Before joining Preferental as a tenant, Maria had a few negative experiences with an indifferent and unconcerned landlord. She shares one such experience with us:

“An agent arranged for me to see an apartment and there I noticed a large hole in the ceiling. I was told that the apartment was being repaired and the hole would be fixed when I moved in. On the day I moved in, I had already paid the deposit and rent but the ceiling still wasn’t fixed. I tried contacting the owner and agent and despite many promises, the ceiling remained unrepaired for the duration of my stay at the apartment.”

Maria’s situation is one of many negative experiences tenants have had to endure due to unresponsive and unconcerned landlords. Tenants need a way to avoid bad renting experiences before a lease agreement is signed.

Below are a few tips to help tenants avoid bad renting experiences:

1. Research the property listing: The property’s online listing is a good source of information to take a close look at the property.

Tenants should closely work through the photos provided and ensure that they match the description of the property on the listing. The photos are essentially a tenant’s virtual tour of the property, therefore listings should have a variety of photos showcasing various features and parts of the home. Where pictures are blurry or insufficient, the tenant should contact the agent or landlord requesting clear and up to date photos.

2. Scheduled Viewings and Inspections: Tenants have two further opportunities to view a property and make a list of any issues they feel need to be tended to before moving in. These are during a scheduled viewing and during the incoming inspection.

In Property Power publication’s 12th edition, tenants are advised to “take down as much information about the property and the people you are meeting with, as you can” during a scheduled viewing. It is helpful to make a list of things that are important to you and any questions you may have before the actual viewing.

It is important to remember that the scheduled viewing is not the same as a property inspection. The incoming inspection is conducted to formally record a property’s condition before a tenant moves in, or within seven days after the lease agreement has been signed. Preferental offers tenants and landlords a free mobile application to conduct property inspection virtually and jointly throughout the year. All photos taken are time and date stamped so both parties have documented proof of the state of a property. This will protect both the tenant and landlord should issues arise in the future.