Being the tenant of a bad landlord can be very difficult. While many people complain about evil tenants, it is just as common to have terrible landlords. In a lot of U.S. cities, they hold the power because there is too little housing for all of the people who need it. Due to this, the owners and landlords can dictate their pricing and preferences. One way to avoid falling prey to a bad landlord is to run a background check.
Google Your Landlord
Google reviews of the property that you are about to rent. Do not sign a year-long lease if you are not 100% sure about the landlord! To start, Google either the name of the property or the name of the property owner. When people have bad experiences, they often take to writing negative reviews somewhere. This should be the first thing that you do before you sign a rental agreement.
Local government authorities have information on nearly everyone. With a little digging, you can do a landlord background check. The county courthouse will also have records on misdeeds, as well as ownership accounts. You can also search for small claims courts and evictions. Generally, what tends to happen is that these situations repeat themselves. If a landlord has evicted a tenant before or has been in court with a tenant, it is likely to have happened a number of times. Make sure that you are not next on the list! Even more, consider doing some more investigative work by talking to the neighbors; they can tell you about previous situations.
Interview Your Landlord
You should be able to size up your landlord, just by talking to him or her. People reveal their character in their speech. You can just ask some very gentle and general questions. If the person seems to be very stern and strict, then pay attention. While there is nothing wrong with laying down basic guidelines, be aware of the manner and the tone of voice. Ask yourself if this person seems like the type of person who is always looking for more money.
In the end, you will need to go with your gut instincts. It is also worth knowing your rights, as well as knowing that the landlords have certain duties that they need to fulfill.