Landlords can be intimidating if a student has never interacted with one before, but having a good relationship with your landlord will ensure a smoother renting experience. Here are some tips for how to interact and talk to a landlord.
Communication is key
Communicating with the landlord about problems that arise is key to having a successful landlord-tenant relationship, Jamar Properties Landlord Miranda Mann said. If your toilet starts to leak or the air conditioning stops working, call your landlord immediately. Explaining the problem and being detailed is important every time you speak.
Make sure your form of communication with your landlord is appropriate, sophomore Michael Romano said. Assess the situation and determine whether it warrants a call, text, email or letter.
“If I need an immediate answer from my landlord, I will call,” sophomore Michael Romano said. “But if it’s something less time sensitive I will send a text.”
Be curious and proactive
Asking questions while in the process of renting is how you can ensure peace of mind, Mann said. When touring a house, be sure to look at everything in detail so you can catch any imperfections or breaks, cracks, etc., and note them.
“Always make you have stuff in writing and that you report any damages,” Mann said.
Your landlord is here to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask how to set up utilities or pay bills, Mann said.
You want to make a good impression on your landlord in order to show your responsibility as a tenant, and being on time is a perfect way to do so, Romano said. Any time a meeting, tour or lease signing is scheduled, be sure to arrive early or on time. You must also make sure to be timely in your payment of bills, or your landlord may have repercussions, Mann said.
“Find out how the landlord prefers to get bills paid,” Romano said. “My roommates and I are able to pay through Venmo, which is weird but convenient.”
Being honest with your landlord is crucial to building trust, Romano said. If someone who is not on the lease is staying at your property, you have to tell the landlord immediately.
Rules are in place for a reason, and your landlord is likely to find out if you are dishonest or something breaks. Be honest about anything put on an application, including credit, criminal history or references, Romano said.
Finally, if you break or damage the property, be upfront with your landlord rather than hiding it.
"I always try to fix any damages by myself at first, but if I can't figure it out I tell the landlord immediately," Romano said.
Even though rent is being paid, landlords are still doing a favor by trusting you with their home, Romano said. In order to maintain a positive relationship with them, there must be mutual respect.
Your landlords are people too and like to have pleasant conversations and develop relationships with their tenants. Don’t be intimidated or put off because of their authority.
“I am friendly with my landlord,” Romano said. “Not friends, but you’ve got to be nice for sure.”
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