Nearly 35 percent of Americans are currently residing in over 40 million rental homes, as such it is somewhat surprising that many of us are lacking effective communication skills with our landlords! Almost every one of these “relationships” are given little thought to how to communicate considering it lasts a minimum of one year and some last many years.
Establishing a positive relationship with your landlord can directly impact your lifestyle, reputation, and financial standing. Good communication with your landlord can go a long way in getting you the fastest responses to maintenance requests, keeping your rental rates reasonable, and help you live in the best conditions as possible.
Creekbend Property Management has provided some quick tips in helping to maintain and improve landlord – tenant relations:
First things, first! Your rental search
- What are your expectations before searching for a property? Don’t expect a landlord to add unreasonable amenities or upgrades to their rental. Move on if your requirements are met at that particular property. You’ll find other available units that will suit your needs.
- Do not lie about your income or credit rating because it’s almost always grounds for denial or termination of a lease. Be honest! Landlords, for the most part are open to working with challenged credit, factoring in extenuating circumstances, i.e. stuff happens! Being upfront by providing a clear explanation and communicating your desire to improve the situation may help to swing the decision your way.
- Read the rental lease thoroughly. Request a copy of the lease, if possible before signing to have enough time to read and to think of any questions. If any repairs, new carpets, new appliances, or anything else was promised as a condition of your lease, get it in writing on the lease document.
Time to Move in!
- Do a visual walk-through, make notes or take photos of any existing wear or damage. Ask for a copy of move-in inspection form for your records.
- Make sure you know all the pertinent property information (alarm codes, homeowner association rules, parking instructions, utility information, recycling and trash pick up days, mailbox number and key, etc…). Eliminate appearing high maintenance to your landlord by collecting all the property info before moving in.
- Find out exactly how the landlord would like to be contacted. Don’t assume texting or calling is preferred or most effective option. Landlords more then likely will respond quicker to tenants who follow their protocol.
- Pay your rent on time, and if you can’t, contact the landlord as soon as you see a problem arise. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Non payment and non communication will get you evicted. Landlords would rather work with a tenant who reaches out to them and if they feel the tenant is honestly trying, but is having a short-term problem.
- Handle small maintenance issues on your own (change a bulb, smoke detector, tighten a door knob, furnace filters). Be reasonable with your maintenance requests. These tiny issues add up to an annoying number of service calls and costs to the landlord.
Remember there are many factors that are out of the landlord’s control that can determine the expediency of resolved issues, including technicians schedules, the time of day, weather, parts availability, etc. You are dealing with another human being who wants to get your problem resolved asap and it doesn’t help the landlord (or you) when making more noise than is necessary.
- Treat your rental like you own it by taking good care of your unit. You want to ensure getting your deposits back in full or more negotiation power come lease renewal time. Start by keeping it clean, especially if you have pets. You may not notice the doggy odor, but your landlord will if you don’t keep it smelling fresh.
By portraying yourself as an honest tenant, preparing yourself for your tenancy up front, educating yourself on your lease terms and rules, and making reasonable requests using the proper channels, it is very likely that you will have a happier and more successful relationship with your landlord and a more pleasant stay in your rental property!
Creekbend Property Management is the answer to all your investment property needs. We are good at what we do. We want you to be successful.
Creekbend Property Management is located in Charleston, SC specializing in rental properties in downtown Charleston, James Island, Isle of Palm, Johns Island, Kiawah, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, and West Ashley. We are licensed and insured, providing leasing services, management services, maintenance, and most importantly; giving our property investors peace of mind!