Sometimes it seems like renting is only going in one way. Your landlord finds out a lot about you before you sign a contract for an apartment, including where you work, or how much you make. Landlords routinely check references on potential renters. Your Social Security number, job history, financial information, and references are all revealed. The landlord has a ton of options to make sure you’re a good renter, but what about the other side? How worried should you be about giving your personal information to someone you hardly know? How much about your landlord you can really know? Before you sign a contract, you can do a background check on a landlord, even if you cannot request that the landlord complete an official application.
Investigate the neighborhood
Ask around the area whether you’re thinking of renting an individual home or a smaller complex. Nobody can verify a landlord’s behavior more thoroughly than your potential new neighbors. Since they have first-hand information, they will probably be willing to give you the straight story before you sign anything. Come on a weekend when people are likely to be outside. After questioning multiple people, you’ll probably have a better idea. Ask some general questions, like are they aware if the landlord is available to renters when they have questions, does a landlord usually drop by uninvited, or the way the landlord handles maintenance.
If you’re having trouble forming relationships with the neighbors, explore neighborhood-specific blogs and other online communities. They contain a variety of information and are rising in popularity. Ask your landlord for recommendations from past renters. Ask a few tenants how they feel about the landlord or property management if you’re looking at an apartment in a multi-unit building. By doing your research upfront, you can avoid having to deal with a difficult landlord later.
Take complaints into consideration
While looking for renter complaints from prior tenants, read cautiously and keep in mind to take the source into account as well. See if any former or present residents have written reviews of their experiences, good or bad. A tenant’s repeated complaints over several months or years should undoubtedly be noticed. You may also think about using social media to find out if anybody you know had experience with this landlord. Search online if your landlord is an individual. There are several online review websites that collect feedback from tenants. You might get some useful information if you perform a simple web search. Investigate your landlord as much as you can using Google and social media.
Look into the state of the property
The exterior look of a landlord’s property may provide you with a lot of information about their personality. Check if the outside of the building is kept up. Inspect the recycle and trash area, because accumulated trash could attract rats and other varmints.
While appearance is important, pay special attention to anything that might be dangerous. Make sure there are no damaged or cracked windows and pay close attention to both the building’s and your unit’s doors. Your safety may be threatened if doors are not properly secured.
You may think that a building’s physical state would be the only predictor of its general health, but you’d be mistaken. While certain difficulties may be seen with the naked eye, unless you’re an electrician or inspector, it’s possible that you won’t be able to identify more significant problems that hide behind a lovely exterior. Electrical issues, mold, and rat infestations are all serious risks to your personal safety and health and are difficult to detect. You’ll most likely need to give the relevant city agency a call to double-check things.
Speak with your landlord
An interview with the tenant is a typical step in the application process before moving approval. But you could interview the landlord in reverse as well. Before agreeing to a contract, ask your landlord many questions. Making the right decision isn’t easy, so don’t hesitate to ask everything you want to know. You may also use it to evaluate how eager they are to give information in general. Just as you rely on your landlord, they also depend on you to keep your half of the deal.
Make sure your landlord owns the property and that it is not in debt before you sign a contract. Even though it’s rare, some people attempt to deceive unsuspecting tenants by posing as the owner of a rental property they don’t own and stealing the security deposit and first month’s rent before vanishing. You can find property records from proper authorities or online if you’re worried. Public records searches may show up a lot of information on your possible new landlord, whether they be a person or a business, as well as the property itself. Look for warning signs such as bankruptcy, general mortgages on all assets, criminal histories, and any pending litigation.
Landlords do background checks to learn more about you and determine whether there is anything to be concerned about. They want to carefully select their renters because their rental property is a significant investment. In the end, renting to the wrong tenant might result in a variety of problems, including late or unpaid rent, safety risks, property damage, and neighbor complaints. These problems may ultimately lead to a costly eviction.
Before signing a rental agreement, you should do a background check on a landlord. Eventually, you will have to deal with this person while you are still a resident and they will have access to your home. Background checks are now relatively cheap and simple to do, even if you pay an agency to perform that job. You may find out whether your landlord has a criminal past, whether there are any tax liens against the property, and more by taking the time to conduct a background check. Paying deposits and moving into a new house only to discover it was already in foreclosure would be a terrible experience, after all.
The previously mentioned methods can, without a doubt, help you spot a bad landlord. But, perhaps hiring an NYC apartment management agency to take care of your tenancy is even better. There are many benefits of hiring an apartment management company, and help with dealing with a landlord is just one of them.