Finding the Right Landlord when you Rent


As more and more of the nation turn away from homeownership, the number of people renting has increased greatly. Many of those now living in rental homes were once homeowners.   Some are no longer able to own their own home due to foreclosures and bad credit reports, while others are unable to purchase a home due to more restrictive credit standards.

Make no mistake; there are benefits to renting a place to live.  To begin with, as a renter, you often do not have to worry about maintenance and repair costs. If something breaks, the landlord or superintendent is usually the one to repair and replace it.  Along with this, there are those rental options where some utilities are included.  Credit requirements are also less strict for those who rent as opposed to those who purchase a home.

With renting on the rise, finding the right place to rent, and to live, can at times be a lengthy process.  Perhaps the most important part of this process is finding the right landlord.  It is important to recognize the signs of what a bad landlord might look like.

-Privacy is something we all value.  It is important that your landlord is one that respects your privacy, instead of ignores it.

-Your landlord should be one that is relatively easy to get a hold of, in times of emergency.  Bad landlords are those not only are difficult to get a hold of, but also dodge or ignore your questions and your concerns. 

-If you notice that the building or complex you wish to rent is showing signs of wear and tear, this may be a sign that your landlord does not place importance on maintenance. This includes both the interior and the outside, or exterior, of the place where you want to live.

When trying to avoid a bad landlord, and instead get a great one, you have to do a little work before you sign a lease or agreement.  First of all, it is important to ask lots of questions of your future landlord.   Try and learn about how maintenance issues are handled, and which repairs are covered.  Talk to other tenants and try to determine how they feel about the landlord.   Do some research on your potential landlord.  The internet is a wonderful tool to discover if he has had any legal difficulties, or if he has been taken to civil court.  Finally, read over the lease in full.  If need be, ask your attorney to read it over, as well.

  If you are stuck with a bad landlord, even the best living condition can be a terrible experience.

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About Dr. John DeGarmo

Dr. DeGarmo has a B.A. in History, a Masters in Media Technology, a Masters in Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Walden University. Dr. DeGarmo wrote his dissertation on Responding to the Needs of Foster Children Face While in Rural Schools.  He is the author of several books, including the highly inspirational book Fostering Love: One Foster Parent's Journey,  and the foster care children's book A Different Home: A New Foster Child’s Story. He is the host of the weekly radio show Foster Talk with Dr. John. Dr. DeGarmo is a dynamic speaker and informative trainer on the foster care system, and travels extensively, meeting with foster parents, child welfare workers, churches, schools, and organizations.  He writes regularly for many magazines, and is a regular contributor to several publications and newsletters, both in the United States and in Europe. Dr. DeGarmo is married to Dr. Kelly DeGarmo, who hails from Australia, and the two of them have six children, both biological and adoptive.  Dr. DeGarmo and his wife are also currently foster parents to five siblings, bringing their household to eleven children.  Dr. DeGarmo has been a foster parent for dozens of children for over a decade now.  He has a passion for foster children, and is driven to bring education and insight into general society about all things foster care. You may contact him at, on Facebook at Dr. John DeGarmo, Twitter @drjohndegarmo, or at his website,