The tenant/landlord relationship can be tricky to navigate, especially if you are new to renting. Every situation is different and every landlord is different as well. It’s extremely important to maintain a good relationship with your landlord for many reasons. Your landlord dictates any repairs or renovations that your home or apartment needs. They also determine whether or not to extend your lease. Needless to say, you should consider your relationship with your landlord an important one. But where do you draw the line? Can you be friends with your landlord? Is it appropriate to give them gifts? How much should you disclose to them? As a property management company, we are here to help you with those questions and more.
Some property owners live in the same city, or even right next door to the space that they manage. Some even live in the same building as their tenants! However, sometimes landlords prefer to manage from a distance. An out-of-state landlord may literally never contact you. Or, the property owner may call more than you prefer. These differences are important to note when considering your relationship with your landlord. If they live in the same city, this means you may have a better chance of building a great relationship with them. However, you can also have good communication with your landlord through just phone calls, emails, and texts. If your landlady lives farther away, you’ll want to be more diligent about communicating about repairs since they aren’t around to take a look at your property. In this case, details are very important as well as timeliness. Whereas a local landlord can immediately get their repairman on the job, an out-of-state landlord will probably have to make several phone calls to schedule the same repairs. This brings us to our next point.
We cannot emphasize this enough. Nothing is worse as a landlord than struggling to communicate with a tenant. Whether it’s about repairs or late rent, be sure to keep them in the loop. However, it is important to understand the limit on this – you don’t have to text your landlady every day about what you ate or what you’re currently binging on Netflix. Unless you’re close friends with your landlord (which can be an awesome thing for everybody), it’s best to keep non-financial and non-housing concerns and stories to a minimum. Unless it’s relevant, it’s best to steer clear of sharing personal information with your landlord. When it comes to the state of their tenants and their property, you don’t have to worry about bothering them. In this case, more communication is ALWAYS better than less.
Consider this: if you’re a landlord, are you more likely to evict a tenant who openly communicates about their financial hardships or one that regularly pays late with no communication whatsoever? Everybody has rough patches in life. Your landlord is sure to understand this. A struggling communicative tenant will always receive better treatment than a struggling silent one. This brings us to…
This is something that many tenants fail to realize. This is also something that can work in your favor, and maybe against you as well. Think of how you would feel if you owned a home that you’re renting out. How would you want issues handled? How would you want communication to go? Chances are, your views are more similar than you think. Many landlords are simply people who purchased a second home and no longer need the first one, or people looking to make some extra money. Their ability to pay their mortgage may depend entirely on the tenants paying their rent on time. When they call to inquire about late rent, they’re not doing it to harass you. Just like you, property owners have bills to pay. Renting out homes and apartments is a business, and a tough one at that.
Almost all property owners have rented before, so they understand the benefits and drawbacks of the tenant experience. Most landlords want to do well by their tenants and will invest greatly to maintain good people in their rented space. The golden rule is true here especially. Be kind. If you’re good to your landlord, they’ll be good to you in return!