Landlords always screen potential tenants. They often require things such as references, pay stubs and a social security number for running background checks. With that said, why can’t you check your landlord?
Landlord screening can and should be performed on all potential landlords because a bad landlord makes for a terrible living situation. Peace of mind is worth a little research. There are many ways you can check your landlord before signing that lease.
Public records checks become your new best friend when landlord screening. Whether your landlord is an individual or corporation, you can research things such as the bankruptcy, criminal records, liens on their properties, lawsuits or past foreclosures. Any of these create potential red flags against a potential landlord.
Check with the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization that allows consumers to submit complaints about businesses. The Better Business Bureau also assigns A – F ratings for businesses. You can check your landlord on the Better Business Bureau for any complaints as well as their rating.
Talk to Current Tenants
After checking out an apartment or house to rent, check with other tenants in the building or potential neighbors. These individuals provide a wealth of knowledge on the potential landlord. Ask questions about how long it takes to get things fixed or how often rent increases. If the landlord’s tenants seem disgruntled, this indicates serious red flags for renting from this individual or company.
Check for Damage
When you tour your potential new home, keep a vigilante eye for problems. Look for things outside of normal wear and tear such as evidence of pests, mold or rotting around the doors and windows. Remember, any signs of disrepair should be a red flag.
Check Local Internet Forums
Check local forums for people complaining about your potential landlord. Many times these forums are a great source for learning about the rental market in your area. A bad landlord gains a bad reputation, and someone will eventually complain about them.
Do not rush into signing a lease before doing due diligence on your potential landlord. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to finding a nice home with a great landlord.