6 Serious Warning Signs of a Bad Landlord

Story Highlights
  • No.1 - The deal is too good to be true
  • No.2 - Release the lease
  • No.3 - The curious case of the missing landlord
  • No.4 - First impressions last
  • No.5 - Previous (or existing) tenants have negative experiences
  • No.6 - The building is an eye-sore

So, you’ve found the perfect house to rent: beautiful garden, amazing views and a spacious home that is pet-friendly.

But, the only thing missing is the fact that this gorgeous abode is not your own!

Whilst you might enjoy living on a rental property, landlords are often a huge problem for law-abiding tenants. There are hundreds of stories out there about landlords that refuse to do maintenance, or who are slack or simply impossible to get hold of in an emergency.

Before your dream rental home becomes a nightmare, make sure that you heed these 6 flashing warnings signs of a bad landlord:

No.1 – The deal is too good to be true

The lease seems like it can’t get any better, but you know the saying: if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Even though it is true that a desperate landlord might offer you an amazing deal, most of the time the chances are that you are going to be taken for a ride – especially if you’re in a hot rental market.

Watch out for rental scams before you fall prey to them!

No.2 – Release the lease

Often a landlord suggests making a deal verbally instead of doing it on paper, or if there is a rental lease, it is nowhere to be seen.

Make sure that you sign the lease before moving in and trusting the landlord.

The terms of the lease, the limits of the occupancy, and any other policies pertaining to your house should be clearly stipulated.

Also, ensure that there is clarity on who is in charge of maintenance and the reasons that are given for the landlord to be inside your home at any given time.

No.3 – The curious case of the missing landlord

As we already said, some landlords are just completely M.I.A. most of the time. So, if your future landlord is difficult to get hold of, even before signing the rental agreement, you should cut your losses and move on.

Imagine if something went wrong and you need to get hold of them urgently!

No.4 – First impressions last

Unfortunately, this is the way the cookie crumbles and renting out property is ultimately a business decision.

If your landlord is late, tardy, messy or unprofessional without any valid excuses, your warning lights should go off.

A healthy communication line should be established from day one in order to avoid any type of drama.

Rude, unfriendly landlords are an absolute no-no.

No.5 – Previous (or existing) tenants have negative experiences

The proof is always in the pudding and if existing or previous tenants have bad stories to tell about the landlord, it is wise for you to listen to them.

People will definitely talk about whether or not the landlord is keeping his or her side of the agreement – plus you might just find some online reviews.

Keep your eyes and ears open!

No.6 – The building is an eye-sore

A building that looks worse for wear is a sign of neglect and it shows what the landlord’s view on maintenance is.

If the exterior of the house or garden is properly tended to, it should be a good indication as to what is going on inside. In the case of a flat or security complex, check the common areas and see whether they are properly maintained. This will give you a good idea of what the units look like.

Landlords and tenants can have beautiful relationships, but the tone should be set from the start.

As a tenant, it is your prerogative to feel comfortable, safe and clean in the environment where you choose to stay.

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  1. I am having a problem withmy current agent .my water bill is coming to me direct .when asked some the owners at the same complax .they are far less water bill than I am paying .

    We only shower once a day ,kitchen wash the dishes once a day and toilet we flash once when have number two and we use grey water when we pee .we don’t do washing .but the water bill is always high.

    I looking for a new apartment and the one I saw had filthy Carpets but the rent is good the carpets can use sinus.

    Other thing some agent are making extra money for renting out the garage and yet the garage is part of the whole of the apartment what do you do if a agent asks you to pay extra money for the garage.

    Kindly Regards

    1. Hi Tsitsi, thanks for commenting. Regarding the water issue, we suggest you reach out to the Managing Agent of the complex/estate to inspect your water consumption and also ensure that the water meter is linked to the correct unit. As for your question about the garage, this really all depends on the owner (not the agent). It is the owners right to rent out his/her space anyway they’d like to, so if you are not happy about anything specific, try to discuss/negotiate a deal that works for both parties, and if you can’t, then move on and keep looking until you find the perfect space. Hope this helps.

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