Creating a good relationship with your landlord

Get Digs
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April 15, 2020

A good relationship with your landlord is beneficial for both practical and emotional reasons. Not only does it help keep your property in good shape and ensure that any issues are dealt with in a timely manner, it also contributes to your sense of home. If you are constantly at odds with your landlord or afraid to reach out to them for routine fixes, it can erode your feelings of comfort and security in your apartment.

Whether you’re dealing with your landlord or property manager (read our post to know the difference), putting effort into your relationship can go a long way to maintaining a happy home.

Start off on the right foot

Before you move into a new rental, thoroughly review your lease. Ask questions and clarify any rules that aren’t specifically laid out in your contract. Some leases stipulate the timeframe for your landlord to fix things on the property or replace broken items and whether or not you can make changes like, paint. If not, it’s reasonable to ask so that you know what to expect.

Not only will this ensure you and your landlord have the same understanding about the property, it will also create a dialogue from the start and give you an idea of your landlord’s communication style. Discuss the best way for you to be in touch with one another (email, phone, etc.) and any preferences your landlord might have for reaching out.

Know your rights

As a tenant, your rights, like rental deposits and fees, will depend on the regulations in your province. Apartmate provides a helpful guide of what fees are legal in which provinces and the maximum amount landlords are allowed to charge their residents for each. For example, Ontario and Quebec are the only provinces in which landlords are not allowed to collect security deposits. Other rules, like how many days in advance you need to let your landlord know if you’re moving out, change based on whether your lease is month-to-month or annual.

If you know your rights as a tenant, you’ll know what your landlord must provide you as a renter, and what is reasonable to ask of them. Adhere to the rules, but remember that a good relationship with your landlord doesn’t just mean that you’re responsible; it also means that they’re upholding their side of the contract.  

Pay your rent on time 

No landlord likes late rent payments. Your landlord is likely collecting from multiple tenants and if they have to chase down rent, it increases their workload. If you have trouble remembering to pay, try setting calendar reminders for the end of each month or automate your rent  payments with Get Digs

Get Digs is an easy way to pay rent using your credit card. It’s convenient, ‘contactless’ and eliminates the need for cheques, or the task of sending your rent in multiple transfers (due to daily eTransfer limits). 

Get to know your neighbours

Be respectful of your neighbours and let them know ahead of time if you’re going to be disruptive, like if you’re moving in new furniture or having a party. It will go a long way to keep the peace and avoid conflict. If your neighbours dislike having you around, it could hurt your reputation with your landlord and make them less receptive to your concerns.  

Maintaining communication with your neighbours can also help you deal with any issues you might be having with the property. If your landlord has been slow to respond or is neglecting their duties, reaching out with your neighbours could be a good way to bring your landlord’s attention to the issue and protect yourself from being singled out as a problem tenant.

Take care of the property and communicate

Landlords want their properties to stay in good shape. Although you might be nervous to tell your landlord something is damaged (that is beyond small maintenance you can do yourself), they’d much prefer to take care of the issue before it turns into something worse. Let them know if they need to fix something, and if it’s your fault that something is damaged, offer to pay for the repairs. If issues do arise with your landlord in the future, it also helps to have documentation of your interactions.

Communicate regularly and thank your landlord for any repairs or upkeep, especially if you didn’t need to ask for it. A good landlord will check in about aspects of the property that they know are due for repairs, and a thank you goes a long way. Being in touch about things like repairs, or letting them know if you’re going to be late with rent, will also communicate that you are a considerate and responsible renter. If they reach out to you, don’t dodge their calls or emails. Getting to know your landlord creates a more personal connection that goes both ways. If you answer them promptly and help when you can, it’s more likely they’ll do the same for you.  

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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.

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