18 Jul 2018 | Tenant Tips

How to Avoid the Biggest Mistakes Tenants Make

Failing to Read and Follow Your Lease

When you find a good landlord, the last thing you want to do is lose them. Many of the mistakes you could make as a tenant won’t just result in a breakdown in your relationship with your landlord. They’ll also lead to you losing your bond, making it difficult to finance your next property. Fortunately, avoiding some of the biggest mistakes tenants make is easy. To stand your best chance of avoiding them, here are the most common blunders renters make.

Failing to Read and Follow Your Lease

At the start of your lease, the property owner will make certain clauses clear. Many of these clauses will include standard legal issues, such as not sub-letting your property to others. Some may require you to follow other rules.

A lot of property owners have strong feelings about smoking. While some might state you can smoke outdoors, others will place an explicit ban on doing it altogether. Others may not want you to bring pets into the home, especially those that could carry fleas.

Failing to follow the lease can give your landlord grounds to evict you. If you repeatedly breach clauses, you may not have any legal arguments for remaining in the property. So, if you have pets or you want to smoke nearby, check your lease first.

Not Paying Rent on Time

Your landlord relies on you to pay the rent on time, especially if they have a mortgage to pay. When you fail to make regular payments, they may incur additional costs. If they’re fair and the property is decent, your late payments can result in them terminating your contract when it comes up for review. If you know that the month ahead will be a little tight money-wise, start planning accordingly. Take a look at what you can cut out without making your life difficult. Find ways to save money on everyday essentials so you can meet your rent.

Should the situation where you’re likely to pay late arise, make sure you communicate with your landlord. Ignoring the issue altogether makes life difficult for both parties.

Not Reporting Maintenance Issues

Whether your home is new or old, you’re going to encounter maintenance issues. Although some problems may seem small at the time, they can soon escalate into something worse. For example, if you choose to ignore a leaking tap, you may find yourself facing a flood later.

To prevent smaller problems from snowballing, contact your landlord or property management company swiftly. Agree to a time when it’s okay for them to access your property and give them a chance to rectify the issue.

Not Keeping Records and Rushing the Condition Report

As a tenant, it’s in your best interest to increase your chances of retaining your bond at the end of the contract. One way to ensure this happens is through keeping records so that there are fewer mistakes at the end. For example, keep a record of each time you report a maintenance problem as you need to avoid facing a bill for something your landlord should fix.

Additionally, make note of when you pay the rent, any inspections, and other necessary communications between you and your landlord. Generally, tenants may lose money at the end of their contract for property damage, unpaid rent and bills they fail to pay that eventually arrive in their landlord’s lap. Create a file of all the necessary information, so you're more protected if someone challenges you.

Some of the biggest mistakes you can make as a tenant are likely to arise if you mistreat your property, don’t adhere to the contract and fail to keep records. When you make a few simple changes, you’ll have an easier life as a renter.

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