Property Assistant UK

5 Tips on How to Be a Good Tenant

5 Tips on How to Be a Good Tenant

Being a good tenant isn’t just about paying your rent on time, though this is a big part of your responsibility when renting. There are additional responsibilities and expectations that can help you in the long term whether that’s ensuring you receive all of your tenancy deposit back when you vacate a property, securing a good reference for your next property or a straightforward renewal process.

Being a good tenant can also make your rental term go more smoothly.

In this guide, we wanted to give you our best advice for being a good tenant to make your experience of renting as stress-free and satisfying as possible.


Keep Your Neighbours Happy

Wherever you are living, and under whatever terms, neighbours are an important aspect of owning or renting property. Having a good relationship with the people that share your community is an essential aspect of peaceful living. This is particularly true in environments where neighbours share communal space, party walls and joint access.

People that adjoin, or live close to, rental properties can often be wary of new renters as their experience of previous tenants may not be a happy one. Consider a family who have lived in the same home for ten years who may have had different neighbours every six months. The chances are that at least one of these tenants, unfortunately, may have been objectionable in some way.

Keeping your neighbours happy is essential to avoid complaints to your landlord (or the council). Noise is the primary problem along with external upkeep, pets and parking.

The key factor to remember is to treat your neighbours with the respect that you would like to receive.


Stick to the Terms of the Lease

When you initially sign your rental documents, it is your responsibility to thoroughly read all of the terms and conditions of your rental agreement. Most documents are standard and, if you have ever rented before, will not come as any surprise to you. However, some landlords have specific stipulations about the upkeep, maintenance and condition of the property so do read it carefully. Understanding your obligations will help you stick to your side of the deal.

Common misunderstandings arise from issues like:

·       Keeping pets

·       Sub-letting

·       Responsibility for external maintenance

·       Leaving the property vacant for extended periods

·       Having regular visitors stay with you

Matters that commonly arise from rental agreements relate to things like making changes to the property’s décor. Most tenancy agreements do not allow you to change the interior paintwork but some landlords may be happy for you to do so. See our tip below on effective communication.

Treating Your Rental like Your Own Home

By this we mean treating the property with a bit of TLC. It’s not easy to commit to a home that you aren’t intending to stay in for very long but every house or flat needs careful treatment with rentals receiving far more knocks along the way (think about how many bangs that staircase has had getting various beds, cupboards and wardrobes up the stairs!).

Most rentals start with an inventory check performed by an independent assessor who will note all of the scrapes, dents and scuffs meaning you could face deductions from your tenancy deposit if you don’t return the property in the same condition.

If you put a painting up and some plaster comes out, then repair it. If you spill some wine on the carpet, then treat it with stain remover. If a knob comes off a kitchen cabinet, then get it fixed. It can be all too easy to think that none of these things are your concern but they are. Treat where you live like your own home and you will find less ‘little jobs’ to do when you come to leave your rental property.


Communicate Problems Effectively

Having said that you should respond to maintenance as though it were your own home, there are clearly areas that are your landlord’s responsibility. Structural and utilities problems, deterioration in furnishings and (where applicable) white goods should all fall under the remit of your landlord (check the agreement). In such cases, it’s important to communicate these issues promptly and comprehensively to your landlord or lettings agent. When it comes to any remedial action required, you should comply as fully as you can with any required access for builders, tradesmen or your landlord.

Leaky taps, broken locks or damage to the property should all be identified as soon as it happens. This gives your landlord the best chance of responding rapidly to your concerns.

It is always worth setting any communications you have with your landlord or agent in writing. This can avoid problems in the future as well as provide a way to track back on when issues where first raised to avoid misunderstandings.

The same process should be adhered to for any other issues which arise from your rental such as requests for changes to interior décor, rental payments or responsibilities – always put these things in writing.


Pay Your Rent on Time

Okay, so we said it wasn’t all about the money but, for many landlords, the only contact they have from their tenants is the rent being deposited in their bank each month. If there are irregularities and inconsistencies over when (and sometimes how) this is paid then it could affect the way they view your tenancy renewal and/or reference.

Though your agreement may have a period of ‘grace’ for late payments, this is not an opportunity to be late. Remember that your landlord may have their own repayments to make against the property and your being late with rental payments could impact their own ability to keep up repayments on a commensurate mortgage.

Renting a property should be an easy and hassle free process for landlords and tenants but, at Property Assistant, we understand that life can sometimes get a bit hectic. That’s why we put so much effort into putting together a lettings management plan that helps both tenants and landlords. We aren’t a corporate, faceless agency that only communicates with our tenants when there is a problem or when we are chasing money. We are here for all our tenants to discuss any issues they have so they can be resolved quickly, professionally and amicably.

If you want to know more about renting through Property Assistant, whether it’s finding a suitable property to rent or understanding more about the process of renting, then you can contact us on 0118 912 2370 or