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by Emma Sorensen

Here at wathupiti.lk we think good landlords are worth their weight in gold.They’re the unsung heroes of the rental market.So we put together our list of what makes a good landlord.

We all know the bad landlord stereotype, and there are a few doozies out there.

But there’s plenty of good eggs who take the role seriously.

A good landlord is like a bartender

Typically bad landlords fall into two camps – the pestering menace or the allusive impossible to contact: those who won’t leave you alone for five minutes; or those you never ever hear from, no matter what goes wrong in their property. So it makes sense that a good landlord treads this tricky tightrope of communication and discretion with dexterous ease, not making you feel uncomfortable in your own bed at night, and yet happy to help when something goes wrong. Perhaps the best analogy we’ve found is that a good landlord is like your favourite bartender: they leave you alone when you don’t need them; but they act fast when something needs to be done. Before we sidle up to the bar and take a stool, let’s check off some of the qualities that we think make a great landlord.

The good landlord checklist

Communication

A good landlord is a good communicator, who will typically use a real estate or leasing agent as a middle-man. They’ll be fast to answer questions, quick to act when emergency maintenance is required, and easy to deal with.

Documentation

A good landlord asks tenants to sign a proper lease and documents any extras in writing. If it’s not in writing it (usually) can’t be enforced, so documentation is important in making sure everyone is on the same page.

Maintenance

This is a massive issue for tenants. A good landlord not only makes sure their property is clean, tidy and well presented, but is quick to repair and maintain anything that goes wrong.

Customer service

Yes, you heard right, a good landlord gives good customer service. Because a good landlord knows they are a service provider. Renting is a business arrangement, so a good landlord keeps their customers happy, gets repeat or ongoing business and turns a profit. Landlords who view their property leasing as a business transaction are less likely to let emotion govern their decisions.

Transparency

A good landlord operates with transparency. We could also call this honesty because a landlord knows things about the property that a tenant might not. Have there been past issues – like pests, mould, neighbours or plumbing; that you should be warned about before moving in? A good landlord doesn’t cover these up but lets tenants know in advance so that they can work together if the issues arise again.

Reasonable

A good landlord is fair and reasonable and knows the difference between normal wear and tear and genuine damage to the property. They only take the bond if they really have to. They’ll also be reasonable about any requests from tenants to make living in the property more pleasant (so long as they don’t affect its value) – small modifications like hanging pictures for instance.

Distance

A good landlord keeps a respectful distance.. The last thing any renter wants is to have their landlord looking over their shoulder every minute of the day, scrutinising them over inconsequential things. A landlord who doesn’t insist on dropping in every few months and lets the real estate agent do their job is a good one.

Flexibility

Tenants can’t expect charity or pay their rent late every month – renting is, after all, a business agreement – but a bit of human compassion and understanding in tough times from a landlord can make all the difference. If a tenant is hospitalised, loses their job, or has a tragedy in the family a landlord who works with them to sort out the rent money can be a godsend.

Trust

A good landlord trusts their tenants to do the right thing unless they do something to create distrust. Innocent until proven guilty. We’re all adults, right?

by Claire Noone

You’ve been to all the open for inspections, completed the application forms and been approved for your first rental property – what happens next?

Here are the top three things you need to know before signing your first residential tenancy agreement.

What is a residential tenancy agreement?

A residential tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you, as a tenant, and your landlord. It is also commonly called a lease or rent agreement.

A residential tenancy agreement outlines:

- the amount of rent and how it is to be paid

- the length and type of tenancy

- the amount of bond required

- other conditions and rules.

What is a bond?

A bond acts as security for the landlord or owner in case you don’t meet the terms of your lease agreement. Your landlord or owner may claim some or all of the bond for cleaning, repairs, or replacement of missing items at the end of your agreement. The bond and rent are separate payments. You cannot use any part of the bond as rent – so, when you are moving out, you cannot ask the landlord to keep your bond as final rent payment.

What is a condition report?

When you pay a bond, the landlord or owner must prepare a condition report, noting the general condition of the property, including fittings and fixtures. You should check that the report covers any existing damage or other issues with the property. Take photos before you move in to help record its original condition. The condition report is important because it can be used as evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning, damage or replacement of missing items at the end of the agreement. You and the landlord should agree on the contents of the condition report before signing it.

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