BY JESSICA HAMMER
Living on your own means you must break out of your comfort zone and stick up for yourself, especially when it comes to renting.
For new renters there are some things to keep in mind when asking your landlord things like painting a wall a different colour.
Before even asking your landlord for anything be sure you are familiar with your rental agreement because there could be something in the fine lines that says whether you can do something or not.
When you approach your landlord make sure you are clear about what you want and be straight to the point because as an adult, if you want or need something done you have to say it with confidence and be specific. If you want to change the paint colour of your bedroom ask him or her for permission and have a couple of paint samples ready. If he doesn’t a like your choice of colour try to negotiate and find one you both agree on.
It is always important to have an open dialogue with your landlord. If something ever goes wrong with the apartment such as a flood, it is always good to make sure you both communicate with each other. There is almost always a hitch in plans when it comes to renovations so it is important to get progress reports so you know what is happening and so you can plan around delays.
My living room got flooded about two weeks ago and I have been living with my parents ever since. It has been frustrating because I am living out of a suitcase and feel very disorganized. Not to mention that I have to be driven into school. I live in the country so it is harder to get around if you don’t have a car.
It is good to be on good terms with your landlord, so be sure to always pay your rent on time and be polite. You want to be the tenant that every landlord wants to keep on renting to.
While I don’t mind my landlord, he has been getting on my nerves. He is trying to keep the cost of heating down by asking me to turn my base board heat to low when I am not there but if I did that it would take nearly a whole day to get warm and it isn’t even that warm. I keep wondering why the pipes didn’t burst from the cold sooner.
There is always the chance that you won’t always agree or the communication is all one-sided. If this happens and there is a serious issue with heating, for example, be persistent that the landlord must make changes to the heating units. If heating is not included in the rent then they do not need to be involved unless there is an issue with the heating unit itself.
If there is ever any unpleasant opposition make sure you know your rights as a tenant. If your landlord is trying to save on heating bills and your apartment is too cold talk to the landlord first. If you don’t get any satisfaction call the Landlord and Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234. By law your unit must be at least 20 C between September and June. If the landlord doesn’t keep the unit heated properly you can contact the Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU), of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
You should not feel that you can’t speak out if there are problems with your apartment and/or landlord.