Renting a residence to live in is a common way people nowadays choose to live. Due to various reasons they find a property to live in and sign an agreement with the landlord of the place. As every contract, both parties have rights and responsibilities. In other words, there are things that both your landlord and you, as a tenant, are and are not allowed to do and rules to abide by.
We, on the other hand, as ex tenants, with good knowledge in the area, want to make sure you are fully informed of the proper way to create and save the good terms between you and your landlord.
First of all, we want to tell you that you must always read the full contract or agreement you’re signing, because you want to make sure you are fully informed about your landlord’s requirements, your rights and responsibilities and the possibility of finding a loophole in it, because sometimes, circumstances request means to justify a certain purpose.
We can proceed now, by letting you know the rights you have as a tenant. Here is a thorough list:
- One of your absolute and beneficial rights you have as a tenant is the fact that you cannot and shall not be disturbed in your rented home by your landlord. This means that they don’t have the right to come unexpectedly for whatever reason or harass you. This right is absolutely positive for you, because you can freely enjoy the place and feel like it’s yours without having to worry about when the proprietor is going to show up. He should always give a notice before he pays a visit to you. There are certain exceptions to this rule, which should be part of the contract as well. The landlord may enter your “home” if there are repairs needed to be done (only when there are not mentioned hours and dates between the both parties) and when an emergency occurs.
- The other right you have on your rented property is the right to be offered a “habitable” home. The concept of this right is that you are not responsible for maintenance and repairs in the property as your landlord must arrange these. You have the right to live in a safe, clean and pests-free environment, which should be secured by your landlord.
- You also have the right, and it is also preferable, to give your landlord written notices. Whether they are necessary for his inspections (for both of you to confirm the date if it’s not mentioned in your agreement), or if there is an emergency or some kind or a problem with the property itself, it is preferable to give your landlord written statements. If you wonder why – simply because if some troubles occur between both parties in the future, it is always better to have a backup plan to defend your statements. For example, if the landlord refuses to repair something and you paid for it, problems are not excluded, but you will have your evidence on paper as receipts and notices, which is far easier to protect you than a “probable call last month”.
As long as everybody is concerned, these are your rights and your landlord cannot violate them. Below, you will find a list of your responsibilities as well.
- The most obvious responsibility you have is to pay your rent regularly. The majority of landlords collect the rent from the tenants once a month, but the agreement, you’ve signed, may state another period, therefore, you have to abide by it. In case you are running late with the rent and you know you will not be able to pay it on the due date, you should inform your landlord and both parties should mutually solve the problem.
- Perhaps it’s stated in your agreement, but we want to make sure you are aware of the fact that the property you will/currently live in should be used for residential purposes. This means that you will not get a round of applause for inviting friends and having a loud party. Avoid activities that might cause you problems and if you think that something is inappropriate, then perhaps it is and it shouldn’t be done.
- If there is a problem with the heat, the refrigerator, shower, sink or any type of interior piece that is not yours, you should notify your landlord. You are not responsible for the repairs and the property owner is the one who has to make the proper improvements and fixes.
- You are responsible for being a good neighbour. As we mentioned above, loud parties and similar disturbing activities are not the best way to keep in touch with the neighbours and other tenants, and definitely not the way to earn your landlord’s trust.
- As a tenant, you not only have to pay rent, but utility bills are your responsibility as well. You use water and electricity, therefore, you need to pay for them.
- You are responsible for the level of cleanness in the property, so if you prefer, you can use professional cleaning services. The point is to maintain a habitable environment, because if you don’t regularly do, on any inspection, your landlord might notice and they would probably not be satisfied with it. Apart from avoiding problems with the proprietor, presumably, you want to live in a clean and safe environment, so there you go.
- When leaving the property, you should remember your obligation to clean it. The way it looked when you moved in should be the same it does when you leave, perhaps even better. You are also allowed to use professional help for this task, if you feel like it.
- The other responsibility you have is when you move out. You should return all keys to the property owner.
What you should NOT do
It might seem much when you read it at once, but it isn’t really that hard to keep a good relation with your landlord. After all, you have a mutual benefit from each other, so why not maintaining human behaviour and positive vibes.
Just to make sure you are even more informed about your responsibilities as a tenant, here is a don’ts list. You must not:
– Revenge on your landlord for not repairing something by not paying your rent;
– Cause damages to the interior of the rented property;
– Make changes to the interior (attaching or altering items) without the written consent of the proprietor;
– Allow any illegal activities to happen in the property;
– Exceed the stated, in the agreement, maximum of the people who can live in the property;
– Bring pets if it’s not allowed by your landlord;
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