It’s surprising how little many tenants know of their rights and responsibilities as a tenant, even people who have been renting for years and years. Of course, all of this can vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but there are some overreaching principles in place that guide us almost no matter where you are on the planet.
We got together with our friends from Homelet Landlord Insurance in order to put together this small but useful list of suggestions and reminders on what not to do:
Pay The Rent Late:
Yeah, we know this is super obvious, but many people don’t get the seriousness of this matter. Your landlord may not be rich, and your cash flow problem may become his or her cash flow problem. In many areas, you are allowed a five day grace period, but a tenant who pays his or her rent on time will be looked on favorably by landlords, and this affects every other aspect of your relationship and dealings with that person.
Make Unauthorized Modifications:
It’s sometimes hard to remember, especially for tenants who have been living somewhere for years, that this is not your place that you are living in. This is one of the many advantages of home ownership; the ability to aggressively renovate the place! Even if you get permission this is not a good idea, because it’s way too easy for a landlord or agency to get a false expectation of what you actually wind up doing. Even worse, consider the possibility that work doesn’t go as planned…
Be Overly Noisy:
Not too much to say about this one. Keep it down late at night, especially during the week. In general, don’t be a nuisance to your neighbors, because they can easily complain to the landlord and to the police, and it will wind up coming back to you. Know your local noise laws.
This could mean a whole bunch of stuff, from subletting your place while going on vacation to renting out spare rooms to running full-blown AirBnb operations. At a bare minimum, you need the WRITTEN permission of either your landlord, the agency, or both entities. Even then, you may be contravening local, regional or national laws prohibiting that sort of thing.
Allow Illegal Stuff To Take Place:
This includes the obvious, like turning someone’s property into a clandestine brothel or drug den. But it also includes the subtle, as in unauthorized commercial use of a residential property. Once again, even written permission to operate often carries no legal weight if you are breaking blue laws or zoning regulations.