Renting from a landlord is an experience that most people have had. Whether you are a first time renter or about to move into a new rental property, there are several things to take under consideration, including what your landlord may be hesitant to tell you.
Here is our list of the top five things that your landlord won’t tell you:
- The price of rent is negotiable. In locations where the rental market is not tight, it’s likely that you’ll have some wiggle room to negotiate. Items on the lease you can negotiate include: the monthly rent (especially if you are renewing your lease), the length of the lease, the security deposit and the pet policy.
- Their apartment may not be legal. In cities experiencing a housing shortage, landlords may try to rent out a space that isn’t up to code. If you rent an illegal apartment, you have little to no legal recourse if things go downhill. Cover your bases by researching the building’s records. This information is usually available at the city safety department and may even be online.
- You should perform a background check on them. Checking up on your landlord may seem like overkill, but it’s not. It is in your best interest to call the town or city’s property management offices to see if the building has had all the necessary upgrades. You should also consider searching your landlord’s name in public court databases to see if they’ve been involved in small claims court suits or have had previous tenants file lawsuits against them.
- Your privacy is a priority. Yes, the landlord owns the home. But they are required by law to give tenants their privacy. Even if they have their own set of keys to the rental property, they are required to give you advance notice (usually 24-48 hours) before entering the property to make repairs or show the home to a potential buyer.
- You have more power than you know. First and foremost, you and your loved ones have the right to a home that is livable. If your rental property doesn’t protect you from rain, snow, lead, asbestos and mold, your landlord is violating your rights and you can legally stop paying rent until the repairs have been made.