This is a guest post from Brandon Turner at BiggerPockets.com
Do you like your landlord? Or more importantly – does your landlord like you?
Whether you live in an apartment, house, or small multifamily – gaining the favor and respect of your landlord will make your life significantly easier until you move on to bigger and better things.
As a landlord, I find it interesting how easy it is to get on my “good side” but how few tenants make the effort to do so. No, I don’t need to be friends with those renting my properties – but a good working relationship benefits everyone and makes both of our lives easier. In fact – I am much less likely to charge late fees or increase rent for tenants who I like. Why? Because I want to keep them for as long as possible.
This post is going to give you an insider’s look at three simple techniques you can use to get on your landlords good side and gain their favor and respect.
1.) Good Communication is Key
The best tenants communicate clearly and efficiently with me. When they have a leaky faucet – they let me know. When they are going to be out of town when rent is due and need to arrange an alternative way to pay – they call and ask to discuss options. Sadly – this is not what most tenants do. They believe, wrongly, that by reporting maintenance issues or payment problems the landlord may raise the rent, get angry, and spend excess time snooping around their home. Little do they realize, however, that a small inconvenience now can prevent days of labor later when the maintenance issue becomes a maintenance emergency.
For example – a roof leak in one of my apartments was kept secret by the tenant for nearly a year. The $20, 15 minute repair I could have done (had I known) turned into a $5,000 remodel of that unit, forcing the tenant to vacate the unit.
2.) Ask Permission, Not Forgiveness
As a landlord, few things irritate me more than when I discover a tenant has made some significant change to their home without my permission. I’m not opposed to a tenant adding some personality in their home, but cutting holes in the wall, repainting a unit bright purple, and removing cabinets is not okay because of the costs associated with changing it back. Had the tenant asked – I would have worked with them to ensure their design goals were accomplished. Sometimes something as simple as a phone call can convince me to let a tenant make some change – and I might even pay for it.
3.) Pay on Time
The last one is the most important: pay your rent on time. It’s not that difficult of a concept – but consistant on-time rent payment is the number one best way to win your landlord’s favor and respect. If you really want to go the extra mile – pay your rent a couple days early. Chances are, the money is sitting in your checking account anyways, not earning any interest – so why not use that simple tactic to stand out as an amazing tenant?
What About You?
This stuff isn’t rocket science. As a landlord – I want to like my tenants. I want to have a great relationship that is mutually beneficial. I want to help them out, give them their deposit back, and give them a great reference when they move. However, many people don’t follow the simple techniques above and make having a good relationship difficult.
Do you have any techniques you use to get on your landlord’s “good side?” Do you even think it’s important? Let me know in the comments below and let’s talk about it!
– Brandon Turner is the Community Manager of BiggerPockets.com – a real estate investing social network for investors large and small. He is also the author of How to Rent Your House, a #1 best selling Amazon Kindle book.
Photo by MoyanBrenn