I’m a tenant and these are my top 5 #RentingRules

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My husband and I have been renting our home since 2010. We are housing association tenants, which supposedly means we get ‘significantly cheaper rent’. This is a lie. We pay around £100 less than private tenants would pay to live in this same flat in our nice area of Harlow. Anyway, as we have been tenants for a number of years now it is fair to say that we are good tenants. We’ve never had any complaints made against us, that we know of, and we have never been late with our rent. Today I want to share with you my top 5 #RentingRules to help you be a good tenant.

#RentingRules

This was our flat in 2010, it looks VERY different now!

Pay your rent on time

Don’t postpone paying your rent for any reason other than lack of money. What I mean is don’t think you’ll pay it a week late because you fancy going on holiday or you haven’t budgeted properly. Paying your rent, or mortgage, and council tax, should always be the FIRST things that you pay. Paying your rent should come before every other bill as if you don’t pay your rent you may be evicted. If you are going to be late, perhaps because your workplace haven’t paid you on time, then speak to your landlord and keep them informed.

I'm a tenant and these are my top 5 #RentingRules

Take care of the property like it is your own

My husband and I treat this flat as if it is our own. It IS our home after all. This means we don’t damage walls or doors, if we break something we repair it etc. Take care of the property you are renting like it is your own and you can’t go far wrong. Anyway, who wants to live in a mess just because they rent it and not own it?! Not me! This is the tip that I am submitting to be included in the upcoming #RentingRules homelet.co.uk ebook. I can’t wait to read it!

Don’t be afraid to decorate, and put up pictures (providing you are allowed) but leave it nice when you move out. Fix the walls back up when removing pictures and touch up paintwork too.

Report repairs promptly

Often repairs are costly but the longer you leave things the worse they can be. For example when the pipe underneath our bath broke free we reported it the same day. We then avoided using the bath until our landlord was able to send out a plumber to fix the problem. This meant that the pipe could be replaced and there was no lasting damage to the concrete floor underneath the bath. If we had left this then the repair could have been significantly more costly.

Be in for inspections

If your landlord wants to inspect your home, or arrange a gas inspection, then make sure you are home. If you are busy then ring to arrange a mutually convenient day. Having a gas inspection is important, and your landlord may want to check that you are keeping your home in good condition. Often your landlord isn’t coming to check that you have cleaned, or you don’t have piles of clothes lying around, but instead they are wanting to protect their own investment.

Clean regularly

This is a simple one really but clean regularly. This will help you to see any repairs that may need reporting. Also, if you have any issues with mould or damp you can get on top of those before they ruin your own furnishings or belongings.

I can’t wait to read the #RentingRules eb0ok and I’ll be sure to share it with you once it is live.

This is a collaborative post.

2 Responses

  1. Helene January 15, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    Good and sensible advice. How do you manage to be in for inspections though? My landlords usually ‘inspect’ the flats half a dozen times a year (that’s on top of any annual visit from the plumber or any additional visits from the plumber or the electrician because the boiler or the fan in the kitchen is dead). I’ve had to take up to 10 days off work in just 12 months, and up to 6 days off work to secure a new place to live (viewings; bringing the money in cash one month before moving in, on a working day; signing the contract, on a separate working day; doing the inventory, again on a working day; and actually moving if I can’t get a removal guy on a Saturday). At two properties, I had my first inspection two weeks only after the start of my tenancy agreement: both times, the internet wasn’t up and running yet (since Virgin needed to send an engineer and I was only available for Saturday appointments), the second time, I had only moved in two days before… and they had visited the property 10 days earlier, as there was a leak (which wasn’t mentioned on the inventory, which I had been unable to attend as I was at work). I get the impression they want to see how much ‘stuff’ you have. I’ve also had inspections at 2-week intervals, supposedly because the person who did the bookings cocked up (but the second inspection went ahead), I’ve had compliments from the letting agent about how well I was ‘fighting’ limescale (I am in a hard water area – I use Viakal and citric acid), only to get a snotty letter saying that they needed to remind me to use limescale remover (when I queried it, they said they had mixed me up with another tenant), and I’ve even come home from work after 8pm to find a note from them saying the plumber would drop in the next day… I’ve also had a letter advising me of an inspection arrive AFTER the inspection had taken place (because it had been put in the post 2nd class), I’ve had a letter giving me an incorrect date (such as Wednesday the 15th, January 2019), and with my current letting agency the inspections take place between 9am and 5pm, so I don’t know what time the letting agent will pop in, and I don’t even dare use my ‘holiday’ to call Virgin and try and get a better deal, or to have something delivered.
    The worst is that the tenancy agreements are only for six months, and then you get a rolling contract with a one-month notice (whereas Virgin and the like usually tie you in for a minimum of 12 months, sometimes 18 months). I’ve been told by letting agents that staying in a property for one year is ‘a long time’, and after you’ve been there 2 years, they definitely try to get rid of you.
    I really hate renting…

    • katykicker January 16, 2019 / 1:48 pm

      Hiya! Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you’ve had to waste a LOT of time!

      We are in a housing association flat and they literally don’t even visit to inspect. I have to be home for gas inspections but I work from home so obviously it isn’t a huge concern to me at the moment.

      I actually started investigating after reading your comment and I can’t see any legal maximum to the amount of inspections they can carry out. It sounds very hard for you and must be draining!

      Before I lived in my flat I was homeless, so I was very grateful to be gifted a housing association flat, although soon I will be leaving to buy my own home after saving for years.

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