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8 Tips On How To Be A Great Tenant
●July 28, 2021●6 minute read
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When you’re a tenant in a rental property, the impression you leave on your property manager or landlord can impact your future rental applications.
If you’re a great tenant, you’ll get glowing references and be more likely approved for that rental property you’ve had your eye on. On the other hand, if you’re a ‘bad’ tenant, you’ll likely find it harder to get into the property you’re after.
So, let’s dive into some simple tips to be a great rental tenant, why it’s so important, and how it can impact your future rental opportunities.
1. Pay your rent on time
One of the best ways to be a great tenant is to pay your rent on time. Not only is this going to keep you in the good books with your property manager and landlord, your rental payment history is one of the biggest influences considered in any future rental applications.
Your landlord might rely on your rental payments as their income, to cover mortgage repayments, or another financial commitment they have. Regardless, paying your rent on time is extremely important.
Sometimes, there might be a public holiday that messes with bank processing times, or another error with the transfer going through. However, ensuring that you’re always prioritising paying rent when it falls due is going to make sure you’re seen as a great tenant.
2. Follow the lease terms
When you sign a lease agreement, you are legally bound to follow all of the terms and conditions in the document. This includes the amount of rent you’ll be paying, when you’ll be paying it (weekly, fortnightly, monthly), and how long you’ll be living in the property. Making sure that you follow all of these terms will keep you in good standing with your landlord and property manager.
Need to break a lease?
If you need to vacate the property earlier than the agreed lease term, this means you’ll need to break your rental lease. If possible, this should be avoided, as it will be highly expensive, stay on your rental history, and most likely won’t impress your landlord.
If you don’t comply with the lease agreement, your landlord has the right to evict you from the property. This would be extremely stressful, time consuming, and annoying for most landlords, and likely won’t leave them with the best impression of you. So, do your best to follow your lease terms. But if you do need to break a rental lease, there are ways to make sure it all goes smoothly.
3. Take care of the property
One of the most frightening parts of being a landlord is letting people live in your house and not knowing how they are going to treat it. Doing rental references and employment checks can only give a landlord so much security as, ultimately, you are still a stranger living in one of their biggest assets.
So, in order to be the ideal tenant, take pride in your new home and treat it as if it were your own. Taking care of the property will not only ensure that you get your entire rental bond back, but it will also leave a good impression with your landlord and property manager.
4. Communication is key
Small issues can turn into big problems when they’re not sorted out straight away. If you notice a tap leaking, it might seem like a small problem at first but it can rack up a hefty water bill and end up causing water damage to other parts of the property.
In most cases, your landlord or property manager will have a way in which they would like maintenance issues reported. This could be an online portal, putting it in an email, or calling them directly to report it. Using the preferred method of reporting and communication is going to make their life easier, and ultimately, ensure that they think of you as a great tenant.
If you’re renting through an agency, the odds are that you are one of many tenants managed by your property manager. To ensure that they can action your maintenance request as soon as possible, and so that they don’t forget about it, make sure to put the issue in writing straight away.
5. Avoid being high maintenance
There is nothing worse than a tenant that reports the smallest issues, like a lightbulb going out or a faulty item tripping the safety switch, which are both easily resolvable issues. If you can, try to solve any issues you have by yourself, without hassling your landlord.
This is not to say that you should never report maintenance issues. Of course, when it’s something major, like having no power, water, or gas, you should report this to your landlord straight away. However, when you can, try to fix maintenance issues yourself.
6. Keep it clean
In line with treating the property like your own, the ideal tenant will keep the property clean. Keeping it clean avoids pest infestations or property damage, which makes life easier for you and your landlord.
Plus, keeping it generally clean will make your end of lease bond cleaning much easier, and will avoid the property manager or landlord needing to keep a part of your bond to pay for cleaning or fixing broken fixtures.
7. Renew your lease
Finding new tenants is tough and expensive. From advertising costs to loss of rental income, there are heaps of things that need to happen to find a new tenant. So, the ideal tenant would be someone that was happy to stay in the property longer than the initial lease. This avoids the stress and time needed to find a new, suitable occupant.
While sometimes this isn’t realistic or what you want, it’s definitely something that will make your landlord’s life easier. However, this isn’t a necessity to be a great rental tenant, so don’t stress if a long stay isn’t on the cards for you.
8. Be honest
One of the most important qualities of a great rental tenant is someone that is honest. With the competitive nature of the rental market currently, it might seem easy to play with the truth a little to secure the property you want. However, this can come back to bite you later, and doesn’t leave a great impression of you with your landlord and property manager.
If you’re looking to rent with a pet, be honest with your landlord about it. If something happens to your income and rent affordability becomes an issue, be honest about it. Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to communicating with your landlord.
A final note
When you’re a rental tenant, your conduct now matters greatly in the future. When a property manager is processing your rental application, one of the biggest factors that will determine the outcome is a rental reference from your previous rental property. So, it’s always best to try to be a great rental tenant wherever possible.
Want to learn more?
If you’re looking for some ways to strengthen your rental application, we’ve got you covered. If you’re vacating a property soon and want to make sure you get your rental bond back, read our recent article filled with helpful tips.
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Written by Rachel Horan
Rachel Horan is a Content Writer for Jacaranda Finance. Rachel has previously produced content for Brisbane City Council, Black & White Cabs, and Clubs Queensland. She has a Bachelor of Mass Communication with Distinction from the Queensland University of Technology.