Need to Find a New Place to Live? Writer Kate Anderson Offers Tips on “How to Avoid a Nightmare Landlord”
If you are trying to find a home or apartment for rent in So. California, it may take some doing. Depending on the location you want, the size of the home or apartment and the amenities you are seeking (easy parking, quiet area, laundry facilities, safe area plus luxe options like pool, air conditioning and more), you might be dealing with a lot of frustration with potential landlords and higher than expected prices. When one starts getting desperate, it’s often easy to ignore the signs of a not great landlord just to get into an apartment that barely fits your needs. Staying alert to the many signs of a problem landlord or a problem unit will help you in finding a great location for you! Writer Kate Anderson shares her tips and tricks on what to look for so that you don’t get stuck with the house or apartment from hell with a landlord to match!
How to Avoid a Nightmare Landlord”
Homeownership has become less possible — and in some cases, less desirable- because of a shifting economy and cultural changes, and this has meant an influx of tenants to the rental market. If you’re looking for a new rental and facing tons of competition, it can be easy to let desperation seep into your apartment or house rental selection process Especially in LA and surrounding areas, it seems nearly impossible to find housing without selling your soul. Rushing the process and foregoing some essential steps can see you landing yourself in a sticky situation. Even the apartment of your dreams can be a miserable experience if you sign up with terrible landlord. Follow these tips and tricks to ensure you don’t sign a lease with a nightmare of a landlord.
Curb Appeal is Lacking
Even if the interior of the apartment is perfect, if there is some obvious damage or disrepair on the outside of the home it’s a bad sign. If you’re looking at an apartment, are the common areas rundown? How does the laundry room look? All of these facets contribute to your living experience and quality of life. If a landlord obviously doesn’t keep up with these exterior of the building, who’s to say he or she will be responsive when your apartment or home has an issue? Take an overall look at the curb appeal of the places you’re looking into, and make sure the exterior is just as desirable as the interior. When it comes to a home, look at the landscaping. Great landlords take pride in their property and will likely take care of the the yard upkeep or hire a landscaping service like Pierre Landscaping that maintains the front and backyards.
They Aren’t Responsive
If you don’t find it easy to reach a prospective landlord and they’re not getting back to you about valid concerns and questions, it’s best to cut your losses and leave the apartment or home behind. Imagine if you move in and one day a water main breaks and you are without a shower, dishwasher, and working toilet. If you can’t reach the landlord, the bill for the plumbing services will come out of your wallet initially (which means you repair and provide all bills to the landlord for reimbursement) or you may have to wait for repairs. If the landlord is slow in responding to you before you move in, he or she will be more than difficult to reach during your tenancy.
Interior Isn’t in Good Condition
There are quite a few things to keep in mind about the interior of the house or apartment when you take a tour. What is the condition of the carpet? Does the paint seem to be peeling or cracked in any portion of the house? Another major deal breaker is cleanliness. If a landlord doesn’t show care with the apartment and use a professional cleaning service so that house is spotless for new tenants, it’s a sign they won’t be responsive or helpful in the future. Be sure to take a look at the storage available in the home. Closets can make or break a place and greatly factor into long term happiness in a home or apartment.
They Don’t Want to Run a Credit Check
If a landlord seems far too eager to get you into the apartment with your signature on a lease, hit the brakes. As mentioned earlier, the market is saturated with renters attempting to find a place to stay, and a great landlord with a great property should have no problems with the pick of the litter. If they don’t want to run a credit check, be wary. This rush could be their attempt to have you locked into a lease before you discover issues with the property. Good landlords will always run a credit and background check, and great landlords usually use a third party service like Transunion SmartMove. If there’s no talk of credit checks and no exchange of personal information, it’s wise to give the property a bit more thought.
Ask Current and Former Tenants
Your best description of dealing with this landlord is going to come from the mouths of people who have already dealt with that person. If you’re moving into an apartment complex, don’t be afraid to knock on a few doors and get details on what living in the apartment would be like. If it’s a home, ask the landlord if you might talk to the current or previous tenants to get a feel for area and the location.
Strange Lease Wording
We know it’s a ton of information to cover, but it’s essential to go through your lease section by section and read every clause and provision. If you have someone with a little bit of a legal background, take them along when signing so they can read through and make sure everything’s in order. If something goes wrong during your tenancy, this lease will be your lifeline. You’ll also have a chance to review the lease and consider anything you consider unfair. The only time you can speak to these concerns is before you sign it, and if the landlord is resistant, you may have your answer as to whether or not this living experience would be a good one.
Looking for housing in Los Angeles can feel akin to torture, but with the use of these strategies, you can make sure you wind up in a place without a nightmare landlord.
Bio for Kate Anderson:
“I’m Kate, an organization expert, and I would love to help you live your best, and most organized life. When I first became interested in organization, I never could have imagined all the ways it would improve my life and I want you to have that experience too. I started my website, Kate’s Organized Life, and began writing to share my tips on decluttering, organizing, and planning to help other people tackle the task of organizing their lives and setting themselves up for success.”
Thanks to Kate Anderson for this interesting and insightful piece on how to ferret out the best options in rentals if you are looking at high demand areas like Southern California.
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