Sometimes, knowing what to bother your landlord about is tricky. But there are certain things you should never fail to tell:
A lost key. Tenants need to tell the landlord when and where they thought they lost it, whether there were any other keys, an address, or other identification on the key ring/key chain. That way, the landlord can decide whether or not he feels there is a security breach, and whether or not the locks need to be changed or just a new key issued.
Water stains on the ceiling. This either signifies leaky plumbing or a leaky ceiling, both of which can cause serious and expensive damage if left unattended.
Plumbing issues. Tenants often don’t want to report issues like these because if the situation is their fault, the tenant will have to pay for the repair. Sometimes, landlords have agreements to fix a particular problem the first time for free, but the next one is on you. Either way, waiting often causes the problem to escalate and that’s never good.
A new pet. Not being upfront about your new pet can result in eviction and or fines for breaking the rules of your lease. Even if it means you’ve got to shell out a hefty pet deposit, or if the pet is small, docile, or otherwise seems easy to hide, it’s not worth the risk doing so.
A new roommate. Most landlords screen tenants before renting to them, running credit and criminal background checks on those wishing to move in. How would you feel if someone with a criminal background was living in the building without anyone’s knowledge? This is a matter of safety for everyone. And, once again, you can get evicted for violating the terms of your lease by allowing someone else to live there without the landlord’s permission.
Bedbugs. Bedbugs spread like crazy from apartment to apartment and can easily get out of control. As soon as a tenant finds any evidence, the landlord should know. It’s typically the landlord’s responsibility to pay extermination fees, unless he can prove that the tenant brought infected items into the residence.
Financial distress. Tenants should never skip paying rent entirely or making a partial payment without contacting the landlord first and explaining the situation. He or she is more likely to be willing to help create a payment plan with someone who is upfront about why they’re having financial issues, whether it’s a lost job, medical bills, or something else.
An issue with a neighbor. Don’t let things spiral out of control. If there is an issue with a neighbor, tenants should let the landlord know right away. If it resolves itself quickly, that’s great. But if things get worse, the landlord will be thankful of being notified early on.
If you’re a good tenant, your landlord will provide you with a stellar reference for your next rental. A solid reference from a landlord is worth its weight in gold, especially in a tight rental market or if your credit is less than perfect. Like your mother always said, honestly is the best policy.