Renting a new home can be exciting, but moving, in general, is often stressful. Working with landlords and rental companies should be a pleasant, easy experience for everyone involved, but half of this relationship is in your hands. Here are a few tips on how to be a good tenant to ensure a great experience in your new home:
- Read your lease
- This doesn’t mean skimming the sections that seem important - really buckle down and read the whole thing. It may seem tedious, but reading your lease is an important first step to being a good tenant. Your lease is a legal contract, so before you sign, you should understand everything you’re agreeing to and ask questions or ask for changes where necessary. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into so that you and your landlord are on the same page from the start.
- Ask permission
- Renting means that the property is not your own, so be sure to ask before making any big changes. Check your lease (which you should have already read) and if something, like re-painting for example, is not mentioned, then get written permission from your landlord and be sure to hold onto that agreement for future reference, or to remind your landlord later. If your lease prohibits something like a pet or alterations to the house, ask for an exception: many landlords will be accommodating if you ask permission first.
- Put everything in writing
- Whether it’s a pet addendum, permission to re-paint, or a simple maintenance request, it is important to put everything in writing and save the documents for your records. If it’s a maintenance issue, let your landlord know right away so that both you and your landlord can track when the problem first began and was first addressed. Requests can be submitted via a written note, email, or the online tenant portal, and while a follow-up phone call is fine, be sure to have a written and dated copy as well.
- Help yourself when you can
- While your landlord should provide maintenance for larger items, some things can be easily taken care of on your own. Changing a light bulb, replacing batteries in a smoke alarm and using a plunger are easy enough tasks to do on your own, so rather than waste your landlord’s time with the request and your own time waiting for them (along with being financially responsible for a menial task), try to take care of simple fixes on your own.
- The Golden Rule
- You know how it goes: treat others how you would like to be treated. This rule applies to your relationship with your landlord, as well as with neighbors and other tenants. Be respectful and courteous when you deal with your landlord, and they’ll be happier to work with you and treat you the same. Try to be friendly to neighbors or other tenants in your building to avoid any disputes. If there are problems, address them directly with your neighbor rather than being passive-aggressive or harboring resentment, and try to resolve any issues at the lowest level possible.
- Respect your home
- Keep your home clean and the property undamaged and well-cared for. If you have pets, clean up after them inside and outside. Respecting your home and keeping it clean benefits you and your landlord, and can reduce any clean-up costs upon moving out and these habits will be conveyed to your next landlord who will likely request a verification of rental history.
- Pay your rent on time
- This may seem obvious, but you should pay your rent on time each month. By signing a lease you agree to pay your rent on time and as specified, so stay true to your word. Most leases may not charge a late fee until after a grace period of 3-5 days, but this is not an invitation to pay late. Pay on time to keep your landlord happy and to avoid additional legal consequences and charges.
Reedy and Company Realtors, LLC, wants the best for property investors and tenants. Our team of experts is committed to balancing the needs of the tenants with the interests of the property owner so that all parties are content and can work together seamlessly. Reedy and Company Realtors, LLC offers more to property investors than most in the industry, including in-house maintenance, leasing and collections, sales and acquisitions and more. For more information, visit reedyandcompany.net