We don’t want anything to catch you or your landlord off guard, so here is a list of five things that renters will want to avoid and that landlords should keep an eye out for!

Show interest!

From the get-go, if a tenant is unwilling to look at the apartment in person before applying it could definitely be a red flag. Unless he or she is from out of state, a potential tenant should always make every effort to take a tour, meet the landlord, and make an impression. Once approved, should the tenant suddenly become aloof this begs the question: what is he or she trying to hide?

Good communication is key

When signing a lease, there is an agreement to abide by the rules. Should a landlord come and have a talk with the tenant about a problem he or she has with you, don’t talk back. The landlord is allowing the tenant to live there. If you don’t agree with something the landlord is telling you calmly state it with respect, which means no interrupting, no elevated voices, no pointing fingers.

Pay rent on time

Paying your rent is not an option, remember you signed a contract? It’s one thing to have a slip-up, it’s another thing to start a pattern of bad behavior. When a landlord continues to hear excuse after excuse each month why rent is late or has to come and track a tenant down and demand rent money, it can be solid grounds for eviction. In addition, there are many great online services such as PayRent.com that allow for payments to be made in a timely and accessible manner.

Be respectful of your space, (and your neighbors)

So you want to have a get-together? Go for it! But make sure you know if there are quiet hours on the property or if your neighbors have kids, etc. Have empathy for people around you and be aware of your surroundings. Plus, large gatherings or parties can often get out of hand and lead to the destruction of the property which can affect your security deposit.

Only sublet if given permission

There is a vetting process for a good reason. Background checks, criminal history, etc. cannot be known should a tenant sublet to some random guy on Craigslist without talking to a landlord first. What if this Craigslist-er trashes your place, doesn’t pay you in time, or disappears? Better to come clean and talk to the landlord and work out a situation to find a temporary replacement. Going behind the landlord’s back is never a good idea.

If you’ve made some mistakes in the past, it’s never too late to own up to them and turn your bad habits around! Start today to be the better tenant. Your neighbors, landlord, and future rental agreement will thank you.