Establishing a good landlord relationship is easier than you might think. Just remember that you both have the same goal: For you to be happy in your home. The stronger your relationship with your landlord, the more consideration and support he or she is likely to give you which makes for a better overall rental experience. Here are a few tips to help you make the right impression and improve your landlord-tenant relations.
What Landlords Look for in a Renter:
Whether you’re dealing with a property management company or an independent, your landlord is just looking for a responsible renter. A good renter:
- Pays rent on time and in the manner specified by the lease agreement.
- Doesn’t alter the apartment (painting walls, replacing flooring) without requesting permission first.
- Maintains the property in good condition and does not cause damage, aside from normal wear and tear.
- Informs the landlord when repairs are necessary.
- Does not cause or escalate problems with other neighbors.
Ace the Landlord Interview
Meeting with a landlord about an apartment for rent is not unlike a job interview. You want to dress and act professionally, and show that you are trustworthy, responsible and concerned about maintaining good landlord tenant relations. Want to show how organized and savvy you are? Come prepared with the following information, which you may be asked to provide in the interview or on the rental application:
- Current and previous addresses, landlord’s name and contact information, length of time you lived in each place and the reason you moved
- Current and previous employment, your boss’s name and contact information, length of time you worked at each place and your salary
- 2-3 personal references, including phone numbers and email addresses
- Car make, model, color and license plate number
- Names of everyone who will be living in the apartment
- Pet information (weight, breed, age)
Create a Home Sweet Home
Once you sign the lease and move in, the relationship with your landlord becomes more of a partnership. At this point, your landlord-tenant relations revolve around mutual respect. If you fulfill your responsibilities as a good renter, as outlined above, you should be able to expect professional, respectful treatment in return. What does that mean for you as a renter? That your landlord will be more likely to take care of your maintenance needs quickly, consider your requests to make cosmetic changes to the apartment and be understanding if you can’t pay rent on time.
Maintaining Good Landlord-Tenant Relations:
- Be reasonable: Limit late-night, early-morning and weekend calls to actual emergencies.
- Be understanding: Just as you may have had bad landlords in the past, your landlord may have been burned by bad renters who trashed the property or left without paying rent.
- Be proactive: Inform your landlord of any problems with your apartment as soon as they occur to minimize damages. You may not be the only tenant with the issue and the more a landlord knows, the faster he or she can get to the root cause to find a solution.
- Be mature: Don’t escalate issues with difficult neighbors. Make an effort to resolve problems directly, but if that doesn’t work, get your landlord involved.
- Be honest: Let them know in advance when people move in and out or if you’re going to be late with the rent. Don’t sneak in pets. Give the required notice, or more, when you move out.