Would you marry your landlord?


A friend of mine walked into my office yesterday, plunked himself down in a chair and blurted out,

My lease is up! Finally! Uh, problem with your landlord, Mike?

I’ll say! he said. But not for long. A the end of the month, I’m outta there!

As a landlord and property manager for other investors, I hear about this kind of dissatisfaction all the time—thankfully, not from our tenants!

How do you avoid a situation like this? Be proactive.

Start looking around at least six months before the end of your lease. Last-minute decisions can be very costly in time and money.

When I say “start looking around,” I don’t mean “start surfing the web.”

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good stuff online. Too often, though, it’s short on detail and it’s hard to tell when the information is out of date or just plain wrong.

If you want to avoid surprises, jump in the car, go out and actually look at what’s available in the areas you’re interested in. Make a few phones calls, get appointments and go in and get a feel for the space.

And before you get all excited about your new space, spend a little time investigating the landlord, too.

Remember that while technically, you are signing a lease for space, you are, in fact, tying the knot with the landlord for the duration of the lease. Okay, it’s not exactly a marriage—although getting out of a marriage may be easier than getting out of a lease—but it is real and it is very legal.

Ask around. Check with other tenants to ensure your landlord can provide excellence in service over the long haul (something we specialize in!). At the very least, make sure the landlord will be there when the temperature drops to -35C and the heating system breaks down.

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