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September 17, 2018

Updated December 13, 2021

By Emma B. Joyce

Finding a perfect tenant can be a long and daunting process, and landlords would rather spend more time on finding the best person possible rather than renting their apartment to just anyone.

This is just the first step in the process, though, and the actual work is yet to begin. Both the landlord and the tenant need to come to an agreement before signing the lease, and that means going back and forth quite a lot. In order to avoid any possible problems down the road, it’s better to be on the same page from the beginning.

That’s why both parties need to be aware of their responsibilities and rights, as well as the laws and regulations in their area. Everyone will have high expectations and demands which can sometimes prevent them from seeing the big picture – that this is a two-way relationship after all. Therefore, everything should be clear before the final agreement, and this can sometimes be hard.

Know your rights

This goes both for landlords and tenants, and it’s the first thing you need to investigate before you can claim anything. While laws are different in different countries, a few of them are the same everywhere in the world.

There’s a deadline for paying the rent, for instance, and certain rules when it comes to taking care of a property. The landlord should notify the tenant about neighborhood rules regarding noise control, fixing the property on your own or throwing a party. This will prevent any potential trouble with the authorities, and these are the issues you definitely need to avoid as much as possible.

A property owner has the obligation to repair certain damages that aren’t caused by the tenant and cover the costs. However, the tenants are obligated to pay the damages they cause themselves and notify the landlord about the situation.

Time and cost

The tenants usually don’t know the exact period when they’ll be renting a property, and the landlord never knows whether the property will be up for sale one day or not. The length of the lease depends on the agreement between both parties, and there are a few options.

The first one is a month-to-month lease, which means you’ll need to extend it every month. While this option gives you the freedom to find a new home without worrying about telling the landlord, it also means your landlords can decide not to extend the lease anymore whenever they feel like it.

On the other hand, a long-term lease is a more secure way to be sure you’ll be safe for some time, and it’s the most common type of contract in the world. Upon the lease’s expiration, you can decide to renew it or leave the property. Knowing your plans in advance is necessary when it comes to making this decision, so be very careful when approaching this subject.

Renting in a multi-unit complex

The type of property you’re renting decides the obligations for both the landlord and the tenant. Renting an apartment isn’t the same as renting a house, and there’s a ton of difference in the maintenance plan, the neighborhood rules and the taxes that need to be paid.

It’s easier to rent a property that’s a unit itself, but there are always some payments that need to be paid, and it’s not always clear who has to cover them. The landlord needs to help the tenant understand what is a body corporate, and what this means for the property.

These fees are paid by the property owner and they’re basically a way to make sure the property is kept in perfect condition. Since this is something the landlords pay, the tenants can always check with them whether these fees are paid in full or not.

Maintaining the property

It’s in the landlord’s best interest to notify the potential tenants of all the things that need to be fixed before they move in. They need to have enough time to fix everything, and welcome the new tenants into a fully functional property.

Apart from that, when a tenant reports a certain problem, it should be fixed as soon as possible. However, the tenant should be realistic about the problems and the time needed to fix them before arguing with their landlord. Also, a third party can be hired to resolve the problem in the quickest amount of time and the money spent on the repairs will be deducted from the rent.

On the other hand, tenants need to be honest about the problems they caused on their own, and pay for the repairs themselves. As these situations can be tricky, try to establish good communication and always notify the other side about any problem or change you wish to make. It’s always better to talk everything through than to surprise people with notices or bills for something you didn’t know was your responsibility in the first place.

These few simple rules will make everyone’s life easier and prevent any potential problems from happening in the future. Certain rules are there for a reason, and they exist to protect both landlords and tenants. Everyone should be aware of their own role and the laws that need to be respected.

The outcome should be creating a safe environment for the tenants to live in, as well as minimizing the stress for the landlords, so they don’t have to worry about their property.