7 Basic Rules for Tenants

When a tenant is renting a property there are some basic rules that need to be followed. These rules need to be spelled out in your rental agreement. So what are they?

1 – When is the rent due and when is it considered late:
it still amazes me that this is so tricky for some people. Is the payment supposed to be in my account on the 5th or are you considered late on the 5th? Spell it out. Make sure the tenant sets up direct deposits with enough ‘clearance days’ factored in. Don’t set it up for it to go out on the 5th if the banks needs 48 hours for funds to clear.

2 – Notice:
How much notice needs to be given when they vacate the property? How much notice do you need to give when there is going to be a change in rent? How much notice do you need to give (and in what form) before you enter the property? What about what notice you need to give if you want your tenants to vacate the property? Spell it out so there are not issue sin the future. 

3 – What are the chattels?:
Spell out what is part of the property and what you expect to have there when the tenants move out. This is especially important if you have a furnished or partially furnished property. It’s not unheard of properties being stripped of everything – towel rails, and curtain rods included.

Are you ok with this?
4 – Rubbish and cleanliness:
Make sure the tenants know when rubbish day is and what  your expectations are of the property. Do you mind having a car body on the front lawn, or is that a definite no-no? What about inside the property? Do the tenants know when it comes to inspection time, that a few dishes on the bench is ok, but rotting food on the kitchen floor is not? 

5 – Pets:
Yes or no? Very clearly state which (if any) pets tenants are allowed to have. Also spell out some care rules, for example – no litter boxes inside, and dogs must have a doghouse outside.

6 – How to’s:
Instead of repairing the dishwasher every week or unblocking drains, provide a plunger and state how to property use the fixtures.

7 – Vacating:
This is the area that causes the most headaches, make sure the tenant knows what you expect when they move out. You don’t want any new stains on the carpet, big holes in the wall, and the paint color needs to be white (or whatever color you’ve chosen). If tenants know exactly what to expect, then you will hopefully reduce the amount of headaches on move out.

So is this a fair list, or is it a bit too intrusive? By spelling everything out, you are less like to have issues with tenants ‘not knowing’ something.

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