How to be a great tenant.
So you have secured your new rental and have moved in, now what?
Now it is time to start making your rental a home and being a great tenant. Being a great tenant means different things to different agents, but we have compiled a list that will help you stay in your rental as long as you need and also create a good working relationship with your agent. Early on establish with your agent what is the best way to communicate, phone, email or a website and also who will be your point of contact after signing a lease.
It’s all about good communication – between you and your agent, establishing a positive, stress-free relationship with your landlord can go a long way in helping you feel at home in your rental, getting you the fastest responses to maintenance requests, and even keeping your rent at a reasonable rate.
2. Maintain the green bits
When an agent is coming to do an inspection, first impressions are everything. This begins with the gardens, keepings the lawns green and mowed and the garden in a well maintained state. A properties external maintenance needs to also be a factor when looking at a new rental and if you are willing and have the equipment to do the work required. On average a lawn will need to be mowed every 2-3 weeks, with an average 4 bedroom home lawn taking about 1 – 1.5 hrs.
3. It’s a good idea to pay the rent
This is a given. The best way to be a good tenant is to pay your rent on time. A good practise is to communicate with your agent if your are planing to pay weekly or fortnightly and on what day, then remain consistent. A home will provide safety and shelter, so maintaining this is very important. Everyone understands that rent is a large portion of the households budget and sometimes unexpected things come up, so if remaining consistent with your payment become a problem, always talk to your agent before the due date. This will help them to understand what is happening and to help you make a plan.
4. Lets talk about R.E.S.P.E.C.T
Agents want tenants that are going to treat the property like it was their own, so treat your rental property with the same respect you would show to your own home. This means keeping on top of cleaning and general light maintenance to ensure there are no pest infestation issues. Normal wear and tear is expected, however household maintenance is the landlord’s responsibility, but tenants may be required to maintain some appliances, manage lawn care, change filters or replace smoke detector batteries.
5. Honesty is the best policy
This starts from the very beginning—your rental application. Always provide truthful information regarding your application, don’t inflate your income or lie about any credit issues. Any inconsistencies can only make you look bad. This also needs to continue after you are in your rental, be upfront about maintenance, the property and you financial situation.
6. Read, Read, and read some more
Before moving in, make sure you have read your lease from front to back. Your lease is a legally binding document and by signing it you are making guarantees about your rental payments, upkeep, repairs, and notice periods. It’s always a good idea to request the paperwork at least a day before it has to be signed so you have enough time to read it and raise any questions.
7. Do it all again
Another way to be a great tenant is to do it all again and renew your lease if you are happy with the property. This can not only save you money in relocation fees, but will also look good on possible future applications, showing that you are a good long term tenant. Remaining in long term housing can also begin to reduce stress and also create household security and a sense of belonging.
Housing is an essential part of life that can provide you with security and freedom, so renting needs to be viewed as a long term commitment and the basis of a successful life.