Tips for Tenants: How to Take Care of Your Rental
Being a good tenant doesn’t take much effort on your part, and it really helps both you and your landlord. By taking good care of the property you’re renting, you can keep it in good shape, and hopefully avoid frequent rent increases needed to cover the cost of repairs or improvements. Here are some things you can do as a tenant to make it easier on yourself and your landlord.
Changing HVAC filters
This might seem like a small thing, but regularly changing the HVAC filters on your heating or cooling systems is one of the keys to maintaining a properly functioning system. These filters should be changed about every six months, but more frequently if you have pets throughout the household. It’s also good idea to regularly change the battery on your smoke detector, because you absolutely do not want it to fail at a crucial time.
Cleaning your property regularly is something that will contribute to the longevity of your dwelling and all the appliances contained within. By making sure that your microwave, oven, and refrigerator are regularly inspected and cleaned, you might be able to avoid a major repair bill down the road. Your bathroom should be cleaned and ventilated, so that mold and mildew don’t have a chance to grow in a room which is naturally humid. If you do spot either of these two things growing in your bathroom, you should contact your landlord right away.
Many tenants think they might have a major problem with their garbage disposal, when actually a simple reset will generally fix most problems. You can save yourself and your landlord a lot of time by learning how to reset your garbage disposal, and trying that first when a problem appears. There is a breaker which can be found under the sink on the bottom of your disposal, and it happens quite often that a simple reset is all that’s needed to get your garbage disposal working again.
Be aware of HOA regulations and rules
Typically, there are a number of fairly strict regulations and rules regarding Home Owners Associations (HOA’s) which have to be complied with. Sometimes this involves specific move-in or move-out days, and sometimes it relates to the things you’re allowed to situate on your balcony. Anytime you’re caught breaking one of these regulations, it might result in a fairly serious fine or penalty. If you have a problem with any of the rules and regulations, you should directly contact the HOA, rather than your landlord.
Notify the landlord of major problems
When you do see a major problem somewhere around your dwelling, you should contact the landlord immediately and describe the situation. As bad as the problem may be, it could be much worse if it goes unattended. Assuming that your landlord is reasonably conscientious, the problem should be addressed and resolved in short order, and if it isn’t, at least you did your duty as a tenant in alerting the landlord to the problem.
Be aware of landscaping and snow removal requirements
Before you even move into a new property, you should be aware of your responsibilities with regard to landscaping or lawn-mowing, as well as for snow removal during winter. This will avoid any misunderstandings or arguments when it comes time to carry out these functions. You’re not going to want to be surprised by finding out you are responsible for all these things when you had no idea this would be the case.