Rental units are a dime a dozen in most cities, and it goes without saying that for every ten wonderful rental properties out there, there are a few that should simply not be made available for new tenants. Here are some telltale signs that the property you’re considering should be avoided.
Only The Apartment Itself Feels Right
If you’re happy with what appears to be a clean, well-maintained apartment but the rest of the building doesn’t meet the same level of quality and upkeep, it’s a sign that the landlord is trying to mask a building’s problems. Broken lights, run-down laundry facilities, unkempt exterior landscaping, and a generally uncomfortable atmosphere are all things you should be wary of. No matter how “wonderful” the unit you’re shown appears to be, bear in mind that you have to live in the building and put up with any problems the landlord may be hiding to gain another renter. This is common in low-income neighbourhoods with high tenant turnover rates, so be careful to not fall for any tricks.
Neglected Building Maintenance
If the apartment and building itself appears to be suffering from neglect, stay away at all costs. This is an indicator that adequate maintenance and upkeep isn’t taking seriously, and therefore moving in could be dangerous to your health and safety. Definite red flags include water stains, broken fixtures, non-functioning elevators, plumbing leaks, dirty windows, poor lighting, filthy ovens and appliances, cracked walls and ceilings, and signs of infestation including chewed wires, smells, and excrement. Try to cross paths with as many tenants if you can and briefly speak with them to get a feel of the place once you’ve visited the unit and are about to leave to think it over. If the building is affected by widespread problems and existing tenants are fed up with the landlord’s irresponsibility, they may be willing to warn you to stay away to knock them down a peg.
Peeling Roofing Shingles
Spotting a bad roof is a sign of a building facing some serious renovation work or interior problems such as leaks, mould, and insulation-related issues. If you see peeling roofing shingles and a general disregard for roof maintenance, it’s doubtful that those responsible for the building are willing to properly take care of it as a whole, or are only focusing their maintenance in other areas. A healthy roof equals a healthy home — if renters can’t even get this right, then rest assured that they won’t be easily swayed to carry out other repairs or sufficiently take care of the building, let alone the unit you rent.
Landlords Dodge Your Questions Or Concerns
If you’re concerned with a unit or the building and approach the landlord with straightforward queries and they dodge them like bullets before even agreeing to rent the unit, then just leave. A few landlords only hear what they want to hear, and sometimes that can pertain to cheap workarounds and money-saving strategies that disregard the happiness of tenants. If they refuse to give you a straight answer or even get angry, then don’t even bother to waste your time. Drama should never be a utility included with renting.
Renting is in actuality an exciting and wonderful way of living, so long as you find a home, building, and landlord that is right for you. By being able to identify the signs of a terrible rental unit, you should be able to find a wonderful renter and unit with relative ease.