How to be the ideal tenant

Reap the rewards of a happy tenant-landlord relationship

The best relationships start with clear expectations and open lines of communication—your relationship with your landlord is no different. 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.  

Are you ready to reap the rewards of a happy tenant-landlord relationship? Start with these tips for being the ideal tenant.

Pay your rent

First things first. The rent. It’s understandable that the first sign of an ideal tenant is one that pays rent promptly, without needing to be chased every month. You can schedule regular rent payments directly from your bank account so you don’t need to worry about forgetting it on a busy week.

Respect the property

Treat your rental property with the same respect you would show to your own home. Normal wear and tear is expected, but keep on top of cleaning and general light maintenance to ensure there are no pest infestation issues.

Most 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. An ideal tenant will agree to these terms, and follow through by actually doing them!

Be reasonable

If minor issues arise, try to resolve them yourself (as long as they are within lease terms) before bothering your landlord. While landlords value great communication, it’s a good idea to be proactive about small repairs such as putting a closet door back on its tracks, or tightening a doorknob. This saves the landlord a huge number of service calls and potential maintenance costs, and means you can resolve the problem at a time that suits you.

If you have small issues and can’t handle them on your own, then it’s a good idea to bundle them together and ask if they can be addressed all at once, rather than making individual calls. However, if you spot a leak or a small crack that looks worrying, make sure you communicate it to your landlord so they can arrange for these more problematic issues to be fixed before they escalate.

Be upfront and honest

This starts from the very beginning—your rental application. Submit completely accurate rental applications, don’t inflate your income or lie about any credit issues; any inconsistencies will be flagged during the application checking process.

If something happens that affects your ability to pay rent during your tenancy, your landlord will appreciate honest communication to keep them in the loop. If you suddenly stop making payments without explanation, your landlord may be forced to move forward with an eviction; however, if you have been open about your financial situation you may be able to work out an alternative agreement.

Understand your lease

Prior to moving in, make sure you have read your lease from front to back. Your lease is a legally binding document; 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.

If your new landlord or property manager has indicated repairs or replacements (new carpet, a new dishwasher, etc.) as a condition of your lease, make sure you get this in writing, preferably on the lease document. Being clear about expectations from the outset means there is less chance for miscommunication and problems down the track.

When it’s time to move in, do a walk-through of the property to assess existing wear and tear or damage, and request a copy for your records. This is an important step in alleviating potential disputes about your security bond when you move out.

Establish your method of communication

If you do have questions, it’s important to know the exact process for contacting your landlord. Do they prefer email, phone call, or text? Every landlord is different; make sure you know your landlord’s preferred way to deal with tenant enquiries—it will go a long way in ensuring they view you as an ideal tenant.

Renew your lease

And last but not least… if you enjoy a positive, happy relationship with your landlord, the best way to be an ideal tenant is to renew when your lease period is up! Tenant turnover is time consuming and expensive, so landlords love having ideal long-term tenants who tick all the right boxes.

Looking for your next rental property? Visit our listings page or call Best Value on 1300 880 889 to speak to one of our friendly property managers.

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How to be the ideal tenant