While there is no formal national blacklist for landlords, you may be able to find out if a potential landlord is negligent with a little local investigation. Contact local resources associated with business, tenancy and real estate, and you may turn up useful information.
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Contact the local better business bureau. Landlords that have many properties to oversee likely have incorporated to reduce their financial liability. Research the corporation at the local better business bureau to turn up past complaints.
Contact the state real estate commission to see if there is a local tenants' council that can provide resources on additional investigations into landlord history. Tenant councils or commissions are often set up as consumer advocacy groups whose mission is to protect tenant rights.
Contact local property management companies for information on their rental properties. Landlords that contract a professional property manager are less likely to allow properties to fall into disrepair because the property managers handle all repairs, and need to maintain a good reputation with both tenants and landlords in order to keep business.
Contact a local real estate agent who services a lot of rental properties. While the agent might not put anything in writing, he might tell you off-the-record which local landlords you may want to avoid.
Tips and warnings
- If you're worried about a landlord but can't find any previous information on him, ask if you might interview a few current tenants. A good landlord will encourage you to ask around.
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