People say that the first impression is a lasting impression. This is important to keep in mind if you are a prospective or current renter.
If you’re in the market to make a good impression on your new landlord, these tips will be sure to help.
- Show some respect. This rule applies in more ways than one. Dress well when meeting with him or her for the first time like in your work attire, be it scrubs, dickies or a blazer (read: anything but sweatpants). Also, be on time for appointments. Promptness is the easiest way to show respect to a landlord. Keep this rule after you’ve landed the home of your dreams: quickly return phone calls and emails from your landlord.
- Have three months’ rent saved. After you determine what homes are within your price range, start saving. Some landlords want the first and last month’s rent, as well as the security deposit (which is usually the same amount of one month’s rent) when you sign the lease. If you have pets, be prepared to pay extra “pet rent” or an additional cost in your security deposit. After officially renting, keep an emergency reserve fund to cover stuff you’re responsible for fixing. Your landlord will appreciate your being proactive, promise.
- Show some interest. Compliment the landlord on particular details in the home that strike you. If there are minor updates that need to be made or maintained like painting or yardwork, offer to help. This not only shows a landlord you care enough to keep up the place, you may also negotiate a small break on rent for your efforts. If your toilet won’t stop running or you spot a new crack in the ceiling, call your landlord right away. Repairs are more easily made sooner rather than later.
- Read – and fill in – the fine print. Provide as much information as you can on your rental application, especially when it comes to employment and past rental history. Keep your references professional (landlords already know your family and friends think you’re great). Complete your application on the spot to show genuine interest and increase your chance of being at the top of the pile. Read over your lease agreement carefully before you sign and ask questions if needed. A lease is a legal contract and you need to know what you are responsible for and what you can expect from your landlord.
- Show some courtesy. If your friends from out of town are staying with you for a weekend, give your landlord a head’s up that an extra vehicle will be parked outside. If you’re hosting a party, tell your neighbors about it in advance so any extra noise doesn’t catch them by surprise. Give your landlord the agreed upon amount of advanced notice that is in the lease if you do plan on moving. This gives them time to go through a home inspection process with you, make any repairs necessary, and put it on the market for the next renter. There are no guarantees, but these simple courtesies could also help you score your security deposit back.
Keep in mind that while any damage to the building comes out of your security deposit, any damage to your stuff comes out of your pocket. Ask your local Erie Insurance agent about renters insurance.