A friendly and pleasant landlord-tenant relationship goes far in making your apartment a better place to live. The landlord-tenant relationship doesn’t have to be fraught with tension, and most landlords are professionals who strive to keep tenants happy. A thorough understanding of your lease agreement and a positive disposition go a long way in preventing potential landlord problems.
The best way to avoid these sorts of disagreements boils down to knowing what to look for before you rent, as well as how to handle issues as they arise.
Common Landlord Problems You Can Easily Avoid
It’s easy enough to walk away from a potential rental that doesn’t sit right. For instance, you may get a feeling that there are problems with the unit or potential issues with management. In that case, it’s better to lose out on a rental than to deal with never-ending conflicts.
However, don’t be afraid to negotiate a contract that isn’t up to your standards. A reasonable landlord will happily take care of problematic wording that might cause issues later. However, it’s your job as a renter to carefully comb through contracts to know what you’re getting into.
Here are several potential landlord problems you might encounter, and how to prevent and resolve them.
Extra Occupants and Subletting
Check your contract in advance to know your landlord’s policy on roommates, visitors, and sublets. There is often a limit on the number of consecutive days that a visitor can stay with you. And if you have an emergency that requires a guest’s extended stay, discuss it with your landlord as soon as possible. He or she may have a solution you haven’t considered.
Fees and Penalties
Your landlord can assess fees for neglecting to pay your rent, missing the due date, or damage to property. This is easy to avoid — just make sure you understand everything about how and when rent is due. In addition, know what your landlord expects from you regarding damages. Above all else, take care of your rental and treat it as your own.
When you have a complaint, your first point of contact should be the property management if you live in a complex. If none exists or is unresponsive, then get in touch with your landlord. From there, look into your rights as a tenant — you may seek legal aid at that point.
Let’s face it — dealing with multiple people can be challenging, especially when it comes to your living space. Remember that your rental management, landlord, and maintenance operators likely have many other tenants with needs of their own. So try to be understanding if you don’t hear back right away — with the exception of emergency maintenance issues.
However, if it becomes a recurring problem, you may need to have a sit-down to discuss a realistic timeline for answering questions and performing repairs. (A side note: Blasting your landlord on social media or other online platforms is rarely the answer.)
You As a Tenant
It’s all too easy to blame your landlord when things go wrong. But if you take a good, long look in the mirror, are you the ideal tenant? Perhaps there are some things you could fix on your end to smooth out the relationship.
Here are some things every landlord wishes you knew:
- Don’t get frustrated with pet deposits or pet rent. Returning a unit to pristine condition after a pet has resided there is not always simple.
- Your contract is binding, and the rules are there for a reason. If you’re annoyed with the fact that you can’t have your sister come and stay with you for a few weeks, please understand that there have been previous instances where a similar situation has gone badly.
- Address problems as soon as they arise. It’s a lot easier — and less expensive — to repair a simple drip in the ceiling than to go in after a burst pipe.
- Don’t push boundaries. While no landlord gets excited about evicting a tenant (it’s actually a really big headache), a repeat offender and rule-breaker might just force their hand.
- Your landlord is a human being. If you have an emergency and can’t pay your rent on time, let them know about the situation. You’ll get a lot more empathy when you’re honest.
- At the same time, it’s part of your landlord’s job to make sure you’re happy with your rental. Your landlord is not trying to stiff you, spoil your fun, or fine you at every turn. In fact, you’ll each make the other’s role easier if you can be kind and courteous.
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