10 Ways to be the Best Tenant!

publication date: May 30, 2009
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author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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We often hear about ‘rogue landlords’ but rarely hear about problems that tenants can cause that result in the landlord being desperate for the tenant to leave their property and move on somewhere else.

However, there are an increasing number of private tenants that just want a decent home, with a roof over their head, and although the property is owned by someone else, can feel that while they are renting it, it’s their home to live in.

If you are about to become a tenant for the first time, or are desperate to stay in your rented home and want to make sure you are the best tenant the landlord can find, here’s our top 10 tips:-

1. Pay your rent on time
Many tenants forget that the landlord will have a mortgage on the property to pay every month and if you don’t pay your rent, they can’t pay their mortgage. This might mean the lender pursuing the landlord for extra charges, so paying your rent on time is essential!

2. Keeping your rented home tidy and clean
No one’s perfect and we all have bad days when our home isn’t in its best state, however it’s worth just making sure at least once a week the kitchen and bathroom get a good clean, the floors a hoover/clean and the whole place a good dust! If you don’t want to do it and share a property with others, it might be worth clubbing together for a cleaner.

3. Be nice to the neighbours
Smart landlords actually either pay or give something to neighbours to keep an eye on their property and YOU! So it’s worth making sure you say hello when you see them and if you plan to have a party at least drop them an invite or advise what time it will be finished.

4. Let the landlord (or letting agent) know immediately if there is a problem
If the washing machine is showing signs of a leak or the tap, or there is a problem with the shower, boiler or any other essential fixture or fitting, let the landlord know immediately. If you don’t and the problem gets worse, causing a flood or something will cost the landlord dearly on his/her insurance and increase their premiums.

5. Keep your home secure
Don’t forget it’s not just the landlord’s property, but it’s your laptop, bike or treasured possessions in the property, so if you don’t take care locking windows and doors, you and your landlord will suffer.

6. Take out your own insurance
Many tenants don’t realise it’s your responsibility to cover your own possessions. The landlord will cover the building, and MAY have insurance to cover accidental damage by you, but why not get your own insurance and then there is no hassle if anything goes wrong.

7. Ask if you want to make changes
If you are staying in a rented home for a while you might want to paint it a different colour, or add something new to the property that’s not already there. Talk to the landlord/agent and ask if you can go ahead. A good landlord might pay for the paint or additional items, but make sure any agreements are confirmed in writing!

8. Keep the garden/outside tidy
Many landlords only live a few miles away from their properties, or they have friends that do, so make sure you keep the outside as well as the inside of the property tidy as they will often do a ‘drive by’ just to check that all is well.

9. Ask if friends stay for more than a weekend
You have a perfect right to have people around to stay as long as your contract doesn’t say any differently. However, if you are having visitors for longer than a weekend, it’s probably worth just mentioning the fact to your landlord so they don’t think someone else has moved in!

10. If you need to leave early – find a new tenant to replace you
It always costs a landlord to replace you with a new tenant. They may have to pay advertising fees or a letting agent’s costs. So if you want to leave earlier than your contract, or if you are leaving anyway and introduce a new tenant to the landlord, they may even pay you commission!

For further information on renting and letting, visit the Renting and Letting section of the website, contact the Designs on Property team or telephone 01652 641722.
 

 



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