Being property managers, we have seen it all. Tenants become frustrated or get themselves into trouble, sometimes unknowingly. Luckily, we have some great advice for tenants to ease their frustrations and prevent problems before they happen. Here are 5 things that tenants should NOT do:
1. DON’T neglect their yard. Yard neglect causes headaches not only for the property managers, but tenants as well. When a yard is not taken care of, it causes the property manager to get involved. We don’t like to be the ‘bad guy’, but penalty’s and fines can be assessed to the tenants if the yard issues are not taken care of. Keep your landlord off of your back by mowing and maintaining your yard on a regular basis.
2. DON’T attempt to break the lease. We have, on numerous occasions, seen tenants try to break their lease before it expires. It is not that easy to ‘walk away’, and think that you won’t be penalized. You are bound by the lease you signed, and will be responsible for the provisions in it. By ‘walking away’ from a lease you very likely risk extra penalties and costs in the long run.
3. DON’T skim through the lease. You know when you purchase a product online, and before you can pay for it you have to scroll to the bottom of the agreement and check the box that says “I agree to the terms and conditions…?” Do NOT do that with a lease. A lease can contain lists of tenant responsibilities, hidden costs and other provisions that you may not understand or even know about when you skim over the lease. This can have a major impact on your willingness to rent the property! Thoroughly read through the lease, and ask questions if you don’t fully understand any part of it.
4. DON’T think that property managers are ‘out to get you.’ While it may be the case for some property management companies, there are several excellent property management companies that provide their services with integrity and keep the interest of YOU, the tenant, in mind. We have personally built our business and reputation on the satisfaction of both our property owners AND tenants, and do our absolute best to be fair to both parties. We want to take care of you, and make your leasing experience the best that we are able to.
If you have a problem with your landlord, it’s always better to discuss it in a calm, rational manner. You will find more often than not that you can fix your problems quickly and in your favor when you do so.
5. DON’T call the property manager for small maintenance issues that can be solved by yourself. While our greatest desire is to take care of all of your needs, we cannot physically address each individual problem that arises in a timely manner. If you have a small maintenance issue, try to solve the issue by yourself first. Many problems such as a clogged toilet, a running toilet or a plugged garbage disposal are fixed in seconds.
If you don’t know how, their is an abundance of “how to” information available online. Not only will your problem be fixed quicker than if you called your landlord, but you will save the landlord from making a trip, and possibly even save yourself a service charge. We are truly grateful to our tenants who address small maintenance issues on their own. That being said, we are always happy to take your call on larger maintenance issues, and even the small ones that you are not able to fix yourself.