How To Tell If You Have A Sleazy Landlord

A big part of renting a great apartment in Los Angeles means having a good landlord. You may find the perfect place to rent, but a bad landlord can still ruin your rental experience…and your life. I’ve heard enough landlord horror stories to know the dangers. That’s why you should know what to look for at the get-go. These are the tell-tale signs that you have a corrupt landlord who will only make your life miserable.

1. Make sure they act professionally

You want your Los Angeles landlord to be competent and professional. Someone who is capable of handling your interactions and requests and who knows the laws and their obligations. Landlords who show ignorance to the law or discrimination before you even start renting will only get worse. They have a big responsibility and can impact your life in a major way. If you get someone who is not treating you well, that’s a red flag and you should look to rent a different apartment in Los Angeles

2. Choose someone reliable

If your water main bursts, your dishwasher breaks, or there’s a dead tree in your yard, you need to be able to rely on your landlord to act swiftly and efficiently to solve those problems. In the initial stages of house or apartment hunting, having a potential landlord who shows up to messetings or appointments when they say they will is a good indicator that your landlord will be prompt and reliable. On the contrary, if they are constantly late and don’t return your calls, you can be sure they won’t respond in case of emergency. You don’t need this in your life. Especially with all the other flaky people out there. Your landlord should be someone you can rely on.
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3. Find someone flexible

In life we sometimes hit stumbling blocks. Your boss may keep you late at work, a paycheck may not clear, or you may have car issues. This is real life people. If you have a contract stating you must make rent payments at a specific time on a specific day and you miss it by a few hours, it would be best to have a landlord who is flexible and understanding enough to let that slide. Your landlord should be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt at certain times when things go wrong. This includes a grace period for late rent payments. You might need to negotiate a few things with your landlord along the way, and having someone who is stubborn or a stickler for the rules will not make for a great relationship. Before you sign a lease, check to see how they respond if you request any minor changes to the agreement. This can tell you a lot about how they will act once you’re a tenant.

4. They should treat you like a human being, not a revenue source

Your landlord should be trustworthy, and reliable but also someone who is focused on providing good service to their customer – you. If the landlord you are considering shows disinterest concerning your needs or thoughts, you should think twice before you sign the lease. It will be very hard to maintain a positive relationship with a landlord who is not customer oriented. They really should show care for you on a personal level. If not, maybe it’s time to consider renting a different apartment in Los Angeles.

Michael Lucarelli

About Michael Lucarelli

As the co-founder of RentSpree, Michael Lucarelli has mastered the ins and outs of tenant screening. He's spoken at dozens of real estate events, sharing insights with thousands of agents/owners.

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