There are a lot of ups and downs to renting a place, and most of them have to do with who you’re renting from. If you’d like things to go smoothly, here are three ways to maintain a good relationship with your landlord.

1. Look At Their Side

Try to understand both sides of a situation. It’s easy to assume you’re the only one facing problems but that isn’t always the case.

  • Many property owners take out rental loans to buy the property they’re renting to you. This means that they owe “rent” of their own that must be paid.
  • It’s your home but it’s their investment. Rules are often put in place to make sure the property will stay in good condition for as long as possible.
  • Rules don’t necessarily reflect personal feelings. They probably don’t hate your large dog, they’re just scared it’ll get frustrated living in an apartment and chew through a wall.
  • Consider their motivations and if one or both of you could be misunderstanding the other.

It’s important that both parties try to understand where the other is coming from and compromise when possible. See if you and your landlord can come to a solution that’s beneficial for both of you.

2. Resolve Disputes Outside Of Court

Court cases are expensive and time-consuming for both of you. If you can avoid it by having a sit-down talk, it’ll save you a lot. Here are some tactics to resolve disputes.

Negotiate

The first attempt to settle a problem out of court should be a negotiation.

  • Make an appointment to talk about the problem.
  • Bring a list of what you’d like to see happen.
  • Be willing to compromise and settle in order to get what you really want.
  • Don’t be rude or resort to yelling.
  • Remember that this is a business dispute, not a personal one.
  • If you can reach an agreement, you should write it down and have it signed by both of you, plus any witnesses.

If negotiating doesn’t work, don’t give up. You can move on to mediation.

Mediation

Mediation is like negotiation, but instead of you and your landlord discussing the problem you’ll bring in a third party.

  • A neutral third party will go between you trying to negotiate a fair deal.
  • Mediation prevents any drama or outbursts between you and your landlord.
  • There’s less risk of things getting out of hand if you’re not in the same room.
  • A neutral party will be able to see both sides and tell you both the truth about how you’re behaving.

If mediation also fails and no solution can be reached, you’ll have to reevaluate and decide if the issue is worth going to court over. That will most likely be the end of any chance of a good working relationship so everyone should consider it carefully.

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3. Live Up To Your Obligations

Most of the time, the best way to maintain a good relationship with your landlord is simply to live up to your obligations as a renter.

  • Pay your rent on time, or communicate about why it will be late.
  • Negotiate a late payment plan if the issue comes up.
  • Keep the property in good condition.
  • Ask for approval before moving in someone else or adopting a new pet.
  • Let the landlord know when something breaks, even if you’re the one who broke it.
  • Be kind and respectful to your neighbors.

Read and understand the terms you agree to when you sign a lease and do your best to live up to them.

A good relationship of any kind begins with effort. Take the time to use these three tactics when dealing with your landlord so you can maintain a good relationship during your stay.