Planning a move? Here are the top 5 qualities to look for in a landlord
You think you’ve found the perfect apartment, but there’s just one problem, you’re not so sure about the landlord. In the search for a new home, many people overlook how important it is to find a good landlord. It’s easy to be more concerned with what you can see: the property and features of the home. However, being burdened with a poor landlord can quickly make the perfect home seem unbearable. Conflict with landlords is a common source of stress for many renters. Still, it can be avoided by doing some due diligence at the very beginning. Here are five key tips for vetting a landlord:
1. Are they relational?
The type of landlord you choose, from a large corporation to a family-owned business, has an enormous impact on the quality of your tenancy. Corporations usually own large properties, and the company managing the property might change during your tenancy. This could have a positive or negative impact on your experience. Mega-landlords often find it challenging to stay in tune with the day-to-day needs of their tenants. They may also be based in another city or province, meaning they are out of touch with the housing market in your area. Investigate how they make decisions to raise the rent. Do they have a good track record of getting to know their tenants personally? Or do they make profit-driven decisions based on shareholder expectations?
A locally owned property management company has more at stake. They need to be more conscientious and therefore tend to thrive on a relationship-focussed approach to business. Their community partnerships are essential to their success. Local landlords are also more flexible in negotiating rent. They appreciate tenants who pay their rent on time and will go the extra mile to make their tenants happy.
2. Do they have good reviews
Do research on your landlord through websites such as Yelp or by asking previous/current tenants. It is essential to do this before signing a lease. Speak to existing tenants and gain insider information about how the property is managed. Some key questions to ask include:
- How easy is the landlord to reach for emergencies?
- How often do they inspect the property?
- Are they friendly and understanding?
- And any other concerns you may have.
If you spot a general pattern of discontent or discomfort, it may be best to let this property pass you by.
3. Are they responsive?
It’s important to ask questions of your landlord before moving in, and it’s a good sign if they answer you directly. Make sure you clarify the following before putting pen to paper:
- What utilities are you responsible for?
- How are rent payments made?
- Lease renewal/breakage terms
- Which furnishings and appliances are included?
One of the most revealing questions you can ask your potential landlord is, “Would you live here?” Their answer can tell you a lot about what they really think of the property and the neighbourhood.
4. Do they have high standards?
If all the landlord cares about is your name and phone number, and doesn’t ask for any references, you should probably be concerned. A diligent landlord should want to know as much about you as you do about them. The more detailed the application process (within reason), the more knowledgeable the landlord is about what kind of people they let live in their buildings. This is particularly important if the property is a multi-family building. Your neighbours will be 8 inches away. If you care about who lives in the same building as you, your landlord should too.
5. Are they organized?
Whether or not your landlord is organized can tell you a lot about how well they manage their properties and how quickly they respond to requests. If they are always scrambling to find the right documents, fail to return phone calls or emails, and are late for meetings, you may want to steer clear. You want to have a positive working relationship, so you are comfortable negotiating and requesting services when necessary. Having a good landlord eliminates all kinds of unnecessary stress and allows you to live at ease.
Use these tips to make your rental search go smoothly, avoid red flags, and ensure you find a safe and comfortable place to live where you genuinely feel at home.
Rent an Inverness Home and invest in life!
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-831-9111 if you have any questions.
200-38 Auriga Drive, Nepean, ON