How to be a Good Tenant


noun: a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord

Want to build a smooth relationship with your landlord, get a good reference and your bond back at the end of your tenancy? Then follow these hot tips on how to be a good tenant! You have responsibilities as a tenant and it’s important you live up to them. Otherwise, your landlord could take a chunk of your bond, savings, or take you to the Tenancy Tribunal.

  • Be honest on your application – honesty is the best policy here!  
  • Read your tenancy agreement thoroughly. Know what you are signing up for. OUSA Student Support can look over your agreement with you to ensure everything is looking good.
  • Pay rent on time from one bank account and all in one lump sum (the only time you can withhold rent is if the Tenancy Tribunal says so).
  • Take photos of everything when you move in AND out. Literally the first thing you should do is get your phone out and take pictures of everything and we mean EVERYTHING: every room, wall, ceiling and floor!  And keep these in a backup file.  
  • Communication with your landlord is key! Report any damage and repairs to your landlord/ Property Manager ASAP, no matter how it was done, no matter how big or small. And always ensure you have a written record. Even if you’ve had a phone call, send a follow up email to confirm what you have talked about and agreed on.  
  • Clean and ventilate regularly (at least 15 mins a day). And don’t trash it or let friends trash it! As part of the tenancy you have to keep the premises reasonably clean and tidy.  
  • Be respectful and be a good neighbour – not interfering with the peace, privacy and comfort of your neighbours is a requirement of your tenancy. Yes, this includes those sick new speakers you brought in.
  • Pets: Basically, don’t get pets. North D is full of poor abandoned cats from flats that thought it would be cute to have a kitten and then no one wanted it at the end of the year. If you do, you must get landlord’s permission, and think carefully about who takes responsibility for the pet long term. Alternative: visit Ella (Official OUSA Student Support dog), and follow her insta: ellabellaousa.
  • Make sure you’re present (in person or digitally) at the end of tenancy inspection.