All relationships take work, but one relationship that’s definitely worth investing in is your relationship with your landlord. You want to remain on good terms with them, since it can be crucial to get an excellent reference when apartment hunting in the future. Building a great relationship with your landlord also means they’re more likely to address your concerns promptly, and they’ll probably be more forgiving when it comes to emergencies or rent issues.
Here are five ways to ensure a great landlord-tenant relationship…
1. Pay your rent on time
Each month you should be paying your rent on time and in full on the due date. Sounds simple enough, right? When a property owner or landlord signs a lease with you, they expect your rent to come in on time in full each month. They also have mortgages, utilities, and other bills to pay for the property, so they count on your rent to get their bills paid.
Don’t forget: a lease is a legally binding document that outlines all expectations of renting an apartment. It might be obvious, but paying rent on time can really go a long way. If they have to ask you every month because you’re late, it sets a bad tone for the dynamic.
If for some reason you have an emergency or a major issue that will delay your payment as a one-off exception, communicate clearly with them with as much advance notice as possible. Help them understand the problem and negotiate something that works for you both so they know exactly when you’ll make the payment up. Stick to your agreement so they see you honour that exception.
2. Take care of your unit
Sometimes landlords don’t even get to see the inside of their units once a tenant moves in, so how can they be expected to take care of your unit? They rely on you to submit maintenance requests and to let them know when something needs repairs or replacement.
Reporting a typical maintenance task like a leaky pipe or pests could save them thousands in the long run. I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with you… Well, unexpected maintenance costs are a main driver in rent increases! It may seem worth putting it off, but if you treat the unit like you own it your landlords will be super grateful.
3. Follow the rules
Most apartments have neighbours, so as the Golden Rule goes – treat others the way you want to be treated. Isn’t it annoying to hear music blasting when you’re beyond stressed trying to study for exams?! Your neighbour probably thinks so too. Make sure you review all building rules set out in your lease to ensure that all tenants’ expectations are met.
4. Help your landlord take care of the building
Sometimes you may have an in-building super, but that isn’t always the case. If you see anything that may be a cause for concern, like damage in the common areas, excess garbage, or malfunctioning laundry machines, let your landlord know! It’s likely that other tenants walked right by thinking that the landlord is already aware of these issues. The sooner issues are reported, the quicker they can be fixed.
Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for anyone who doesn’t look like they should be in the building. Oftentimes doors are propped open which could lead to unwanted people entering the building. No one wants their Amazon delivery boxes stolen from their doorway, so close and secure the doors whenever possible. Reminder: you don’t have to get yourself into any uncomfortable confrontations with other residents or visitors. Just send a quick note to the management team and they’ll know how to handle it.
5. Be respectful
Remember, landlords are people too. If an issue arises it’s probably a surprise to them too, so give them a chance to find a solution before getting upset. Not all requests are urgent, so give your landlord enough time to respond and deal with the issue. Some requests can’t be fixed in a day, but they should be offering you an appropriate solution to help you out. Like most interactions in life, you’re more likely to get help from others if you lead with compassion and empathy!
A lot of the time it’s worth making a great connection with your landlord, but it’s important to remember that every relationship is a two-way street. Sometimes a landlord just isn’t a great landlord, no matter how great of a tenant you are. If that’s the case and you feel that they aren’t meeting their end of the bargain, it may be time to move on to a new place. At a minimum, they should be getting all maintenance completed, communicating with you on issues in the building, and maintaining their property. It’s just as important to recognize your rights as a tenant and to advocate for yourself when necessary.
Why is this relationship so important? Find out 3 ways landlords can help you – you never know when they may come in useful in future!