The answer may surprise you. (Hint: It isn’t all about the rent.)
The Ideal Tenant
When landlords interview prospective tenants, they’re looking for job stability and steady income first and foremost, but their wish list goes beyond that.
“The quality landlords value most is stability,” said Mia Melle, president and broker of Renttoday.us. “An ideal renter is one who will stay in the home for years to come, raise a family, create memories and treat the home like their own.”
Landlords also like to see that you are good at managing your finances.
“Having a few months’ worth of rental payments in the bank” is very helpful, Melle said.
Do the Upkeep
Once you have moved in, try to treat the space like you own it. Keep everything clean, well-maintained and in good, working order.
“Many times renters aren’t familiar with the cost of home improvements, so something as simple as not watering the lawn and causing the grass to die can result in thousands of dollars to the homeowner to replace the sod once the renter moves out,” Melle said.
Take care of landscaping, clean up spills as soon as they happen and keep children and pets from causing any damage to the walls or flooring, and your landlord will thank you for it.
Always Ask First
After you have lived in a rental for a while, your tastes—or your life—may change. You may decide to adopt a new puppy, or you may want to repaint the kitchen to match your curtains. Before you make any of those changes, ask your landlord if they are allowed. Not only do bigger changes such as adding a pet often require an addendum to your lease, but your landlord will appreciate being considered.
Call for Backup the Right Way
When it comes to making maintenance requests, be careful when and how you contact your landlord.
“A renter should know how to do simple repairs around the property and understand the landlord cannot always be at their beck and call or send a $200 repair guy to change a light bulb,” Melle said.
If you have to call to request a repair, make sure you explain the problem thoroughly and be willing to let your landlord troubleshoot issues with you over the phone. If you can save your landlord a bit of time (or money) you will build a great relationship.
See Things From Your Landlord’s Point of View
“Ultimately, landlords want renters to understand that they are just regular people with jobs and bills and not faceless, emotionless corporations with huge bank accounts,” Melle said.
Understanding that your landlord is just another human being who struggles to manage time and money just like you do will go a long way in building a relationship.