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Five Common Mistakes Tenants Make

By Kevin Kelly

Introduction 

Successful property management comes down to proper tenant selection and also giving the right expectations to your tenant. Many tenants commonly have problems simply because they did not know what was expected of them. In the next few weeks we will discuss common mistakes that tenants make. When reading them, remember these problems can be greatly minimised if you explain upfront your expectations. We hope you enjoy our next series of tips.  

1. Five Common Mistakes Tenants Make 

Pets and Damage- Sometimes when we allow a tenant to keep a pet, they do not realise the responsibility and damage that can occur. Young immature dogs just love to chew on anything plastic like irrigation piping and landscaping ground cover plastic. This can cause further problems if plants die because they are not being watered correctly. Allowing young pets inside is also a problem. If they are not toilet trained their urine can sometimes damage carpets as well as give them a bad smell. Always point out clearly your expectations in writing if your tenant is allowed a pet. We have available free pet lease agreements to assist you with correctly informing your tenant. 

2. Five Common Mistakes Tenants Make

Alterations and Fittings- Tenants need to get permission before going ahead and making any alterations and attach any fixtures and fittings. Unnecessary conflict can arise if a tenant goes ahead without your permission, and ill feeling by the tenant can result from having to rectify the issue afterward. The easy way to avoid this situation is to proactively explain your expectations right when they sign the tenancy agreement- before they take possession! This will greatly reduce the chances of conflict and problems later on. 

3. Five Common Mistakes Tenants Make

Break Lease Expenses- When a tenant commits to a fixed term lease they are actually guaranteeing rent to be paid for this fixed time period. If unexpected circumstances arise that result in having to vacate early, the tenant may become upset having been told to continue to pay rent as well as possible re-letting and advertising costs, if they have not been told beforehand. Explaining at the start of the tenancy their obligation with rent and associated costs so that they have the right expectations. 

4.  Five Common Mistakes Tenants Make

Rent In Advance Concept- Confusion can sometimes arise with the concept of paying rent in advance. Some tenants do not understand this which can result in some tenants paying rent late. This concept is easily explained. If they went to a shop and bought a can of drink, they would not go to the fridge and crack open the can, drink the contents and then pay for it afterwards. No, they would pay for it first and then consume it! Paying rent in advance means they purchase the time period before they consume it. Explaining this concept properly will ensure a greater chance your tenant will cooperate. 

5. Five Common Mistakes Tenants Make

Temporary Sub-Letting- Problems arise when tenants move out of their property early and assign the tenancy to someone else, usually a friend or relative. They do this because they want to avoid paying ‘break lease’ expenses. We find that ‘sub-letting’ has a high failure rate and can result in outstanding rent, damage and big clean up bills. 

The message is simple! Explain clearly to your tenant all your expectations before they take possession of the property. Act proactively to reduce problems before they eventuate, rather than trying to deal with it after it has occurred. This is the essence of good practice and proactive property management.

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