How to be a good tenant and keep the home you love

How to be a good tenant and keep the home you love

So, you’ve just moved into your perfect home. It’s the first time you’re living and renting on your own and you couldn’t be more excited. And that’s exactly why you want to be a good tenant. You want to carry on staying in your new flat or house for as long as possible. There is, after all, a reason you chose that specific place, whether it’s because it’s in an amazing neighbourhood or only a five-minute walk from your office.

The thing is, lease agreements have an expiry date where your landlord (or you) could choose to end the contract without any issues arising. Of course, you can end your lease agreement by giving notice within the period specified in the contract. However, if you’re happy with the place you’ve just moved into, then you’ll want to keep your new home and to do that, you need to be a good tenant. The fewer issues a landlord has to face, the more likely they will want to keep you as a tenant.

So, to help you become the tenant every landlord dreams of, here are some easy tips that will make all the difference.

Never make a single late payment

This is one thing that will instantly put you in bad favour with your landlord. You can’t make late payments on your rent and expect your landlord to be okay with it. They may be counting on that income to make their own payments. If you get paid in the middle of the month and the rental agreement states that you must pay your rent by the first day of the month, you can ask your landlord if it’s okay that you pay in the middle of the month. It’s unlikely that they will have a problem with that, but if they do, you need to make sure that money is still in your bank account when you need to make your payment. It’s also a good idea to set up an automatic repeat payment so that you don’t risk forgetting when your life becomes busy.

Change your own lightbulbs and deal with other small issues

Know what is your landlord’s responsibility and what is yours. For example, it’s highly unlikely that your landlord is responsible for changing lightbulbs. However, if a light bursts and the whole unit is damaged, that is probably something they need to deal with as it may be a fault which you were not aware of. Your landlord will not be impressed if you’re constantly messaging, phoning or emailing them about things you could take care of yourself at no cost.

Be mindful of your neighbours

You need to remember that you have neighbours. And if they make a complaint, your landlord will hear about it. Be mindful of how much noise you make and the times of day that you tend to make the most noise. If your neighbour works nights and sleeps during the day, try your best to limit the noise. And if they have children, keep your music down after 8pm, just as a courtesy.

If you are renting in a complex or block of flats, make sure that you are aware of the rules of the complex. You’ll probably be given a booklet when you move in that explains what is expected of you. Make sure to read this booklet in full and don’t just put it down on the kitchen counter and forget about it after a while. It’s also a good idea to keep this booklet in a place that is easy to access, so you can check anything should you be worried that you’re breaking a rule (or whether someone else is breaking a rule).

Keep the place in good condition

Even if you are naturally a messy person, remember that it is still someone else’s property so it’s your responsibility to keep it in good condition. Whether you choose to leave your clothes on the floor or in your cupboard, doesn’t matter to your landlord. What matters to the landlord is if you decide to drill holes in the wall without asking or let the garden become overgrown and full of weeds. If you break something, have it repaired immediately. If worst comes to worst and you have to move out, you’ll at least want your deposit back.

If there is an issue, approach it in the right way  

There will be times when things don’t work around the house or flat, things that should work. For example, if your geyser breaks or your electricity box stops working, that is something your landlord should be dealing with. And in cases like these, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your landlord. But, when you speak or write to them, make sure you’re as pleasant as possible. If you’re angry at the time, wait until you’ve calmed down a bit before contacting them. You’re not going to get what you want if you start a fight with your landlord and what you want is to stay in your flat or house for as long as it suits you.

Authored by: Pete Anderson

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