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29 Aug 2017

Important Things Your Landlord Wants You to Know

Once you move into a property as a tenant with mutual understanding of the rules, any attempt to change them mid-way will likely lead to conflict. Here are important things your landlord wants you to know.
File photo used for illustrative purposes only

The landlord and tenant relationship is one of those with several dynamics that can make them good or turn the relationship sour.

Each of the parties in this relationship has different perception on issues and this can negatively affect the relationship. Clarifying expectations both ways is definitely one of the things that can help both sides to have a mutually beneficial relationship. There is nothing more painful to the landlord than to have an asset turn into a liability or pain for him. As the property owner, the landlord has things that he will like the tenant to understand.

The landlord does not want a tenant to compare him or her to another person but rather to understand and accept him as an individual with peculiar idiosyncrasies. Many tenants move into properties without asking for the written and unwritten rules governing that property. These rules may sometimes be irrational. As long as the rules are not illegal, it is better for a tenant to look for another property rather than rent with the intention of trying to change the rules. Once you move into a property as a tenant with mutual understanding of the rules, any attempt to change them mid-way will likely lead to conflict. It is your landlord’s property and the rules agreed upon should be adhered to.

Landlords want the tenant to take care of their property as if the tenant owns it. It is no secret that one of the ways of endearing yourself to your landlord is by taking very good care of the property. Owning a property is no small feat and it is the singular, most valuable asset of many real estate investors. Once a tenant is dirty and careless, the landlord will generally look for an excuse to evict him or her. Landlords are looking for tenants that will take care of their properties so much that when such tenants desire to end their tenancy, the landlord will plead with them to stay longer.

Landlords also desire that their tenants should pay their rents on time. Non-payment of rent is one of the critical issues that cause problems between landlords and tenants. Most landlords include their rental income as the key source of funding for major projects in their lives such as children’s school fees, wedding ceremony and other capital-intensive projects. Non-payment or delayed payment can jeopadise their plan. Some pensioners solely depend on the income from their property to pay for goods and services. When the money is not forthcoming, it forces some landlords to exert lots of pressure on the tenant which can degenerate into conflict.

Once a tenant has acquired a reputation for paying rent promptly, if there ever was a downturn in the tenant’s situation financially, most landlords are willing to be generous with additional time extension to enable the tenant to pay up. Your landlord would like to know that you have it in mind to pay and that you are working towards a timeline. In some instances, your landlord may allow for installment payment based on the challenges that you are facing. However, a tenant who is asking for flexible payment concessions while living extravagantly and making major luxurious purchases will be viewed differently. All that your landlord is asking for is that you should treat him or her fairly.

Another issue that your landlord would like you to understand is the need to live harmoniously with him, your neighbours within the same premises and the surrounding community. Even when a property is under the management of professionals, the news will get to the landlord if there is a tenant that is always involved in interpersonal conflicts. The landlord would not like his or her property to be associated with certain negative trends by neighbours or the community at large. Basic things such as being part of the community’s resident association and paying the dues required are always a thing of joy to landlords.

Finally, when you are ready to leave your landlord’s property, he wants you to leave the property better than you met it. It does not matter whether or not the property was in an excellent state when you rented it. Your landlord will always remember you based on how you left the property. One of the major reasons why this is important is because it will determine the ease with which the property will attract tenants. Make sure that all your utility bills are fully paid and all outstanding issues resolved. And please, do not lock your landlords property up after you have vacated without handing over the keys.

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Written by: Abiodun Doherty for Punch newspaper.

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