The importance of the tenant landlord relationship cannot be underestimated. It’s easy to forget that your landlord is a person with feelings and needs. But in many ways, they’re just like you: They have stressful days, they want to be respected and valued by their tenants, and sometimes they have bad moods.
In order for your relationship with your landlord to be healthy and successful, you need to treat them like the people they are—and not just another business partner. Here are some tips for building a good relationship with your landlord.
A good landlord tenant relationship is a win-win for both parties. Tenants stand to benefit from the relationship long after they’ve moved out of the rental property in the form of positive references for future housing. Few words weigh heavier when you’re looking for a new apartment than the words of a former landlord with whom you interacted for sometimes years at a time.
Besides providing a good reference for a future apartment, there are other benefits to having a great landlord tenant relationship. A landlord who has good interactions with a tenant is more likely to prioritize that tenant’s maintenance requests.
Plus, some landlords are less bothered by minor lease violations from tenants with whom they have a good relationship. Not to say that failing to cultivate a good rapport with a landlord will automatically mean lousy customer service, but tenants who don’t have a good relationship run the risk of being a lower priority on a landlord’s already long list of things to do.
If you have to quit the property for some reason before the lease term ends, or circumstances become necessary that you have to sublet your apartment, you may find that the process is smoother if you have taken the time to establish a good relationship with the landlord.
Landlords have a lot of rules, and it can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with them. Take the time to write down the most important ones and keep them up-to-date.
When you move in, review the rules with your landlord and make sure that both parties understand them clearly before signing any paperwork or paying any deposits.
If there are any changes or updates to the house rules after this point, don’t hesitate to ask about them – but always do so respectfully!
If there is ever an issue with one of these rules (or anything else), explain why this change might benefit everyone involved first; then, politely ask for permission from your landlord before making any changes yourself.
There’s often more focus on the benefits a good landlord-tenant relationship has for the tenant, but the landlord stands to benefit as well. Having good tenant relations can directly influence your occupancy rates and turnover costs. A strong relationship with your tenants will make for long-term tenants. Even if a tenant has to vacate their apartment, they will likely recommend the property to equally good tenants based solely on their relationship with the landlord.
Property safety remains a major concern for landlords. If you as the landlord can build a good relationship with your tenants, they are likely to take better care of the rental property than someone with whom you haven’t established a good relationship.
Paying your rent on time and without problems is the best way to build a good relationship with your landlord.
If the rent is going to be late, it’s a good practice to let your landlord know in advance that you’ll be paying late. You may even mention when you will be able to make the payment. Consistently making late rent payments is one of the quickest ways to sour a tenant landlord relationship. If they do not get their rent, they may have to pay late fees or even evict you if it goes long enough.
If paying cash is an option for you and if it’s okay with them (some landlords prefer checks), then go ahead and pay in cash rather than writing out a check every month or two months.
Everyone benefits from a well-kept, clean apartment. A landlord will appreciate a tenant more if he or she goes the extra mile to maintain the property as if it were their own. This may translate to cleaning your apartment regularly and keeping it clutter-free.
This is probably the most important thing you can do to keep your landlord happy. If you leave a mess for them to clean up, they’ll be less likely to want you back next year.
Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or food out on the counter – it smells bad, looks bad, and makes it look like you don’t care about anyone but yourself!
Take out the trash regularly (at least once a week). It’s better if you take it out at night when no one is around so that there are no complaints from neighbors about noise or smells from your garbage bags.
Don’t just disappear without a word. Don’t leave the building unlocked. And don’t leave pets unattended, especially if they have access to food and water in the apartment, because this can lead to health problems for both the animal and other residents of your building who may not like animals coming into their apartments when they’re not there (or even if they are).
Also, make sure that any pet waste gets disposed of properly!
Turn off lights in rooms where nobody is staying overnight; this will save energy costs as well as help prevent fires in case something catches on fire while no one’s around.
And don’t forget about turning off appliances too, especially TVs, computers, etc., which use electricity even when turned off!
People often ignore small maintenance issues until they’ve grown into much bigger ones. Since landlords cannot enter into their tenant’s property on a whim, they may not know about issues until the tenant informs them. Help yourself and the landlord by reporting maintenance issues timely, preferably when you first notice them.
When you have a problem with your apartment, don’t ask for repairs that are not urgent. In fact, it’s best to wait until the end of the month or during busy periods like summer vacation before asking for any type of maintenance work.
The landlord is likely to be stressed, busy with other tenants, and more willing to compromise on repairs if you wait until then.
If you make an appointment with your landlord during this time period and then cancel it at the last minute (or even worse – do not show up), they may think that all future requests will be treated similarly by you!
Empty rental units hurt landlords’ bottom lines. As a tenant, there are two ways you can help landlords when this happens. One way is to offer your unit as a model to show to prospective tenants. Second, if you know someone who is looking for a rental property, you can recommend the tenant to the landlord. Being cooperative this way could earn you favor with the landlord.
Respecting your landlord’s privacy and boundaries is another useful approach to building a healthy relationship with your landlord.
Don’t go through their mail or snoop around in their belongings. If you see something that looks interesting, don’t pick it up!
Don’t ask them personal questions about their private life (or anyone else’s). This includes asking about how much money they make, where they live, etc., unless they bring these things up first; then feel free to ask away!
Communication is key to any healthy relationship, be it a friendship or a landlord tenant relationship. If you’re facing financial challenges that could impact your ability to meet your responsibilities as a tenant, it may make it more comfortable to share your issues with your landlord if you’ve invested the time into building a good tenant landlord relationship with him or her beforehand.
The best way to communicate with your landlord is through email, but if you need to talk in person or over the phone, it’s important to be respectful of their time and keep things short and sweet.
If something goes wrong in an apartment (like an appliance breaks), let them know as soon as possible so they can help fix it or arrange for repairs.
Expressing appreciation and gratitude will go a long way toward fostering goodwill between both parties! It’s always nice when renters acknowledge how grateful they are for being able to live in such a beautiful building–and sharing photos of their pets helps too!
Abiding by the lease terms is another way to build a good landlord tenant relationship. For example, if the lease term states that the property can only be used for residential purposes, the tenant can respect the agreement by not running a business out of the home. Tenants who respect the terms in their lease agreements are likely to enjoy good tenant landlord relationships.
Some landlords live in their rental property before renting it to tenants. While occupying the space, it’s not uncommon for them to establish a relationship with the neighbors. No one likes having a bad neighbor, so do your best to make living on the property a pleasant experience for everyone. If someone asks you to turn down your music or refrain from playing it while they’re sleeping, be kind and respect their request or negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement in which the landlord doesn’t have to get involved.
Having a good landlord tenant relationship can make your tenancy experience great. The effort you will put into building a positive tenant landlord relationship will undoubtedly pay dividends. You want to make sure that they know you care about their house and want it to be in good condition for them so that they will return the favor by being responsive when there are problems or repairs needed. The key thing here is patience – both parties need time to adjust before getting along well together!