Top Tips for Communicating with your Landlord

How To Talk To Your Landlord

As a tenant, life at home goes much more smoothly if you have a good line of communication with your landlord or property management company.

Being open, accessible and honest about what happens in the apartment or house you’re renting means you will be treated in the same fashion.

Repairs will be done quickly and, because you are such a good tenant and obviously looking after the property well, your landlord may be reluctant to increase the rent in case he or she loses you.

In other words, show your value as a tenant and your landlord or property manager should regard you as such.

When looking for a rental

Always be honest when it comes to filling out a rental application. Employment references and financial statements are checked by credit agencies so any exaggerated claims about how much you earn etc will come to light.

Another reason not to lie in your application is that it can often be grounds for terminating the rental.

Remember to ask the questions that are important to you. The landlord or property manager doesn’t know what you’re thinking and may not disclose the information you’re looking for as a matter of course. The only way you’ll get answers is to ask in the first place.

Ask for any promises of a new fridge, carpet, bed etc in writing. That way, if you move in and the promised item hasn’t arrived, you can remind the landlord or property manager by presenting a copy of that written agreement.

When moving into your rental property

Check the inventory and report any missed damage to the property or stained items to the property manager or landlord that day. Otherwise, it’ll be assumed the damage occurred during your tenancy.

Find out how your landlord or property manager prefers to be contacted ie by phone, email, text etc. That way your request is bound to be responded to more efficiently.

Learn how the security system works, where the electricity/gas meters are and when to put out the rubbish etc. That way you won’t have to continually ring the landlord with questions – which is bound to eventually annoy him or her.

As a tenant

It is absolutely crucial that you pay the rent on time – otherwise, alarm bells will start going off for your landlord. If the rent for a certain month is proving difficult to pay then let your landlord know in advance.

Chances are he or she will let you carry the deficit over until the next month or work out some sort of payment plan so that you can get back on track sooner.

Don’t be unreasonable with your requests. For instance, there’s no need to ring the property management company to get them to change a light bulb or the battery in a smoke detector.

Not, that is, unless the ceiling is ridiculously high and you don’t have a stepladder big enough. Also, don’t claim something is an emergency if it isn’t. A flooded flat is an emergency but a dripping tap isn’t unless of course, it looks like it is about to come off completely.

When it comes down to it, the tenant and landlord/property manager relationship is one between two individuals.

In order for it to work well, there has to be respect on both sides as well as a degree of understanding and good communication. Aim for this and you can’t fail to enjoy your tenancy.

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