What makes a good tenant? Keeping your rental property in tip-top shape.

Keep Your Rental Property in Tip-Top Shape

You may not think you should care for a rental as you would your own home, but there are many reasons to be a great tenant. In addition to keeping your landlord happy, taking care of your rental gives you the upper hand in rent negotiations and might even allow you to get better lease terms . You'll also save money if you're not evicted or you don't have to forfeit your security deposit.

Treat Your Rental Property With The Utmost Care With These Tips For Long and First Time Renters.

Know your lease. Before moving in, brush up on what's in the lease so you don't inadvertently violate its terms.  Are pets allowed in your building? Can you hang pictures on the walls? If you want to do something that's not allowed, speak to your landlord. They may let you — especially if you have proven to be a good tenant.

Prepare for move-in day. Make sure you know all the necessary details around moving into your new apartment. Most importantly, make sure everything you discuss with your landlord is outlined in your rental agreement.

Keep it clean. Tenants who keep their living spaces neat are sending an important message to their landlords: "I respect your property." And you'll most likely get your security deposit back when you move out. If you have pets, make sure to vacuum at least once a week, pick up any accidents right away and keep your home odor free.

Consider additional security. With the help of your landlord, you might be able to increase the security of your apartment with security cameras, reinforced hinges and door locks.

Use a storage unit. If you don’t have access to a storage area in your home or apartment, you can store your extra possessions in a storage unit.

Redecorate to make it your own. Renting an apartment doesn’t have to mean drab walls and dreary finishes. Apply some cost-effective apartment redecorating tricks to make your rental your home.

Consider getting involved with a community garden. Community and urban gardens are an excellent place for growing fresh food..

Block the winter drafts. While you might not be in a position to replace your windows, there are steps you can take to help keep your home or apartment free from drafts and your utility costs in check.

Be aware of the rules when it comes to house parties. Whether you’re hosting a crowd for the big game or a small family BBQ, let your neighbors and landlord know about your house party so that any concerns can be addressed up front.

Call in the experts. Notify your landlord right away about anything that's broken or damaged to prevent small problems from becoming big ones. Don’t attempt to make repairs yourself, as this could cause further damage.

Get insured. While it's your landlord's responsibility to take care of the building and grounds, he or she isn’t required to protect the contents in your living space. That's where renters insurance comes in. For a fairly affordable premium, renters insurance can help pay to replace items damaged or stolen inside your rental property.