Author Topic: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?  (Read 504 times)

Holyoak

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Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« on: September 06, 2017, 08:27:16 AM »
Why/why is this not so far out of line?  Regardless, I always get a bad feeling when a potential landlord gets snotty, or flat out won't email it before I might view the unit.  They have no problem sizing me up on the phone/email asking about my credit/family situation/job, and income sources to judge if I can even get a shot at seeing it, yet when I ask for a a voided copy of the lease to look over prior to seeing the place, it's as if I told them to go to hell.

I never used to be this way, until within the last 5 or so years of renting; Seeing large development leases that have pages of super micro print, nearly needing an attorney to go over it, private home rentals having leases that specify the tenant is responsible for all repairs up to $75, tenant is responsible for all appliance repair cost, and other weird gotcha crap...  I'd rather know all of these deal-breakers, before I commit to viewing a sight-unseen listing, no photos classified listing, with a 140 mile round trip.  Thanks.



   

therethere

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 08:55:49 AM »
As a lifetime renter I think it is fair and important. I've never asked for it but I think in the future I will.

But I also think in an ideal world that private landlords should provide tenants with their recent credit report... Why should they know everything about you but you know nothing about them? So unfair.
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bigalsmith101

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 09:17:53 AM »
It sounds very much like you're dealing with an old-school owner. The landlord is not even posting photos with his classified listing. He's not looking for somebody that is going to ask a lot of questions, he wants it easy, and he has no time for other things. I'd be willing to bet he's in the older generation and is not used to acquiescing to the things you're asking for. Regardless of how simple it is.

You're totally within a normal frame of mind, and I would ask for a lease agreement as well if I had to drive 140mi round trip. If the deal is too good to be true, maybe you'll have to make the effort, but otherwise, NEXT!
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YttriumNitrate

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 07:30:12 AM »
As a landlord, during the screening process I am continually looking for clues as to what kind of tenant the person will be. Asking for a copy of the lease before even viewing the place would make me suspect you've gotten into some lease related disputes with previous landlords. Perhaps they were entirely the fault of the landlord, perhaps they were not. It may not be fair, but given two equally qualified potential tenants, and one asked for a lease before seeing the place, the other is going to be given preference.

rothwem

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 08:58:26 AM »
As a landlord, during the screening process I am continually looking for clues as to what kind of tenant the person will be. Asking for a copy of the lease before even viewing the place would make me suspect you've gotten into some lease related disputes with previous landlords. Perhaps they were entirely the fault of the landlord, perhaps they were not. It may not be fair, but given two equally qualified potential tenants, and one asked for a lease before seeing the place, the other is going to be given preference.

This.  I would provide one, but I'd be a bit suspicious that the lease is your biggest concern and you'd probably be moved down to the bottom of my list of prospective tenants.

Plus, its a pain in the butt to show a unit, especially if its occupied, since then its an issue for your current renters as well.  I'd hate to go through the effort to have you show up and go, "Hmm.  The closets are a bit small, I think I'll pass", or even no-show at all. 

Holyoak

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 10:30:48 AM »
Well, for this particular situation/landlord, it mostly had to do with a no photos listing, a 140 mile round trip, and a person who was bothered and prickly about a few simple basic questions, way before I asked about seeing the lease.  How refreshing it is to speak with a potential LL who is courteous, and polite (my nature), rather than many who treat you as if you are bothering them.  Christ, I called one LL whose rental was literally next door to his home, as in 8' between walls, and when asked what the address was he could not tell me...  Not that he didn't want to, he didn't know!  Had to gruffly yell out to his wife "Judy, what's the address of the rental".  Not shitting you, and he lived in this soon to be rental home, for decades.   

Even dealing with a potential rental next door, and a pleasant potential LL, it really sucks to like the place, then see B.S. stipulations in the lease as I have experienced and mention in my post.  I figured if at least the lease was reasonable/no red flag deal breakers, I'd go see it, rather than waste my time, my fuel, and have it be a pain in my butt, because so little was known about it because of a lazy, grouchy potential LL.  Being the lease is a legally binding document (they sure love to emphasize this), it IS one of my biggest concerns.  I can understand LL gut feelings, but when you have nothing to work with, my gut feelings, my looking for poor LL clues/cues come into play as well, especially for this rental.  Yeah, I know, it will rent just the same in this crazy tight rental market, just the same you don't need to be an unpleasant asshole, just because you think you have the upper hand.

bobechs

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 11:17:16 AM »
just the same you don't need to be an unpleasant asshole, just because you think you have the upper hand.

 just the same you don't need to be an unpleasant asshole, just because you think you have the upper hand.

Then why be a LL at all?

This seems to be one of the gratifications they savor, at least the ones that speak up on the internet.

rothwem

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 12:25:31 PM »
just the same you don't need to be an unpleasant asshole, just because you think you have the upper hand.

 just the same you don't need to be an unpleasant asshole, just because you think you have the upper hand.

Then why be a LL at all?

This seems to be one of the gratifications they savor, at least the ones that speak up on the internet.

