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Tenants beware! Here are 5 ways to avoid nightmare landlords

  • By
  • Asif Ghafoor
  • August 19, 2015

Landlords may think it’s a challenge to find the perfect tenant, but the same goes for tenants. You may have found your dream apartment, but if it comes with a nightmare landlord, you may want to keep your options open. Want to find the perfect landlord? Here are 5 ways to find the right one:

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Screen the landlord

Before signing the lease, screen the landlord FBI style. You can start by googling his or her name to see if they were ever involved in crimes or disputes. Other than cyberstalking your future landlord, a more legit way is to openly ask them for references, so that you can contact previous tenants and ask for their feedback.

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Talk to the neighbors

Another way to find out the true side of your landlord is by visiting the neighbors. In Hong Kong it’s normally a faux pas to talk to your neighbours (stranger danger!), but for the sake of securing your future home, you’ve gotta man up and meet a few unfriendly faces. Introduce yourself politely to the neighbors and ask some concrete questions, like if they’ve ever had any argument with the landlord and the previous tenants. Another important question to ask is how frequent the landlord visits the apartment.

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Know your rights

As a tenant, you should find yourself lucky living in Hong Kong, as the city has a sound legal system that protects tenants’ rights. Check your rights and responsibilities on the government website and ask your landlord for clear rental terms, such as insurance, pet approval and repairing.

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Honest tenants will find honest landlords

Don’t lie to your landlord in the application! You may think a little ‘adjustment’ to your profile is no big deal and can help you rent a good property, but it may lead to disputes in the future! Remember to tell the landlord your special requirements in advance, so that you don’t get into trouble later on!