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Your Landlord Wants References and You Should Too

A row of brick townhomes is surrounded by greenery.
Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock

Finding the perfect apartment can be quite a task, but it’s not just about the location or the amenities. It’s also about the landlord. The one thing you should always do before making your final decision? Get references.

Apartment Therapy spoke with Andrew Chen, a licensed attorney who is also a landlord, about what renters should do before deciding on a new place. His biggest suggestion when it comes to choosing your new rental is to be sure that you have a good landlord. To do so, he recommends getting references from former tenants who can vouch for them. After all, most landlords will require you to submit some references. So why not do a little background check of your own? And if the person refuses? Well, that’s a big red flag.

Chen also tells the outlet that you should pay attention to how they do business—“At a high level, the best indicator of whether a landlord will uphold or disregard your rights as a tenant is whether they seem to be a rule-follower or not. Rule-followers tend to make sure they understand the rules clearly and abide by them—including landlord/tenant laws.”

If you’re on the hunt for a new place and want more advice on vetting your landlord, you can find all of Chen’s tips on Apartment Therapy.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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