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Old 10-08-2015, 09:43 AM
 
13 posts, read 20,671 times
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In anticipation of moving to the Billings area, I have been looking for a house or town home to rent. I have 2 cats and a small dog that are very well-behaved, but it seems very hard to find a place online that allows for pets. I have checked out property management companies. Are there ones to avoid? Also, do you know of any real estate offices that might also have rentals? Do you have any recommendations as to areas to avoid? Is it true that Laurel has an odor? It seems like rents there are less than Billings. We prefer country settings. Looking to not go over $1300. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated. I don't know the area at all.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,573,027 times
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I live two miles south of Laurel, about 1 mile SE of the refinery. I've never smelled it here. There's a patch along the highway right next to it where you'll get the usual refinery reek, tho it's hard to say how much is the refinery and how much the sewage treatment plant. I've never noticed it in Laurel itself and I do most of my shopping there. The refinery is across the interstate from town proper, tho. The rail yard is up against the east end but I haven't noticed any big smells from it either. The wind here tends to lift up over the town and I'd guess carries most of it out of reach of human noses.

In any event, there's something to be said for the miasma of refinery, stockyard, and sugar beet factory.... that's the smell of jobs, the odor of money. So I don't mind 'em one bit.

If you want a country setting, you'll have better luck with Craigslist than with a management agency which deals mostly in townie properties.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:02 PM
 
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Thank you! I guess I'll get used to it...we are coming from a paper mill town and after a while we didn't notice that much, either. The smell of money they called it! Guess they do that everywhere! I've looked on Craigslist before, but was worried about scammers. I'll check it out. Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,573,027 times
Reputation: 2952
Scammers playing fake-landlord aren't all that common; it's usually one or two who run a lot of ads, and they get fairly obvious after a while, being too good to be true (and someone will usually run a counter-ad exposing them, too). Basically if you can't get inside the house to look, or they want more than the usual $35 application fee before you sign paperwork, that's a scam.

Having used Craigslist a lot, and having been a landlord myself, I'd say landlords getting scammed by people who have no intention of paying rent (beyond what it takes to get a foot in the door) are far more of a problem than tenants getting scammed by fake landlords.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:08 PM
 
13 posts, read 20,671 times
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Good to know, Reziac! I am finding that I'm seeing only 1 picture of a beautiful room in a home, a low-ish rent, and it's always a rent-to-own. Seems pretty fake to me, so I plan to avoid. Don't want a rent-to-own, anyway. I need a 3-4 bedroom (but can live with 2 bedrooms if I have to), $1200/month, give or take, and I have 2 cats and a small dog. Sure hope I can find something soon. It's been very helpful hearing from everyone. Thank you!
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,573,027 times
Reputation: 2952
Renting out a home really isn't profitable; more like lucky to break even (renting is much cheaper than owning). When you're upsidedown on the mortgage, as so many are nowadays, and still have to pay property tax and maintenance, rent won't cover all of it, and you can't sell it for what you've got in it. But rent-to-own might make it break even, with a better chance the buyer won't trash the place as so many low-end tenants do. So, yeah, a lot of lower-end places wind up listed as rent-to-own so the owner, who wants out from under it, doesn't lose their shirt and their investment.

Just looked through Billings craigslist, lots of 3 bedroom rentals under $1000, mostly older single-family homes or modulars. Three pets can be a problem, tho -- we decided no indoor cats because tho some cats are fine, too many claw carpets or pee indoors (and the cat's owner may not notice) and that's expensive to mitigate; wind up replacing carpet and sometimes the subfloor too to get rid of the smell... way more expensive than the usual deposit will cover, and suing a former tenant for such costs is an exercise in futility. It's unfortunate for people with pets, but for the landlord it's not worth the risk.

I did notice one that allowed multiple pets tho at an extra charge (pretty reasonable, tho).
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