Oof, really?

Jon Bon

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 12:40:05 PM »
As a landlord, during the screening process I am continually looking for clues as to what kind of tenant the person will be. Asking for a copy of the lease before even viewing the place would make me suspect you've gotten into some lease related disputes with previous landlords. Perhaps they were entirely the fault of the landlord, perhaps they were not. It may not be fair, but given two equally qualified potential tenants, and one asked for a lease before seeing the place, the other is going to be given preference.

This.  I would provide one, but I'd be a bit suspicious that the lease is your biggest concern and you'd probably be moved down to the bottom of my list of prospective tenants.

Plus, its a pain in the butt to show a unit, especially if its occupied, since then its an issue for your current renters as well.  I'd hate to go through the effort to have you show up and go, "Hmm.  The closets are a bit small, I think I'll pass", or even no-show at all.

While you could be 100% right, my gut reaction would be different. To me it sounds like they have their ducks in a row. There is always the possibility they are just being thorough? Also I rent to lots of students who regularly get completely abused by their prior landlords. So its possible they are looking for a certain clause that they got burned on in the past.

I would def not drop them down the list. I LOVE tenants that are on top of things, that means they dont forget when the rent is due!

But that is just one LL's view YMMV.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 01:15:56 PM »
Well, for this particular situation/landlord, it mostly had to do with a no photos listing, a 140 mile round trip, and a person who was bothered and prickly about a few simple basic questions, way before I asked about seeing the lease.  How refreshing it is to speak with a potential LL who is courteous, and polite (my nature), rather than many who treat you as if you are bothering them.  Christ, I called one LL whose rental was literally next door to his home, as in 8' between walls, and when asked what the address was he could not tell me...  Not that he didn't want to, he didn't know!  Had to gruffly yell out to his wife "Judy, what's the address of the rental".  Not shitting you, and he lived in this soon to be rental home, for decades.   

Even dealing with a potential rental next door, and a pleasant potential LL, it really sucks to like the place, then see B.S. stipulations in the lease as I have experienced and mention in my post.  I figured if at least the lease was reasonable/no red flag deal breakers, I'd go see it, rather than waste my time, my fuel, and have it be a pain in my butt, because so little was known about it because of a lazy, grouchy potential LL.  Being the lease is a legally binding document (they sure love to emphasize this), it IS one of my biggest concerns.  I can understand LL gut feelings, but when you have nothing to work with, my gut feelings, my looking for poor LL clues/cues come into play as well, especially for this rental.  Yeah, I know, it will rent just the same in this crazy tight rental market, just the same you don't need to be an unpleasant asshole, just because you think you have the upper hand.

If the rental market is tight, the landlord does have the upper hand. If vacancy is high, the renter has the upper hand. Both sides will use available leverage to get what they want.

The landlord tenant relationship needs to be a good fit. What is reasonable for one side, might not be reasonable for the other. The only national or state standards that exist are so low it's not really helpful. For example, the landlord must provide running water and a working toilet.

Instead of asking for a lease before seeing the unit, maybe just ask a few simple questions about their philosophy with the rental house. I think a conversation could include more meaningful information than a lease.

Cwadda

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2017, 01:40:17 PM »
Lol, I wouldn't even entertain a landlord unwilling to show you the lease before you drive 70 miles each way. Say thanks for your time and move on. I'd definitely show them a copy of the lease on request. No need to hide anything.

However: I will not show someone a property if they do not meet the rental application qualifications. This means no smoking/drugs, no pets, and income must be 3x the monthly rent. If they do not meet these qualifications, they have 1) not read the ad; and 2) I will not waste their time, just like I don't want my time to be wasted.

It's easy to be a good landlord, just do the opposite of all these idiotic, awful landlords. Simple! :)

Holyoak

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2017, 01:53:29 PM »
Regardless of a perceived upper hand by either, civility and a professional manner from either works all of the time, for every situation.

  Instead of asking for a lease before seeing the unit, maybe just ask a few simple questions about their philosophy with the rental house. I think a conversation could include more meaningful information than a lease.

That might work, for a certain type of LL, but not this one, or many others in my area IMO and experience, especially when it went like this on the first call:

Me: Hi, My name is Holyoak, I'm calling about the rental home.

LL: Whaddya want to know?

Me: I saw the ad stating it has 2 BRs, and a garage for $700/mo, what else can you tell me?

LL:  Big yard, just painted, nice place, so when do you wanna see it.

Me: Can you tell me if it's a two car garage, attached or detached, what kind of heat, and A/C?

LL: One attached, gas, no A/C, OK, OK?  So when do you wanna see it (snotty, impatient tone) ...

Look, I get that many things that involve being paid for a service or good is no picknick, but lets see here; No photos of the place, no address given to pre-scout, an extremely vague listing, and dealing with a pushy, impolite jackass.  I'm fully aware that many people are OK with situational ethics/morality, and smugness/being a dickhead when the situation suits them, and then all syrupy sweet/phoney humble when it doesn’t.  Not how I live my life, even when I have been fully within legal, and moral bounds to crush someone...  Some people just get off being assholes and self-serving phonies.




