- No.1 - Pay your rent on time
- No.2 - Respect their rules about interior decoration
- No.3 - Be reasonable with your demands
- No.4 - Keep the property clean
- No.5 - Disclose when your circumstances change
- No.6 - Be your (friendly) self
Landlords are like a box of chocolates: some will be gems that you keep wanting more of, and others will leave a sour taste in your mouth.
Since you won’t know what you’re really dealing with until you move in, it pays to have some strategies up your sleeve to deal with even the trickiest of landlords.
Have a look at the following tips:
No.1 – Pay your rent on time
At the end of the day, you’ve entered into a contract with your landlord that rests on your ability to pay the rent.
If you can’t fulfill this vital element of the deal, then your landlord has a good reason to terminate your contract and kick you out.
What’s important to realize is that not only slack students can be guilty on this point. Even the most organized of us can miss a payment.
To prevent this from happening, talk to your bank about setting up an automatic payment.
If extenuating circumstances mean you can’t quite make your rent one week, talk to your landlord about making it up ASAP.
No.2 – Respect their rules about interior decoration
Many landlords have strict rules about hanging things on the walls or changing the interior of the home. After all, the home has to be left clean and clear, so that the next renter can make it their own.
The good news is that there are so many ways to beautify your rental that don’t necessitate any permanent alterations.
Rather than using metal hooks and nails to hang up your photo-frames and posters, opt for Blu Tack or easy-to-remove plastic hooks that use stain-free adhesive.
To transform the feel of a room, simply add your own furniture and accessories. Floor length mirrors, lampshades, and funky cushions are all cosmetic additions that can be made in a flash.
No.3 – Be reasonable with your demands
If a major utility is faulty, then, of course, you’re within your rights to contact your landlord and ask them for a timely fix or replacement. In fact, it reflects badly on you if you fail to report significant damage right away.
However, if you bug your landlord every time the lightbulb flickers, they probably won’t respond positively.
Fix these minor things yourself, and leave the midnight calls to your landlord for the genuine issues.
No.4 – Keep the property clean
Two types of maintenance occur in the landlord-tenant relationship: structural maintenance and day-to-day maintenance (‘wear’n’tear’).
Significant structural maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord; the kind of maintenance you’re responsible for a tenant, however, is keeping the place clean from day to day.
Do this, and your landlord will be sure to give you a good reference in the future.
No.5 – Disclose when your circumstances change
Sometimes, unexpected things affect our ability to fulfill the terms and conditions of a lease.
Perhaps you’ve been offered a job opportunity elsewhere and now need to move out three months before your lease ends, or maybe your partner’s flat has imploded and they need a place to stay in the long-term.
Don’t delay your communication – when your circumstances change significantly, inform your landlord at the earliest opportunity so that you can work out a solution that will be good for both parties.
This way, they’ll be far less likely to hit you with any financial penalties, and more likely to make allowances that might allow you to stay on.
No.6 – Be your (friendly) self
You don’t have to think of your landlord as an intimidating party who’s all too ready to wield their authority over you. Granted, some landlords act this way, but that’s most often because they’ve been burnt by bad tenants in the past.
So, be a nice tenant. Send a card during the holidays, cooperate when your landlord is trying to find a new tenant and needs to host flat viewings and compliment any recent upgrades on the property.
You don’t have to be best buddies, but a little friendliness certainly doesn’t hurt arrangements.
About the author: Cloe Matheson hails from the beautiful city of Dunedin, New Zealand. She’s produced numerous articles for local business sites that promote creative innovation, such as Sea Containers. When she’s not writing, Cloe loves to sit down with a cup of tea and watch her favourite Netflix series. Check out more of Cloe’s work on her blog.