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How to Be the Perfect Tenant

  • 5 months ago
  • 0
The Ideal Tenant is More than Just a Reference

A great tenancy isn’t just about having a great view from your bedroom window or paying a modest rent, it’s also about the relationship the landlord and tenant build up.

It’s important to start off on the right foot and to maintain a steady course, with trust and mutual respect built in. A good tenant-landlord relationship can go a long way and help to make things run more smoothly over the course of the rental.

Here’s how to get off to a good start and keep it that way.

Have all your paperwork ready

Having all of your paperwork ready when you meet your prospective landlord or letting agent for the first time shows you’re organised and trustworthy, which makes you a good candidate.

Ask good questions

You don’t have to ask about the meaning of life or anything; just ask when the recycling or rubbish is collected as this shows you’re sensible and will look after the property.

Pay your rent on time every month

It’s important to do this as it’s the bare minimum you should do as a tenant. Paying late on a regular basis can make life difficult for your landlord and is also likely to make it difficult for you to find another place.

If there is a problem one month, then let your landlord or letting agent know ASAP so you can work on things together.

Look after the place as if it’s your own

Your landlord will really appreciate this and will also be more likely to give you a good reference. It also makes it more likely that you’ll get your entire deposit back when you leave.

Tell your landlord or agent about any maintenance issues

Telling your landlord about a minor issue or breakage means they can sort it out before it becomes a bigger – and almost certainly more expensive – problem.

Read your tenancy agreement and stick to it

It’s not just a dotted line to sign, it’s an agreement to abide by the terms. Read it carefully and ask about anything you’re unsure of or don’t understand. If you’re fully aware of your obligations and restrictions then you’re much less likely to flout them, which makes you a great tenant.

Be honest from the start

Honesty is a key attribute in any good tenant and most half-truths or lies will be exposed – especially those to do with finances, as your letting agent will undertake referencing and financial checks to establish if what you’ve said on your application is correct.

It’s tempting to inflate your salary or “forget” about your cat when you first meet your landlord, but they’ll do credit and employer checks and they will meet you in the supermarket pet food aisle.

Keep the property clean

Leaving your rental in a poor state is a good reason for your landlord to deduct a cleaning fee from your security deposit. It’s also a big headache for them, as well as being rude.

Keeping the property clean throughout your tenancy means you don’t have to do a mad deep clean just before you move out and it’s also helpful when inspection time rolls around again.

Remember that your landlord has needs too

Although you’re the one paying rent, your landlord also has needs and expectations and if you disregard them it can have very negative consequences for you both.

If you don’t pay your rent on time, for example, it could affect your landlord’s mortgage payments and hurt their credit rating. This is, in turn, not going to improve your reference when you need to move.

Don’t make any changes without asking your landlord or agent

If you want to paint some tired-looking walls, don’t assume you’re doing your landlord a favour. Get permission before you head to the DIY store as while your landlord might appreciate your efforts, they might not like the colour.

The same applies to putting up a print or adopting a hamster – just squaring it first will make all the difference to the rapport you have with your agent or landlord.

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