Are You A Bad Tenant? 5 Ways to Tell

published Aug 14, 2015
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Last week we talked about warning signs to heed in order to avoid getting stuck with a bad landlord. But remember, it takes two to tango. Are you the best tenant you can be? Maybe you have the best of intentions but are still making some unwitting mistakes. Here’s the cold hard truth.

You don’t follow the rules

Rules are there for a reason, unless you reeeally need to do your laundry after midnight, right? Sorry no. If you think rules don’t apply to you, you’re being rude to other people in your building who do abide by them.

You’re too demanding

Your landlord is not a magician. There are true emergencies and then there are maintenance issues that can wait a while. We know you need your ripped window screen replaced asap, but after your initial request, you should give your landlord a reasonable chance to address your issue. Multiple calls in a day is not cool. Not everything is priority number one. If you cry wolf too often, you may find that even important problems don’t get the same amount of urgency they should.

You’re noisy

No one thinks that the noise they create is annoying (since they’re choosing to make/play/create it) but to someone who is forced to hear that noise secondhand, it most certainly is. Even if you’re a rockin drum soloist or your kids are just so cute when they scream, there’s no accounting for taste. Your neighbor might disagree. Some noise is certainly unavoidable but try to have empathy for others around you (especially after hours) so your landlord isn’t forced to get involved.

You’re late with the rent

Don’t make your landlord chase you down to get paid. You signed an agreement and holding up your end (the cash) means your landlord is much more likely to hold up his end, too (fixing your stove). Besides, late rent can rack up all sorts of nasty fees that you’d do better just to avoid with some solid financial planning.

You sublet illegally

It’s nice to have your rent covered if you need to be away, but your landlord agreed to rent to you, not the rando you found on Craigslist. There is a rental vetting process for a reason and your landlord will probably not be thrilled should you find someone who doesn’t meet the same requirements you do because it’s his property on the line. That said, landlords understand life as well as anyone else. If you truly need to be away (and get your rent paid), he might work with you to find a suitable temporary replacement and keep the whole transaction on the level.

The good news? Even if you’ve admitted to yourself that you’ve done a few of these bad habits, there’s plenty of time to turn it around. Cleaning up your act will also help you repair your rental relationships.