Four ways to get what you want from your landlord

Your relationship with your landlord may be a match made in heaven, but more likely you regard your landlord as Scrooge, who won’t give you a penny without a complaint!

There are ways to penetrate that thick veneer of cheapskate! Here with some tried and true ideas is Real Estate Expert, John Adams:

Question:  Why are landlords generally seen as miserly old penny-pinchers?

John Adams:  "Probably because it’s a tough job, and it takes a strong and determined personality in order to see success as a property manager.

Remember that getting the rent paid in full on time is the primary job of the landlord. If the rent is not paid, the entire rental process comes to a grinding halt."

Q:  Well, paying your rent is pretty obvious, but all tenants have requests from time to time. What can we do to get a FAVORABLE response?

Adams: "There are several things you can do to get more than your share of POSITIVE interactions with your landlord. Here are some suggestions:

1.  I know we just said this, but it is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT:  Always pay your rent on time, and never ask if you can be late.

I know this sounds pretty basic, but there is nothing more irritating to a landlord than have a tenant who frequently pays late. Usually the rent is needed to pay the loan payment and the taxes and insurance on the property itself.

When the rent is late coming in, it can cause major headaches for the owners, and they take it out on the landlord. From their perspective, you KNEW that the rent was coming due, WHY can’t you pay on time?"

Q:  That’s only fair. We got it. So what else?

Adams:  "2. Be specific about requests and don’t complain about the little stuff.

If you want to paint the living room, say so. Don’t complain about how awful it is.

If your light bulb burns out or you run out of bathroom tissue, do NOT call the landlord. You would be AMAZED at the stupid things renters expect from property managers, who have to waste their time telling you NO.

YOU should go ahead and take care of the little stuff and leave the big stuff to the owner. Remember, YOU are the primary beneficiary from any upgrades or repairs that you make. On the other hand, if the water heater fails or a water pipe bursts, call the landlord immediately."

Q:  OK, no petty complaints or silly repairs. What else can we do?

Adams: "3. Be the EYES & EARS of the landlord. From time to time, you should conduct your own safety inspection looking at typical maintenance and safety items. Smoke detector, furnace filters, lawn maintenance are all items that improve YOUR quality of life. Send a copy of your inspections to the landlord.

And if you have ANY reason to believe there may be illegal activities occurring on or near your rental, make SURE you notify your landlord in writing."

Q:  Why is that important?

Adams:  "The RICO Act."

Q: And your FINAL piece of advice to make our landlord more likely to do what we want?

Adams: "4. If you live in an apartment complex, offer to be helpful in any way you can.  Be the kind of tenant that your landlord wants to keep around year after year. For example, if you are facing a rent increase, ask if you can get a discount by signing a two year lease. Most landlords want to lock their tenants in and are willing to bargain to get a longer lease. That’s especially true with a GOOD tenant.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Landlords love rent and hate vacancies. If you can be seen as a GOOD TENANT by your landlord, he or she will move mountains to take care of you, if they can."


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