Finding a place to live in can be one of the most important decisions of your life. Your new home, whether a big house or a small apartment, is a place where you eat, live, sleep and do many other things including doing almost everything online. Searching for a new place to live in requires a lot more attention to detail compared to other things for many people. You have to make sure the street you live on is great, that the place itself is nice, that your neighbors are not the type of people you block on Facebook or MySpace, and that the place itself will ensure your happiness. One thing you may accidentally overlook, like millions of other people looking daily for a new place to live, is the landlord.
A landlord, the person who owns or is renting out a place, is someone you have to deal with on a very special level in the beginning. You should realize that the first part of any rental search is to actually find a landlord you can please. Almost every other apartment you visit may be great for you, but then you have to hope that the landlords like your application. Landlords have created this aura of an invisible layer of stairs where you as a renter may feel inferior. While landlords get paid by you to provide you with a place to stay, majority of the landlords act as if they are donating a place to you for free. And in order to maintain their ego, landlords ask you many strange things that they say is essential to your rental application.
There are some things you should keep in mind when looking for your next place to rent or rent out. For your reference, here are 10 stupid things that landlords usually ask.
10 Stupid Things Landlords Ask Before Renting to You
- Application Fee.
The application fee is surely one of the biggest scams landlords run. Not only do landlords keep taking in applications even when they have met their quota, they keep all application fees even if they do not run any criminal or credit check on you. And on top of that, many landlords ask for both a credit report, discussed below, and an application fee. What good is the application fee when you are already giving everything the landlord needs in the form of documentation papers? So not only does the landlord charge you for renting a place, the landlord basically charges you for inquiring about it too? You would stop buying many things in life if they had a “buying fee“, but landlords make you do it regularly anytime you get interested in a place.
- Pet Background Info.
Last week, a potential landlord asked me the background info for my friend cat Whisper. What does his background have to do with my rental history? Yes, my cat used to be a drug addict, killed a few homeless cats on the street and sometimes sells cat treats to underage kittens. Would I still get a place if my pet has such a colorful background?
- Personal Background.
What does your personal life and background have to do with the place you would be living in? Landlords requiring such info are simply finding ammunition for being prejudice toward you in case they find out something about you they do not support, like your religious views, personal lifestyle, sexual orientation, political views, ethnic background and more. In the end, a landlord can use such information to simply decline your application and tell you that they found some other better candidate.
- Bank & Credit Card company addresses and contact information.
Another useless info that simply makes you fill out forms. Why do you have to list your bank and credit card company addresses and contact information? If you are paying the application fee, should not the landlord do some research and figure out such info themselves? How many landlords actually call, send letters or visit banks in person in order to ask questions about you? Even if they do that, which they do not, they would run into the problem of account verification, discussed in the next point.
- Bank & Credit Card account numbers.
This is by far one of the most pathetically useless pieces of information landlords ask you in order to simply pry into your personal life and to know more about you in terms of simply knowing your bank account number. Why is such a thing pathetic and useless? Because no bank in America will ever tell any landlord or anyone else the exact nature of or amount of money in your bank account just because that landlord or someone else has your bank account number. Why do landlords ask for such info? To either sue you in the end in case of any issues or to make you do more paperwork and make you feel very vulnerable.
- References in addition to previous rental history.
This is a new trend I have noticed getting an increased attention in the last few years. Landlords ask you for references in the form of your relatives, friends, co-workers and others. This is a form of being too nosy, by asking others what they think of you. What does finding out from other people about the type of character you have relate in any form to you renting a place? This is a great way to be prejudice against someone by finding out personal non-rental related things about them.
- Credit Report.
In America, the credit report is basically one of the most important documents of your life. It lists your social security numbers, every credit card you have ever owned, all your bank accounts, everything you have ever paid or not paid for to a lender, every place you have lived at, and much, much more. Thus, landlords asking for such information seems a great invasion of privacy and security. Why would a landlord need to know anything about those things when all they need to know is if you are not a killer who will kill other neighbors, will not damage the place you are living in, and will pay on time?
- Your Work Details.
This is one of the puzzling stupid things landlords ask you that is simply a characteristic of being nosy. A landlord should not care whether your work at a company involves being a hooker or the accountant. As long as you have income and work for yourself or a company, sharing specific details of what you do at work seems unnecessary.
- Pet Deposit.
The pet deposit is simply another way to get more money from you, by considering the pet to be an extra liability. A security deposit already exists for that, and pets are usually known to destroy furniture, and not walls. Thus, a pet deposit is simply another way for a landlord to keep more of your money in their savings account or in some investment.
- Any deposit higher than the monthly rent amount.
Landlords only need a deposit to either cover damages to a place or to cover a month’s rent in case a tenant simply leaves a place without giving any notice. The deposit is there to actually cover the amount of time it takes the landlord to find a replacement in such cases. Any deposit amount higher than a month’s rent is simply an abuse by the landlord to keep more money in the long run. More deposit, even if it is returned at the end of your agreement with the landlord, means less money in your overall balance and more money for investments and in the bank balance for the landlord.
Would You Ask Such Things as a Landlord?
What do you think of the above points? Would you as a tenant accept any or all of the above points when applying to rent a place? Would you as a landlord ask or not ask any of the above info from tenants?
Please share your thoughts, stories or any questions through your comment below. Thank you for reading! I really appreciate it.Follow @besz