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There’s so much your landlord can do for you to make your life easier in the long run, and maintaining a positive relationship with them will further increase the chances of them helping you out when you need it.

Especially when you’re a student, that first or second landlord can make such a big difference when you’re just starting out.

Here are 3 ways your landlord can help you get ahead!

1. Help you grow your credit score

Did you know that in Canada, landlords can file a credit report for you (both good and bad)? If you consistently pay your rent on time they can register your payments, which can help contribute to your credit score. This can be a great way to help you get ahead in the future when looking for apartments and getting approved for a loan, or even a mortgage.

Building and maintaining a good credit score is an important identifying factor of how financially responsible you are. What better way to build a credit score for the first time than with your rent payments!

Check out the Landlord Credit Bureau for more information on how to build your credit in partnership with your landlord.

Tenant and Landlord sitting on a couch looking at a laptop

2. Write a reference letter for your next place

Most landlords will require a reference letter or phone call from your past landlord in order to check your history as a tenant. The rental market is becoming increasingly competitive, so having a landlord recommendation can set you apart from other applicants. Here are a few things that landlords will be looking for from a past landlord reference:

  1. Do you pay your rent on time?
  2. Did you communicate well?
  3. How well did you maintain the unit?
  4. Was there damage to the property and did they need to use the damage deposit (if applicable)?
  5. Would they rent to you again?

Typically landlords will help out great tenants when they’re looking to move to a new place. Maintaining a positive relationship throughout your tenancy is key to getting these recommendations. Landlords are very much aware of the fact that you won’t live there forever, so don’t hesitate to ask them for a reference.

Person writing letter

3. Be a character reference for a job or other application

What person thinks you’re more qualified and responsible than your landlord (other than maybe your Mom)? Through the course of a year, the average Canadian student pays between $7,100 and $10,500 in rent to their landlord. Making this kind of payment consistently and on time can really leave an impression on property owners. Add in professional communication and taking care of their unit, and you have a perfect recipe for a character reference! Character references are often needed for new jobs, loans, or other positions. Who knows, if your landlord owns a company, they may even think of you when looking for an employee some day!

If you’re still new to renting and don’t have a landlord to help you with these items yet, don’t worry! You can always ask the landlord or property owner of an apartment you’re interested in renting if they would be willing to accept a co-signer or guarantor on the lease. This is common when renting a place for the first time.

Tenant and Landlord shaking hands

Just remember, a tenant-landlord relationship is just as important as any other business or professional relationship. Be a great tenant and take care of their unit, and they can help you, too!

Maintaining great terms with your landlord can be beneficial to you as a tenant for so many reasons. Head over to our article on 5 ways students can build a great relationship with landlords for more tips!

 

 

References:

Bay Property Management Group. (2021, April 15). Top 3 things to ask your prospective tenant’s references. Bay Property Management Group. Retrieved from https://www.baymgmtgroup.com/blog/top-3-things-ask-prospective-tenants-references/.

Gouvernement du Canada. (2020, May 13). Government of Canada. Canada.ca. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/credit-reports-score/credit-report-score-basics.html.

Tenant Benefits. Landlord Credit Bureau. (2021, August 26). Retrieved from https://landlordcreditbureau.com/tenants/.

TransUnion. (n.d.). 5 things landlords look for when screening potential tenants. Retrieved from https://www.transunion.com/blog/credit-advice/5-things-landlords-look-for-when-screening-potential-tenants.

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…

Landlord shaking tenant's hand and smiling

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.

Student sitting on bed with laptop

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.

Landlord shaking tenant's hand and handing over key

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!

The historic South End is a lively neighbourhood marked by its specialty boutiques, charming galleries, and easy access to lush greenspace and waterways.

Most importantly, it’s home to Dalhousie University’s Studley campus and a bustling community of university students, further adding to the fun vibe. Luckily for you, South End is full of amazing restaurants and cafés for you to enjoy solo or with your roomies, as well as tons of beautiful parks, historic sites, and waterfront boardwalks.

Take advantage of South End’s seamless blend between urban living and natural landscapes, all while making the most of your university experience. We couldn’t think of a better neighbourhood to house our new student apartment building, SEE-MORE, launching in September 2022.

EXPLORE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Here are some of our favourite spots in the ‘hood for your convenience:

Coburg Social Bar and Café

6085 Coburg Rd
Coburg Social is THE go-to spot for a reason. Their coffee is incredible, their baked goods are always fresh, and the ambiance is impeccable. If you’re looking for a cozy study spot just minutes away from campus, this is the place for you.

Thomas McCulloch Museum

1355 Oxford St
Calling this museum unique would be a major understatement. Tucked away in the halls of Dalhousie’s Biology Department, it boasts an impressive collection of Nova Scotian birds, colourful ceramic mushrooms, skulls and skeletons, and more. Entry is free, so you can easily go check it out between classes.

Halifax Public Gardens

Spring Garden Rd. &, Summer St
Described as “one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian Garden in North America,” these gardens are definitely worth checking out on a sunny day. Come here for a relaxing afternoon stroll, or even set up a picnic with your roomies and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Glitter Bean Café

5896 Spring Garden Rd
This is more than just your typical cafe- it was brought to life by workers who envisioned a warm, welcoming, inclusive place that catered towards creating a safe community space for LGBTQ2SIA+ customers. On top of that, their coffee and food is delicious!

Mary’s Place Café II

5982 Spring Garden Rd
This super homey cafe has been happily serving students for ages now, and they’ve managed to create a wonderful space that makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk in the door. Their food is to die for and the service is incredible. You’re definitely gonna want to come here during your lunch breaks.

Triple A Convenience and Pizzeria

6279 Jubilee Rd
This family-owned convenience store and mini-resto is ideal for a late night slice or a midday ice cream sandwich. They have pretty much anything you could possibly be craving, and it’s always served with a smile.

Emera Oval

5775 Cogswell St
Although it’s a bit further away from campus than the other places we’ve highlighted for you, it’s totally worth checking out. It’s the perfect skating rink in the winter, and the ideal spot for roller skating and rollerblading in the warmer months. Its impressive size means you’ll have more than enough room to flex on your roomies with your spins and tricks.

Second Cup Coffee Co.

6225 University Ave
This Second Cup happens to be directly on campus, making it the perfect one-stop shop for those hectic mornings where you run out of the house with an empty stomach and no coffee in hand after hitting the snooze button one too many times (happens to the best of us).

Dalhousie Community Garden

Henry St, Halifax, NS B3H 3J6
If you’ve ever considered gardening but decided against it due to a lack of greenspace in/around your home, now’s the time to take that leap and go for it. This community garden offers discounted prices for students, which should make your decision that much easier. Even if you’re not into gardening, this is the perfect spot to surround yourself with greenery and appreciate your community members’ hard work!

Studley Gym and Dance Studio

6185 South St
Staying active throughout the semester has never been easier with this gym and dance studio right on campus. Opt for solo workouts to stay ultra-focused, or come along with a friend so you can both keep each other on track!