Renter Checklist – What You Can Do to Keep Your Tenancy in Good Shape and Retain Your Bond

Renter Checklist – What You Can Do to Keep Your Tenancy in Good Shape and Retain Your Bond

Just like in a relationship, it is in everyone’s best interests for both parties (tenant and investor) to get along. Using a renter checklist like the one below makes it easy for you as the tenant to do your part in taking care of the property you’re renting and staying on good terms with your landlord.

Using a renter checklist is a smart move because life gets busy. Even if you’re not the kind of person who forgets to pay your rent, remembering to do less common tasks like checking smoke alarms can pose a challenge.

Some of the seven tasks on this checklist only need to be done once per year; others once per month or even more frequently. Make use of this renters’ checklist starting today, and you will enjoy your living situation that much more.

Put These 7 Tasks on Your Annual To-Do List: Annual Renter Checklist from Palm Property Management

  1. Set the Date for Every Rent Payment

Whether you pay rent monthly, fortnightly, or weekly, you don’t want to be late and end up with a blemish on your tenancy ledger. Again, life gets busy, so establishing a consistent routine for making payments will ensure you never forget. The most reliable approach is to set up automatic payments through your bank.

  1. Pay Your Water Usage Bill on time

Water usage bills only come once per quarter, so it’s easier to let them slip your mind than the rent. When they do arrive, you usually have 30 days to pay it. Again, 30 days is a long time. A lot can happen in that time and you might end up burying it under other important items, only to ‘re-discover’ it after it’s too late. To prevent any situation like this from happening, we recommend paying your water bill as soon as you get it. It only takes a few minutes, and then you never have to worry about it.

After you’ve lived in your place for a few months, you will be able to anticipate the approximate day when the next bill will arrive. You can then put this on your calendar along with your rent payment and the other tasks on this checklist.

  1. Perform a Monthly Walk-Around

A thorough routine inspection is carried at your property every 12 to 16 weeks. However, regular monitoring of your property for maintenance issues and/or damage is the most important step you can take as a tenant. It’s critical to do this monthly because some problems only become visible under certain weather conditions. So while your property might have looked fine when you moved in, strong winds or a rainstorm can introduce all sorts of issues you never anticipated.

Things to look for include:

  • Mould – check behind things, under things, and in corners and closets
  • Pests – look for droppings, but also evidence of bugs and smaller pests
  • Water damage – rings and lines on the walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Structure – Cracks appearing or getting worse inside or outside of the property
  • Plumbing issues – such as leaks on the floor, rust, bulging tiles around toilets, sinks, showers and baths, slow water drips
  • Roof issues –evidence of water intrusion, mouldy ceilings
  • Window issues – water intrusion, mould, difficulty opening and closing
  • Outside areas – look around for insect nests, evidence of rodents, broken tree limbs

Put a date on your calendar to do this once a month. A good strategy is to combine this with Task #4 next.

If you do discover any general (non-urgent) issues that require repair and maintenance, send an email to inform us of the issue so it can be addressed before it becomes a major problem that causes financial loss for the landlord and hassle for you.

4. Do Consistent Cleaning

As you clean your place, you can also check out a number of the items on the list above. Keeping your place clean ensures it remains in good condition and those small problems never become big problems. Regular cleaning avoids build-up issues such as limescale in the bathroom and grease in the kitchen. Sometimes these issues get so out of hand, end of tenancy cleaning does not suffice. You then run the risk of losing money from your bond for further cleaning.  One good strategy is to perform simple cleaning at least once a month, and then do a deep clean every three or four months.

  1. Check Your Smoke Alarms

It is the landlord’s responsibility to upkeep the smoke alarms in the property and a specialised company will be engaged to do this on the landlord’s behalf. As you are the ones living in the property, the responsibility of checking, battery replacement and cleaning of the alarms lies with you – required by law. If something happens and it is discovered that you failed to do your part with regard to smoke alarm upkeep, you could be held liable for negligence.

Go around and dust your smoke alarms regularly. Change the batteries of beeping smoke alarms immediately and if this does not fix the issue, report it to us immediately as your smoke alarm may be malfunctioning. Notify us if you are concerned about getting to your smoke alarms and we will do what we can to help.

Under no circumstances tamper with or remove the smoke alarm from its fitting.

  1. Take Care of the Yard

Tenancy agreement details can vary on this point, as some landlords may pay someone else to take care of this for you. But if mowing, edging, weeding, or other outdoor maintenance tasks are your job, don’t neglect them. Like cleaning, the effect of neglecting your yard is cumulative and could cost you at the end of the tenancy.

Put regular dates on your calendar for when you will take care of this. During certain seasons you may need to work more frequently than others. If time is an issue, get in touch and we will help you organise professional gardeners. The cost for this can be surprisingly low.

  1. Look Out For Your Lease Renewal

If you live in a property managed by Palm Property Management, you will receive an offer (upon the landlord’s instructions) to renew your lease three full months before your current lease ends. This gives you plenty of time to consider the renewal of the lease and weigh up your options. We will expect a new lease to be signed shortly after the offer is issued. Failure to do this may result in the issue of a Notice to Leave the property at the end of your lease. We promise the renewal of your lease will be prompt and that we will not leave you in a panic situation.  What you can do to help is to respond to us as soon as you get the notification and communicate with us regularly so that the transition from one lease to the next is as smooth and seamless as it should be.

Lastly, don’t forget to communicate with us if you have a change of circumstances. We are here to help – to mitigate the financial loss to YOU and well as the landlord. Keep us posted so you can keep YOUR tenancy in good shape!

Susan Henley

A full Real Estate License holder, Susan has over the years completed courses in Business, Leadership, and Management as well as Property Services. She is also a member of the Nationally recognized Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). With close to twenty years’ experience in property management, in-depth knowledge, a proven track record, and glowing testimonials, Susan has decided to make her dream of running her own business come true.

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