If you are looking for an apartment or room to rent, you have two things to worry about: how to find the solution that best suits your needs-minimizing your search time, travel, and number of visits-and, after finding it, how to maintain it. In other words, how to make everything go smoothly in relationships with roommates (you know, the ideal roommate does not exist, but you can try) and, most importantly, how to cultivate a good relationship with the homeowner.
Getting along with your landlord is a balancing act, mixed with common sense and knowledge of the laws governing the rental relationship:
protect yourself first, lest you regret it later
is the mantra to keep in mind.
Then some simple suggestions to limit potential problems with the homeowner.
honesty and transparency
To play the champions of the proletariat against the tyranny of the wealthy landowners, modern squires with bloated bellies and ruddy cheeks, however seductive a temptation, is never a good way to set up the relationship with the other party. Better to be honest and transparent with the homeowner, both in your expectations and in what you are going to do. Do you want to take your bike to the backyard? Keeping an animal at home? Repainting the room in that Pompeii red you like so much? Ask nicely, you will often get no resistance.
the importance of the contract
We will never stop repeating: the lease is critical. Signing a regular lease is the most important thing: it protects both parties, defines the rights and duties of landlord and tenant in a timely manner, and sanctions the distribution of incidental expenses. In short, it greatly reduces the chances of coming to a confrontation.
A minimum of housekeeping is a must, to avoid unpleasant situations that could later escalate into something more serious (and expensive). If you notice something wrong, make a phone call to the homeowner to find out how best to take action.
punctuality (in payments)
Pay your rent and do it in a timely manner. It is the golden rule of a good relationship, and if by chance you find yourself in a difficult situation, warn: if it doesn’t become a habit, a deviation from the rule won’t be a problem. Having good tenants is not a given, and versi meeting is in the interest of both of you.
common sense, common sense, common sense
Did a light bulb break? Change it, at your own expense. Did the washing machine break down? Make a phone call to the owner and arrange for repair. Are you planning to have a house party? Calculate the pros and cons well. The homeowner will probably not become your friend, but cultivating a relationship based on common sense can only save you both numerous hassles.
Cover image: Flickr, The landlord, m hildingh – edited
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