4 Things That an Experienced Landlord Will Probably Omit to Mention

iStock_000014915516_SmallHow could you create and maintain an ideal partnership with your landlord? You may be tempted to think that, just like any other type of relationship, your collaboration will always be based on the highest level of transparency. This is not always the case. Here are four important things that landlords usually “forget” to mention when it comes to marketing their rental properties or courting a potential client.

  1. I Still See This House As My Property (Whether You Like It or Not). The (ugly) truth is that landlords still see and treat the apartments and houses that they rent as their property. While most tenants consider lack of privacy a major deal-breaker, you should know that landlords do have a key to their rented property and won’t hesitate to use it to show the place to future prospects, conduct repairs or respond to an emergency situation, like a home fire or a bursting pipe, for example.
  2. In a Favorable Context, Everything Related to a Rental Property Is Negotiable. Sometimes, you just have to work on your negotiation skills to profit from the best slices of Californian real estate. These days, in some markets, it is possible to adjust the terms of your lease in your favor. For example, you could modify the lease length, the value of your security deposit and monthly the rental rate itself. If you’re really lucky and perseverant, you may even manage to get rid of that pesky no-pets policy. Everything related to a Californian rental property is open to negotiations. However, do keep in mind that the landlords or property managers of hot houses and apartments located in sought-after neighborhoods may be reluctant to enter any negotiations simply because they know that they could find a good tenant just around the corner. Even in these circumstances, it wouldn’t hurt to try your luck and tell your potential landlord that you could identify a similar property with more amenities at the exact same rate. This strategy could come in handy especially when you’re planning on renewing your lease and fighting a rental rate increase.
  3. You’ll Be Renting an Illegal Apartment. Illegal dwellings represent a part of the rental market and are not as uncommon as you may be inclined to think. On the contrary, numerous tenants who are desperately looking for the cheapest accommodation option that they could find choose to rent an illegal indoor space, which may come in the form of garages, attics or basement rooms. Obviously, these spaces fail to comply with local housing codes and can pose serious safely and health risks for a number of reasons. Such dwellings may lack proper exits that one should use in case of a home fire, adequate HVAC systems and/or lighting. Believe it or not, more than a few young adults with limited financial possibilities who live in the biggest Californian cities that are dealing with a constant housing shortage rely on such temporary accommodation alternatives to save some money. If this idea sounds like a good plan to you, try to see things from a different perspective: first of all tenants who occupy illegal rentals expose themselves to considerable risks. Secondly, if something were to go awry, as a tenant renting such a property you would have reduced odds for recourse, simply because you shouldn’t occupy a space that fails to meet local housing codes in the first place.
  4. You Should Actually Do an Extensive Background Check on Me. If you are familiar with the mechanism of the rental market, you may be fully aware of the fact that most landlords screen their tenants very carefully. They want to know everything, including how much they earn, the most recent highlights of their rental history and details related to their credit history. As a potential tenant who is eager to avoid scams and disputes with the person who is going to rent you his or her apartment, what kind of questions should you ask and how could you actually do a background check on your lessor? Firstly, you can get to know your landlord and decode his intentions and way of doing business in an effective manner by asking the following questions:

“How would you describe the neighborhood?” If your landlord fails to provide a relevant, satisfying answer to this question, you should probably interpret his silence as a warning sign. Remember that some of the most dependable landlords are actively involved in their community and can give you plenty of info on numerous topics of interest, ranging from crime rates to your new neighbors.

“Who takes care of regular maintenance?” If your landlord handles repairs or emergency situations himself or hires a local company to complete such tasks, this may mean that he takes good care of his Californian rental.

“Did you have any problems with previous tenants?” A landlord who is constantly complaining about past tenants (who actually left as soon as their lease was up) may have bad people skills. It’s always best to collaborate with a lessor whom you can rely on, so try to avoid individuals who bad-mouth their tenants and complain about everything for no apparent reason.

If the answers to these questions fail to shed some light on this matter, try a different approach. Go online and visit websites that review both properties for rent and their landlords. Moreover, you could also get the hottest gossip on your potential landlord by touring the property in person and starting a conversation with other tenants who live in the same apartment building. All these simple strategies let you assess the level of compatibility between you and your landlord and give you the background info that you need to make an informed decision.

At the end of the day, it goes without saying that finding a cheap, spacious and beautiful accommodation option in the state of California is no easy task. With millions of potential tenants who are just dying to get the keys to a convenient vacant house or apartment available for rent, can you actually afford to be picky when it comes to finding the perfect landlord? When your money and comfort are on the line, it is extremely important to identify a good lessor and an ideal property for rent that won’t disappoint you. To accomplish this mission without wasting time and money, choose to conduct a house hunt the smart way. Browse through the listings brought to you by Apartment Hunterz, spot and save your favorites, connect with landlords online, in real time, submit your applications and schedule face-to-face meetings rapidly and safely.

Apr 2015