Cwadda

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 01:58:49 PM »
Regardless of a perceived upper hand by either, civility and a professional manner from either works all of the time, for every situation.

  Instead of asking for a lease before seeing the unit, maybe just ask a few simple questions about their philosophy with the rental house. I think a conversation could include more meaningful information than a lease.

That might work, for a certain type of LL, but not this one, or many others in my area IMO and experience, especially when it went like this on the first call:

Me: Hi, My name is Holyoak, I'm calling about the rental home.

LL: Whaddya want to know?

Me: I saw the ad stating it has 2 BRs, and a garage for $700/mo, what else can you tell me?

LL:  Big yard, just painted, nice place, so when do you wanna see it.

Me: Can you tell me if it's a two car garage, attached or detached, what kind of heat, and A/C?

LL: One attached, gas, no A/C, OK, OK?  So when do you wanna see it (snotty, impatient tone) ...

Look, I get that many things that involve being paid for a service or good is no picknick, but lets see here; No photos of the place, no address given to pre-scout, an extremely vague listing, and dealing with a pushy, impolite jackass.  I'm fully aware that many people are OK with situational ethics/morality, and smugness/being a dickhead when the situation suits them, and then all syrupy sweet/phoney humble when it doesn’t.  Not how I live my life, even when I have been fully within legal, and moral bounds to crush someone...  Some people just get off being assholes and self-serving phonies.

Yep, can them. Landlording is funny because the end result is the same, whether the landlord is an arrogant asshole or a nice person.  So eliminate the negativity and put more good people in your life, including your landlord! :D

Holyoak

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 06:20:33 PM »
I agree Cwadda...  So today I received a lease from a property I inquired about a few weeks ago.  Better in many ways from some I have seen lately, but still written by the Apartment Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Inc; same place that wrote the B.S. gotcha crap lease I saw a couple weeks earlier.  This lease contains:

26. REPAIRS
Landlord is required to perform only the following repairs:
(1) roof, (2) foundation, (3) structure, or (4) repairs required
by law. Tenant must pay for all other repairs. Tenant will
immediately tell Landlord in writing if any such repairs
are needed.


Does structure cover the toilet, water heater, stove, dishwasher, etc???  Yeah, I know, ask.  Just the same, kinda vague, and I need to look up PA statute and code too? 

17. EXTERMINATION OF PESTS
Landlord is responsible to eliminate any infestations of
insects, vermin, or other pests which may exist when
Tenant first takes possession of the Rental Unit, or which
are required by law. Tenant must report any pre-existing
infestations to Landlord in writing within the first five (5)
days of taking possession.

Tenant is responsible to provide all other exterminating
services required to eliminate any infestations of insects,
vermin, or other pests which occur in the Rental Unit
during this Lease.


So if a bee colony decides to fill a wall void, groundhog burrows under the garage, or termites infest the home I gotta cover it???  No effin way, are these LL's crazy?

No flammable, explosive, hazardous or toxic chemicals or
substances are allowed in or around the Rental Unit.


I have to cut the grass with a gasoline mower stored in the garage...  How exactly do I keep a can of gas around?  How bout extremely flammable nail polish, paint, paint thinner, WD-40, cooking oil, rubbing *and* drinking alcohol (hey I like 151 rum), etc fall under this category...  WTF?

Boy do I miss the days of 1/2 page leases, and a handshake.  I never had a problem with these, and they never had anything but an absolute model tenant...  They were always the best LL's too (had one build me a shooting berm in the backyard).  Well, I have another rental to consider, and hope the lease is along the lines of a half-page, and a handshake; not this corporatey legal mumbo-jumbo bullshit.  Damn, I know they gotta cover their ass, but these leases sure seem to leave mine hanging in the wind.       

Hargrove

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Re: Viewing the lease before seeing the rental... Thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 08:41:00 PM »
I would love to know my landlord is awful up front. Saves me a boatload of time jumping through hoops when instead I can move on to the next thing.

If an apartment is PERFECT, and the landlord treats you like an idiot for thinking you are anything but a mindless moneyhose there to fill his pool... the deal is garbage.

Landlords should not feel or think they must be social workers, or even as if they have to be on the property polishing it every day (or week). But ultimately, landlords have an extremely important responsibility for a crucial part of the lives of other people. If they approach that dreading the inconvenience of talking to a mere cog in their investments, haha, no thank you.

I read a lease once that made us responsible for trash removal at a complex with a dumpster. So I asked the landlords, a husband and wife, about it. They were amazed I was even reading the lease, and surprized the clause was even in there - they just took it out. That told me immediately

1) Concerns? We welcome you to bring them up!
2) We're willing to work with you.
3) We may not be the most organized on delivery of services, sorry.

1 and 2 were great, and I could live with 3. They were so fond of having me there that, when I was going to move, they said "well, what if we lowered your rent instead?" On my end, I pretend not to notice weeds running amok or snow plow service two days late, and I pay the water bill (which is really uncommon here). Win-win!