7 Ways to Avoid a War With Your Landlord
1. Do not make any changes without informing the landlord
This should be stated in your contract, but generally you are not allowed to make major changes to the property on your own initiative without notifying the landlord. This also applies to energy, water and internet providers. If you feel you should switch because another provider offers better rates and would benefit your finances, you can discuss this with the agent or property owner, who in most cases won’t mind as long as you come back back to the original supplier before you leave the property.
You cannot replace or remove any of the appliances that were already in the property without asking the landlord. If you do this, you may lose some or all of your deposit amount. However, you can move furniture around the property if you wish and you do not need to inform the landlord about this. It is very important that you move everything back to where it was at the end of your tenancy.
2. Don’t lie about having pets or children
It’s true that it’s much harder to rent if you have pets or children, but you can’t use that as an excuse to lie to your agent or landlord until you sign the contract. Remember that your tenancy agreement is a binding legal document and lists all the people (and/or animals) who are allowed to live in the property. If it is later discovered that you have moved in with pets or children without seeking the landlord’s approval, your lease may be voided and you may be evicted. It’s a myth that no one can evict you from a property if you have children. It may take a few months to get a court order, but ultimately the owner has the legal right to evict you from his or her property if you have breached the contract.
3. Do not rent
It is criminal offence to sublet a property that is not yours, unless expressly agreed with your landlord or permitted in your tenancy agreement.
4. Maintain good order and condition of the property
While you live in the property, you are responsible for its general maintenance. This means, keep it tidy, clean regularly to prevent pest infestation, don’t damage walls, carpets, curtains and any furniture and appliances that don’t belong to you. Most people have no problem doing the housework themselves, but for busy people it may be worth considering booking a professional house cleaning service just to avoid a potential war with the landlord over poor maintenance of the property.
5. Do not disturb the neighbors
If you are someone who likes to throw regular house parties and constantly disturb the neighbors, this could get you into trouble not only with your landlord, but also with the police. Depending on the frequency and severity of your reckless behavior, you may be arrested and your lease may be terminated.
6. Make sure you complete the cleaning at the end of the tenancy
This is very rare these days professional cleaning at the end of the rental will not be outlined as a requirement to return your deposit upon leaving the property. Most letting agencies and even private landlords will specifically ask for receipts from cleaning companies to release the full deposit, even if you’ve done a pretty good job yourself.
7. Don’t stop paying council tax
In most cases, the tenant is liable to pay the council tax during the tenancy period. Very few landlords include this cost in the rental price. If you choose to avoid council tax (as annoying a bill as it is), you will be in breach of contract, which means you could be evicted and may still have to pay the council for the time you lived in the property.
Ultimately, the easiest way to avoid a war with your landlord is to read your lease and follow it at all times. If it happens that you need to make some changes, just discuss it with the property owner in a calm and polite manner for an outcome in your best interest.
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