Moving in to a new apartment can be fun until you meet the wrong landlord. The neighborhood may be peaceful, and everywhere looks good to you, but don’t be in a rush to sign the agreement, without carrying out a background check on the landlord, or property manager.
This is important especially if you are signing a long term deal because a bad landlord or property manager can make living in your latest apartment hell for you. Below are helpful tips to carry out a landlord background check:
It is likely that your landlord has one record or the other on the internet, and one sure way to find out their reputation is by carrying out a simple Google search. Simply use keywords containing your landlord’s name or your property management company, and also the address of the property. Well, pray that you don’t see any bad info about your landlord, as it could affect your staying in the house. If your landlord has in the past treated a renter badly, then with the right keywords, you will likely find complaints from dissatisfied renters especially on property review sites.
Search local agencies
With the vast records open to the public from local authorities, you are likely to find any bad records about your landlord. This is usually free, so utilize the opportunity to carry out your landlord background check. Also, you could check through records of your county courthouse, as these records are usually searchable by address. Through this, you can find legal names of the owner of the property. If you find any foreclosure proceedings, code violations and other related items, then it should serve as a warning.
Enquire from neighbors
On a discreet level, without your potential landlord knowing, walk around the apartment, especially one with multiple units and have a conversation with tenants you find around, subtly asking them what it feels like to live there, and also how long they have stayed there. If they have stayed long enough, and have renewed their rents multiple times, then you should feel relieved because it is a sign that the landlord is of good reputation. Ask them how the landlord handles complaints and property management. You may not find neighbors around, and if this is the case, you should join Facebook groups or communities online that are dedicated to the neighborhood, and strike conversations with people there.
Interview the landlord
When you apply to live in the house, you have to answer questions from the landlord. Now, there is nothing bad asking the landlord some specific questions, isn’t it? Ask your landlord how they react to requests for repairs, ask if they live on site or in a different state. Find out more about how they handle things concerning the property. These concerns and questions of yours shouldn’t be difficult for your landlord or property manager to answer.
After going through the stressful process of finding an apartment, you don’t want your landlord to make you regret living there. As you choose an apartment, never forget to follow your instincts especially when the price seems ridiculously low, the terms are ambiguous, or the landlord doesn’t answer your questions straightforward. It is better to start the search of an apartment all over again than for you to move in an apartment where the landlord doesn’t care about your wellbeing and has bad reputation.