Welcome to the first of six articles on the life stages of home-ownership, starting with the renting stage…
As we discuss each stage, we’ll identify the jobs you can and can’t do around your rental or owned home and when you should get the professional tradesperson in.
As a teenager or young adult, the first property you live in after you leave your parent’s home is most likely to be rented. You may be the one with your name on the tenancy agreement or simply a flatmate. As the named tenant, you pay a weekly cost to live in the rental property directly to the landlord. Clicking on the image above will take you through to reach Tenancy Services. They can help you with further information on the basics of renting and flatting.
If you are a flatmate, you pay it to the person whose name is on the tenancy agreement and they pay the landlord. Whichever you are, ensure you get a receipt or pay via internet banking so you have a record of payments made.
Who is responsible for repairing things around your flat when you are renting?
As a tenant, you must inform the landlord immediately if you notice anything which needs fixing. This also includes maintenance work to be done, regardless of how the damage occurred. This is to ensure that your flat remains safe and the landlord can arrange to fix the problem.
If you don’t tell the landlord immediately, they may be able to claim some of the costs to repair the damage from you if the damage worsens. As a tenant, it is your job to keep the home in a good condition, but sometimes things do happen.
For further information we recommend that you contact Tenancny Services who can give advice most specific to your situation.
When a burglary or natural disaster occurs, you are not responsible for fixing the damage. This also applies to fair wear and tear around your flat. But if the damage done was intentional or by a careless action, then you may be asked to fix it.
If you break something intentionally, you can be asked by your landlord to either fix it or pay the cost of repairing it. If the damage was caused by accident, then you will not be liable. This is unless it was caused by you doing something against the law.
When any repairs are urgent with the damage likely to cause further harm to the property or to others, you can have the repair work done and claim the cost back from your landlord. You still must tell them about the problem first though.
Renting, contents and public liability insurance
It is worth considering having contents insurance. The public liability insurance that comes as part of this may cover you for this kind of issue. Or it may be worth looking into renters insurance. A small insurance expense each month is better than being sued and accruing a massive debt to be paid off.
This recent article or this one here offers some advice for renters and Google can help you find companies that offer insurance suitable to your needs. If you’ve got a car then you can often get a discount by combining multiple policies with the one company.
Caring for and fixing damage around your flat
If you damage something around your flat, you must tell your landlord immediately. You can offer to fix the problem yourself rather than have them hire someone to do it. This includes small jobs such as plastering a hole in a wall or repainting chipped paint.
If the repair work is not something you can do or are legally allowed to do, and you want to save some money, you could hire a Builderscrack tradesperson. This includes work such as plumbing or electrical repairs and replacing broken glass. Often you can find a professional tradie who can do the job for less than the landlord’s regular tradie. Your landlord’s regular tradie, who while competent, may charge more than others for the same job. Often landlords don’t mind who does the repair work, as long as it is done properly. So, by checking with them first and offering to arrange repairs yourself, you could save a significant amount of money.
Renting a home is usually the first step towards owning your own home. Caring for the rental like it is your own property helps prepare you for home ownership in the future.
Here’s a tip for you if the market for rentals in your town or city is strong. Demonstrate to your prospective landlord that you are organised with full contents and renters insurance. It may give you an edge when it comes to getting the home. This shows them you’re willing to care for their rental property. It also shows them that you are behaving responsibly and they can expect while you rent from them.
This is Stage 1