Should I rent an apartment from a private owner?

Asked by Sheena Patel, Miami, FL Tue Mar 5, 2013

I've always rented from commercial, private apartment complex, and never had problems getting my deposit back. I can't imagine private owners being as responsible, by maybe I'm wrong. Are private owners good landlords?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Leonardo da…, Agent, Doral, FL
Wed Mar 6, 2013
As everything else in life Sheena, there are a bunch of excellent landlords out there, and, unfortunatelly there are a few really unscrupulous ones. It will be up to you to interview with him/her, get some reviews on him/ her why not, and make your best and most educated decision.
1 vote
Ismael Gonza…, Agent, Aventura, FL
Tue Mar 5, 2013
There is little difference in renting from a private owner or using an agent to locate an apartment for you. Agents will have many more units to show you, however, if you have already located a unit and it is with an owner directly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. I would recommend reviewing the lease agreement carefully as well as checking public records to ensure the unit is not in any foreclosure status.
2 votes
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Tue Mar 5, 2013
Very good question! RENTERS BEWARE!

1. Make sure you ask to see credentials of the private owner. Owner's government issued ID and name and address on public records must be a match. If the person you meet is just the "owner's representative", ask to personally meet the owner.

2. Spend a little time investigating the owner and any other information directly related to the property, foreclosure action, liens, criminal background, etc. Landlords investigate you, you should investigate them as well.

3. All funds provided towards securing the rental must be certified or from a verifiable source. Do not hand out cash even if you are promised a receipt in return. A cashier's check or money order is as good as cash.

4. As to in any other contractual agreement you should always seek the advice of a Legal Counsel.
1 vote
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Tue Mar 5, 2013
Welcome to Miami. Some commercial, private apartment complexes are not professionally run either. Check out apartment for your area, then decide if you're more interested in a private rental. There are pros and cons to both ways. A private owner will likely require a higher deposit, but the rent may be a little lower than the commercial equivalent. The commercially run building will probably require a lower deposit, but may charge more rent. If you stay in a place for a couple of years, coughing up the higher deposit is probably the smarter move.
1 vote
Meg Sahdala, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Tue Mar 5, 2013
Make sure you check that the property REALLY belongs to someone you are renting it from.
There is a lot of scam around, specifically with Craigslists ads and you can loose your money if you are not very careful.
Please note that all services are free to you as a renter so if you need assistance finding a place, please contact me directly at

Meg Sahdala
Vivienda Realty
2201 Ponce De Leon
Coral Gables, 33034

Tel: 305.877.2880
Fax: 305.675.3976
1 vote
MIAliving, Landlord, Miami, FL
Tue Mar 5, 2013
As long as you read and understand the contract, there is nothing wrong with renting from a private owner.
1 vote
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more