A good standing relationship with your landlord can impact a great many things in the duration of your stay: the efficiency of maintenance service, securing good rates from one term to another, and simply making for a peaceful environment. You will also get a good recommendation for if ever you need a reference in future.
To ensure a smooth stay at the place you are renting and a comfortable living environment, stay on good terms with your landlord. Here is some advice to help you do so.
Tips to maintaining a good relationship
Before signing your lease, make sure that both you and your prospective landlord are clear on exactly what is expected of each party. The landlord has an obligation for providing you with a safe and sanitary living environment, but the details of what that entails can vary from place to place. Come to an agreement with your landlord concerning what maintenance will be her or his responsibility, and what will be your responsibility.
Where you can, however, handle minor maintenance needs yourself. Things like changing a light bulb, replacing a smoke detector battery or tightening a loose screw. There’s no need to run to your landlord with every detail, and doing so could be very annoying for your landlord.
Respect the rules of the property. For instance, if your contract says that no pets are allowed, don’t volunteer to babysit your friend’s puppy. If a case comes up where you are unsure of whether or not something is permissible, make an inquiry about it. Your landlord will appreciate your attempt to be considerate about the rules.
Be friendly and respectful at all times. You two don’t need to be friends, but certainly do be friendly. Take the time out to ask how the day is going.
On the other hand, some people might be put off if you try to be too familiar. Read the signs, and remain professional at all times.
Remember that everyone has off days, so if one day your landlord seems brusque and distant, don’t be offended. The next time you meet, keep your attitude light and pleasant.
If your situation is going to change, for instance if you want to terminate your lease, give sufficient notice. Minimising penalties and fines for breaking a lease very much depends on what your landlord is willing to agree to.
Respect the property as if you yourself were the owner. If you or a friend damages the property, the onus is on you to make the necessary repairs.
Keep your payments on schedule. If there is going to be a problem, let your landlord know in advance. So long as this is not an occurring habit, you may be able to work something out.
Although when you’re renting a house or apartment you’re protected by certain laws regulating tenant-landlord relationships, having an ugly situation where you need to seek legal aid is never desirable – it’s costly, time consuming and emotionally taxing. Not only that, but it makes for an uncomfortable living situation.
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Queenie Bates is an avid researcher and writer. Before making the leap to looking for property for sale Cape Town, she spent many years as a tenant, and is happy to say that she’s benefitted from good relationships with her landlords.