3 August, 2016
Your landlord, whether you like it or not, has a pretty big part to play in your life. To some extent, your happiness depends on the decisions they make: whether they fix the leaky shower head promptly or a month after you've asked; whether they allow you to put pictures on the wall or not; whether they're eager to increase the rent at every opportunity or are happy with what you pay already.
It makes sense, then, to do what you can to build a decent relationship. Dinner and drinks is unnecessary, but having a positive understanding will benefit both parties.
Below are a few tips to help you get off on the right foot with your landlord, and to keep them on your side throughout your tenancy.
Ask to meet them
If your tenancy has been arranged through a letting agent, it's not a given that you'll have a chance to meet the owner of the property. If the opportunity isn't presented, try suggesting a meeting yourself.
First and foremost, it'll show the landlord that you're real and human - not just a faceless name with a big standing order set up. It also means your first conversation doesn't revolve around you asking for something to be done (save that for your second chat!).
Meet them at the property if possible; they'll be able to answer any questions you have. They'll more than likely take reassurance from seeing how organised you are as well.
Pay the rent on time
When someone lets their property, they expect to be paid on time, every month. After all, landlords have bills to pay and family to support too.
Don't ever force your landlord into chasing you for money - it makes you look bad and could jeopardise your relationship, or even your tenancy. Set up the appropriate standing order and make sure there's always enough to cover it. You might benefit from setting up the payment so that it goes out a couple of days after you're due to be paid.
Don't be afraid of a little DIY
Instead of going to your landlord for every little thing that needs doing in the property, try taking care of the easier tasks yourself.
Unless you happen to be a boiler technician, there's not much you can do if the central heating fails. A sticking lock on the back door, however, should be a little easier to fix yourself. The same goes for window draughts, creaky doors and minor carpet stains - these are all jobs you can do quickly and cheaply. The more time you save the landlord, the happier they'll be!
Of course, if it's an emergency, you'll need to get in touch with either your agent or the landlord straight away.
Be a respectful neighbour
Nobody likes a bad neighbour. If you cause problems for those around you, it'll likely come down on your landlord in the form of complaints and potentially even legal action in serious cases. Play nice and be the kind of tenant you'd want to live next door to. The more hassle you cause for your landlord, the less likely they are to be cooperative when it comes to requests and getting your deposit back at the end.
Above all, put yourself in their shoes every now and then. Think about the kind of tenant you'd want in your property - communicate, be pleasant and don't be too demanding. You should get on just fine!