One of the biggest advantages to renting is that you don’t have to deal with routine maintenance issues like fixing leaky pipes, upgrading appliances and replacing flooring. For this (and many other) reasons, it’s important to get to know your landlord.
During my most recent apartment hunt, I became torn between two pads: one that was more expensive, but came with a friendly, easygoing landlord, and one that was significantly more affordable, but had an inattentive landlord. I chose the former–and two weeks after moving in when I needed my blinds replaced, I’m glad I did! There are lots of reasons why it’s important to find a landlord you can trust.
Get Your Deposit Back
Let’s be honest, shall we? Security deposits suck (from a renter’s perspective, anyway). During my move, I was stressed about having one security deposit tied up in what was then my current home, and one already in place at the apartment to which I was about to move. I had a total of three months’ rent tied up in security deposits. Unfortunately, while this money is in landlords’ hands, it’s totally inaccessible to renters. It’s important that you are able to get your deposit back in a timely manner after moving on from an apartment. Cultivating a good relationship with your landlord will ensure that this happens.
Develop an Easy Payment System
If you know your landlord, you’ll have a bit of leverage when it comes to determining your rent payment system. At my new pad, I have a system set up with my landlord that allows me to pay him directly from my own bank account, rather than having to write a check. This is good for me because I don’t have the shadow of a huge check hanging over my head, and I know exactly when my rent payment is going to go through. This is also good for my landlord, because he doesn’t have to worry about a bounced check.
In addition to creating a stress-free financial relationship, knowing your landlord helps create a neighborly vibe that will make your rental feel more like a home. Need advice about where to shop for groceries in your new ‘hood? Just ask your landlord! Considering painting the walls in your new home? A good relationship with the person who owns your property couldn’t hurt. Even if you only see your landlord once a month, knowing him or her will make all your interactions more comfortable and friendly–making your renting experience that much more satisfying.
Maggie McCracken writer bio: Maggie McCracken is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, and is currently living the post-grad dream in the Windy City. Her travels throughout various North American and European cities prompted her to build her journalism career around topics like urban planning, transit and sustainability. Her work has appeared in publications, such as Volume One Magazine and the La Crosse Tribune.