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What are the keys to a good relationship with your landlord?

A survey of renters and landlords examined the relationship between both groups.

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Happy young couple getting keys of their new home
(ESB Professional vía Shutterstock )

Two in five American renters think they would make better landlords than their current landlords (41%), according to a recent poll.

A survey of 1,500 renters and 500 landlords examined the relationship between both groups, revealing that a majority of tenants say they have an “excellent” or “good” relationship with their landlords (63%), with only 6% saying it’s terrible.

While 69% of landlords say first impressions are “very important” when searching for a tenant, 51% of renters express the same when dealing with a landlord.

Although half of renters claim their landlords are better than most (49%), renters laid out the problems they experience the most with their landlords.

According to the survey by Lemonade and OnePoll, when asked what makes a "good" landlord, tenants shared they look for someone who responds promptly to property issues (72%), cares about maintaining their home (72%) and keeps the rent affordable (71%).

And what makes a "bad" landlord? Surprisingly, having a landlord who’s rude about making repairs (79%) is worse than one raising the rent (65%).

Landlords, on the other hand, described what makes a good tenant: someone who pays their rent on time (79%), keeps their apartment/house clean (74%), follows the house rules (72%) and is employed (60%).

“While any relationship between a landlord and a tenant is rooted in holding up one another’s end of contractual obligations, it’s so much more than that,” said Sean Burgess, chief claims officer at Lemonade. “The human element is equally, if not more, important in establishing and maintaining a good relationship. Good communication, respect for each other’s needs, and general kindness can go a long way.”

Dealing with property damage is the top tenant issue landlords experience (48%). That was worse than receiving late or non-rent payments (46%) and dealing with maintenance issues (39%).

These reasons may be why 36% of landlords say they resent some of their tenants and why many raise the rent. Over half of landlords (54%) raise the rent at least every two years, with a quarter of landlords (25%) doing so every year.

The data delved further into tenant red flags landlords said homeowners should be aware of, such as renters having an eviction history (57%), multiple complaints from previous landlords or tenants (51%), lying on rental applications (51%) and having a criminal record (45%).

To make their lives easier, landlords said they hope for stronger eviction laws (44%), better communication skills (41%) and accessible legal support (37%).

For nearly half of landlords, a potential candidate with renters insurance is also a huge plus (45%) since the majority of landlords (81%) think having rental coverage could make or break a deal.

Overall, most landlords and renters agree that they can get along and coexist peacefully (95% and 87%).

“Whether it’s a stolen bike, protection from water damage, or liability coverage, there’s no doubt renters insurance protects tenants in many scenarios,” added Burgess. “However, what some might not realize is that renters insurance can provide benefits for the landlord as well, such as potentially lower liability exposure.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 1,500 American renters + 500 landlords was commissioned by Lemonade between November 3 and November 14, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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