2 Quick Apartment Hunting Tips

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Apartment Ownership and Management

Not every owner or manager is created the same. The family-owned business has been replaced by larger regional and national companies who often invest money into their properties based on the old adage, “if it isn’t broken, don’t worry about it.” In other words, they don’t do preventive maintenance and they are slow to respond to requests, even simple requests, for improvement.

Absentee management is usually fairly easy to spot as it presents itself in the general appearance of a building, it’s cleanliness and aesthetics. Dirty hallways, over-flowing trash bins, and high grass are signals to a prospective renter that the apartment has poor management and maintenance.

Apartment Ratings

How does one find out if a building has good management? One way is to check sites like Apartment Ratings. This site offers prospective residents feedback on how current and past tenants feel about a property. Sometimes the review process can be complicated, so take it with a grain of salt. An upset or irate renter is more likely to post a review than someone satisfied with his or her renting experience. The total number of reviews is important; the greater the number of reviews, the more credibility can be given to ratings. A small number of reviews on an individual property provides insufficient data (no different than the scientific or medical studies we are more familiar with) for the prospective renter to use in making a decision.

Do your homework. Ask your friends what they know of the property. The leasing agent and office staff are a reflection of management. If they aren’t helpful, friendly, or responsive, one should not be surprised if the maintenance team is also not exceptional.

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