Tahoe Renter Guide

The following Q&A explains how Placemate helps renters find housing. We currently provide tenant screening services only in California, and therefore this applies specifically to renters in North Lake Tahoe/Eastern Placer County, Truckee, and South Lake Tahoe markets.

Placemate, formerly Landing Locals, was founded in 2018 in Truckee, CA,  with a mission to help local employees in vacation towns secure long-term housing. Since then, Placemate has created and administered the Lease to Locals programs in seven different markets throughout the country, and provides tenant screening services for property owners in our California markets. 

The Lease to Locals programs are funded by local governments to increase the amount of housing available to the local workforce. Jurisdictions offer incentive payments to homeowners who provide new long-term leases to the local workforce. As the administrator of the Lease to Locals programs, Placemate is responsible for qualifying both homeowners and renter groups by ensuring the home and tenants fit the program requirements. We compile the homeowner and tenant applications and submit them to jurisdictional partners for review, approval, and disbursement of incentive funds. 

You can learn more about specific Lease to Locals programs by market: 
  • Truckee
  • Eastern Placer County (North Lake Tahoe)
  • South Lake Tahoe
  • Placemate acts as a liaison to help tenants find properties that match their needs, and help homeowners find qualified local tenants. When we work with a homeowner in this capacity, we create a property listing, send it to renters in our network, post it on our website as well as other listing sites, and field all applicant inquiries about the property. Once we find tenants who are interested and fit the requirements of the property (right group size, income level, pets, etc.) we provide their information to the homeowner. If those tenants see the property, like it, and are chosen by the homeowner as a final applicant, Placemate runs reference, employment, landlord, eviction, credit, and background checks and passes those results on to homeowners for their review. 

    Placemate contracts with homeowners participating in the Lease to Locals program and occasionally with homeowners renting their property outside of the programs. Properties participating in a Lease to Locals program have specific employment and/or income requirements that are different by market, and non-participating properties are not beholden to these restrictions. Many property owners participating in the Lease to Locals programs will list their properties themselves on other housing sites like Zillow and Craigslist. 

    Placemate always follows fair housing law in representing applicant groups to homeowners and we do our best to help each group of renters present themselves as competitive applicants. However, the homeowner has the final decision of tenant(s). Once a lease has been signed we do not provide property management services and are not responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of homes, nor do we moderate disputes between renters and landlords.

    Renters looking for housing within our Tahoe Markets (Truckee, North Lake Tahoe/Eastern Placer County, South Lake Tahoe) should create a renter profile on our site. 

    When a homeowner contracts with Placemate to help them find tenants, we send that listing to renters in our network whose renter profile criteria matches that of the home, before listing the property publicly.

    Tenants can also monitor new properties as they are posted on our listings page here. It is good practice for tenants to regularly check this page. Tenants can inquire about homes on the listing page by clicking the “Inquire About this Property” button. We try to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours during regular business hours, Mon-Fri.

    Make sure a rental profile is up to date with current housing search criteria. Tenants can also create a profile that casts a wide net by indicating the broadest housing criteria that could work for the tenant/tenant group (ie. ideal lease length, monthly budget, number of bedrooms, number of people).

    Placemate and the homeowners we work with need to know specific information about the entire household or roommate group. When reaching out to Placemate, tenants should always include the following info for all tenants to expedite the process of their information being sent to a homeowner.

    • First name(s) of adult(s) over 18:
    • Total # of adults over 18:
    • Total # of children under 18:
    • Employer name(s):
    • Household gross (pre-tax) monthly income:
    • Pets:

    The Mountain Housing Council has compiled a comprehensive list of housing resources for the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee Area. 

    On the S. Shore, the private Facebook group South Lake Tahoe Housing is a resource to list properties as well as find roommate seekers. 

    Local Facebook housing  pages can be great places to post when looking for both properties and roommates. In putting together a Facebook post, tenants should introduce themselves with some background and include the specific search criteria (number of bedrooms, parking spots, budget, etc…).  

    The Tahoe area’s housing stock has fewer smaller (Studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom) housing units as compared to the number of 3 and 4 bedroom properties. As a result, the listings that come through Placemate often reflect the broader housing stock as a whole. Placemate’s listings do sometimes include studios, 1 bedrooms, and 2 bedrooms, but the majority are for 3 bedroom homes.

    It’s important to understand that a renter profile is not an application for a house or for any Lease to Locals program. A renter profile adds a tenant to Placemate’s network so they receive emails for new listings before those listings are made public. Placemate will always need to collect additional documentation to qualify tenants for a specific Lease to Locals property. 

    There is no fee to complete a renter profile or rental application. The only fee is a $38 background check during the final stages of the process, immediately preceding lease signing. Note that if you complete your background check and do not move forward with a lease at that property for any reason, the background check is transferable to other properties in our system within 30 days. You can also download the background check and use it for other purposes.

    All terms of the lease agreement are up to the property owner. Per California Real Estate Law, Placemate is not legally allowed to dictate rental pricing or lease terms. The Placemate team does, however, keeps property owners well informed of data and trends that make properties affordable and attractive to local workforce members. 

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