Not all landlords are the same, but the good ones do all share some traits that make them great at their jobs and a pleasure to work with as a tenant. It’s not about the price they set, or the kind of property they rent, but rather how they go about doing their jobs and making sure everything is crystal clear:
Great landlords are easily reachable, not just when it’s time to pay the rent. You should be able to easily access your landlord during an emergency or even if you’d just like to go over your lease or the property rules.
And Have Clear Policies in Place
Constant misunderstandings can put a serious strain in any kind of relationship. Landlords that know what they’re doing a value good tenants, will make sure misunderstandings are kept at a minimum, which means everything is written down and available to review and discuss.
You should have an actual, legally binding contract that clearly states all your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. In case anything is amiss, your contract is what will protect you against any actions that may harm you during your stay. Even if you feel it’s just an unnecessary piece of paper, never move into a property without signing a contract first.
Some of the things that you should know before agreeing are: due dates for the payments (and whether they can be rescheduled for later), how are decorations handled (do you need to call your landlord every time you want to hang a painting?), and amount of people that are allowed to live in the property (will it be an issue if your partner wants to move in? Or if you want to have kids?).
They Do Their Research
Someone that offers you their place without even so much as checking your references, should raise some major red flags. Experienced landlords know to protect the property from sketchy individuals that might be looking to squat on a place, conduct illegal activities, or just damage the property. If a landlord isn’t worried about this and just lets anyone in, you can be sure they’re into some sketchy things, at best. So beware.
They Are Open to Conversations
A good landlord will go above and beyond to keep good tenants once they find them. Consequently, they’re willing to help out when life inevitably happens. This isn’t to say that if you stop paying rent for 5 months they should be open to talk it out, but that if you are going to be late, they can be understanding. If you unexpectedly fall into hard times, they won’t be the first to kick you to the curb. Likewise, if you need to change some aspects of your arrangement, they should be at least willing to discuss it.
Great landlords are few and far between, if you find one, do your best to keep them. Work to be a good tenant (it really isn’t that hard) and foster a good communication system. And if they’re truly great, don’t forget to ask them if they have any other property if you ever start looking for something else.