You and your landlord are going to be part of each other’s lives for a while so fostering a good relationship from the get-go is a smart move. For one, a good reference for your next apartment might make you the more attractive candidate. For another, staying on your landlord’s good side can encourage an environment in which maintenance requests are addressed promptly and rent increases are infrequent.
It Pays to Pay
First and foremost, you’ve signed a contract to pay your rent in full and on time. In return, you are provided an apartment that is in good working condition. Break your end of the deal and you risk losing it all. If you know you’ll be late, a heads up with a date your rent will be settled might be enough to avoid problems. Paying a few days or even a few weeks in advance is sure to impress.
Be the Tenant You’d Want
In kind, you’ve agreed to maintain your landlord’s property in the same condition (if not better) than you received it. Show you care about the building you live in. This means keeping the exterior and interior clean, keeping the noise down and generally being mindful of your neighbors. Neglecting these simple tenets could, at best, cause your landlord to be less than enthusiastic in responding to your needs and, at worse, lead you to lose your deposit or fail to get your lease renewed.
Remember, not everything requires a landlord assist. Some smaller things such as light bulbs, smoke alarm batteries, and air filters can be easily replaced on your own. Major emergencies, such as a broken appliance or plumbing issue, should be reported and you should expect your landlord to repair them right away.
(Don’t) Ask for the Moon
Above all, be reasonable. Don’t expect upgrades that didn’t exist when you signed your lease. (If you want to upgrade your pad, check out our Pro Tip: Temporary Finishes for High Style Apartment Living.) Also, keep in mind that everyone is busy – smaller properties might be owned by someone with a full-time job and a family; larger property-owners likely have dozens or hundreds of to-dos every day. A little understanding regarding timing on your end will go a long way with your landlord.
Honey Makes the World Go ‘Round
In the end, your apartment is owned by a human being and kindness is everything. A thank you for timely repairs, a nice note with your rent check about the new landscaping, homemade cookies at Christmas – these small acts of appreciation will surely pave the way for better attention and a long-term beneficial relationship.
Giving just a little thought to your tenant-landlord relationship can make a world of difference in the enjoyment of your apartment for as long as you wish to make it your home.