New Tenant Tips: Getting Along With The Landlord

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on December 15, 2006 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Tenants should remember before signing the lease for a new rental apartment or unit that they can avoid problems later on, by ensuring their new landlord is a good ‘un, and one who doesn’t make life hard for his / her tenants. Good behaviour and careful planning will make for a much better landlord-tenant relationship, as well as, help avoid security deposit conflicts when one moves out.

No matter how well-maintained and nice one’s apartment may be, it can be unpleasant if you have to deal with a terrible landlord. An apartment that is a bit weathered, but has a good, responsive landlord can make it a pleasant place to call home. As well, knowing one’s rights, along with a few preventative steps can protect a tenant and provide some assurance regarding his / her new tenancy.

However, the first thing a tenant should do before signing the lease is to thoroughly inspect the apartment or unit that has caught your eye and you would like to rent. Don’t go by what the landlord says is a comparable unit, or an apartment with an identical floor plan. Keep in mind, savvy landlords, as a rule show prospective tenants only well-maintained units as models, and there is no guarantee the unit you rent will be in a comparable condition. Inspecting rental units is for the purpose of identifying and having fixed any major problems before one signs the lease and moves in. It is important from the point of view that a landlord cannot (either by accident or by intent) attempt to charge you for pre-existing defects, when eventually, you move out.

If, one identifies any problems with the apartment or rental unit, bring them to the attention of the landlord. In case the problems cannot be fixed before you move in, ask for written confirmation, as to when the repairs will be made. As well, ask the landlord to give in writing the problems that existed before you moved in. If, you cannot get a written confirmation of the existing problems, you can yourself make a list and have the landlord or his / her agent sign and date it, and attach it to the rental lease for your record. Just remember, don’t go by promises, get everything in writing.

Some state jurisdictions make it mandatory for landlords to give tenants a form on which defects in the apartment are to be recorded, and returned to the landlord. The landlord too, completes a similar form on a tenant’s moving out. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure tenants are charged only for damages they are responsible for, and for those caused by others.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss a little about what other tenants thing and talk a bit about local laws.

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