The relationship dynamic between landlords, tenants, and property managers, is often portrayed as ominous one, with lots of finger pointing and misconduct pointed by all parties.
However, the truth is, if tenants, landlords and property managers, keep their end of the bargain, the system is often quite a pleasant one and although maintenance issues are common, depending on the property, the balance between keeping a tenant and landlord happy, is one that is more often achieved, than the horror stories you hear.
It is of course, the responsibility of the property manager to explain to landlords and tenants the responsibilities of leasing and renting, however, if this is achieved and noted from the beginning, prior to signing up, everyone seems to be on board the same ship and sail towards the same goal—a long-term happy lease.
There are of course, certain tips to help tenants ascertain a happy landlord and they are as follows.
- Pay rent on time
Many people suffer hardship at some stage and rent in arrears can happen. However, once the arrears occur, two parties actively focus on the rent being paid, the property manager and the landlord. To avoid being on the radar, paying rent on time is crucial and mortgage brokers now take into consideration your rental history when you apply for a home loan, so a good rental record benefits all parties.
- Read your sign-up package:
Listed on your tenancy agreement is what your rights and responsibilities are as tenants. It’s boring, yes, however, very relevant to the tenancy and there is a list of emergency contacts on the document that help you in the event that something goes wrong.
I have also sent out an email to landlords, contractors and tenants, listing what exactly is considered an emergency and who is liable for payment.
- The garden and pool:
If your contract states that you are responsible for garden and/or pool maintenance, then a tenant must ensure they are upholding their end of the bargain. Routine inspections will reveal if the tenant is not upholding the contractual obligations and further action will likely be performed.
- Report Maintenance Issues
It’s important to report maintenance issues. Maintenance issues often escalate and when they do, it can be an expensive repair. Tenants sometimes fear informing the property manager of maintenance issues, they don’t want to “be a pest”, but they are not in fact a hindrance at all but incredibly helpful towards ensuring the safety and liveability of the property.
If damage has been done to the property, it is also beneficial to report it. The property manager generally finds it during the routine inspection or exit condition report, hiding it or not reporting it yourself isn’t a good look.
If your lease says no pets, don’t keep pets on the premises. You could risk losing your rental property. If you want a pet on the premises or are thinking of getting one and you have proven yourself a good tenant, ask, but don’t put yourself in a position where you may in breach of your contract. Quiet often, a landlord is not in favour of the idea of a pet, but when we submit the applications, the landlord will choose one with a pet.
If your pet has been approved and is aggressive, remove it from the premises on the day of the routine inspection or have it restrained. It is unfair to expect a property manager to enter a property that may be dangerous, remember, we need to go home to our friends and family at the end of the day and don’t need to be attacked for doing their job.
By Nikki Heindl, the Property Manager at More Estate Agents.