HOW TO BE
1. Read Your Tenancy Agreement
Read your tenancy agreement cover to cover before you sign it. It will help you catch potential problems before they actually happen. Most good landlords will work with you on the terms of the agreement. If you know you have a special circumstance, such as a family member or friend who visits regularly, tell the landlord about it ahead of time. If the landlord makes any verbal agreement with you, like providing lawn care, make sure he puts it in writing in the agreement. Then ask for a copy of the agreement for yourself as soon as you sign. Having a well-rounded agreement will help you avoid any tenant’s rights issues later on.
2. Don’t Break the Lease
Most renters think of breaking a lease in terms of the big things like not paying the rent, cutting out early or subletting without permission. However, smaller lease points count too. While a landlord can technically evict a tenant for breaking any term of a lease, most won’t. But the better you stick to your lease, the better chance you have of existing peacefully with your landlord.
3. Pay Your Rent on Time
Nothing makes a landlord happier than a renter who pays rent on time every month. Make sure you arrange the payment a day before it’s due to avoid any bank holdups. You might even score a few brownie points if you pay a few days early. And since no one is immune from financial hardship, if you know you might have to pay late one month, let your landlord know as soon as possible. The landlord may not mind the late payment as much, if you’re upfront about it.
4. Treat Your Rental Like You Own It
Taking good care of your rental will ensure that you get your deposit back when you move out, and it will also put you in good favour with your landlord. While normal wear and tear is typical in rental units, do not cause any major damage to the rental. Damages will eat away at your security deposit and annoy your landlord.
On that same note, keep your rental property clean. This goes double if you have pets. Pet owners typically become de-sensitized to the odour their pets give off, but your landlord will notice it. If your landlord comes in and sees your unit in a good, clean, scent-free condition, he’ll trust you more. And more trust equals more negotiation power when the lease renewal rolls around.
5. Get to Know Your Neighbours
Meeting your potential neighbours should always be part of your game plan especially if you have a pet. Part of this is because its great to meet new people and have them onside and another part is because if you have a dog the odds of having the neighbours call you to complain about the dog – and not the landlord – improve if you meet them in person.
Knowing your neighbours has several additional benefits. You can watch out for each other. If you have to go out of town some time, your neighbours might keep a better eye on your unit if they know you. You can also do small favours for each other such as signing for packages and clearing mail. Most importantly, establishing a line of communication between tenants reduces the chance of your neighbours escalating a problem to the landlord.