Yes, it’s your duty as a tenant to screen your landlord while you screen the property before you finalise on your rental home. While we have talked about how a landlord should screen a tenant, it’s equally important for the tenant to screen the landlord for a comfortable stay in the property. The screening process is an ice-breaker between the landlord and tenant, that helps the tenant know more about the landlord and act accordingly.
Check public records
One of the first steps is to check public records to establish the credentials of the owner. Check if the owner is the true owner of the property, does he/she have any kind of criminal record, or is the property disputed or under any lawsuit, or whether the landlord (in case still paying the home loan of the property) is paying equated monthly instalments. Answers to all these questions will help you judge the landlord and make a wise decision of moving in or not. Any negative response is a red flag on the property.
Speak to as many people as possible. This would include the neighbours, who would know about the social behaviour of the landlord and also, about other neighbours, and how the property rents move in the particular locality; previous tenants, who could tell how good or bad a landlord he/she is, how helpful they were and how prompt they were in need or at time anything needed to be repaired.
Going the online route? Look for the ratings
Liked a property online but also want to know more about the landlord, check for the rating given and comments written for the property and the landlord. Try to get in touch with the tenants that have posted this feedback online and know their opinion.
How does the property look?
Going for a property visit? Make sure you check every detail about how well the property has been maintained. This would give you a fair idea about the landlord too. How well can he act in situations that would call for repairs, for immediate action and how serious are they about the property’s upkeep too. Also, keep tabs on all the security measures taken by the landlord to ensure the safety of the tenant.
Like, as a tenant, you would be asked certain questions by the landlord, you could pose questions as well. For instance, know how well they would act in times of immediate need, the dos and don’ts, and other information. Undergo this process before you ink the rent agreement. Interestingly, asking questions would also give you a fair idea of how easy or rigid the landlord in sharing information.