:

  • Fraudulent income verification,
  • Unemployment benefits on the verge of ending,
  • Other covid-19 benefits running out,
  • And etc… 

Empire’s Current Vacancy Rate

As of right now, we have two normal units available, one a two-bedroom and the other a four. The only other units unrented are student housing. Going into the holidays, we have a very low vacancy rate that should hold steady. 

Other News

Yes, Governor Brown has locked down the state again. This freeze could last the two weeks they originally stated, or it could be, and most likely will be, extended. This will impact our tenants. The first lockdown scared everyone and some struggled to pay the bills. We worked with them then, and we will work with them again in the weeks going forward. 


There is always something to be thankful for. Enjoy your thanksgiving, Happy Landlording!