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Getting Along with Your Landlord

By Chris Piraino

Always a major issue when renting an apartment or house, maintaining a good relationship with your landlord is essential for a trouble-free lease. Anyone who has ever had a bad relationship with their landlord can tell you that it makes everything more difficult and just plain frustrating. In the hopes of making your rental period go smoother, here are a few tips for getting along with your landlord.

Always Pay Rent on Time. This might seem like an obvious common sense action, but it deserves to be mentioned just because of how critical it is. Your landlord is depending on your rent coming in at a certain time, and if it does not, he or she will rightly be angry with you. If for some reason you are not able to pay rent on time, make sure you tell your landlord as soon as possible and come to an agreement about when you will give it to him.

Don't Violate the Lease. Going along with paying your rent, make sure to not violate anything written in your lease. This means, of course, that you should read the lease over carefully and keep a copy for your records. Violating a written agreement is a surefire way to make your landlord mad at you, and possibly kicked off the property all together.

Take Care of the Property. Treat the rental property as if you owned it. Don't punch holes in the wall or break the windows, and keep the place reasonably clean. You never know when your landlord might come by, so be prepared for him to stop at anytime. The landlord owns this property after all, and he will not take too kindly to seeing you destroy his stuff.

Communicate. In dealing with your landlord, it is always important to communicate quickly and effectively any problems that have arisen or concerns that you have. Having a constant flow of communication back and forth will help get any problems resolved quickly and without anger. Also, when talking with your landlord, always be detailed and non-confrontational, expressing your opinion in such a way that he or she will not take offense.

Document Everything. As the famous Ronald Reagon quote says, "Trust, but verify." All of your interactions with your landlord should be documented with the date and reason for contact clearly stated. This will help you tremendously if your landlord tries to say that you did not contact them about something or another. Documenting everything also includes keeping copies of any receipts or contracts that pass between you and your landlord.

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