Have you ever rented an apartment that turned out to be a dud?  Often times most people get caught up in the excitement of renting a new place that they focus on the qualities they love and simply forget the red flags that were glaring at them from the very beginning.  Trust your gut – if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.  Watch for some of the signs that something might be shady.

– Keep an eye out for signs of neglect or unsafe conditions.  Does the property look poorly maintained with peeling paint, broken glass, or appliances.  Are there smoke detectors, working locks, and adequate exits in case of emergencies?  If a Landlord is willing to show an apartment in a state of disrepair, chances are he or she will be slow to address any maintenance issues.

– Beware of an overeager Landlord who isn’t concerned with running credit checks or verifying income or if they are more than willing to drop the monthly rent.  If the price is ridiculously cheap, there is often a hidden reason.  Ask point-blank why the rent is so low and gauge their answer carefully.

– If the Landlord is not able to provide you with a lease to review or if there is no lease at all, do not rent from them.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, listen to your instincts and ask specific/direct questions: Why is this broken? How fast do you answer repair requests?  If the answers seem vague walk away and continue your search.

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