Apartment hunters usually have a pretty good grasp of what to look for in terms of buildings, amenities and locations, but they should take some time to vet landlords. Doing so will give renters insights into landlords' customer service styles, and help them choose buildings where repairs are dealt with quickly and professionally, according to Vicki Negron, an associate broker with The Corcoran Group in New York City.
"The only silly question is the one we don't ask," Negron says. "This applies to management companies and landlords, too. Check with the neighbors to find out about the landlord, but (remember) not everyone loves their landlord, so season the neighbors' responses with a few grains of salt."
Apply common sense when looking at the property, Barr says.
"If the property has dirty carpet, has not been professionally cleaned and things don't work, this is a very good indication that you may be walking into a negative situation," he says.