One in Seven Renters Break The Rules!

Here’s why:

By: Charmine Rajah, International Relocation Executive, charmine.rajah@Saunders1865.com

rental contract termsAccording to a recent survey, 1 in every 7 renters breaches rental contract terms.  We took a look and have pulled out the most relevant pieces to our renters’ community.

  • Smoking: Landlords sometimes include a clause in a tenancy agreement which forbids tenants or their guests from smoking in the property.  If your contract contains such a clause and you (or a guest of yours) nevertheless smoke, the walls and ceilings may become tainted with a yellow or brown shade.  There could also be a strong odour left on the property’s furniture, fittings and carpets.  This could lead to a costly dilapidations claim to cover redecoration costs and a deep clean.
  • Pets: Similar situation applies here, tenancy agreements forbid tenants to keep pets without permission.
  • Alteration and Redecoration: Some minor damage, like scuffmarks, scratches and discoloration might be placed under fair wear and tear, especially if the tenancy has continued for more than a couple of years.  Renters are not allowed to alter the property and the contents provided by the landlord without their permission. This includes replacing furniture, electrical appliances, changing feature in the property.

Some renters may not share the same opinion of their Landlord’s choice for decoration or wall colour in the property.  If you plan any redecoration works at the property, you must obtain the Landlord’s permission in writing.  Renters are often required to return the original design of the property before leaving.  Otherwise, the landlord will have to do it, but the cost will form part of the dilapidation claim.

  • Locks: Some tenancy agreement include clauses which forbid the renters from changing locks without the Landlord’s permission.  When the tenancy eventually ends, the cost of replacing the locks falls upon the renter.  If you want to change the locks, this request needs to be put in writing to the Landlord. 

Following the locks change, you will need to allow the Landlord access so they can meet their responsibilities for repairs and maintenance.  We would highly recommend that you keep full documentation in writing about lock changes.  Please also keep the old lock(s) so you can return it before moving.

If the tenant has signed a company lease as HR, your firm could be at risk for your employee’s decisions.  The company can also be held liable by the landlord at the end of the tenancy for changes made without permission.

Corporations need a process in place to ensure the assignee is aware of their tenant obligations and what they can and cannot do with the property during their tenancy.  We also recommend that you or your assignee puts everything in writing.  That documentation can save you or your firm many headaches at the time of the tenant move out.

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