Renting a property is much like any other professional relationship. As a tenant, you should aim to foster a positive relationship with your landlord so that, if you do encounter any difficulties, you're more likely to reach an agreeable solution.
Follow these 9 tips and you should be on the way to enjoying your time in the property and being your landlord’s favourite tenant.
1. Pay your rent on time
This may go without saying, but paying your rent on time is an absolute must if you’re going to sustain a good tenant-landlord relationship.
No one likes paying out large amounts of money, but try to see it from your landlord’s perspective. They will have financial plans in place and bills of their own to pay – such as mortgage payments – so if your money comes in late you are putting your landlord in an awkward situation. You have agreed to pay the rent on time by signing the tenancy agreement so if you don’t it will be in breach of the contract which could result in further costs to you.
2. Keep the property clean
Clean properties make for happy tenants and landlords. While it may not seem like an immediate concern for you, the longer dirt is left the harder it is to deal with.
This is particularly the case with bathrooms and kitchens – the longer you go without cleaning something, like the oven, the more of a chore it becomes when you do!
Ingrained dirt is the last thing you want to be trying to sort out when you are packing and moving out, and if you find that you can’t shift it then deductions from your deposit could be made by your landlord. Our guide, the ins and outs of inventories, will help.
Be aware of condensation in the property and keep wiping it down to avoid it becoming a problem and keep the property well ventilated. If it is not just the result of cooking or using the bathroom, then inform the landlord.
3. Do your best to keep the property in a good state of repair
Over the course of a tenancy, you will face maintenance issues; boilers can break, fuses can blow... these things happen.
But you can still do your best to avoid damaging the property, and be particularly careful if you are renting a furnished property. Keeping maintenance down to the bare minimum will go a long way towards keeping your landlord happy but...
4. When a problem does arise, notify your landlord ASAP
If something stops working or breaks, then let your landlord know as soon as you can.
Issues with water, electricity or appliances are inconvenient in the short term, but can lead to much larger problems in the long term.
It may feel like you’re imposing on your landlord, but by notifying them quickly you will be saving them trouble in the future and it will get the problem fixed as soon as possible, benefiting you both.
5. Try to be flexible about access
Your landlord may need access to your property, for example when there are maintenance issues to be dealt with, but may also ask to carry out a property visit during the tenancy and before you move out. This is good practice for both tenants and landlords and an ideal opportunity to discuss any issues that may have cropped up.
You should be given notice of when requests to visit the property are made, and informed when the visit has been carried out. However, you are entitled to your privacy so make sure it's suitable for you - but don't be overly intrusive or inconsiderate and do your best to be accommodating.
6. Stay on good terms with your neighbours
While they don’t directly affect your situation, it’s always worth maintaining a good relationship with your neighbours.
Firstly, it will make your life more pleasant – having to worry about arguing with the people next door is not conducive to a relaxing home life.
Secondly, if your landlord hears about you having disputes with your neighbours it could undermine your positive relationship. They might have had a good experience with you, but when it comes to renewing your tenancy or giving a reference to a future landlord, stories about you rowing with neighbours will enter the equation.
7. Stick to the terms you’ve agreed to
If you agreed to no pets, don’t bring pets into the property. If you agreed not to smoke inside and you’re a smoker, then smoke outside the property.
This may sound obvious, but breaking these rules which you agreed to at the start of the tenancy is one way to guarantee that your tenant-landlord relationship could deteriorate and may mean you forfeit some of your deposit at the end of the tenancy.
8. Give proper notice
If you decide that you want to move out, make sure you give your landlord proper notice.
Landlords want to minimise the length of a void period – where no one is living in the property – and by giving the correct notice, your landlord will have plenty of time to find new tenants and avoid this happening.
Why does this matter to you? Well, when it comes to getting a reference for your next rental property future potential landlords will ask about your tenancy history including how the tenancy ended and if you gave proper notice. In the long term, ending the tenancy properly will be of benefit to both you and your landlord.
9. Settle your bills
When you move out, you’ll obviously need to make sure your rent has been paid in full.
But you also need to have settled your utilities bills, council tax and any other payments you were responsible for. Don’t leave your landlord with outstanding bills. If you still owe any providers, even if the accounts are in your name, make your landlord aware of your payment arrangements.
Following these tips will help to keep your relationship with your landlord on a good footing and make it more likely you'll to secure future rental properties.