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5 Tips for Finding a Good Landlord

House key in home insurance broker agent's hand protection or in salesman person giving to buyer customer

Renting offers a low-commitment alternative to those who are not quite ready to invest in a home. However, finding the right landlord can spell the difference between money used wisely and money thrown away on a poorly-maintained apartment.

Here are the qualities of a good landlord.

  1. Transparent
    Your landlord should ideally be honest, but it would be more preferable if they were transparent. So look for someone who is upfront about the details of the apartment, including poor cellphone reception, temperature fluctuations, and pest problems. Likewise, look for a landlord who is transparent about fees.

    Transparency and clear communication should start with their listing.

    Landlords should highlight the strengths of the apartment without resorting to “puffing” – that is, exaggerating the desirability of the unit.

    Look for listings that contain precise information about the apartment’s features, location, and nearby amenities. The photos should be of the actual apartment.

  2. Flexible
    Your contract will specify when your payment is due, and while it’s important to uphold contractual agreements, it helps to find a landlord who is flexible enough to deal with delays. Real life obstacles, such as work, illness, family troubles, and unforeseen circumstances, can prevent you from paying on time. So choose a landlord who is willing to meet you on your terms when problems arise.

    Moreover, making arrangements to pay on the 5th of the month instead of the 1st will give you a short grace period if you receive monthly paychecks.

  3. Prompt
    Nearly all landlords expect promptness from their tenants, particularly when it comes to rent and lease renewal. But you should be able to expect the same of them. They should respond quickly to maintenance calls and address any concerns you might have about living in their rental. This is especially true for issues that make the unit uninhabitable – these include security issues and noise pollution. They should also be quick to issue receipts upon receiving payment.

  4. Respectful
    Your landlord should be respectful of your space and privacy. That means not asking inappropriate questions and letting you go about your business for as long as you comply with the terms of the agreement. If they arrive unannounced, they must have a good reason for doing so.

  5. Customer-focused
    No matter how gorgeous and well-maintained an apartment is, the landlord should know that renters are the ones who give them business, and they should treat the landlord-tenant relationship as such. There is a certain level of professionalism required of them. A strong emphasis on customer service leads to better tenant retention, fewer turnovers, and lower vacancy rates.

  6. Community-minded
    The ideal landlord will make their tenants feel at home. This means that they take the time to introduce you to your neighbors, show you around the area, and point out banks, grocery stores, dry cleaners, and other important spots.

    This also means informing you of events, clubs, and organizations that are relevant to your interests. A community-minded landlord will make you feel like staying in the unit for a long time, and there is a strong feeling of goodwill.

Work with a leasing agent in San Francisco to find the apartment of your dreams.