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10 Commandments on How to Be The Ideal Tenant in NYC

Any resident in New York City knows that apartment life is one of those most drama-filled aspects of living in this city. Relations with roommates and the landlord are always tenuous, subject to misunderstandings, disputes and annoyances. NYC is a diverse place, and when individuals come together to share a living space with different habits and lifestyles, conflict is inevitable. Tenant and landlord rights also factor into what is permissible behavior, and both parties often play with the legal parameters to justify their behavior, and misbehavior. A city as chaotic as NYC calls for rules and structure to bring some sensibility and order. The following are 10 commandments on how to be the ideal tenant (and roommate) here in the Big Apple:

1. Thou shalt pay 100% of your rent, and on time.
This first and foremost important commandment of all cannot be stressed enough. Not only does fullfilling this law deem you a trustworthy tenant, it gives you a leverage in the case of future scenarios where you may need extra favors/requests. If you can show a consistent history of full and timely payments, your ability to honor financial obligations will have you covered should you need to defend yourself against potential legal disputes.

2. Thou shalt get everything in writing.
This is for anyone with basic common sense, but it goes without saying that anytime you enter an agreement that requires large amounts of money, make sure all parties involved sign a legally binding contract. Outline everything in detail to eliminate any loopholes. Based on human nature, the average human will unconsciously or consciously exploit a situation or person up until the limits of consequence, not based on nominal morals.

3. Thou shalt not steal.
What's yours is yours. What's theirs is theirs. Don't mess with boundaries of ownership and propriety.

4. Thou shalt be clean.
"Cleanliness is next to godliness." One person's spotlessness can influence and even pressurize other roommates to follow a similar standard. It pays to be clean, and hopefully it will set the standard for the rest of the household.

5. Thou shalt learn the art of diplomacy.
Why do you think we need an entity as the United Nations? Because in this big bad world, separation exists on all levels - different countries, cultures, religions, political affiliations, etc. Human divisions abound, and in the home, you have roommates, landlords and tenants. Each play a unique role and have distinct obligations. Learn to navigate the dynamics between all parties and strive for a United Living Situation.

6. Thou shalt learn the art of silence.
For some reason, noisy roommates and tenants beget negative impressions, from the perspectives of the landlord and fellow roommates. Silence is golden, and those who gravitate towards making as much noise as possible are psychologically perceived simply as not good quality.

7. Thou shalt work.
Idleness is a devil's playground. Have a job please if you want a roof over your head. No landlord wants to rent to a lazy bum, and no roommates wants to share a living space with a lowlife person. People like people who do something with their livelihood.

8. Thou shalt respect your home.
Treat your rental space as you would if it were your own home. Not only will your living quarters be in good condition with this mentality, but it will bring positive energy into the household. Eventually, your roommates will want to contriubte to a a homely environment themselves, and your landlord will see you as a golden tenant as he compares your rental space to his other unkempt units.

9. Thou shalt not break your lease.
Honor your commitments, all the way through. People don't like dishonorable characters and the world works in a way to bring luck and fortune to those who stick to their word.

10. Thou shalt love thy neighbor.
Perhaps the most difficult commandment of all, but with the greatest rewards. Get to know who lives around your unit, and if you can show others a genuine kindness for all, you are divinely protected.


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  1. Carey Grassinger

    Carey Grassinger on #

    On the other hand, Commandment # 1 of being an ideal landlord would be refunding security deposits in a timely manner. My daughter, Julie Musbach has been had her account pending for approx. 6 months. Please return her money!

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