Setting up utilities and paying your rent on time are obvious, non-negotiable responsibilities of being a tenant. Neither of these is going to earn you praise from your property manager, even if crossing them off your to-do list feels like you’re winning at this whole adulting thing.
No, the most responsible tenants go a step further than getting their rent in on the first of the month. They aren’t just winning, they’re the Simone Biles of renting.
If you want to be the world’s best tenant we have ten ways to earn your gold.
1. Get your rent in 3-5 days EARLY.
We all had that one teacher who lived to point out that early is on-time and on-time is late whenever someone walked through the door just as the bell rang. Turns out to be pretty sound life advice.
Sometimes things happen – maybe your check doesn’t clear or the bank transfer doesn’t go through. If you pay your rent a couple days early, you still have time to fix the issue before your landlord marks you as late. Plus, if you’re usually early with your rent, chances are the property manager is going to blame technology or forgive the lapse.
2. Get renter’s insurance. For the love of weather and good steak, please get renter’s insurance.
Albany Lofts at One Broadway requires you to get renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is not very expensive and it may mean the difference between being able to replace your clothes, electronics, and valuables after you accidentally set off the sprinklers with that new pan-seared Porterhouse recipe. Remember, your property manager’s insurance covers their property, not yours.
3. Check your mail and track packages for timely pick up.
This is a relatively small thing that goes a long way. Every building has different mail and package policies, but it’s always a good idea to let your property manager know when you’re expecting a large package or going to be out of town and unable to check the mail. Part common courtesy, part street smarts, no one wants packages piling up in the entryway.
4. Notify your landlord when you’re out of town.
Going away for a week or two? Let your property manager know that you will be away and either a) give them best contact info in case of an emergency or b) just give them the go-ahead to enter the apartment if disaster strikes and a pipe bursts.
5. Report damage and leaks immediately.
Speaking of burst pipes, report damage and leaks to your property manager immediately. Sooner than immediately. Damage often gets worse with time, and what may have been a minor fix can quickly evolve into a project that takes several days. If you caused the damage (say a friend who never really left college puts a hole in the wall) offer to pay for the fix using the landlord’s chosen contractor. DO NOT attempt to fix it yourself. DIY efforts never end well. (Believe us – we’ve seen a few.)
6. Clean often and well (even the hard-to-reach spots).
Very few people actually like cleaning, but so much of the wear and tear on living spaces is actually just neglect. Pull out those couches and armoires once a season and vacuum under/behind them. You’ll thank yourself when you move out. Plus, the more often you clean, the less time it takes to clean! (Pro tip: your spare bathroom also needs regular cleaning, even if it doesn’t see regular use. Hard water and mold can stain an unused toilet bowl and dust discolors grout.)
7. Got pets? Keep them clean, too.
Pets are amazing companions and owning one can be incredibly rewarding. But dogs and cats, and even less care-intensive pets like fish or hamsters, add a significant amount of wear and tear to your apartment. While you’re filming that cute Vine of Sparky scrambling for his footing chasing a ball down the hallway, your wood floors are wishing you’d put down a runner or filed Sparky’s nails. Less obvious than scratches on the floor is the odor that often accompanies pet ownership. We quickly become nose-blind to our own homes, so it is extra important to regularly bathe your pets, clean their crates, tanks, and litter boxes, and maybe add in an extra day of general apartment-spiffing to your routine.
The floors at The Albany Lofts at One Broadway are all hard wood and part of our appeal. Do some investigating about how to best care for and protect them. Not only do floors see the most use, and therefore the most wear, they are also very expensive to replace. If you move in and the flooring is damaged, document it with photos and talk to the landlord about having it replaced so you are not blamed for the damage when you move out.
For hardwood, cover 80% of your floor with rugs (this has the added bonus of muffling the sounds you make for your downstairs neighbors and winning you Miss Congeniality in addition to tenant gold). Also make sure you put gliders or felt on the bottom of chairs and other pieces of furniture that get moved frequently. For carpet, we recommend sitting heavy objects with narrow feet on large gliders to disperse the weight; frequent vacuuming, especially in high-traffic areas, will keep dirt from being ground into the carpet fibers and make sure the weft keeps its shape.
9. Get everything in writing.
This one is for you and the property manager. A written record of requests for and execution of repairs actually helps everyone by making communications clear and transparent, even though it may seem more inconvenient than just texting or calling for service.
10. Make non-permanent changes and upgrades.
Leases at Albany Lofts at One Broadway prohibit major changes to the apartment, but there are plenty of things you can do to make the space yours that won’t leave a mark when you move out. Instead of using nails to hang pictures, consider non-damaging alternatives. If you really hate that one light fixture, get a new cover and store the old one in a closet for when you move out. Thinking about painting? Try removable wallpaper instead.