Tips for Single Homebuyers: How To Make Your Dream a Reality If you’re living on your own and looking to buy a home, know that you can make your dream a reality with
Nov 6 2018 45756 1 Renters The Key To Becoming The Perfect Tenant
Dated: November 7 2018
The convenience and affordability of renting an apartment is an enticing option for a growing number of Americans1 — there are now more households living in rentals than in any year in the past five decades2. Fostering a positive relationship with your landlord and fellow tenants should certainly be a priority. Follow these tips to help ensure a first-class experience.
Always pay your rent on time
One report found that as many as 40 percent of tenants are late paying their rent3. You don't want to be part of that group, so schedule alerts to remind you when rent is due or use an automated payment system to ensure rent is paid on time each month.
Ask before doing
The old adage “it's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission,” is definitely not appropriate for renters. It may seem obvious, but you should always get approval for any alteration you wish to make to the property. Your rental agreement typically specifies any limitations, such as whether or not you can paint, but don't assume something is allowed just because it's not detailed on the lease.
If you have any doubt about whether a modification is okay, shoot your landlord a quick email to make sure. This way you’ll have a written record of the conversation, because failing to obtain consent and going ahead with changes could result in losing some or all of your security deposit or even lead to an eviction.
Keep spaces tidy and clean
A well-kept home is a clear indication that you're a good tenant and your efforts will be appreciated by your landlord and neighbors. Should your landlord require emergency access to the rental property, an orderly home allows them to more easily locate and address the issue.
If you're responsible for maintaining areas outside of your home, such as mowing the lawn, be sure to make these duties a priority. Keep outdoor décor to a minimum and make sure it's aesthetically pleasing.
Be reasonable when making requests
The landlord’s obligation is to ensure the apartment is habitable and hazard free4. Always be considerate when it comes to requests that fall outside the landlord’s legal obligations. Certainly, you should expect issues regarding health and safety to be promptly addressed, such as mold or a broken stair.
If you want updated appliances or wood floors refinished, however, you should approach your landlord with a discussion about the feasibility of this kind of request being approved. You should also be accommodating when your landlord or their contractor and maintenance technician, need entry into your home for things like repairs or upgrades.
Respect fellow tenants
Always remember that your activities can have an impact on your neighbors. Mowing the lawn early on a Saturday morning or vacuuming late at night will likely result in angry reactions, while advising your neighbors that you will be having a party and inviting them to share in the fun demonstrates your regard for others. Guests you invite to the property should be advised of any guidelines they need to follow, such as parking regulations.
Wear a smile
When you pass your neighbor in the hallway, or deliver a piece of mail mistakenly put in your box, doing it with a smile is likely to elicit a smile in return and ensure a friendly exchange.
Renters have their own unique set of insurance needs. What happens if there's a fire or flood? You may not have to replace your home, but you will need to replace your possessions and valuables. Many properties require their tenants to have renters insurance. Companies like Mercury Insuranceprovide customized coverage, low rates and your own dedicated agent who will work with you to create a plan specific to your needs.
It only takes a little effort to be an ideal tenant. Start by treating others as you wish to be treated and respecting that the space you rent.
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