Your responsibilities as a tenant

The best way for tenants to fully get to grips with their responsibilities is to read their tenancy agreement. This outlines everything that is expected of you. Many choose simply to gloss over this crucial document, though, which is a huge mistake.

Failing to meet your obligations as a tenant can result in an unhappy tenancy for all concerned and could cost you some or all of your deposit.

Follow Parkers' guide below, which reveals the top seven responsibilities expected of our tenants

Pay the bills

We'd include rent in this, which might seem like an obvious bill you have to pay. However, many tenants don't fully appreciate what falling into arrears with their rent means.

Put simply, it could see you evicted and cost you your deposit, not to mention more if the deposit doesn't cover the rent owed.

Paying your rent is the single biggest obligation you have as a private rental tenant, so put it right at the top of your list of priorities.

Closely behind rent is paying your utility bills. Unless stated in your tenancy agreement, things like gas, electric, water and council tax are your responsibility.

Take steps to arrange payment of these as soon as you move in. Take meter readings and submit them to your suppliers, then arrange a direct debit to pay the bills monthly.

Take care of your stuff

By that, we mean taking out an adequate contents insurance policy. It is not your landlord's responsibility to cover your own belongings, although they are obligated to provide buildings insurance cover.

Many tenants fail to take out a contents policy because it's considered a luxury. But think how you would feel if the worst happened?

For a fairly small monthly sum, you can make sure your most prized possessions are fully protected and Parkers would always recommend you take out contents insurance when moving into a rental property.

Treat the property like it's your own

You wouldn't allow a property you owned to fall into a state of poor cleanliness, would you? Treat your landlord's property like you own it. Properties left in poor condition at the end of tenancies will often see tenants penalised through deposit deductions. It's one of the most common reasons for landlord's withholding part of all of your deposit.

Keep the property clean and tidy throughout the length of the tenancy, placing particular focus on dirt-hungry areas like the bathrooms and kitchens.

Spending a little time each week with a bottle of bleach, some cloths and a vacuum cleaner could avoid the need for professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy - something that could come out of your treasured deposit.

Keep damage to a minimum

If you, or a third party known to you, causes any kind of damage to your rental property, it is likely the landlord will seek reimbursement via your deposit.

As with cleanliness, if you treat the property like it's your own then you won't go too far wrong.

If the property is damaged in any way, ensure you inform your Parkers agent or the landlord quickly.

Report problems

Your landlord is responsible for providing a safe and liveable environment, so if the boiler gives up the ghost or pipes burst, let your agent know as soon as possible!

While it's your responsibility to try to stem the flow as best you can in the case of a burst pipe, reporting the problem straight away is also down to you as the tenant.

Love thy neighbour

As well as looking after your rental property, your landlord will also expect you to be respectful of your neighbours. This means not necessarily disturbing them in any way and taking responsibility for thing like bins, which could cause infestation issues close to their properties.

Your landlord is obligated to ensure you have 'quiet enjoyment' of your property. Your neighbours are entitled to the same level of bliss.

Taking flight

If you are going away on holiday for a week or two, your landlord needs to know.

Firstly, an empty property could make its buildings insurance invalid and, secondly, your landlord may wish to add to the property's security while you are away.

Essentially, good communication will serve you well, so keep those lines open.

If you have any questions about your tenancy please refer to your Parkers Terms of Business document. Alternatively, you can contact your local Parkers branch.

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