Our guide to being a good tenant

Being a good tenant requires a balanced approach based on mutual respect and understanding – and following the rules. Maintaining a good tenant/landlord relationship isn't difficult at all, just keep these handy tips in mind.

Know the Tenancy Agreement: The agreement you make in writing with your landlord is the foundational stone upon which the relationship is built. Be sure to read the tenancy agreement – really read it. Don't skim over it! You'll want to make sure it suits both parties, and if there are any verbal agreements you've made with the landlord, be sure to have them put down in writing before signing anything. Moneycrashers.com suggests getting a copy of the lease for yourself as well. Knowing your rights and those of your landlord will strengthen your position, and give you a clear understanding of what's expected of you.

Establish a good reputation among your neighbours: Of course, you can study the tenancy agreement all day and know the tenants’ rights inside out; but if you really want to give yourself the upper hand, the best thing you can do is ensure that you are on good terms with your neighbours. Keep loud noises to a minimum; don't park anywhere that will inconvenience people in your block or neighbourhood; and if you have pets, don't let them do their business on the neighbour's lawn. Such things have been known to sour relationships.

Being friendly and willing to compromise will get you further than making demands and going on about tenants’ rights. Invest in good relationships with your both your neighbours and your landlord; make sure they're allies rather than enemies. This way, your neighbours will be more likely to come to you rather than the landlord if there's something that needs to be discussed, and the landlord in turn will give you more leeway.

Pay your rent on time: It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating nonetheless. The thing your landlord cares about more than anything else is the rent. Consistently paying your rent on time will earn you leeway if you miss a payment in future, and it's the number one way to establish yourself as a “good tenant”.

Treat the property like you own it: You want the landlord to let you live in the property as if it was yours, so treat it as if it was yours. Maintain the property; report any issues with it to the landlord or get them resolved yourself; keep it clean and tidy; and be sure to remove your garbage on a regular basis.

Long-term benefits

Being a good tenant now will benefit you in the long run. You'll find it easier to rent properties in the future, as prospective landlords will be more likely to approve your application if former landlords have good words to say about you. So keep these handy tips in mind when looking for properties to rent, and be sure to contact Tepilo for information or packages related to letting (or renting) a home.

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