At some point in your life, it’s likely you’re going to be renting somewhere to live. What’s the best strategy for a peaceful existence with your landlord?
I’ve recently moved into rental accommodation for the first time this century — a woeful tale involving my family home, a storm and a gum tree has seen me move out temporarily — which means I have a landlord for the first time in a very long time indeed.
In the case of the place that I’m temporarily living in, it’s a subdivided block, with the landlord living in a “granny flat” style building out the back. For the short term, that works OK with me, but it did get me thinking about the upsides and downsides of that kind of arrangement versus the slightly more traditional landlord-at-arms-length deal.
On the one hand, if there are repairs that need to be made, he’s rather easy to find. Equally, if I did want to make some kind of small alteration to the property, it’s easy enough to lean over the subdividing fence and simply ask.
On the other hand, he’s always there and that has some effects on how I live in the property itself. The other day he commented to me, quite innocently (I think) that I had “a nice quiet family who goes to bed early”. I think it’s just a cultural thing and he was simply commenting that he’s happy having us as tenants, but at the same time it reminded me that I’m (in essence) living in his front yard. I’m just that bit more wary about noise levels as a result, and equally any of the kinds of things that tenants do that they try to sneak past their landlords, because there’s little doubt that they’d know rather quickly.
Then again, the last time I was renting included a stint in a property where the real estate agency managing the unit couldn’t stop interfering, complaining and trying to book open days (the apartment was for sale while we were renting it) without notice, which I took rather badly. There’s upsides and downsides to every renting situation.
What are your strategies for peaceful coexistence with your landlord/landlady? Got any horror stories to share? Let me know in the comments below!