Renters tend to focus their attention on tenant rights, but tenant responsibilities are equally important for a healthy and happy residential community. Being a good tenant not only puts you in your neighbours’ good graces: it can give you some serious leverage when you’re discussing rental terms, too!
In this post, our condo management team has assembled a list of “best practices” and tenant responsibilities you can use to better your community and improve your relationship with the landlord.
- Read your lease before you sign it! This tip seems obvious, but a surprising number of tenants will neglect this basic “best practice.” Read the lease early and discuss the terms with your landlord as much as possible. If you need any special accommodation or authorization, this should be brought up early and written into the lease. Lay out all of your questions and concerns as early as you can to avoid any complications down the line.
- Comply with every iota of your lease agreement. Most tenants think of “breaking the lease” in worst-case terms, like refusing to pay the rent or subletting without permission. However, many lease violations are much less glaring. Generally speaking, a landlord won’t evict a tenant based on a minor infraction (unless the tenant-landlord relationship is already in shambles!), but it’s better to toe the line as best you can.
- Make a point of paying rent on-time. Is there anything more aggravating for landlords than tenants who give them the runaround on rent collection day? It’s one of the most common complaints our condo management hear from clients. Though paying on-time is great, getting your check in a few days early to avoid mail or bank delays is even better. That said, financial setbacks are quite common, so there may be months where you need an extra day or two. If you feel like you’ll need some extra time, give your landlord as much notice as you can.
- Pretend you own your rental property. Some renters wash their hands of any condo management responsibility, and it’s a mistake. Taking proper care of your rental unit will impress your landlord and help you get your deposit back when move-out day finally comes. Wear and tear is to be expected, but any significant damages will eat away at your security deposit, irritate neighbours, and hurt your relationship with the landlord. You should also strive to keep your rental property clean and tidy, especially if your landlord gives notice of a visit. This is even more important if you’re a pet-owner!
- Get to know your neighbours. Getting to know your neighbours comes with a number of perks. First, you increase the likelihood that they will call or contact you directly with complaints about your dog, music, or noise, rather than going directly to your landlord. Perhaps more importantly, getting to know your neighbours will create a sense of community that goes a long way towards making your living space feel safe and comfortable. You can watch out for each other and even suggest exchanging small favours, such as signing for packages or picking up mail when they’re out of town.
If you want to learn more tenant and condo tips, please contact our condo management team!