Hopefully you’ve never had the horrible experience of a landlord who won’t care for your needs as a tenant, but you’ve likely heard horror stories from friends who were stuck in the absolute worst lease that made their lives miserable. No matter how active you are and regardless of the long hours you spend at work, you spend most of your time at home and your home deserves to be a palace where you can comfortably relax. Fortunately, there are a few precautions you can take to assure you come home to a great apartment with a landlord who makes your home life a dream rather than a nightmare.
Assess the Apartment
The first step is to assess the apartment. Remember the landlord is trying to make a sale and showing you their idea of perfection, so if the apartment is dirty or requires maintenance when shown, go ahead and assume it’s up to the landlord’s standards of a great apartment. You can also assume a great landlord will be well liked by the apartment community and a few of your soon –to-be new neighbors will allow a tour of their home so you can see how the property manager and maintenance staff keep up a home once rented.
Check with Neighbors
During a tour of a current resident’s home, you have the opportunity to meet your potential neighbors. Don’t be shy, use the opportunity to ask what they like and dislike about living there. The same applies as you tour any public amenities the community offers. Consider if there’s a dog park, picnic area or gym and nobody is using them, there may be a reason. On the other hand, if somebody is jogging through the complex and slows down to smile and wave at the landlord, that’s a pretty good sign you’re dealing with a likeable person who cares for their tenants.
Make Sure Promises Are Included in the Contract
Some people consider salesmanship to be their ability to convince you to rent their apartment. The truth of the matter is that a good landlord is going to let the apartment make the sale while explaining realistically what the policies are. Saying the pet policy, for example, only allows one pet but you can have 27 cats is unrealistic and won’t be followed through. If you have two small quiet dogs the landlord is willing to allow, it should be written in as an exemption on the lease contract.
When It Comes to Landlords, Trust Your Gut
Ultimately, you can usually trust your gut instinct about your new home and your new landlord. Most landlords have skills and talents that could be applied to a number of other jobs but chose their current position because they enjoy using their great people skills and want to assure you enjoy living in your home for years to come rather than only staying for the duration of your original lease.