The RentSeeker Real-Estate Blog

News and tips for Canada's renters, home buyers, home sellers and property managers.

8 Aug 2016

Relationships are an important part of life, and perhaps one of the most important involves someone that you may not want to spend time with. No, we’re not talking about that family member, but your

Relationships are an important part of life, and perhaps one of the most important involves someone that you may not want to spend time with. No, we’re not talking about that family member, but your landlord!

For better or worse, they play a vital role in your happiness and ensure that your home is maintained, safe and comfortable. A good relationship with your landlord can make life much easier, and here are some tips from RentSeeker to ensure that you get the benefits of getting along with your landlord. These tips don’t cost anything and can go a long way in helping you get the benefit of the doubt should you have any issues with your landlord or building manager down the road.

Landlord-and-Tenant-Relationship-RentSeeker

Knowing Your Rights as a Tenant

Before you begin a new relationship, you have to know yourself, and understanding your rights as a tenant is extremely important. Before you sign any paperwork or even meet your landlord to see a potential rental apartment, the Residential Tenancies Act protects you from racial, sexual orientation and other forms of discrimination that unfortunately exist. After your initial meeting, the terms or price of the unit shouldn’t change, and if they do, it’s a red flag. Besides protecting yourself and ensuring you’re not taken advantage of, knowing your rights is vital to ensuring you have a good tenant-landlord relationship.

Understanding Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords are much more than just collectors of payments. Since the late Roman Empire & the dawn of Manorialism within the feudal system, the Lord of the Manor was responsible for the legal and financial duties of the upkeep of the manor. Fast forward to the digital age we live in now, and the term landlord doesn’t necessarily refer to the owner of the property, rather to the person who oversees the responsibility for managing your property. This includes collections of fees and ensuring that your rental property is safe and up to code.

The Residential Tenancies Act came into effect Jan 31, 2007 to “create a rental housing system that protects tenants, helps landlords and promotes investments…” and is just one of the legal guidelines for landlords. In each province there are multiple bodies dedicated to the field, and there is no shortage of resources online. As a renter, it’s very important to know what your landlord is responsible for, such as repairs, emergencies and ensuring your property is maintained. If you understand what they’re responsible for, it’s much easier to know what to expect and how to deal with problems, thereby starting your relationship on solid grounds.

Be Fiscally Responsible

Money talks, especially when you have to pay someone on a regular basis. If you physically pay your landlord on a monthly basis or need to drop off a cheque, nothing can go farther to get you into the good books then paying on time. It shows you’re responsible, reliable and trustworthy, all very important factors to maintaining a healthy relationship with your landlord. And if and when you’re ready to afford the “Canadian Dream” of buying your first home, which you can determine with this useful Rent or Buy Calculator, then giving your landlord the legally required amount of time of notice to vacate is the right thing to do.

Be Socially Responsible

Apartment buildings are home to multiple individuals, meaning it’s a very social place. Whether or not you choose to say hello to the stranger in the elevator is one thing, but you have to respect the social norms of the people you live with. Wear clothes when you walk to throw out garbage, have respect for others as you walk by their front door and don’t destroy building property that everyone shares. If your landlord is getting complaints about you through other tenants, it will hurt your reputation, whether your neighbours are right or wrong. Here are some great tips for meeting new friends when moving into a new rental property.

Be Aware of Bulletins

Most of the time we barely acknowledge the ‘Building Update’ bulletins in the elevators, but it is important to be aware of what’s going on in the building. Landlords and building managers don’t post bulletins so you’ll have something to read in the elevator, they do it to communicate important messages and news updates. Staying up to date on building news briefs can help you plan your sleep-ins (be aware of fire alarm testing day!) and be aware of any construction projects that may interfere with your routine. Going to complain about something that was laid out in a bulletin shows the landlord you aren’t respecting their efforts, which is something to avoid.

Follow The Rules

Easy enough, right? Breaking building rules is a sure fire way to get on the bad side of your landlord. This is an easy one to follow under normal circumstances, but sometimes evening activities will inspire some rule breaking (being on the rooftop after hours for example). While certain acts can be dangerous (climbing on structures) damage caused by recklessness can come out of your pocket. Also, once you have broken the rules, many buildings log this information into a form of a ‘bad book’ that you don’t want to listed in.

Know your Landlords Name

This one may seem obvious, but a ‘hello’ with a name goes farther than just a simple greeting. It shows you are an attentive, caring person and forming a positive relationship with your landlord starts with a hello. Greeting them by name may seem insignificant, but from their perspective, they deal with a lot of angry and upset tenants, so showing your friendly side will only help your cause (especially when it comes time to renew your rental agreement). It costs nothing to smile!

Be Friendly With Security

While being friendly with the security in your building may not directly impact how your landlord perceives you, it’s more than likely that your landlord frequently speaks with the security team. If complaints are ever logged against you, having the security personal vouch for you can go a long way if the issue gets brought before the landlord. Again, being friendly doesn’t cost anything and can only help your case.

Having a good Tenant – Landlord relationship works in both parties favour, so put in the effort, it will pay-off for both Tenant and Landlord!