If you have been following these articles then you have seen our advice regarding selecting the type
and location of your next rental. You might even remember a checklist of things to do when moving.
But now that you have chosen a place to call home, you have to subject yourself to the scrutiny
of landlords and most likely, you will pay for it in form of an application fee. But what do you
know about the landlord? Some people blindly hand over money and sign on a dotted line without
knowing much about the person with whom they have just entered into an agreement. The horror
stories about people who were scammed by an internet ad are countless. Stories about people who
moved into a home only to find an eviction notice on their door a few months later because the
property was foreclosed are not rare.
So how can you tell if a landlord is good or bad? Don’t be afraid to ask questions when meeting a
landlord. A friendly conversation can help you decide whether entering into a leasing agreement
makes sense. After a brief conversation, you should be able to know how long the property was
occupied prior to becoming vacant and why the tenants moved. You should also be able to tell
how long the person you will be dealing with has been a landlord. Sometimes if you ask the right
questions, you should ascertain the expectations set forth for the tenant as well as the landlord.
Check the property records to ensure the person you’re paying actually owns the property, and
that the property is not at risk of foreclosure. If the property is listed by a property management
company, ask how long they have been managing the property and how long the current owner has
owned it. Check the ownership and the financial status of the property at the county courthouse.
Often, this can be done online.
Talk to the neighbors. Landlords may request your Social Security numbers, date of birth, driver
license number and proof of income, but you can tap into something far more powerful: gossip.
People love to talk. Ask what they think of the landlord or if they know whether the landlord takes
care of the property and the tenants. If the landlord is a bad one, you’ll at least be aware. If it’s a
large complex, check online reviews at such sites as yelp and google.
Personally check the property for signs of neglect and overdue repairs. Ask for a list of
other properties the landlord owns or manages to get a better understanding of how
properties and tenants are looked after.
For these and other helpful tips, contact us at www.newbridgemangement.com.