Being a great tenant has some perks. For example, when my best tenants want to renew their lease, I'm more than happy to do so with the smallest possible rent increase, or no rent increase. If a great tenant wants to move out, I know I can give him the full security deposit back because the rental will be in great shape. And if a good tenant needs to change the terms, like adding a pet, I can do so because the tenant has proven she's responsible in the past.
But not everyone is a great tenant. In fact, it's pretty easy to create a tense relationship with your landlord. A landlord's least favorite tenant does at least one - if not all - of these things.
Pay the Rent Late
As a property manager, and also a renter, I understand that things happen and sometimes a tenant needs to pay their rent later than the due date. A bad tenant won't let me know ahead of time when to expect the rent, or they'll pay the rent late every month without explanation.
If you have to pay late, let your landlord know. Communication goes a long way.
Sneak in Pets
I allow pets in my rentals, providing the tenant signs a pet agreement and pays a pet deposit. A pet agreement protects the tenant and the deposit protects my rental. It's a fair deal. But tenants still move in pets without notifying me first, even though it's a violation of the lease and could lead to serious financial consequences, like damage fees or a lease termination at the tenant's expense.
Discuss pets with your landlord before you move Fido into your apartment.
Bother the Neighbors
When tenants live in close quarters they can get on each other's nerves without meaning to. But a bad tenant makes a lifestyle out of it. Throwing parties on week nights, listening to music at full volume, or just disrespecting the neighbors is an easy way to frustrate your landlord.
Landlords don't want to play mediator to their tenants. Do what you can to keep on good terms with your neighbors.
Damage the Property
I once had a tenant install a fireman's pole through the middle of the living room floor. Another tenant punched over 12 large holes into the wall. In both cases, they were surprised they didn't get their security deposits back in full.
Treat your rental like you own it and your landlord will appreciate you. Nothing makes me happier then coming into a rental to see it clean and well-maintained. Those are the tenants I try to keep as long as possible.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a real estate story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
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