How to Be a Good Renter

Renting? Want to make sure you get your deposit back, or maybe even a discount on rent each month? Try out these 4 tips from Domestic CEO and make your landlord love you!

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #76

Last week I had the opportunity to walk through a rental home with a general contractor friend. He had been hired by the property management company to repair the damage that the renter had made to the property. Not only was there damage to the home, but it was also full of trash, old furniture, and food. It was not a pretty sight, but it was one that I have seen a number of times over the past few years.

Whether you're a first time renter and want to make sure that you leave a good impression on your landlord, or you have been renting for years and want to make sure that you can get a good reference from your landlord for your next rental home, today’s episode is for you. I’ll be giving my top 4 tips on how to be a good renter..

Tip #1: Communicate

As the person living in a rental house, you are often the eyes and ears of the property. You are the one who will see things that don’t look right, and the one who will hear if something doesn’t sound normal. These are things that you should tell the homeowner so they can make sure that everything is how it should be. If you have a leaky faucet, don’t assume that the owner knows. Call and tell them so they can get it fixed before it causes damage to the sink. Or, if you see water dripping from a ceiling, don’t just let it go. Call the homeowners or property management company immediately to tell them before it causes major damage to the home or your neighbors.

I realize that at times it can be embarrassing telling the landlord that there is something broken because you may have been the one to break it. You may be worried that you will get charged for the fix. While this is sometimes the case, I can guarantee that you will get charged more if you wait to tell the landlord. Most household problems don’t fix themselves, they simply get worse. Waiting will only cause more hassle and cost more money to fix, so let the owner know right away when something isn’t quite right.

Tip #2: Offer to Help with Upkeep

Do you want to get on your landlord’s good side, or even possibly get a discount on your monthly rent? Offer to help with the regular upkeep of the home, like the landscaping or routine maintenance. Doing these small tasks can help keep the property in good shape, and will save the owner from doing the work. If the landlord had been thinking about doing some upgrades to the home, and you're pretty handy with a wrench, offer to do some simple handywork like painting, installing new bathroom fixtures, or even new flooring. This will go a long way to building good will that can result in a discount on your rent. Make sure any task that you accept is within your current skill set, otherwise you may end up doing more harm than good (see Tip #1).

If you do take on any tasks around the home, always make sure to have the expectations written out for you with the landlord's signature. Why?...