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Renter? 10 Things You Won’t Hear From Your Landlord

Whether because of the bad housing market or a negative balance in their savings account, many are stuck renting an apartment. With the many positives like no yard-work, come many negatives. According to Smart Money, there are ten things your landlord will never say to you. Here is a quick summary:

  1. “This building is in foreclosure.” – Congress passed the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which gives tenants at least 90 days from the foreclosure sale to move out (up from 30 days previously.) Provided the owner
  2. “You should complain more.” – Most states require landlords to keep the property in good repair, with home systems and appliances in working order. Plus, keeping the property owner informed can actually help a problem get fixed faster.
  3. “I’ll negotiate on more then the rent.” – Studies have found that landlords are willing to lower security deposits or upgrade to a better unit without raising the rent if renters just ask.
  4. “Your neighbor is not my problem.” – States’ tenant rights laws make it tough for landlords to intervene when there isn’t a clear violation of the lease. Try first to work things out with your neighbor. If that doesn’t work, report problem to the landlord and police as well so the situation is well documented.
  5. “You may have more rights then I do.” – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a database of tenants’ rights by state, including groups that offer assistance with disputes.
  6. “I don’t know about your problems – and I like it that way.” – While a landlord is ultimately responsible for providing habitable housing, they hire management companies precisely so they don’t have to deal with the day-to-day decision-making and every tenant request.
  7. “I never wanted to do this.” – There are many “accidental” landlords who wouldn’t be renting out their property if we weren’t in a recession. When renting, always ask how long the property has been a rental and why the landlord decided to rent it out.
  8. “If you smoke, you can’t rent.” – Laws in several states require landlords to disclose smoking policies upfront, so if it’s important for you to be able to light up indoors check the details before signing a lease.
  9. “What you see is what you get.” – Assume the condition of the apartment you’re viewing is about what it will be when you move in. If the landlord promises to make repairs, get it in writing.
  10. “You’ll pay for my rebellion.” – The building or community homeowners’ association may have it in for you. Check the association rules (aka covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CCRs) before signing a lease. Also check whether the association will fine the property owner or reach out to you directly, to better head off problems.