Investing in the relationship you have with your landlord is important. Although you’re paying for a service and expect certain standards to be adhered to, it does work both ways. Around a third of landlords in the US have experienced rent issues, amongst other problems. This is why it’s important to be transparent and consider how you can make the relationship work for both of you.
Always Pay On Time
Set up a direct debit so that your rent goes out on the agreed date every month. Make sure that there is always enough money in your account so there is no room for error or bounce-backs. If you experience any financial difficulties, or are unable to pay rent on time, give your landlord plenty of notice in order to work out a resolution.
Keep It Tidy
This should go without saying, but it’s really important to keep your rental property clean and tidy. Landlords will usually do inspections every 6 months to keep an eye on this and enable you to voice any concerns as well. Bathrooms and kitchens should be scrubbed, carpets cleaned and garbage disposed of. If your landlord has allowed you to have a pet at the property then make sure you clean up after it and repair any damage caused.
If damages occur or you encounter any structural or cosmetic issues at the property, it is best to contact your landlord to let them know.
They’ll usually have a team of people who will come and sort out any problems or they may do some maintenance themselves. If you’re skilled in any area of DIY and feel comfortable fixing things then ask your landlord for permission first. It’s better if they approve any works being carried out and feel confident in your ability to do the work to a decent standard because it’s their investment, after all, and anything that might affect how much the house is worth needs consideration.
They’ll most likely be really grateful that you’ve offered as it will save them time and money.
Similarly, if you want to make any changes to the property, ask your landlord first. You don’t want to do anything that may surprise them or be costly for them to change back. This is particularly true if it’s a structural change. Most of these will need proper planning permission from the local authorities and your landlord would need to be in agreement for this to go ahead.
Maybe it’s an emergency and you feel particularly tense.
Maybe you don’t feel like your landlord is being as supportive as they could be.
Whatever happens, be aware of your tone and try not to create unnecessary tension. Don’t fire over emails or voice messages without considering the impact they might have first. Try to take a breath and communicate politely to get the best possible outcome. Being assertive is fine. Just don’t be rude or hurl accusations that may not be true just because you’re irritated.
Don’t Be A Nightmare Neighbor
Be the neighbor you’d like to live near. Don’t be too loud late at night, don’t let your rubbish pile up because you keep forgetting bin day and don’t get into spats with neighbors. Similarly, if you have any issues with people who live close by, speak to your landlord, especially if they’re also the landlord of that particular person.
Be aware that they could turn around and say they don’t want to get involved, but it is important to let them know your concerns because they do have a duty of care and could proceed with a Section 21 notice should things not improve over time, especially if you have viable evidence.
Stick To The Lease Agreement
If your landlord specifies certain things they expect from you throughout your tenancy, or state that there are certain things they definitely don’t want you to do in the property, then you should adhere to this.
Act responsibly and with integrity. Treat the place as if it is your home and not just somewhere you’re staying. Landlords will be far more supportive if you stick to the rules and respect their property. You’ll also ensure you get your deposit back, in full, if you’re a decent tenant.