Whether you live in a rental house, an apartment, or a partner connected to your landlord's house, you may at some time have to deal with a landlord. Homeowners, I envy you and hope to join your ranks someday soon! Until that point, here are some tips for my fellow rental dwellers, on how to deal with your landlord over pretty much any issue that comes up during your stay.
1 Be Polite
If you have an issue with your landlord, whether it is about heating, trash pick up, or random house repairs, it pays to be polite. You might be incredibly angry, but it's in your best interest not to show it. Nine times out of ten, that old adage about how you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar definitely works here. Just be polite about bringing up your issues and chances are he or she will be happy to take care of them.
2 Be Honest
If you have a serious problem with your rental property or with something your landlord has done, it's always better to be upfront and honest about it. You need to be tactful as well, but it's better for both of you if you just tell the truth. That includes if you've done something wrong – like if a friend has pulled a no-no and lit up a cigarette in a non-smoking apartment.
3 Be Patient
A little patience goes a long way in most situations, and that is definitely true when it comes to your landlord. If you tell your landlord about a problem, don't always expect it to get done right that second. Depending on the nature of the problem, give it a few days or a week, maybe more depending – but never let it go too long, and don't be afraid to broach the subject again. You just don't want to start nagging right away, unless of course it's an emergency.
4 Know the Law
Every state has different laws pertaining to both landlords and tenants. It will really serve you well to know all of the ones applicable to your situation. When you demonstrate a working knowledge of the law, you rarely have to worry about running across a landlord who will take advantage of you. Some of them will, and some of them are not that knowledgeable themselves, so don't be afraid to share what you know.
5 Know Your Rights
You especially need to know your rights as a tenant. There are certain things your landlord absolutely cannot do, and there are things he or she has to provide. There are rules concerning water, heat, electricity, entry, and all manner of other things, of which you should be aware. Again, do not be afraid to share your knowledge in that regard.
6 Be Willing to Compromise
Especially if you live in a landlord occupied property, sometimes compromise is necessary. This may concern something as prosaic as parking places, or something as important as water temperature. Whatever the case, realize that you are going to need to talk about it, and that compromising might be your best choice of action.
7 Don't Compromise on Everything
That being said, there are some things on which you should not compromise. If you are freezing in your apartment, that's not cool, and you should not compromise on that. Some things are simply required. You have to pick which battles are worth fighting, and that is up to you, but when you find one that is worth it, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.
8 Be a Good Tenant
Finally, one of the best ways to deal with your landlord and to ensure that you have a good one is to be a good tenant yourself. Be respectful, be polite, be honest, and so on, and more often than not, you'll get treated that way in return.
There are exceptions, of course. Some people just should not be landlords, either because they don't know what they're doing or because they're terrible at it. Do you have any funny and/or horrible landlord stories?