questions to ask estate agent

With the lettings market booming, we’re digging deep into the minds of the landlord. This month, we’re exploring landlords’ top pet hates that all tenants should keep in mind…
There are many advantages to renting a property – as a tenant, you have the flexibility to move home freely without the financial pressures associated with owning a property. Yet on the flip side, a long-term tenancy can provide you with the same sense of stability. However, your experience as a tenant will only be as smooth as you make it.

Late payments, damage to property and not reporting problems are just a few of the things that irk even the most laid back of landlords. As part of a study conducted by Endsleigh, 29% of landlords were frustrated by damage to the property and furnishings, while 24% of landlords hated it when tenants kept quiet about problems with or damage to the property. 22% of landlords were also annoyed when tenants check out and leave the property in a worse state compared to that documented in the check in inventory.
To avoid any awkward encounters or receiving a negative reference further down the line, we’ve put together a few key pointers to ensure you and your landlord foster a good relationship.

1. Late payments

Unsurprisingly, late payments or no payment at all is considered the absolute bugbear for landlords. Regardless of how many properties the landlord may own, one month’s rent does not go unnoticed. According to property blogger, Brandon Turner, many landlords actually lose money every month if you take into account the mortgage repayments, taxes, maintenance fees etc. Landlords aren’t in this game to make lots of money, they’re in it for their retirement – it’s an investment which can only be made viable through guaranteed streams of income. Should you foresee an issue, it is advisable to demonstrate a proactive attitude by calling ahead to make your landlord aware of the situation. Notifying them after the rent is due not only shows poor money management skills, but it could also put your landlord in a difficult position financially if they were not warned in advance.

2. Undisclosed pets

Whilst many of us appreciate a furry companion, in the rental property market you must tread very carefully with the issue of pets. It’s not the fact the landlord wants to see you lonely, it’s more a case of the repercussions of bringing an animal into the property. Many landlords don’t allow pets and it’s easy to understand why. Pets can be destructive and messy. If you keep a pet in your rented accommodation without the permission of the landlord, you are not only breaching the terms of your contract but you will inevitably be imposing extra financial costs on your landlord at the end of your tenancy. Why should your landlord foot the bill for replacing damaged furniture or carpets caused by your pets?

3. Long-term visitors

While it’s acceptable for tenants to have guests stay overnight from time to time, any adult who is living in a rented property for a long period of time must be listed on, and sign, a contract. ‘Rogue’ tenants or long-term guests are people who are considered to have taken up residency in a property without the landlord’s approval or consent. If you’re allowing someone to stay in your home, you may not realise you are violating the conditions of your rental agreement.

The trouble with rogue tenants is that they can cause a big problem for landlords. If they are not listed, they are not subject to the terms and conditions, meaning the landlord cannot make them accountable for rent – and damages. To avoid a disgruntled landlord, you should make him or her aware of any long-term guests and their circumstances – this will dictate the best course of action to take moving forward.

4. Cleanliness

It’s not just pets and late payments that can raise the blood pressure of landlords – it’s the general state of properties after they’ve been vacated. The cleanliness of a property on exit remains the single most contentious issue and is the root cause of most disputes relating to deposits. Hobs, ovens, and fridges are susceptible to a whole host of substances – such as dirt and grease – that, if not regularly cleaned, are impossible to shift without the help of industrial products and professional services. If you’re about to rent a property, request a thorough inventory and photographs so you know exactly how to leave the property. Failure to vacate the property in that exact condition will result in a percentage of your deposit being held back.

5. Unreported issues

Another concern for landlords is when tenants take matters into their own hands, or worse still, don’t report problems or damage, such as leaks or breakages. It might be that you don’t want to disturb or worry your landlord, but neglecting to divulge this information can possibly lead to further costs or damage to the property. Inform your landlord of any problems immediately, and they will endeavour to assess and fix the issue as soon as they can. You may think you’re being helpful by turning to your cousin’s electrician, for instance, but it is the landlord’s responsibility to hire a professional – that way they can be sure any work that needs to be done complies with regulations and doesn’t compromise the property’s insurance policy.

Landlords want to rent to conscientious tenants who’ll look after their property and provide a reliable stream of income. The key to a successful tenancy and a happy landlord is respecting their property and the terms and conditions of your contract.

If you’re looking to rent a property, why not have a look at our Lettings Page – you might just find the dream rental property for you. Estate agents in Maidstone and Estate Agents

This article was written by Ben Siggins estate agents in Maidstone and estate agents in Ashford.