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You’ve Found a Great Landlord. Here’s How to Be a Great Tenant.

Congrats, you’ve found a great landlord! Now here’s how to be a great tenant in your new apartment to make sure you have the best rental experience.

Your search for a place to live is finished, and you’ve hit the jackpot: a great apartment rental and a great landlord. As you get ready to move into your new digs, you’ll want a great working relationship with your landlord going forward.

Over the 30 years we’ve been working with tenants, we’ve seen some of the best practices a great tenant will follow.

Pay your rent on time. The fundamental building block in the landlord-tenant relationship is regular, on-time rent payments, with a place to live in return. Late payments can create a financial burden for the landlord, who often has to keep up with monthly mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and regular ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the property. Late payments can also damage trust in the relationship between landlord and tenant. On-time payments will help you prevent an uncomfortable potential eviction scenario, and landlords will appreciate avoiding the arduous process of tracking you down for rent.

Take care of your unit. The best tenants go above and beyond the maintenance standards laid out in the lease and will take care of small tasks like changing filters. They’ll alert the landlord of any issues with the property promptly, and will prevent any property damage beyond standard wear and tear. This means treating breakable items —  like light fixtures, appliances and bathroom items — with care, because as the tenant you will be responsible for paying for repairs on any damage you cause. Keeping your space clean will also thwart a problem like a pest infestation, and avoid any issues down the line.

Communicate effectively with your landlord. Even a great landlord can’t read your mind, and can’t help you with any problems you might have unless they know about them. Contact your landlord promptly about any repairs or maintenance you need, and they’ll be prepped and willing to address the issues quickly. Even better, submit your requests in writing, via a letter, email or text message, and save them in your records, as this will help establish a paper trail to keep your landlord organized.

Purchase renters insurance. Your landlord is not responsible for the loss or theft of your personal property in the rental unit, so purchase renters insurance to protect yourself in case an unfortunate event springs up. Often, renters insurance is required when you sign a lease. The good news is that renters insurance will generally insure a high amount of loss for a low monthly price.

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