I haven't written on this topic for a while, so I decided, in the heat of the rental season, to get organized and write down a few thoughts. Landlords, property managers and the like have a few things in common...we deal with tenants on a hourly, daily basis, so we've heard all the excuses, all the stories and some things that we don't even want to remember. So, here goes my list of 10 simple suggestions to make your landlord love you.
- Prepare Your Documents. If you are applying for a new rental, make sure you have all your documents in a row. Most landlords will ask you for a copy of your driver license, your W2's or 1099's, at least three months worth of your pay stubs. Be prepared, they'll be impressed.
- Read Your Lease. Please, take time to thoroughly read your lease. Your landlord will be super impressed, and you will actually know the terms of your rental agreement. If there is terminology that you don't understand, don't be shy, ask the landlord to clarify. The best tenant is an educated tenant. Someone who knows the rules. It just makes life easier for everyone.
- Make Sure You Have Your References. Every landlord or property manager will want to know two main things: 1. Are you working and likelihood that you will continue working and 2. Are you a good tenant, pay your rent on time and take care of the property. Therefore, make sure you have your bosses (or HR Department) telephone number, name and email address. They will be contacted. And of course, the same goes for your current landlord. Name, phone number and email address.
- Give Proper Notice. Make sure that you are giving your current landlord proper notice. In every application and verification that we do, we ask the current landlord if proper notice was given.
- Know Your Credit Score. If you have a good credit history, you are ahead of the game, however, most people that we see, still need some work. I suggest going to www.annualcreditreport.com (it's free) and getting all three of your credit reports to see what's on them. You want to be prepared and show your new landlord/property manager that you got your credit under control.
- Provide References. People who know you (not your relatives) through work, or church, or other organization that know you well. It helps when we see good references.
- Pay rent on time, every time. This is what every landlord/property manager wants to know. Do you pay now on time, will you pay on time in the future, or will they have to pull teeth to get the rent? Before you apply, ask your current landlord to print out a copy of your stellar rent payment history. That would really impress the new landlord.
- Take ownership of your new residence. Besides getting rent on time, every landlord want their tenants to take care of the property as if it was their own, so take ownership of your new rental. Or, tell your new landlord how you would like to make this property your own, and make sure to get approval in writing if you want to do anything specific.
- Communicate with your landlord. Being honest, upfront and communicating with your landlord will make life a whole lot easier for everyone. Landlords and property managers are people too. If they see that you are making an effort, they will appreciate it.
- Don't give your landlord or property manager a story. They've heard them all. They know how to distinguish a "story" from the "truth".
Well, here are 10 really simple, yet wonderful suggestions to make your landlord or property manager love you. And, if your landlord loves you...you'll be able to pick and choose. You'll be really in control of your destiny, and when you find the right place, the new landlord won't have a choice but love you as well.
Written by Marina Shlomov of ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management. You can find Marina at work managing the properties for ALHPodland Rental Homes. With her free time, she likes to garden, read and travel.