How to Be the Ideal Tenant
When you are renting an apartment or a home, it is important to have a good rapport with the landlord, especially if it is your first rental. The rental market can be quite competitive, and if you have glowing references from previous landlords, you can increase your chances of securing an especially nice rental or one in a desirable location. There are several ways you can demonstrate that you are an ideal tenant both while you are searching for a rental and after you have moved in.
Searching For a Rental
To secure a great rental, you must show the landlord that you are responsible and will not be a problem tenant. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Stay within your means – Typically, you should not spend more than 30 percent of your monthly net income, or take-home pay, for rent. Potential landlords have likely experienced late or missed payments in the past and may not take a chance if it seems like you cannot afford the rent.
- Bring documentation – Come prepared with your contact information, references, employment records, proof of income, and bank statements so that the landlord can get a full picture of your finances and history. It is a good idea to know your credit score and be able to explain any deficiencies.
- Have money in the bank – To rent an apartment, you will typically need enough cash for two months of rent, a security deposit, an application fee, and other expenses on hand. Be sure you have enough and can demonstrate it with bank statements.
- Be honest – If you have bad credit, legal trouble, problems with past rentals, or a pet, don’t hide it. The landlord will likely find out, and if not, it may cause problems in the future.
- Make a good impression – Dress nicely, be punctual, and communicate clearly to demonstrate that you are a tenant the landlord will appreciate.
After You Move In
Once you have secured a rental, here are some tips that can help you stay in the landlord’s good graces:
- Pay your rent on time – A good payment history will keep the landlord happy. Expenses the landlord must pay, such as the mortgage, are typically covered by your rental fee.
- Renew the lease – A long-term tenant is a great asset to a landlord. It can be costly and time-consuming to find new tenants.
- Respect the property – Avoid activities that could cause damage, annoy the neighbors, or cause problems, and keep the property clean and neat.
- Comply with the lease – Make sure you don’t do anything that goes against the lease, such as keeping an unauthorized pet, having loud parties, or moving in unapproved occupants.
- Communicate regularly – Let the landlord know of any issues or concerns, such as maintenance problems, but avoid unnecessary calls or messages that may be considered an annoyance.
- Be honest – If your financial circumstances change, your rent will be late, or you have damaged something, discuss it with the landlord. Many landlords respect honesty and will be willing to work with you to some degree.
Being a good tenant can help you secure a rental even when market conditions are less than ideal.
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