Aside from staying on good terms with your housemates – which you can do by avoiding these things – another person that renters commonly agree that they want to stay on the right side of is their property manager.
New research from realestate.com.au found that, despite how much we complain about our landlord‘s* ball-breaking demands, a whopping 89% of young Aussie renters agree that it’s important to have good communication with them.
And one of the most important prerequisites for good communication is sharing a mutual understanding on certain things. More specifically: what is your responsibility to fix, and what’s theirs.
If you fundamentally don’t see eye-to-eye on these issues, it’s only a matter of time before your tenant-landlord relationship turns a little salty.
So, here to help fellow renters out, we’re setting the record straight on a few matters you might have assumed it was your property manager’s job to fix. Because trust me when I say that you definitely don’t want to receive a sassy email telling you to get your life together and mow your own damn lawn.
1. Changing lightbulbs
Okay, this one might seem obvious but, the same survey found that 13.5% of respondents believed that property managers were responsible for changing light bulbs. I want to laugh but, I’ve got to be honest, I definitely had to call and ask my fam this exact question when I moved into my first place and yes, they absolutely laughed at me, so learn from my mistake.
2. Tending to the garden
Cutting the grass, trimming bushes and sweeping dead leaves are just a few of the reasons I don’t identify as a green thumb. For me, these are just huge thankless jobs that all need redoing again in a few weeks time. And as great as it would be for the landlord to send someone around every month to tend to the flora around my house, it’s not a thing. Soz.
2. Removing mould
Now I’m personally staggered by this one: it turns out your landlord ain’t the one who has to remove mould from your place – boooo. That’s something me and 55% of respondents definitely didn’t know.
There is, however, one important caveat to know: if the mould was caused by the tenants (i.e. you), like from leaving a pile of damp laundry in the corner of your room for months, then it’s on you to remove it. Also, like, don’t do that with your clothes anyway – you’re better than that, hun.
Alternatively, if you’ve got mould from something that’s fundamentally wrong with the property, like a leaking pipe, then it’s on the property manager to sort it out.
4. Pest control
Much like mould, this is a bit tricky but it’s good to know where the line lies so you know what your rights are. Basically, the legislation around this stuff is pretty ~vague~, but a general rule to follow is that, if there are pests (defined as bees, wasps, cockroaches, spiders, ants, snakes, mice etc) present in your property prior to your tenancy, it’s up to your landlord to sort. The same thing goes if there’s stuff living in a wall or a cavity.
If, however, these pests appear during your tenancy, it’s probs up to you to sort out, which makes sense. If you’re living like a total grub and bugs are flocking to your property, then it’s pretty slack to expect your landlord to fork out to clean it up.
The takeaway is that, as much as we wish landlords would look after crappy household chores for us, these are really just things you and your housemates need to take care of.
* Note: I’m using ‘property manager’ and ‘landlord’ interchangeably because, for most people, they’re the same person.Image: Channel 4