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Being a good tenant is beneficial for both renters and landlords

You have done your research and are ready to get into that perfect New York rental. You've checked prices and decided on a location. You've called the landlord and set up an appointment to check the place out. If the space is what you expect, you are ready to sign the lease. You are excited and ready to get into your new home.

As you look at the space and talk to the landlord, you can think about what it means to be a good tenant. Being regarded as a good tenant is not only good for the landlord, but also can help you as a renter.

As a respectable tenant, you will want to abide by these tips:

  • Read your lease and ask questions. You will want to read every page, term and condition of your lease. If you don't understand something, ask! A lease is a legal contract, so it is best that you fully understand what you are signing. You can talk to your landlord about any potential issues before they happen, and negotiate terms if needed.
  • Take notes and make copies. You will want to make sure that you have copies of all or your signed paperwork. If there are any rules or policies that the landlord requires, make sure you have these in writing. Transcribe any communications with your landlord in regards to your lease, changes, terms or repairs. Have your landlord sign these written statements rather than relying on a verbal commitment.
  • Document the space and any maintenance. Before you move your items into the space, you will want to take pictures and make detailed notes regarding the conditions or your new home. If at any time your home requires maintenance, submit your request in writing and document the issue with photos if possible. Always date your documents to create a clear timeline.
  • Show respect for the space. Keep your new home clean. While there will always be some expected wear and tear, you will want to take care of the home. Keep the space clean to help avoid attracting any vermin and to maintain the quality of the space. If any wear and tear presents itself, document it.

As a renter you will want to pay your rent on time and follow the rules. If you find that you want to make changes to the space, clear these changes with the landlord first-even if the lease states that you are allowed to make such changes. Be a respectable and courteous neighbor. It could be beneficial to build a rapport with your neighbors.

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