Having a positive relationship with your landlord can go a long way. After all, you’ll be living in his or her property for an extended period, and you’ll probably need your landlord’s help at some point.
While your landlord will have certain obligations to you as a tenant, a good landlord could be the difference between a frustrating tenancy experience, or a smooth and pleasant one.
However, how do you know if your landlord is a suitable fit, or a nightmare disguised in pleasantries?
If a landlord is punctual for all the property viewing appointments, it’s a sign that he/she is professional and organised.
Imagine that you urgently need help with a repair at home, and your landlord has agreed to come over. However, he/she only shows up an hour later than the scheduled timing.
If your landlord is already late for the first meeting, that should raise a red flag. A landlord who’s genuinely keen about the deal would be on-time as it’s the first impressions that count.
Some landlords can be very busy people. However, if yours is late without providing a valid reason or apology, you might want to consider whether he or she can be relied on in the future.
A landlord who can work with unforeseen circumstances will make your life easier. Say you won’t be able to pay your rent on time, a flexible landlord will try to understand your situation and allow for a grace period.
One way to find out if your prospective landlord is flexible is by asking scenario-based questions. If he/she gives absolute answers like “yes” or “no” only, then the person is less likely to be accommodating.
However, a flexible landlord may mention how he or she can try to work things out with you, depending on the circumstances.
Another way to find out is to speak with other people, such as former tenants or neighbours. If you find out that the landlord often lashes out at the smallest things, then the person is probably unforgiving too.
3) Is the landlord hospitable?
Take the house-viewing experience as a valuable opportunity to get a feel of what your landlord is like.
A hospitable landlord will feel like a friend to you. He/she would make you feel comfortable, offer help, and share tips with you.
For example, a hospitable landlord will not leave you alone to view the property while they go off to do their own things.
Instead, he or she will actively engage in conversation with you. A landlord who stays outside (or even leaves!) while you’re left to view the house isn’t a hospitable person.
If the landlord takes initiative to show you around or give recommendations after the session is over, he/she is more likely to offer help during your stay too.
Transparency is arguably the most crucial trait in a good landlord. One tip is to ask as many open-ended questions as possible.
A transparent landlord will divulge as much information as they can. However, it’s a clear warning sign if he/she refrains from talking.
Another tip is to observe how the landlord reacts to certain questions. If he/she starts to stammer, avoid eye contact, or quickly changes the topic, it’is likely that the landlord isn’t completely honest.
Here’s another way to gauge if the landlord is trustworthy. During the first phone call, ask a few questions about the apartment.
For example, you can ask about the condition of the house, or the types of facilities that are provided.
When you’re there for house-viewing, ensure that the information given by the landlord is the same as what you see. If it doesn’t, then the landlord may not have been truthful about other things as well.
Want to know more? Here are some bonus tips for you that will increase your chances of landing a good landlord.
1) Go house-viewing with another person
Bring a friend or a family member along when you go for house-viewing. Bringing another person along provides you with a second opinion.
There’s a chance that he or she might not be someone you want to rent from if both of you have a bad impression of the landlord.
2) Look at the reviews
Check if the landlord has been called out on forums or property review pages. If the landlord has been receiving a lot of positive comments, then he or she is more than likely to be a good landlord.
3) Make sure the landlord asks questions too!
The question and answer process isn’t a one-way street; if the landlord doesn’t ask ANY questions or doesn’t seem to care, then you should definitely be worried.
There’s no way a landlord can learn about a new tenant without asking questions, and since their property is considered to be an expensive investment, a truly dedicated individual will show that they care who they’re letting in.
Finding a good landlord should be as important as finding a good house to rent. The landlord is likely to be dependable if he or she possesses the traits we mentioned above. If you’re a first-time renter, here are 5 mistakes you should avoid.