Renting is commonplace across the country, with 37 percent of all Americans renting their homes. This means that more than a third of Americans have to deal with a landlord on a regular basis, and here’s a secret — not all landlords are bad people! Unfortunately, there is a stigma that landlords are out to get you and only care about your money, but this isn’t true at all. In fact, the more you communicate with your landlord, the easier your relationship will be.
To help open the lines of communication, here are some secrets your landlord wants to tell you.
Late payments are not the end of the world
Landlords understand that life does get in the way, and you may have extenuating circumstances that cause you to give a late rent payment. Landlords understand this! While you do not want to make this a habit, usually one late payment is OK and won’t ruin your standing with your landlord. As long as you keep the lines of communication open with your landlord at all times, you don’t need to be afraid to explain your situation when push comes to shove.
We like doing things online
Now that we live in the digital age, we can do a ton of things online to make both of our lives easier. This includes applying via a free online rental application, making payments online, and communicating on social media. Not only does this make communication easier, but working with a digital platform keeps all of your materials in one place.
Reporting issues is your responsibility
Landlords tend to want to give a hands-off approach to their tenants. They don’t want to interfere with your life inside your home, but this means that it’s up to you to report when you have a problem. This means speaking to your landlord about anything from a small maintenance problem, the need for a new appliance, or even speaking about your neighbors if they are bothering you. If you don’t communicate your issues, your landlord will not know and will not be able to help you.
Social media is important
When applying to rent a new home, it is common to give your prior landlords as a reference. However, landlords rarely call them. Instead, they use your social media platforms to learn how you can be as a tenant. They look for clues about your living style, such as your tendency to throw parties, whether you have pets, and how often you travel and leave your property empty. So if you are applying for a new place, take a step back and look at your social media to see if it accurately represents you.
They know you have done your research
Landlords use the same property listing websites that you do, so more often than not when you show up for your property tour, the rent listed is non-negotiable. Before you go ahead and try to haggle down prices, consider that your landlord has already done his or her research — just as you have! — and the rent is considered to be an industry standard for the location.
Think of your relationship with your landlord as being a business partnership — you both have the same goals in mind. Your landlord will want to work with you if you have reasonable requests, so simply ask! There’s no need to be apprehensive about asking to bring your pet in your apartment or requesting a minor bathroom remodel. The worst they can do is to say no, and you wouldn’t have known if you didn’t simply ask.
With these secrets in mind, you’ll be on your way to developing a wonderful work relationship with your landlord.