If you’re renting for the first time, have had trouble with landlords in the past or simply want to know what not to ask your landlord, this guide is for you.
From the things you should sort yourself, to knowing when it’s time to ask for help, this guide will give you all the information you need to determine what your responsibility as a tenant is, and what falls under the remit of your landlord’s job.
Keeping things friendly
At Lightbulbs Direct, we conducted a survey* to find out some of the most out-there requests from tenants – and from asking their landlord to unblock a toilet, to asking for help moving the furniture, the results were certainly surprising!
What’s not so surprising is that 89% of respondents said they’d think about moving out if they didn’t get on with their landlord – a figure that highlights just how important it is to know where the boundaries lie.
Maintaining your responsibilities
As a tenant, you’re obliged to maintain the property you’re renting as per the details in your contract – this is the best place to find out the particulars if you’re unsure of what you’ve agreed to look after.
As a tenant, it’s a given that you’re responsible for paying your rent on time, and unless they’re already included in your rent, your utility bills, council tax and TV licence too.
Your tenancy agreement will detail everything else you should take care of. This might include maintaining the garden if there is one, keeping the property clean, and generally making sure anything your landlord has provided stays in a decent condition.
When things break
It’s most likely that you’ll have had an inventory taken of the property when you moved in. This will be used to determine the working order and general condition the property was left in, and will be used to show the landlord whether or not you’ve caused any damage when the time comes to move out.
When to call
Generally, if something breaks that wasn’t your fault – such as the central heating – it’s wise to call your landlord as soon as possible. This way, they can either fix it themselves, or call out the appropriate trades-person.
It’s better to call your landlord as soon as you notice something’s gone wrong out of courtesy, as leaving it for later could end up in a larger bill for your landlord.
General wear and tear
Your landlord should expect a certain amount of reasonable wear and tear to take place during the length of your tenancy. This might include:
- Small scuffs to paint work
- Fading of carpets
- Tiring of furniture
- Deterioration to the bathroom grouting
However, it’s important to check the wording of your tenancy agreement. While general wear and tear should be expected, if it looks as though something has been purposefully damaged, your landlord may be able to keep some of your deposit to cover the cost of repair.
Endsleigh recommends telling your landlord as soon as you notice the signs of general wear and tear appearing. It may work out better for your landlord to come and quickly fix these issues before they spread.
Top tips for maintaining a good relationship
- Keep your landlord informed – including news of any breakages, maintenance issues or plans to leave the property
- Always ask permission – particularly if you want to make any changes to the property, such as decorating
- Keep up with your commitments – with bills, rent and any other documents
- Be timely – particularly when reporting a problem with the property, or if you foresee any issues with paying your rent
- Be honest – if you’ve broken something, be honest about it. It might save you trouble (and money) in the long run
For more handy tips and advice on all things home-related, take a look at the rest of our Lightbulbs Direct blog.
*Research based on survey of 1000 UK participants in May 2017