Sometimes, when searching for an apartment to rent, people focus a bit too much on what they are looking for. Instead, it’s advisable to be also aware of what a landlord expect from a tenant. This way you increase the chances of getting the place you want. Needless to say, first impressions matter and things like personal hygiene are a must if you want to make it to the top of the list. However, there are other important factors you need to remember before and after signing the lease! You don’t want to lose this great opportunity for something that you could have avoided, right?
Before signing the lease
Improve your credit score
You should never forget that, even if you are charming as it can be, landlords are in it for the money. So if your credit score is bad, you are not going to convince anyone. We recommend to try fixing it before moving. If you don’t, you are in danger of only being accepted for the worst flats with abusive contracts.
Have your money prepared
As important as it is to have a reliable credit history, you need to have the actual money to pay the rent. Proof of a steady income is always going to attract more the landlord, and having the deposit money ready to roll (out of your bank account!) will also help. If you don’t know how you can afford so much money at once, here’s a list of 100 tips to increase your savings by thesimpledollar.com.
Ask for references
These things are a must, but you can call more attention if you also take with you some references from previous landlords. This will show the owner that you are trustworthy, so never leave an apartment without asking for a letter or recommendation! Although you can always keep their phone number and call them in the event a landlord ask for references.
If they gave bad references or they just weren’t willing to speak, then ask for a previous roommate recommendation, as this article suggest. They advise that “it’s better to have no reference letter at all than to have a bad one”.
After signing the lease
Respect your landlord’s rules
After living for a while in an apartment, people often forget that it actually belongs to someone else. If you don’t want to piss off your landlord, we suggest to keep this in mind. First, you need to respect the rules. It sounds so basic, but it’s a must. If you don’t like them, then don’t move in in the first place. But if you signed an agreement, then you must live by it.
Pay on time
A key for a good relationship between landlord and tenants will always be paying on time. Not only the rent, but also the bills like electricity, gas or water. Make sure you know what utilities are included or not in your rent. Some people think that they can stretch the payment days just because they come in different envelops, but being reliable means to do it the day your landlord established.
Keep it polite
Also, good manners are old values that always works. Keeping it polite with the owner, even if you are angry because your heating is not working, will take you further than losing your temper. Remember that landlords often manage more than one property, plus sometimes a day job, so keep it cool and don’t call them every 5 seconds. I mean, it’s not like they have a hotline, so just text them in case they don’t answer. It’s their property, so they will be concerned to fix it as soon as possible.
Call him only when needed
It’s always good to remember that you can try to fix the minor problems. I mean, don’t call your landlord if there’s something you can repair just watching a 5 minute tutorial video (as long as it doesn’t put the property at risk). You can easily manage things like unclogging the toilet or changing a lightbulb. This way, your landlord will know that you only call when it’s really needed and won’t let you hanging.
Pay attention to him
Before it comes to that, there are many things that you can avoid simply by listening to the landlord. When you move in, he or she will explain all the details, like that little trick to turn the water heater on or that a specific wall that is too weak to hold picture frames. If you listen carefully and follow their advice, you’ll probably avoid half of the problems you would have otherwise.
Don’t be afraid to ask in case you have any doubts. You can make a list of the concerns about the flat and send him/her an email. This way, you won’t bother him every time there’s a minor issue and at the same time you are not neglecting the property.
A final piece of advice…
Tell the truth and keep them updated. If there’s something wrong with the property, tell your landlord before it gets worst. Otherwise, you might be held accountable for those damages, even if the original cause wasn’t your fault. If you want to make renovations, let them know your plans and negotiate with him/her. It’s their property and they won’t be pleasantly surprised if they suddenly discover you knocked down a wall, even if it looks better now.
Each landlord is different and has his own habits, characteristics and secret tales and you must be prepared for that. Take a look at this article to identify the profile of your landlord and how to deal with him!