A high-quality landlord is just as important as the right property itself is. But how can you know from the beginning if you have found a great manager or property owner? Here are a few indicators you can look for from your first interactions while looking at properties for rent.
1. They're Not a High-Pressure Salesperson. As you talk with the landlord and tour potential rental locations, you shouldn't feel pressured to act rashly or quickly. Your landlord should be helpful and informative, but not necessarily pressuring you to purchase. You should be able to take your time, ask questions, and do research.
2. You Know Who You'll Deal With. Small landlord businesses usually mean you will deal with the owner directly. But if they use a property management service, you should be able to talk to the people with whom you'll actually interact on a regular basis. Get a feel for their customer service separately from the landlord. Good landlords can hire services that you have a hard time working with and landlords who you don't care for can hire great management services.
3. They Understand Renters. Every employee wants a boss who understands what they deal with, and every renter wants a landlord who understands their situation. Your landlord should know what renters in your area value and what general challenges they face. They should have empathy and be flexible when you have a special requirement or accommodation. One way to gauge this is how they approach the touring and application processes.
4. You Both Communicate Well. Communication is key to a good landlord/tenant relationship, so pay attention to how well they communicate while you're shopping for rentals. Do they get back to you promptly? Are they clear and concise? Do you feel like you can easily be understood? Notice if there are any miscommunications, missing messages, or things that are left out.
5. They Have Good Repair Policies. Ask about the time frames and procedures involved in everything from routine maintenance to unexpected repairs. A good landlord will have standard policies in place and be able to give you an idea of what to expect and what not to expect. Always look for a responsive landlord or management company.
As you research properties for rent, think about these few indicators of good quality. By paying attention to them, and other signs, you'll get a sense of who will be a compatible and reliable landlord and who may not be. Start today by touring a property and judging your landlord experience for yourself.