You can glean many clues about a landlord’s character from the physical appearance of their property. Is the building’s exterior well-maintained or is the paint peeling? Be sure to scope out the garbage and recycling area. Allowing garbage to pile up invites vermin to take up residence as well; we all know rats don’t make ideal neighbors.
While aesthetics are important, also look closely at safety-related items. In the hallways, are the fire extinguishers in good working order, or are they covered in cobwebs with outdated inspection tags? Check to make sure there are no broken or cracked windows and pay attention to the doors to your unit as well as the building. If doors are left propped open, this could compromise your safety.
In the unit, take the time to carefully inspect appliances. Are they clean and in good working order? This is the landlord’s opportunity to make a good impression on you, the potential renter. If things are amiss, imagine what could happen six months from now when something breaks down — not a comforting thought.