It's amazing how horrible I am at dealing with landlords. My passive aggressive personality and non-confrontational demeanor usually keep my apartment problems from getting solved. However, over the years I have found some tips that work well for getting the most out of the landlord-tenant relationship.
• Go for a management company: Although this means you'll typically be living in a larger complex or building, a management company means keeping a reputation. These companies need the good reviews and general positive ratings to stay afloat. Although they usually have more tenants to keep track of, they potentially have a more organized or professional system for maintaining and fixing your apartment. Often times they'll even give you a checklist upon move in just to make sure everything is satisfactory.
• Stay on top of them: It is so important to be persistent. This is the part I'm not so great at. Yes, they're busy and don't necessarily want to fix your broken door hinge, but it needs to be done! Check back with them every so often to check the status of your maintenance request.
• Be nice: This should be a no-brainer. Just be positive and friendly with your landlord or management company. A little kindness goes a long way, especially in a service industry such as this. It's simple. If your landlord likes you, they will do more for you than they will for "that jerk" in apartment 4F.
Image: Meg Lewis