Whether you’re a real estate agent or a potential tenant, finding out the truth about a rental space can be difficult. Online reviews, if there are any, aren’t always truthful and accurate. Most times, you’ll need the help of a professional to evaluate the “health” of a building. But what if you can’t afford to hire a professional or you don’t have time to consult with one? How do you figure out if the rental property has been managed well? Below are 5 common signs of good building management that you should be on the lookout for.
Absence Of Watermarks And Mold
Any good property manager will make sure that the indoor air quality of a space is good. Indoor air pollution is not something to be taken lightly. Mold can cause a number of health concerns which include headaches, nausea, and aggravation of asthma. While checking for mold is something that is typically done by a professional. But, as we’ve already mentioned, it’s not exactly easy to get a professional to do the evaluation for you, especially if you’re just a potential tenant.
However, there are ways you can do this on your own. You don’t even have to buy a DIY mold testing kit. What you need to do first is to check if the air smells clean, not musty or stale. Look for moisture or water damage, especially in bathrooms and the kitchen.
No watermarks in corners or on the ceiling indicate that the landlord or property manager maintains the humidity inside the building at a healthy level. To maintain a healthy level of humidity, he/she must ensure that the air in the space is dehumidified as well as circulated or moved properly. Good ventilation is key. Having a dehumidifier in the space can also help. The absence of watermarks also indicates that he/she takes care of any leaky plumbing as soon as possible which brings us to the second point.
Good property management means regular inspections to ensure that the property is safe and in compliance. It also means repairs are done in a timely fashion. So, how do you find out if the amenities are in tip-top shape? First, keep your eyes open for any damage to high traffic areas such as staircases, hallways, the front yard, walkway, and elevators.
These are areas that are used most frequently by all tenants and will require the most maintenance. Broken tiles loosely bolted railing, and an unlit hallway may indicate the slow response time of the property manager. Inside the rental space such as an apartment, check the facilities to make sure that none are in need of repair. Lastly, ask the landlord what’s the protocol when asking for maintenance. Finding out the maintenance setup will also give you an idea of how responsive the management is when asked for repairs.
Low Vacancy Rates
While low rent is definitely one way of ensuring that a building is always fully occupied, good building management still plays an important role. No matter how cheap the rent is, too many problems with the rental property such as poor plumbing, unlit hallways, and mold in the bathrooms will prevent people from staying in an apartment building. If you’re renting an apartment, the quickest way to determine the vacancy rate of the building is to ask the landlord if most tenants are long-term.
This will let you know if people love staying there or are just itching to move out once they find a better place. If no one wants to leave, there’s a good chance that the building is well-managed. This question gives you the added benefit of finding out who the neighbors will be based on the type of renters who are in the building – families, students, young professionals, or senior citizens.
Easy Access To Important Information
All tenants should be well-informed about important developments in the building such as changes in policy, amenities that are currently under repair, and possible disruption of utilities such as power outages. Look for a bulletin board where notices and memos can be posted. Ask the landlord or property manager how he keeps the tenants informed. If a property manager isn’t concerned about letting tenants know what’s happening inside the building, then how can you expect him to stay on top of maintenance and repairs?
Good Quality Windows
Most renters won’t notice the quality of the windows of an apartment unless one or more of them are broken. However, old or poor quality windows can actually be a problem. They may not be sealed properly and cause heat to go out instead of staying in which can cause the heating bill to rise. It can also let moisture in and cause mold to develop. A good property manager will ensure that all windows are drought-proof.
While a professional may be able to get into the bare bones of a building, you can still get aboard idea of the quality of the building’s management by checking for these 5 signs.