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Five Steps to a Great Tenant and Landlord Relationship

Man shaking hands with real estate agent

Here’s what happens far too often…

“Why didn’t I get my security deposit back?” an angry tenant asked.   “Here is a list of damages we’ll need to repair, in fact our cost exceeds the amount of your deposit,” responded the landlord.

Here’s what we want to happen…

“We sure hate to see you go, you’ve been a wonderful tenant, here’s your security deposit and our best wishes for the future.” Tenant and Landlord part on good terms.

When it’s time to rent a new apartment, follow these five steps to make certain that you have a great place to live, and when it’s time to move on, you’ll have the ideal outcome when you and your landlord part company.

Read your lease carefully.  Many people just sign without reading the fine print – this is a big mistake and frequently causes problems when tenants break the rules that they agreed to obey.  When you read each line of the lease, if there is something that you don’t agree with, discuss this with the landlord.  Some items may be negotiable and if not, you may wish to either comply with the rules or decide that this property may not be a good fit for you.

Be honest. Always be open and honest with your landlord, especially if it concerns a late rent payment; if your landlord knows ahead of time, then you can make arrangements. If the property does not allow pets, don’t try to hide one.  The truth always comes out in the end, why not own it up front?  You will get the best results for both parties in the end.

Treat the rental like you own it. Communicate maintenance issues as they happen, don’t wait for small problems to become large expensive problems, your landlord will appreciate it.  Keep your rental reasonably clean and orderly, and take care of the small maintenance items like changing light bulbs.

Don’t let someone live with you who isn’t on the lease. The lease agreement is designed to protect both the landlord and the tenants. It needs to be signed by anyone over 18 living in the rental property. A good tenant will not sneak in secret roommates and should notify their landlord if they plan on hosting any long-term guests.

Buy renter’s insurance.  Not only will renter’s insurance help cover the cost of replacing a tenant’s stolen or damaged personal possessions, it can also cover the cost of damage caused to the property by negligence. Renters’ insurance is extremely affordable.