Building a strong landlord-tenant relationship is essential if you want your address to remain unchanged in the long run. While there are certain traits that define a good landlord and will help you identify a good one, you also need to play your part and ensure that you perform all the responsibilities of a good tenant to maintain this relationship smoothly.
Responsibilities of a Good Tenant
If you want to become a responsible tenant, here are some of the tasks you need to perform:
- Understand and uphold the terms of your lease
- Be honest with your landlord
- Pay your rental dues on time
- Communicate any untimely delays in payment
- Be respectful and friendly towards other tenants
- Keep the rental clean and tidy
- Don’t damage the landlord’s belongings
- Notify your landlord in advance when you move out
- Return the rental property in good condition
We’ll elaborate on these below so you can build and maintain a smooth landlord-tenant relationship during the term of your rental agreement.
Understand and Uphold the Terms of Your Lease
In order to become a responsible tenant, you need to know just what you’re signing up for. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes when renting a house is not reading the rental agreement while signing it.
A rental agreement contains a lot of fine print. It includes terms and conditions on how the house is supposed to be maintained, how frequently the house will be inspected by the landlord, how far in advance should you notify the landlord in case you are considering moving out of the property, and so on. Read it as many times as needed and question your landlord on the particular terms or conditions you do not understand. You need to know just what is expected from you, in order to perform your duties as a tenant in the best manner.
Be Honest with Your Landlord
Most landlords will generally have a list of questions to ask from a potential tenant before they agree to rent out a property. The best way to secure a rental? Be honest and upfront in answering the questions, irrespective of whether that’s related to your financial situation or your personal or medical concerns. You don’t need to explain your life’s woes to the rental property owner, but you do need to ensure that your answers are truthful and satisfactory.
Pay Your Rental Dues on Time
A smooth landlord-tenant relationship hinges on timely payment of the rent. The best way to fulfil this responsibility is to set aside the rental amount every month from your paycheque even before the rent is due. Additionally, mark your calendar, so you know just when the rent is due, and you do not forget to pay your landlord on the due date.
Communicate Any Untimely Delays in Payment
Being a good tenant, what should you do if you cannot pay your rent due to unforeseen circumstances? Communicate your issues as soon as you discover that you will not be able to pay the rent on time. Most rental property owners are understanding about occasional delays in payments as long as you’re not doing it every month and have a genuine reason for missing a rental payment.
However, in such a scenario, do communicate a realistic timeline for when you will be able to pay the rent and do your best to maintain that commitment to strengthen your landlord-tenant relationship.
Be Respectful and Friendly Towards Other Tenants
Tenants need to have a good relationship with the owner of the rental unit, but that’s not all. You also need to communicate and be friendly and respectful of other tenants who might be residing in the same residential complex. Nobody enjoys living next to noisy or rude neighbours, and if you want to avoid an eviction, it’s best to be polite and considerate of the people living in your immediate surroundings.
Keep the Rental Clean and Tidy
One of the major responsibilities of a good tenant is to ensure that the rental property is well maintained. This includes keeping the place clean and tidy, communicating any maintenance issues to the landlord in a timely manner, and being aware of rental inspections that might be held on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on your rental contract.
Don’t Damage the Landlord’s Belongings
Both furnished and unfurnished rental properties are available in the market, with the rents varying slightly on the higher end for fully furnished homes and flats. If you’re renting a furnished unit, remember that your landlord is entrusting you with their belongings, and in order to become a responsible tenant, you need to take care of their stuff.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t give the rental a touch of your own personality. There are plenty of DIY home décor hacks for renters that can help you create your personal space inside a rental unit while maintaining the landlord’s original décor.
Notify Your Landlord in Advance When You Move Out
While there are several ways for a landlord to determine whether a tenant has abandoned the property, one of the many responsibilities of a good tenant includes notifying the rental property owner well in advance about their change of residence. This is done to ensure that the property owner has plenty of time to find a tenant for their property and is not left with a vacancy upon your sudden departure. You might be required to give a month’s, three months’, or even a six months’ notice, depending on the rental agreement you signed with the owner of the property.
Return the Rental Property in Good Condition
Responsible tenants ensure the upkeep of the rental throughout their tenancy so that there is very little left to fix when they decide to move out. There are a number of things to check before moving out of a rental unit. This includes inspecting the property for minor repairs, paint touch-ups, fused bulbs, and broken locks. You’ll also be required to pay off any outstanding utility bills, clean the entire rental, and to return it to the landlord just as you found it on your first visit to the property.
These are just a few of the core responsibilities of a good tenant that can help you maintain a strong landlord-tenant relationship, which will not only make it easier to live in the current unit for the duration of the tenancy but also help you get good referrals for renting a property in the future.
Sign up to our newsletter by providing your email address, and you’ll never miss another post from us again. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries, concerns, and suggestions.