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6 Tips for Having a Positive Relationship With your Landlord

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last updated: 26 May 2016 report a problem


Many tenants believe their landlord is the spawn of Satan himself. Well, many get pretty close. Many tenants also support the opinion that they are paying for a service and landlords need to provide that service regardless. Legally, you cannot be more right, but relationships go both ways. Truthfully, tenants (as a group) are no better. No less than a third of all landlords in the UK have or do experience rent arrears, sometimes accompanied by other problems as well.

Your landlord will only be as good as you are ! In this blog post, we’re going to discuss what you can do for your landlord and their property to make it better for the both of you.

Abide the law

First, and most obvious – do your part of the landlord and tenant law. If you pay rent late, maintain poor hygiene, damage the interior and upholstery, how do you expect to have the landlord running to fix the broken switch ? You can’t. Unless you’re an exemplary tenant, you’re not getting an exemplary landlord. So, start playing by the rules and you will be surprised by how that will affect your landlord’s actions.

How does it help your landlord:

Your landlord will be very happy to receive the rent payment on the agreed date. Most private landlords also pay mortgages and really depend and these payments to make theirs. They will be even happier if you don’t ruin their property. Yes, most landlords have insurance and can also make deductions from your deposit to cover the cost of repairs. However, it’s really unnecessary and will always require more time and energy and cause more stress.

How does it help you:

If you’re a bad tenant, eventually, your landlord’s energy to tolerate your behaviour, will fade. When that happens, they will be far less inclined to help you with your problems and even less so, if the law doesn’t force them to. Being a better tenant will mainly impact your quality of life. If you don’t maintain the property and cause damage to it, you lose. You still have to live in this property and now you’re stuck with more broken stuff. In the end, the landlord will probably still get you to pay for fixing up the place. You can lose your deposit and even get evicted, so really, it’s in YOUR best interest to follow the rules.

Be reasonable with your rights

Hey, that tile in the bathroom is broken and water is soaking under. Your landlord should get it replaced. But hey, it’s not the end of the world. This is not an emergency and you shouldn’t treat it like one. It’s okay to send an email to your landlord and notify them of the issue. It’s okay to remind them again in a few weeks. It is most certainly not okay to call the local council and seek the Environmental Health Department. Not in this case anyway…

How does it help your landlord:

Your landlord will be grateful to your patience. It takes time to find a good handyman, to compare quotes, to schedule a visit. And landlords must also get allowed access to make the repairs. This doesn’t take less time if you send them five emails in a single week. On the contrary, annoying and aggravating your landlord can only slow down the repairs you’re so eager to get done.

How does it help you:

You get faster and better quality repairs. Assuming, your goal is not to pick up a fight with your landlord, faster repairs is the best possible outcome. If your landlord is busy replying to your angry emails, they are definitely not busy fixing your broken tile.

You need to be very cooperative regarding access for the repairs. Legally, you don’t need to let somebody in if it’s not convenient. However, you won’t get the tile fixed this way either.

Pick up the slack

Do you know how you can get your landlord to do things for you ? Help out ! When there are due repairs and you see your landlord taking longer than usual, why don’t you do half of the work. For example, you can help your landlord by getting quotes from a dozen of different service providers and help them make a good choice about the handyman. Additionally, you can even manage the whole process with the landlord’s agreement. That way, all they have to do is pay the bill and be done. The same goes for the annual gas safety check, the deposit protection and smoke testing.

How does it help your landlord:

They will be delighted to a friendly reminder that the annual gas safety check is due. It’s their responsibility to schedule the gas inspection. But one date is so easy to forget and there is nothing wrong to have your landlord’s back every now and then. They get to do their job on time and avoid problems with the local council.

How does it help you:

In the particular case of the annual gas safety check – you get the peace of mind that your property is gas safe. In the case of everything else – you get it done faster. The more you help out your landlord, the more things will get done and faster. If you prove yourself a good at managing your property, in time you will get more rights and more flexibility to use the property in your best interest.

Find a new tenant

Whenever you decide to leave, your landlord needs to do quite a bit of work to put a new tenant in your place. Depending on how much time has past since you first moved in, the property might need so repairs and improvements, probably some new light furniture as well. It needs to be cleaned and put back on the market. Free marketing is available for landlords, but then they have to wait more, which can cause another empty month. For landlords, this process is very stressful and hard on the finance. That is why, many try to juice the tenant’s deposit and cover as much of the property retouching as they can. It’s not always fair, but they can often justify it as at least partially caused by the tenant. If you find them a new tenant that is willing to take the property as is, or with minimal effort, your landlord will be most grateful.

How does it help your landlord:

Your landlord will avoid the increased costs of marketing the property on the market. Being sourced by their existing tenant, the new one is a tad more secure than the average Briton. The new tenant will most likely require only minimal improvements to the property. They are already aware of the conditions and likely accept them as is. Biggest benefit is your landlord will avoid empty months.

How does it help you:

With the stress about you moving away off, your landlord will be more inclined to let some defects slide and not rummage through your tenancy deposit too much. For a moving tenant, the full deposit return is the second most important thing, after finding another property.

Watch the tone

Sometimes, relationships are tense. When tenants are having a rough time in the property, most often due to an emergency, it’s easy to call the landlord and unleash a verbal tsunamy. In moments like these, it’s really important to remain calm in your communication. Although at times it might feel satisfying, never use bad language and insults. If anything this can only hurt your relationship and cause more problems, while solvе none.

Bad communication is the first step to not get anything done at all. If you have temper problems, try talking over email. Not guaranteed, but you have more than one chance to amend your insult before hitting the send button.

At The Tenant’s Voice, we really emphasize on positive communication between landlords and tenants.