If you want to make a good impression with a landlord and be chosen for their rental place, listen to what they have to say. Some of the things you’ll read here are common sense, but putting yourself in a landlord’s shoes will help you understand what they sometimes have to put up with.
As written by real landlords:
- If you can’t make an appointment to view the property, phone or text me to cancel. This is a very big deal because you might have been my only showing and now you’ve wasted my time waiting for you. You don’t know how many places I own or rent out which means you will never get a second chance with me. Remember that especially in small communities, landlords talk to each other.
- Make up a tenant resume, a one-page showing a brief outline of your family or whoever will be living with you. Also add how you make money. Dress appropriately when you meet the landlord. No ripped jeans, offensive t-shirts etc.
- Follow instructions in the ad for rent. Complete and submit as requested. Don’t contact a landlord and say “call me” without following the instructions.
- In my ads I ask for full name (first and last), who will be living in the unit including pets, and how rent will be paid. If they don’t answer these questions when contacting me, I don’t email back.
- 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.
- Bring your references to the showing and dress neat and professional. This will show that you are really wanting that suite in particular and aren’t going to be looking around elsewhere. Also, bring all children and pets so that they can meet me; we want to meet everyone that will be under our roof. I also recommend keeping a clean vehicle as I always have myself and another individual at my viewing; one of us will show the suite and the other will meet the prospective tenant outside. Often times, the tenant who doesn’t keep their vehicle clean won’t keep my suite clean.
- I would rather someone tell me they smoke than lie about it. I’m fine with renting to a smoker (as long as they smoke outside), but I’m not fine with renting to a liar. If I find out they smoke after they’ve moved in, I will remember this when it comes time to provide a rental reference.
- Be on time for showings. Be honest. Fill out an application if needed. I want to know who’s walking through my house beforehand.
- I like it when potential tenants offer up information about themselves, instead of me feeling like I have to interrogate them.
- Avoid any vagueness. Landlords don’t like unknown people in their property. Don’t say “my boyfriend will be living with me” if this “boyfriend” isn’t mentioned by name and isn’t present at the showing. The landlord thinks “hmm, I wonder why I don’t get to meet him?”. Don’t say “I might get a roommate” or “my cousin will probably be here later to help with the rent”. Everyone who is moving in should be at the showing or whenever the landlord is met. Put all adults who will be living there on the application so there are no vague identities.
- 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 social media sites like Facebook. I google everyone and you’d be surprised what I find.
- Don’t lie. Most of us are not that dumb. Just because we don’t call you out on it doesn’t mean we didn’t catch on
- Don’t over act. When someone I met 5 seconds ago is acting like an old friend and overly happy and friendly, that’s a red flag. They want me to like them because, on paper, they probably have something to hide.
- My biggest pet peeve on Facebook is when potential tenants just hit the button that says – Is this available? I mean, you couldn’t have taken the time to write something even remotely different so I know you’re a human. I don’t bother responding.
You may also want to take a look at the post called 4 Steps To Getting The Rental You Want (with samples of what to say).