When you lease an apartment, your landlord may require a security deposit before you move in. Maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship after you move in can help when it comes time to renew your lease. And when it’s time to move out, it can ensure you get your full deposit back. Here are some tips to help ensure you uphold a positive relationship with your landlord.

1. Follow your lease

Leases have rules for a reason, so it’s important not to break them. If you want to make a change, like getting a pet or painting the walls, get your landlord’s permission in writing first.

2. Speak up when something breaks

If something goes wrong, let your landlord know as soon as possible. It’s also important to be truthful about how the problem occurred so it can be fixed correctly. Damage that is not repaired quickly can get worse over time and repair costs could be deducted from your security deposit, if one was required. If something needs to be repaired, ask your landlord if they have a preferred professional and offer to coordinate the work.

3. Pay your rent on time

Paying your rent on time is the easiest way to be a good tenant. Today, some landlords accept payments electronically, making things easier for everyone.1

4. Discuss a long-term lease

When it’s time to renew your lease, ask your landlord if you can sign a lease that’s longer than the standard 12-month agreement, if you plan to stay in your apartment for more than another year. If you’ve been a good tenant, your landlord might be happy to accommodate, as it saves them from having to find a new renter and you may be able to lock in a better rate on your rent.

5. Clean thoroughly

Your apartment was clean when you moved in, so plan to leave it in the same condition when you move out. If you leave a dirty apartment, your landlord may take cleaning costs out of your security deposit, if one was required.

Having a good relationship with your landlord can help take some of the stress out of renting. When your lease is up for renewal, your landlord may be more likely to want you to stay if you’ve been a good tenant.

When you’re in a rental, it’s important to protect your belongings. Find out how renters insurance can help.