How to Assess Property Management and Take Your Rental Experience to the Next Level

Renters are often given advice, but property management is not normally on the checklist for them to consider. Without quality caretakers, however, a rental home is unlikely to be a positive experience. Attention to detail and a consistent, responsive attitude toward addressing complaints are the marks of a high-quality supervisory company. Families considering a rental normally consider several factors, including location, proximity to work, good schools, and public transportation. Budget is another important topic, as is the condition of the rental itself. Even a low-cost apartment close to work and school isn’t a pleasant place to live unless the building and grounds are kept in good condition and repairs and other issues are addressed quickly and consistently. This is where the property management company becomes important.

Prospective renters can begin their inspection before even entering the apartment. The landscaping is a reflection of the care the building receives. Grass should be neatly trimmed, bushes should be kept cut back, and flower beds mulched and neat. The outside of the building, common areas, and hallways should be clean and well maintained. In winter, sidewalks and pathways should be safely cleared of ice and snow. Paths and curbs should be kept in good repair, with cracks or potholes patched. It’s important for prospective renters to take note of the care taken of the building and grounds. Good care reflects an expectation of quality service and upkeep.

One of the most telling signs of the quality of the care the building receives is the cleanliness of the apartments being shown. Prospective renters should be aware of the finer details when inspecting the rooms. Signs of lax care include worn or torn carpets and linoleum; dirt built up in corners, around tubs, sinks, and toilets; and poorly maintained windows and doors. Renters should check areas like the refrigerator and stove top for cleanliness. If a caretaker doesn’t prepare the apartment to be shown, they will be unlikely to maintain a consistent schedule of maintenance. A good property management company will maintain a regular schedule of maintenance and checkups to ensure repairs are carried out quickly and that the building is properly cared for, ensuring the rentals remain comfortable and attractive.

Finally, apartment seekers should ask questions about maintenance, expectations, and procedures. Is there a contact person to call in case of a broken pipe or another maintenance emergency? Is there a caretaker on the grounds at all times? How often is heavy cleaning, like carpet steaming, carried out? It is important to understand the expectations involved in any rental contract and to spell out who is responsible for cleaning, basic maintenance, and procuring repairs in the apartment. If at all possible, renters should speak to other residents to learn more about the oversight of the building and to understand what to expect from the company. With a little research, renters can find that living in an apartment is an easy choice for themselves and their families.