How to Build a Great Landlord/Tenant Relationship

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How to Build a Great Landlord/Tenant Relationship

Staff Writer · Sep 8, 2009

The nature of your landlord/tenant relationship can make or break your quality of life as a tenant. Taking steps to create a positive relationship will make your life easier and help to build your reputation as a good tenant.

Step 1: Get to Know Your landlord

Before you sign the lease for your new apartment, check the landlord’s reputation by using word of mouth and online resources. If other tenants have not had a problem with him, then you probably won’t either.

Spend some time learning about how your landlord manages the business of being a landlord. Ensure that you have the correct mailing address for rent payments to avoid delays in processing. Find out if your landlord has a preferred contact method for emergencies and maintenance reports. For example, if they ask you to phone them at a certain number for all emergencies, don’t send them an email (call them at the designated number).

Step 2: Pay Your Rent on Time

Do whatever is necessary to guarantee that you pay your rent on time every month. The fastest way to get on your landlord’s bad side is to pay your rent late or to miss rental payments. With some landlords, just one late payment will get you labeled as a problem tenant. Landlords have maintenance costs for your building, so they count on receiving your check to meet those expenses. When you pay late, and cause problems for them, they may decide to start eviction proceedings against you.

Step 3: Communicate with Your Landlord

Establishing a communication channel with your landlord will allow you to efficiently notify them of any problems with your apartment or building. It will also create an opportunity for them to warn you about any problems regarding your tenancy, so that you can correct them before your standing as a tenant is affected.

Step 4: Report Maintenance Problems Promptly

As soon as you notice something in need of repair, contact your landlord. Items in disrepair often worsen over time. The sooner the landlord knows about the problem, the easier and less expensive the repair will be.

Step 5: Handle Complaints Properly

If you have a problem with a neighbor, never make vague accusations about your neighbor’s conduct. This puts your landlord in an awkward position. Keep a record of the infraction(s) you’re reporting. With detailed information about the problem in hand, contact your landlord with specifics that they can use to confront your neighbor.

Should a neighbor file a complaint against you, ask your landlord to outline the facts to better understand what needs correction. Agree to correct the problem and take steps to do so immediately.

Step 6: Be Courteous

When dealing with your landlord, always conduct yourself in a polite and considerate manner. Should a disagreement arise, state your case in an unemotional, straightforward manner. Never be combative because this will escalate the situation and make your landlord more likely to resort to eviction proceedings.

Building a great landlord-tenant relationship is the key to creating a more positive tenancy experience.

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