Once you move into your new place you are going to have to establish a new relationship (business relationship) with your landlord. You should already have met the landlord by the time you move in, but if not make sure that you have their contact information and they have yours. Here is some advice for establishing communication between the landlord and the tenant.
- Be sure to ask for more than one way to contact them.
- Make sure that you both are very clear on what maintenance the landlord is responsible for and what you are responsible for.
- Call your landlord to let them know that you have submitted your rent check on time.
- Don't hesitate to call your landlord to ask about things you might not have covered in the lease, like where and when the trash is picked up.
- If any issues or damages arise while you are living in your new home you should take a picture of the damage and call the landlord immediately.
Most good landlords won't mind this, because they want to serve their tenants and make them happy. If they are flaky landlords then it would be in your best interest to get cell phone, email, home phone, and anything else you can. You will appreciate it when you are knee deep in dishwasher water (see example, right) and waiting for the landlord to return your email.
Make sure that everything you are interested in knowing is outlined in your lease. This will prevent any confusion when a problem arises and you are unsure of whether it is your responsibility to fix it or if the landlord will take care of it.
Not only does this show that you are responsible and trustworthy, it can also help you establish a better relationship. Having a cordial relationship with the landlord will make it more likely that they will take care of things for you on time, and may even help if you ever need to ask for an extension. **Reader Beware: even if you are the best tenant, they still may not be willing to give you an extension on your rent check.
Take note of when you call and the time it takes them to respond. It is always best to have things in writing so follow up with an email that establishes the time you called and then respond in writing when they have returned your call. If they refuse to fix something, or larger damages occur, this proof will come in handy.
Hopefully, this will lead to smoother interactions that will leave both of you better off.