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How To Look After Yourself When Renting From Landlords

A small, tidy room with a desk, computer, and two chairs, a sofa, a bed, and a large window displaying a cityscape at sunset that explains tenant rights.

When it comes to renting, it’s essential to be mindful of how you behave but ensure you protect yourself regarding your renter rights.

Renting is a large part of the property market and is often something people must do until they can buy a property of their own. There may also be occasions where the individual never has the opportunity to buy their property, so renting becomes a life-long necessity.

Looking after yourself when renting from landlords is essential, so with that being said, here are a few tips that will help keep you a number one priority.

Take photos of the property the day you moved in.

To help protect your own back and get back any financial downpayment you made as a deposit on the property, take photos of the property the day you moved in. That means timestamping your pictures and capturing every last inch of the property.

This is because while many landlords are gracious with returning deposits, not all of them are. Some may try to find the most minor signs of wear and tear, charging part or all of your deposit and not returning a single dime.

By taking photos of the property the day you moved in, you help ensure that you’re responsible for anything that is your fault. However, for those damages that were already there when you moved in, capturing them on camera is an excellent way to prevent you from having to pay for those damages.

Know what you’re responsible for

It’s helpful to know what you’re responsible for and what you’re not responsible for as a tenant. For example, if you’ve locked yourself out of the property, you’ll probably get a bill from the landlord for the locksmith. The landlord might even ask you to book a locksmith to fix the problem.

You may also be responsible for replacing HVAC filters so that they don’t become too clogged up and cause damage to the units themselves.

Ensure you check in with the landlord and understand your responsibilities when renting the property. By having clarity, you won’t have any wool pulled over your eyes.

Get renters insurance

Insurances are always essential to have, especially when it comes to renting. While you might not have all the property responsibilities that homeowners do, you may still benefit from renter insurance.

What is renter insurance anyway? By taking out renters insurance, the insurance provider will pay out any cost to repair or replace personal belongings that have been damaged or stolen from the property you rent.

For example, suppose there was a leak in the roof of the property that hadn’t been attended to and resulted in it damaging your personal property. In that case, you can request this insurance provider payout to replace lost items.

It’s the same setup as homeowner insurance in that it covers the home contents, but in this case, it’s the renter’s personal belongings.

Treat the property like it’s yours and clean it regularly

When renting property, it’s important to remember that while it’s not your property that you own, you should approach it as though it is.

After all, this is someone else’s property, and they’re responsible for paying the mortgage and keeping it in good enough condition to sell it when needed.

With that in mind, ensure you have an attitude whereby you treat the property like it’s yours. Clean it regularly to stay on top of any mess you create. Hopefully, by the end of your tenancy, the quality of the home and the presentation of it will be pretty much the same as how it was the day you moved in.

Your landlord might provide you with a file folder detailing all of the recommendations made when cleaning the property. Of course, it’s up to you how much cleaning you do, but it’s certainly worth keeping up with cleaning where you can.

Notify the landlord when an issue arises.

When there’s a problem with the property, make sure you notify the landlord immediately. You must be letting the landlord know when an issue arises rather than ignoring the problem for a later date.

The longer you’re aware of the problem and the longer it’s left, the more dangerous it might become for you, living in the property. Not only that, it may cost the landlord more to fix as a result.

Keep everything in writing. 

To protect yourself further, if anything justifies you taking legal action, then make sure to keep everything in writing. You also want to do this when you’re trying to fight to get a deposit back.

Keeping everything in writing is much more legitimate than having conversations over the phone or in person. Verbal communications are often less effective when trying to prove something. Even if you have a conversation in person or over the phone, get your landlord or person to send what they’ve said over an email. 

Don’t immediately accept a rise in rental costs.

A rise in rental costs is pretty standard nowadays, especially regarding real estate. It’s something to be mindful of when it comes to being a renter.

However, it’s not something that you always need to agree to. It might not be something you can afford or see as being justified for the type of property you’re living in. You have every reason to contest the rise and not agree to it. 

As a result, you might be asked to move out, or the landlord might be willing to compromise at a lower rise in rental costs or keep it as is.

These tips will hopefully ensure your rights are protected as a renter in 2023.

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