With a whopping 36.6% of households renting their homes, it’s not surprising to learn that the housing industry represents more than 25% of the United States’ total national financial investment and about 5% of the total economy.
With the housing market being such a big part of the economy, the landlord-tenant relationship can sometimes be neglected and treated as more of a transactional relationship than anything else.
This is why when people find an excellent landlord or property management company, they tend to try to stay put. Read on for some tips about what to look out for in a great landlord.
Legalities vary depending on your state, but one of the most important things to look out for is that your potential landlord complies with all relevant laws. Whether that be making sure they have fire alarms installed or just making sure the property is free of pests, a landlord who cuts corners here is one that you for sure want to avoid.
Now, you can’t expect them to be available 24/7, but you can have some expectation that you won’t be left hanging for days and days. If you got in touch about the property, did they reply in a timely manner or did they take their sweet time? When you arranged to view the property, was it easy and simple to organize a time, or was it very much a case of you working around their schedule? If they don’t have time for you when they’re supposed to be trying to convince you to sign a lease, they’re probably not going to have much time when they’ve got you. A good landlord will help to manage your expectations by communicating with you.
Speaking of communicating with you, a great landlord will be responsive. If you have any issues with the property, you want to know that they’ll be dealt with quickly. This way, you know that you’ll be given plenty of notice if they need to send a contractor round or have any other reason to require being at your home. If at any point in the lead-up to signing a lease the potential landlord’s communication makes you feel uneasy, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.
Is your potential new landlord promising you the world? It could be that they’re keener to get you to sign the least than they are to actually hold up their end of the bargain. A good landlord will be firm but fair, and won’t promise you anything and everything just to get you to sign on the dotted line. They will be upfront and honest about potential upgrades to the property, and they won’t be afraid to say no if you’re asking for too much.
If you have to be referenced, really why should your landlord also not have to? Whether that be through a website like ours, over here, or by speaking to other current and past tenants, you really should make sure you’re not dealing with a bad landlord. More importantly, ask to see a copy of their ID to make sure they are who they say, and even check to make sure that they actually own the property.
There are scams around whereby people “rent out” apartments they don’t even own, for the tenants to find out at the last minute after the “landlord” has made off with their deposit. Any reasonable landlord won’t have any problems with you doing these extra checks.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you want your landlord living next door - something which comes with its own pros and cons - but you might want to consider if having your landlord in the next state over could impact their ability to get any property maintenance issues resolved quickly. If this is the case, be sure to ask them how they deal with any emergencies that would require them to be there, if only to put your mind at ease.
Finding the Right Landlord
All of the above characteristics indicate that someone will be an excellent landlord, so when you’re apartment hunting, be sure to take note. And when you find a great landlord? Come and review them on WYL!