A Guide To Having A Great Relationship With Your Landlord
All the excitement of finding your dream house can come crashing down in a moment if you do not get along with your landlord!
Maintaining a positive relationship with your landlord and keeping him in good humour can come in useful at unexpected times in unexpected ways. Whether it’s about allowing your new pet to live at your residence or accommodating one extra week of rental, being in his good books will help you sail through such issues without any hiccups. Following are 10 golden rules to having a great relationship with your landlord.
Pay Your Rent On Time
The importance of timely payment of rent cannot be stressed enough. Try to get the payment done a few days before it is due, and let him know beforehand if you think you may be late due to unavoidable circumstances. The landlord has a life of his own, and constantly reminding you to pay your rent in time is not a part of that. Being habitually late in rent payment is something no landlord takes kindly to. If you are a forgetful person by nature, ask if you can pay the rent for 3-6 months in one instalment, or try to make up for occasional late payments by paying the next month’s rent together with it. Actions like these help to build trust and cement a good relationship.
Keep The Property Neat And Clean
As a tenant, ensuring this is one of your foremost duties. While the definition of interior decoration may not be the same for everyone, hygiene comes before everything else. So make sure you are disposing off the garbage regularly, scrubbing the bathroom and kitchen counters once a week, and keeping the apartment clutter free in general. This will help keep away unwanted pests and germs and get a word of appreciation from your landlord at the same time.
Report Any Damage Straight Away
While attempting to cover up that broken tile may seem a better option, letting your landlord know about the damage and offering to pay the cost is actually the wiser choice. It is the least you can do if the damage was made by you, and even if it was not, prompt reporting helps in quicker action and prevents further damage to the property. However, there is no need to call the landlord every time for minor repair works that you can fix yourself, like flickering lightbulbs or loose door knobs.
Act In Good Faith
Use the property for its lawfully designated use only. Do not try to run a business from a residential apartment, or smoke inside the premises when the contract clearly instructs otherwise. No landlord wants to deal with tenants who make a mess of the apartment with broken appliances and dirty walls. Acting responsibly in good faith and treating the property as your own will ensure that you get back your security deposit in full without any glitches.
Appreciate The Maintenance Works And Upgrades
It may be the landlord’s duty to oversee maintenance, but it won’t hurt you to say thanks for it, no matter how small the job was. Appreciate his taking the time to fix the water leakage the next time you meet him in the lift. Or send a thank-you note with the next month’s rent cheque, acknowledging the cool upgrade of the garage door. You may be surprised to find future maintenance works getting done more quickly and with fewer reminders.
In England and Wales, there are three schemes that protect your rental deposit: Deposit Protection Service, mydeposits and Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Be On Good Terms With Your Neighbours
If you don’t want your landlord receiving angry phone calls for that new sound system you just installed in your apartment, maintaining an amicable relationship with people in adjacent flats is a must. In other words, be the neighbour you would like to live next to. This will come in useful when you want to extend your lease period or need a referral in your new apartment.
Don’t Be Unreasonable With Your Demands
Patience is a virtue. If your landlord had promised he will fix something by next week, do not start calling him and demanding immediate attention unless it is an emergency. Similarly, there is no need to demand replacement of the entire window frame when a small screw can do trick. Try to keep in mind that your landlord is already paying a lot for the maintenance of his property and be fair and reasonable with your requests as much as you can.
Cooperate In Finding A New Tenant
No landlord wants his property to be empty while they hunt for a suitable tenant. Giving appropriate notice period to your landlord will minimise such chances and give both of you enough time to wrap up the formalities. Try to be flexible with access to the property and take care to keep it clean during these times, as prospective tenants will want to have a look at the apartment before they move in. If you happen to know someone who is willing to move into your apartment after you leave, and can refer him/her to your landlord, that is even better. Although this is not a strict necessity per se, being cooperative will definitely earn you some reputation as a great tenant.
While this seems the easiest thing to do, it is amazing how many landlords complain of their tenants being rude and impolite. Good communication is the key to any relationship, and this is no exception either. Try not to avoid his calls or duck behind the car every time you see him around. No matter how annoyed you feel, a mature conversation about fixing the heating is any day better than a stressful shouting match, which, if anything, will only impair your relationship further.
Send him some of your freshly baked cookies once a while. Offer to pick up something for him on your way back from work. Invite him to your photography exhibition one day. Small acts of kindness like these will definitely go a long way in fostering a great relationship with your landlord and make you one of the best tenants he has ever had!