There’s an old saying that every home is a castle. It protects us from thieves and ensures our privacy. A rental situation is very different from this. The landlord has to trust a stranger to care for their property and pay the rent.
Meanwhile the tenant has to allow the landlord to enter their private space to do maintenance, and trouble shoot. These opposing interests are a recipe for conflict unless responsibly managed. Doing so begins with choosing a landlord right for you.
5 Steps to Choosing a Landlord Right for You
The overarching goal is finding a landlord who’s honest and open about the property they’re renting, and the way they like the relationship to work. If you get the feeling they are ‘covering things up’ we recommend you consider looking further before reaching a decision.
Step 1: Are They Transparent?
There’s no such thing as a perfect property, well this side of heaven. A landlord should be up front about defects, and note these on the handover form. They should also tell you about phone reception or problems they’ve had with the heating etc.
A decent landlord looks for long-term tenants. They don’t want you moving out after you discover a major disadvantage they should have told you about.
Step 2: How Reasonable Are They Regarding The Rent?
If the landlord passes that first hurdle, ask is there is any swing room with the due date for rent. Getting our wages available as cash can take few days. If your bank puts a temporary hold on a cheque, or you are paid a day late, what happens?
It’s far better to ask these difficult questions first, before choosing a landlord right for you. Some flexibility is necessary from both sides.
Step 3: How Good Is the Quality of the Service?
Seeing as you are not allowed to make repairs or attend to defects, it’s only reasonable to expect a fast turnaround if something needs fixing or another tenant is noisy etc.
Ask the landlord their turnaround target and whether they arrange the work themselves or use a managing agent / preferred supplier.
Step 4: Find a Landlord Who Considers You Too
Your ideal person is a landlord who leaves you alone and treats you like a real person needing your privacy. You definitely don’t want a person who gets too close. Business and friendship seldom mix.
You’ll soon know if the landlord should suit, if you spend a few minutes sharing what makes an ideal landlord and tenant.
Step 5: Does the Landlord Provide Bonus Information
A responsibly caring landlord – which is what you want – should share information about the neighbourhood while they market the property to you. They may offer to show you around and point out the best shops.
When you ‘interview’ a landlord using these five techniques you’ll soon gain a clear idea of what life will be like after you sign the lease and move in. You will be so pleased you checked them out first, and succeeded in choosing a landlord right for you. Stonegate Equity provides this information in the interests of happier landlords and tenants.
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What Happens After You Move In: Raziel Janeway BY CC 2.0