Looking for an apartment that fits your needs doesn’t have to be a headache, and neither does finding a landlord that you can get along with. Developing a positive working relationship with your landlord can make a huge difference when it comes to negotiating the terms of your lease or requesting maintenance. When visiting any prospective apartment, look for these qualities in your next landlord.
#1: Good Communication
Good communication is the key to any healthy professional (or personal) relationship. Does the landlord listen to your questions and give thoughtful, direct answers? Are they transparent and clear in communicating their expectations for you and for themselves? Do they seem approachable and respectful?
If you sense any hostility, ambivalence, or if the landlord seems reluctant to answer your questions, it could be a red flag. You might be dealing with someone who sees tenants as expendable and interchangeable, someone who isn’t interested in working with you to build a long-term partnership.
You took the effort to fully prepare for the meeting with your landlord, arriving with your ID, bank statements, and reference letters in tow. Can the same be said for them? Are the lease documents ready to sign? Do they appear to have a well organized system for signing new tenants? Does it look like they’ve done this before? If the initial meeting seems disorganized, it could be a sign that your experience with the complex’s staff could be too…think lost receipts, forgotten maintenance appointments, and overlooked tenant messages.
You should be able to rely on your landlord to follow through with their commitments. Did they arrive on time to your meeting? Do they return your phone calls promptly? Do they make excuses or change their story? A landlord who deals fairly and plainly with you during the application process will likely continue to be reliable in the future.
Are the landlord and their employees courteous and respectful? Is the apartment, its grounds, and the leasing office tidy, well-organized, and inviting? Does the office staff seem to take pride in their complex’s brand and their overall appearance? A landlord who maintains a respected, well-run business is likely someone who has a knack for building and maintaining positive working relationships with their tenants as well.
It’s worth looking up your landlord or their property management firm online to see what kind of reputation they have. You can even ask the landlord for the contact information of current or past tenants. If they are forthcoming, that’s a good sign. There are also online resources such as WhoseYourLandlord.com where you can search for landlord reviews by name and location. (Only bummer is that it’s limited to Philly, NYC, and DC right now.) While it’s good information to know, take anything you find on the internet with a grain of salt. One bad review from a disgruntled tenant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with a slumlord.
Ready to put your landlord know-how to good use? Browse recently listed apartments in your area on ApartmentSearch.com and schedule a few tours today! With our landlord tips in hand, you’ll be able to pick the apartment that’s right for you in no time.