Renting a new apartment requires a lot of considerations–from cost to location. However, many renters don’t think about the person they’ll be dealing with on a regular basis: the landlord. You may only meet your landlord once or twice before signing the lease, so it’s difficult to get a handle on whether you’ll get along. With a little work, your landlord-tenant relationship can be positive. Here’s how to ensure you get along with your landlord:

Do Your Research

Before signing a lease, look into who manages the property. If you’re leasing through a management company, you can very easily find reviews. Companies also want to maintain a positive reputation to draw more residents. They will typically have standards of conduct that will make the experience go smoothly. Another way to investigate is to talk to your potential neighbors. Some may not want to talk to you, but the ones who will can give you inside information about how things work in the building. If the living in the building is a bad experience, a potential neighbor will let you know right away so you can get out of there.

Building a Relationship

It’s harder to dislike someone when you get to know them. Talk to your landlord whenever you have the chance. You don’t have to become best friends, but asking about his or her day and family on occasion opens opportunities for a better relationship. Before you move in, find out what it is the landlord really cares about as far as the apartment goes. This shows you are willing to work together to make the remainder of the lease a comfortable time.

Handling Typical Issues

A good way to avoid confrontation is to know the issues that typically pop up in a landlord-tenant relationship and how to handle them.

Repairs are at the top of the list. Things break. That’s normal. It’s important to know that your landlord is quick to fix the problem and won’t be bothered when you bring it up. Before signing a lease, ask what the repair policy is. You could also talk to other tenants about their experiences with repair issues.

Late rent payment is another issue that can cause friction. The best way to avoid this dispute altogether is to pay your rent on time. However, if there’s a month when ends aren’t meeting or you’re a couple days off from a paycheck, talk to your landlord. Don’t avoid his or her office or hide out when he or she is in the hallway. Explain your situation and ask for a few more days. Knowing exactly how your landlord will react in this situation is something you can only find out in the moment. You don’t want to ask before signing because you don’t want your landlord expecting you to always be late in making rent payments.

Property damage, like the hole in your wall or the chipped paint your picture frame caused, incur costs. If you break or damage something, expect some of your security deposit to be missing when you move out. Your landlord isn’t being unreasonable to ask you to pay for what you broke. However, to avoid being overcharged, ask your landlord to go through the apartment with you and document existing damages before you move in. This way there will be a record of what you did and did not cause.