Why renters shouldn’t get a bad rap

By Ros Burton (Principal – The Real Estate People)

I spoke last time about the unfair reputation that landlords sometimes cop, so it’s only fair that I also look at how renters can be misunderstood; as they are often unfairly portrayed as the ‘villains’ in the landlord-tenant relationship. 

However, it’s important to acknowledge that the vast majority of renters are responsible individuals who care deeply about paying rent on time and taking care of the properties they rent. 

They recognize that their timely payments contribute to the financial well-being of landlords and help them maintain and improve the property. 

Moreover, renters understand that failing to pay rent on time can have serious consequences, such as late fees, eviction notices, and damage to their credit scores. 

They also strive to maintain their rented space in good condition and, from our experience, The Real Estate People tenants often go above and beyond to keep it clean and well-maintained. 

While landlords are responsible for major repairs (and ensuring the property meets safety standards), renters understand that they too have a role to play in day-to-day maintenance. 

They should promptly report any maintenance issues to their landlords and take necessary steps to prevent further damage. 

Renters understand that by taking care of the property, they are not only improving their own living experience but also contributing to the overall value of the property. 

Landlords and renters working together 

Building a positive landlord-tenant relationship requires collaboration and open communication between both parties. 

By working together, landlords and renters can address maintenance issues promptly, discuss any concerns that arise, and foster a sense of mutual respect. 

One of the key aspects is trust. 

Renters need to trust that landlords will address maintenance issues in a timely manner and provide a safe living environment. 

On the other hand, landlords need to trust that renters will take care of the property and fulfil their financial obligations. 

When maintenance issues arise, it’s important that landlords respond to maintenance requests in a timely manner and ensure that repairs are carried out efficiently. Renters, on the other hand, can do their part by providing access to the property for repairs and cooperate with any necessary arrangements. 

Creating a better home 

Like any homeowner, renters are often motivated by the desire to create a safe and welcoming home for themselves because they understand that their living environment directly impacts their overall well-being and quality of life. 

As a result, many renters go above and beyond to make their rented space feel like home and often take the initiative to make minor repairs or improvements. 

This can include things like fixing a leaky tap, replacing light bulbs, adding gardens or even painting walls (with the landlord’s permission of course). 

Renters will wreck your property 

One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that renters are not invested in the long-term well-being of the property. 

This belief stems from the notion that renters are transient and are not motivated to maintain the property. However, the reality is that many renters view their rented space as their home and take pride in keeping it well-maintained (we have a number of tenants who have rented the same home for over a decade). 

Another misconception is that renters are more likely to cause damage to the property compared to homeowners. 

While it’s true that accidents can happen, responsible renters are generally aware of the financial and legal consequences of damaging the property and they take precautions to prevent damage and promptly report any issues that may arise. 

Good managers help bridge the gap 

Quality property management plays a crucial role in fostering positive landlord-renter relationships (and it’s our number-one focus at The Real Estate People). 

A professional property manager can act as a mediator between landlords and renters, ensuring that both parties’ needs and expectations are met. 

One of the main benefits of property management is having expertise in tenant screening. 

We have systems in place to thoroughly vet potential renters, including background checks, credit checks, and reference checks; and this helps landlords find reliable and responsible tenants who are more likely to pay rent on time and take care of the property. 

We also handle the administrative tasks associated with renting a property – including collecting rent, managing security deposits, and handling lease agreements. 

Appreciating renters in the housing market 

I said it about landlords, and I’ll just as strongly defend tenants: “It’s time to break the stereotype of renters as villains in the landlord-tenant relationship”. 

There will always be ‘bad eggs’, but the vast majority of renters are responsible individuals who care deeply about their living environment and strive to be good tenants by recognising their commitment to paying rent on time and helping maintain their home (whether it be temporary or long term).