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How to Talk (and Not Talk) to a Landlord

Always be honest when talking to a potential Landlord, but be careful what you say.  Landlords often make judgements on potential renters very quickly.  If you want to make a good first impression and be seriously considered as a rental applicant, follow this advice:

DO NOT mention that you have to move because you didn't pay your last Landlord.  If a Landlord asks and this did happen, just say you ran into financial problems and are looking to rent a place that is more affordable.  You realize you were in over your head and are being smarter about your finances now.

DO NOT lie when the Landlord asks if you smoke. If you do smoke, say so and add that you have no problem signing an agreement to smoke outside only.

DO NOT lie about having pets.  If you have pets, describe them in a way that a potential Landlord would appreciate hearing such as, "I have 2 adult cats who are fully trained and well-behaved. I would be willing to pay a pet damage deposit; however, it may not be necessary as I have excellent references."

Things you SHOULD say

Again, be honest here. 

"Let me tell you a little bit about myself..."

"I have no problem paying my rent on time..."

"I have excellent references..."

What Landlords have said:

"I had a potential tenant tell me that they would get rid of their dog if I didn't allow dogs.  I didn't rent to them because it made me feel that they were irresponsible as pet owners, and possibly as tenants. I felt bad for the poor dog, and I didn't want that on my conscience."

"I would rather someone tell me they smoke than lie about it."

"I like it when potential tenants offer up information about themselves, instead of me feeling like I have to interrogate them."

"One thing I really dislike is when the first question out of a potential tenant's mouth is 'would you considering renting for less?'  It makes me feel like they can't afford to pay what I'm asking. It's a big turn-off."

"Tenants should really watch what they say on Facebook, Twitter, and so on. I Google everyone and you'd be surprised what I find."

>> Watch How to Call About An Apartment



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