When checking out townhomes for rent, it's a good idea to learn the tricks that folks use when listing them. Keep an eye out for these four clever ways you can spot potential long-term problems that might come up when dealing with a property or a landlord.
Seemingly Too Colorful Listings
A major trend that has followed with the rise of listing townhomes online is the use of tools like Photoshop to give property listing pictures a boost. You can spot these listings because the colors, especially things like the reds, blues and greens, seem to be just a little too bright and saturated. It's not necessarily disqualifying that a listing looks this way, but your radar should be up to detect any other indicators of fishiness.
Who Handles Maintenance?
Should a listing not indicate exactly who'll be taking care of a townhouse, you'll definitely want to ask some follow-up questions about that. Some landlords just don't think it's a topic to bring up in a listing, but it will mean a lot to you while you live there. It's better to iron out such questions before you even stop by to check a place out that to be stuck dealing with it in the dead of winter when the heating system fails.
This is a case where something could be either a strong net negative a serious positive. The use of a property management firm isn't, by definition, problematic, but it may be a sign you're going to end up dealing with an absentee landlord. In the absence of regular contact with the landlord, a lot will hinge on just how good the property manager is. On the bright side, this is also an opportunity to talk with references and to get a sense of what you'll be dealing with as a tenant.
An Excessive Number of No's
To some extent, looking at townhomes to rent can be a bit like dating. If someone you're talking with seems to have an overload of things they can't stand about tenants, you have to start wondering if there might be something up. Some people just aren't cut out to be in the rental business, and one of the most obvious signs is lingering anger from their interactions with previous renters. This frequently manifests itself as a laundry list of no's, such as no pets, kids, young tenants and onward.