13 Statements Landlords Say That You Should 'Watch Out' For
When looking for a house, there are a number of promises a potential landlord can mention to you just to lure you into getting into their houses. However, not everything they often say will be truly delivered as said.
Landlords come in all shapes and sizes, attitudes and fortitudes. Some thought this was an easy way to earn high income especially in the boom years of 2017-2019 that has seen gazillion landlords over the world. But when the market crashed, so did most of them. With that drastic shift, most ended up being desperate and selling stories you'd never imagine existed.
Here are all verbal statements you need to watch out on;
1. "You'll get your deposit back"
Don't just take his or her word for it, ensure your landlord secures your deposit into a Tenancy deposit scheme, preferably before you move in. Ask him or her which scheme they are planning to use and when they're depositing this cash. The fact that you are asking about this immediately informs the landlord that you are very clued up on the issue
2. "Everything is in working order"
Seeing is believing. During the inventory, test everything for yourself; the heating, taps, toilet flush, sockets ... Even open and close all windows and doors for good measure if you have to because once you move in, the landlord will become increasingly reluctant to fix any outstanding issue.
3. "Just pay for it, I'll refund"
Anything that needs fixing or replacing is your landlord's responsibility. Ensure he pays directly for the charges. Never give your landlord cash — most of them misuse it.
4." That 15-foot hole in the roof will be fixed before you move in"
During the viewing, if you notice anything that's a little off-key, ensure it is fixed before you sign any contract or pay a deposit. Do not take your tight-fisted landlord's word for it. Be firm about what the deal breaker is for you.
5."A copy of the tenancy agreement will be sent to you online"
The fine print is something you need to have your hands on before using your money on anything, whether it's a car lease, a tenancy agreement...A legal landmine is something you don't want to have. Yes, it takes time. And no, it is never fun. But which sounds more fun, not handing over even a penny until you have this agreement so you can properly understand the contract or living miserably in a place you paid for?
6." Sign this lease fast, many people want this house"
Hasty decisions rarely benefit anyone. Most desperate landlords will try to create an illusionary urgency to pressure you into prematurely signing a lease. Feign disinterest if you have to, to avoid being vulnerable to this tactic as patience truly is a virtue when it comes to anything long-term.
7."This property is well-managed"
All that glitters is never is gold. Remember, a coat of paint and cheap carpeting can make a dump look decent. Is your potential home clean? Like really clean? Unresolved issues can seriously impact one's health negatively. Get a good idea of the home's condition because your landlord can easily blame pre-existing damage on you. Take pictures of such if you have to.
8."It looks exactly like the pictures"
You would think viewing pictures online lets you know exactly what you're getting. Well, this is where you go wrong because according to Lucas Hall, a chief 'landlordologist' at Cory company in the US says that, "An inexpensive lens can visually add 100 square feet to a room" which can be a very big disappointment to the potential tenant.
Also, "The old phrase, 'A picture never lies' was said long before the invention of the Photoshop and fisheye lenses."
9." Send me the money and the place is all yours"
Don't ever rent sight unseen due to misleading advertising.
Never give a 'landlord' money for a house or rental you haven't set eyes on since you never even make it to the viewing phase. This is because the so-called landlord never shows up as the property never even existed, to begin with.
10."This is a very safe neighborhood"
A desperate landlord may make an unsafe neighborhood seem safe within a second just by telling you how secure it is. In such cases, especially if it's a new place, research is critical and looking for hints e.g very few or no neighbors at all in apartments that could be two-plus years old. Asking the landlord to give you a reference from a former tenant may also be the next best way to find out. Unless you want your car vandalized after every two weeks or a former tenant having access to your place just because the landlord didn't take back the keys or change the locks.
11."This is an excellent neighborhood"
Terrible neighbors is something you wouldn't wish even on your worst enemies. Everything could be perfect but if your neighbors are the worst, your life may as well be your worst nightmare. Overextended welcomes, blasting music, and encroachment of property are things your life would be a living hell with. Get your landlord's opinion on this but don't be afraid to take extra measures to ensure a smooth way to live side by side.
12. "You can reach me at any time"
Once you have moved in, seeing or reaching the landlord becomes more and more difficult for reasons I can't put my hands on. Some of them disappear and only reappear during the collection of rent or even viewing when a potential tenant is found.
To avoid this, ensuring everything is in order before signing the lease is important.
13. "I'll always inform you when I visit"
4 in 5 landlords do not inform their tenants prior to their visits which is against the law as you deserve the privacy you've paid for. Banging on your tenant's door at ungodly hours or using a spare key to get into their place just because you can when they are not around is very unethical.