You have probably been a dickhead to your landlord without even realizing it. Don’t feel too guilty; it’s easy to get lazy when it comes to dealing with your landlord, but there are simple things you can do to become their favorite tenant. Before you ask them if it’s okay for you to get that pet lizard you can't live without, follow a few of these rules to sway their opinion of you first.

Know the rules

The first step in moving in to a place should always be to read and understand your lease. Most landlords will use a standard lease with no unusual clauses, but the lease outlines what is expected of both of you during your tenancy. Some landlords may try to sneak illegal terms into a lease, which can’t be enforced. Often, when you are unsure about whether something is allowed, you can find the answer in your lease instead of sending your landlord sixteen texts until they respond. Read that lease and look extra closely for a clause forbidding lizard ownership. They’ll appreciate the effort, we promise.

This may seem obvious, but…

Pay your rent on time. No matter how chill your landlord may seem, they are probably annoyed if you pay your rent three or five days late every month. Think about it like your paycheck - if you’re supposed to get paid every Friday, but your boss only gets around to it on Mondays, you’ll be unhappy. Your landlord is providing a service and product to you and, even if local law says you have a few days of leniency, paying rent on the day when your landlord is expecting to receive it will do wonders for their attitude towards you.


We told you to read your lease to keep you from annoying your landlord with questions, but if the answer can’t be found there, don’t hesitate to reach out. A good landlord will be happy that you’re clarifying things with them instead of operating on the ‘ask for forgiveness, not permission’ method. Is dreaming of owning an iguana named Mr. Bubbles keeping you awake at night? Talk to your landlord. The more you follow these tips, the more likely it is that they’ll be willing to let you become a happy lizard parent.

Keep the place clean

While it’s not technically your house, treat your rental like you own it. That means when your roommate spills Campari all over the kitchen floor and passes out drunk before cleaning it up, you gotta take care of it. Most leases and state laws outline a tenant’s duty to keep their unit clean to a certain standard as part of the warranty of habitability, and if even your lease isn’t very specific about this obligation, it’s expected of you. If your landlord needs to come by to fix a broken faucet and they see that you’re taking care of the place, they’ll be happy. And a happy landlord is going to be much more willing to let you get that pet lizard.

Make nice with the neighbors

Just because you may not be best friends with your landlord doesn’t mean the guy in the next apartment isn’t. You don’t have to hang out with the other tenants, but if you run into them in the hall, give them a little wave and a ‘How’s your day?’ Establishing yourself as a friendly neighbor makes you look good and you never know who’s talking shit about other tenants to your landlord. Having a courteous relationship with your neighbor will also reduce the chances of them calling the landlord to complain about your loud music and might encourage them to instead knock on your door and deal with it directly and politely. And, you might even make a new friend who you can invite to your lizard’s first birthday party. That lizard is gonna look so cute with a little party hat on.

Any questions?

We probably have the answer for you here. You're welcome.


Rachel Bell

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