Is Your Landlord a Good one?
An important feature of any rental is the person who owns or manages the home, the dreaded "landlord". There are many kinds of landlords out there, some are good and some are just a pain and a headache to deal with. Even if you have found the perfect rental it will all go down the drain if you have a terrible landlord or even worse a "slumlord". There are some simple tests to see how good the landlord will be and this is just through their answers to certain questions. This should be done before signing any contract.
Ask character indicating questions:
Asking questions that will show their personal character will let you know how they will react to problems that you may have for payments. For example; "John, I have some issues with my bank payment, I will need a couple weeks to get it taken care of before I can pay, will that be alright?" This may be something you will have to say to your landlord in the future and if they are not so empathetic then it could become a problem for you. Asking a question or making a statement, to find out how they would react to this kind of dilemma is needed. Here is a statement that will let you get a reaction from them and you will be able to see if they will have understanding for a situation like the one described. "The only thing I worry about in today's times is my job security. I recently worked for a company for 5 years and suddenly they scheduled a meeting and cut half the staff, it took me 7 months to find the job I hold now. It really did damage to my 401K." Add in a little shake of the head and listen to their response, if it is sympathetic then they are likely to understand, if something were to happen and they will often be willing to work with you until you get something figured out, within a reasonable timeframe, of course.
Ask questions that will indicate their beliefs:
Finding out what your future landlord believes in is quite important, if they believe all people are evil and no one is as great as they are then you may not want to be their tenant. Having a power hungry landlord is a bad thing; they will make your life hell. Make statements that reflect your own beliefs and see where they agree. If you do not want to express your personal beliefs to them right off the bat, tell a story of a friend and what he believes in. If this is done then you are sure to know how much you can relate to your new landlord and having a positive relationship with the super will be great for a standing and long-lasting relationship.
There are many other ways to find out about your landlord such as a background check or asking around for character references on them. Usually though with a little use of questions or baiting you can find out more about them than they think they are telling.