So you have just moved into your new apartment or you have been a tenant for a while now and you would like to know what makes someone a good tenant? Previously, Hao finder explored the relationship between the landlord and the tenant by examining the major causes of duels between parties and offered some insightful solutions. But have you ever really wondered what is expected of you as tenant by the landlord and what qualities should you have as good tenant?
If you thought all you need to do is simply pay your rent to continue enjoying your stay you are wrong, you need to build a positive and healthy relationship with your landlord, caretaker or even your fellow tenants who dub as your neighbors.
We have examined some steps that can prove to be useful to you to become a good tenant these include the following but not confined into:
- Read your lease and understand it:
Sometimes the lease may be existing in verbal format, so it’s good to note down somewhere what the landlord expects of you, incase a dispute occurs, you can always refer to that. A good landlord will make sure he or she has a lease existing in a written document and as a good tenant it’s your responsibility to make sure you read and understand the terms of lease agreement with the landlord. Note that most leases should discuss the rent amount per month, the damage deposit amount, allowance of pets in the premises, the level of noise that should be maintained, allocation of parking space, cleanliness of the premises and in some cases how to run a social event that you may have at the premises. You should make sure you are clear about these requirements and are comfortable with them.
- Follow the terms of your lease:
Following the rules of your lease will ensure you maintain a positive relationship with your landlord and if you intend to revise your lease for example you desire to have pets like a small dog in your apartment, it’s a good gesture to seek the approval of the landlord or caretaker. Should you however sneak pets into your rental which may be according to the lease pets are not allowed, this would be considered breaking the terms of your lease contract and could lead to eviction by your landlord. A good tenant will always maintain an honest and transparent communication policy with the landlord.
- Pay your rent on time:
Its no secret most landlords desire tenants who pay rent on time every month at agreed time without failure, but sometimes life can be unpredictable and you can easily find yourself struggling financially, and you are not able to pay the rent on time, if in the past you have no records on missing out on the rent the landlord may be a bit lenient. But what happens if you a have a history of always being late on rent? and you start playing cat and mouse games with your landlord or care taker? A good tenant in such a case would reach out to the landlord, notify them they are struggling financially and indicate that they would be short on rent for the month. Your landlord may appreciate the advanced notice and work with to address your rent, or possibly allow you to pay late if you have a history of paying rent on time. If you forecast your financial problem(s) might be bigger and take a long time to solve, its best also to communicate with your landlord and notify them you will no longer be in a position to keep up with the rent of that premises, so that both of you can work towards a solution that can be suitable and remember communicating with your landlord is a better option than simply missing a rent payment.
- Repairs and maintenance:
As a good tenant, you should make every effort to treat the rental as your own home, remember you will be responsible for the payment for repairs for any damage you cause in the rental. We had mentioned in our article the landlord-tenant relationship that when moving into a new house, its important to document the state of the house by taking pictures or videos in the presence of the landlord /caretaker so as the landlord can be accountable for existing damage before moving in.
If your rental needs repairs or maintenance do not do it yourself, reach out to your landlord so he/she can address the issue properly.
- Submit requests for your landlord in written form:
It’s always a good gesture to submit written requests to your landlord or caretaker because this ensures there is a paper trail of your correspondence, it may also keep your landlord /caretaker organized if you always submit requests in writing because of saving the request in your records. Requests may range from asking for permission to keep pets in the premises or having a gathering at the rental.
- Move out respectfully and promptly:
When it comes time for you to move out of the rental, you should do so with respect. Make sure you leave the rental as you viewed it, clean and damage free.
Overall the best skill a good tenant should have is :communicating effectively, transparently and honestly to your landlord/caretaker as this will help foster a positive relationship with them. At Hao Finder, we keep you informed and connected to reliable housing and accommodation besides connecting trustworthy landlords to prudent tenants.
John Mugwe Jr
The author is a content creator and brand strategist for Hao Finder.