If you are renting or thinking about renting an apartment somewhere, chances are you want everything to go smooth. Your time spent as a tenant will be more enjoyable and comfortable if you have a strong working relationships with your landlord or property management company. Let’s look at some things that will make your stay pleasant for you, and for those around you. You may even have been doing things that you don’t even realize are hindering your relationships.
Inform Landlord about Maintenace or Repair Issues Quickly
Does your sink leak? Or maybe some of your lights don’t work? Tell the landlord. They need to know ASAP so they can remedy the issues and prevent them from getting worse. You may feel like you are nagging them if the issue is small, or if it does not really bother you, but this is often not the case. That leaky sink could wind up rotting out the cabinets and the floor around it, or causing a very high water bill. That light that doesn’t work could start an electrical fire. Contact them during normal hours for minor issues, but don’t hesitate to call the emergency line. Your property management company has office hours daily and a hotline, and an individual landlord has hopefully given you their cell number and email. If it’s a minor issue, you can let them know that it is a non-issue for you, approaching the conversation as conveying a piece of information they want to know.
Keep Your Living Conditions Clean
For the most part, you can live how you please in your apartment. However, basic cleanliness is a way to show that you care about the property, and some factors may even be in your lease. If you know the manager or landlord are coming by, straighten up. This small act may seem insignificant, but it truly conveys that you are a responsible person with a sense of pride in your surroundings. It makes an impression, even subconsciously. While having a messy home is not against the terms of most leases, there may actually be some specific maintenance and cleanliness items that are in fact in your lease, such as regular trash removal so that bugs are not attracted, or storing items inside the home instead of in the yard or hall.
Pay Your Rent on Time
It may seem obvious, but this is the main factor that keeps your relationship with the landlord strong. Paying on the first day the rent is due takes away any anxiety a landlord has. When a property manager has to notify you, charge a late fee, this adds an amount of friction, and again sets an impression that you may be having financial issues. A more important point, if you pay on time or a day early every month, then when a circumstance arises that you need a little leeway, they will be more inclined to work with you. When you request an upgrade, or when it is time to renew your lease, the owner or manager is going to factor into their decision if you are a “good tenant”. If you’ve been tardy too many times, a landlord may decide not to renew another year. Paying on time does more than keep the owner happy though. You will not only get a positive referral for future renting, It will actually build your credit. If you plan on obtaining a loan for your first home in the next 5-10 years, paying on time will get you there faster. If owning a home is your goal, check out the link to see the steps to your dream.
Know the Rules
Learn the neighborhood or building rules that you were provided with when you moved in. If you are unclear about any of them, don’t hesitate to ask. Perhaps you wonder if specific strict rules are necessarily always enforced; maybe they seem unnecessarily strict? Try asking neighbors. Maybe they aren’t set in stone, but they are a courtesy everyone follows to ensure everyone can live in peace with each other. Ask around to learn some things that are frowned upon in your community and do your best to fit in. Listening to music loud late at night is an example, or swimming in the pool after hours. Being considerate of your neighbors will not only keep your relationship with your neighbors pleasant, you do want to avoid getting a complaint filed against you from another neighbor.
Avoid Being That High Maintenance Tenant
It’s perfectly okay to ask your owner for various improvements, especially needed repairs. Requests to make your life there a little more pleasurable are an acceptable question. If these requests or complaints become too frequent, or too trivial, it can harm your relationship with the landlord. An example: you are upset your neighbor is making noise at 11 in the morning; it’s the middle of day, the landlord may not have much sympathy as opposed to it being 3am. Talk to the neighbor and try and take care of it yourself. For minor issues, do your best to keep the landlord out of it until necessary. If you think you’re asking for something that is an “extra”, such as a ceiling fan in your bedroom, try offering to pay for half of it. The landlord or property manager will be there for you if you need them, so just be sure it’s something important you need, not a trivial want.
Ask Permission Before Any Renovating
Maybe you want to repaint some walls because they are looking faded or the color just doesn’t suit you. Or the trim around the door is just a little off and a new piece needs to be put in. These are quite simple tasks that most of us can do. You may think you are helping the owner out; they have new paint on the walls now or to swap out some blinds for new ones. It’s always recommended to ask first. Chances are they will be thrilled you want to add a ceiling fan, or shelves to a closet. Most will be very open to it and just ask that you show them the color of the paint or what you plan to do before you begin work. Then they may inspect it after to be sure its up to their standards. Others may be have a reason you didn’t consider why they would prefer you didn’t. Most leases do require you obtain permission before certain household changes, but even if yours does not address it, we recommend bringing it up ahead of time.
Being a tenant can be very simple and a positive carefree experience if you try to see a situation from all points of view. Being warm and friendly to the landlord goes a long way in being perceived as a person, a likeable human, that people want to help and do favors for. Besides lowering the stress in your life, fostering your relationship with your property manager or landlord can have direct benefits to you. These basic things can keep the landlord happy and in turn they will have a friendly demeanor with you, renew your lease, offer you a great reference, and return your deposit in full.
Managing your SFH, Multi and Commercial Property
August 9, 2019