5 of the biggest worries tenants have

Rent or buy your own home? It’s a lifestyle question that everybody has to answer. Many who choose to rent could be facing fears that keep them up at night. Here are five of the most pressing concerns for renters.

 

1. Unexpected rent rises

Carolyn Parrella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance says while it’s reasonable for landlords to raise the rent on occasion, finding room in the household budget to accommodate an unexpected rent rise can be stressful.

“Landlords should take a considered approach to rent reviews and give tenants plenty of notice,” Ms Parrella says.

“If a tenant feels that a rent increase is unreasonable, they may be able to request an assessment from the residential tenancy authority in their state or territory.

“Tenants who commit to long-term leases may be able to negotiate for better terms such as fixed or lower rent. This provides both the tenant and the landlord with financial security.”

2. Homeless pets

Moving to a no-pet property and having to rehome a beloved pet can be heartbreaking for tenants.

“While there are more no-pet rentals than pet-friendly properties, it doesn’t have to be that way,” Ms Parrella says.

“Landlords should consider making their property pet-friendly as it can improve the profitability of their investment by opening a wider pool of prospective tenants.

“Tenants may be expected to pay a pet-related bond for potential damages, however it’s likely many tenants will oblige if it means keeping their furry or feathered friends.

“Some insurance policies also provide landlords with protection should a pet damage the property.”

3. Blacklisting

Despite confusion about what constitutes blacklisting, a recent report, Unsettled: Life in Australia’s private rental market by Choice, National Shelter & NATO, found that half of all tenants fear blacklisting by their landlord or property manager.

“However, the reasons cited for these fears are not valid grounds for blacklisting,” Ms Parrella says.

“Tenants can only be blacklisted for breaching their lease agreement or continued arrears when a lease is terminated.”

4. Losing bond money

“Bond money can be a significant outlay for renters,” Ms Parrella says.

“Generally, this is four weeks’ rent, which might be more than $2,000 in upfront costs.

“Tenants should be able to feel comfortable living in their home but may be nervous or worried about making a mistake and losing their bond money. Something as minor as a spilled drink staining the carpet could be enough for the landlord to withhold the bond money for reparation costs.

“Both tenants and landlords should be aware that general wear and tear is not a reason to withhold bond money. Bond money can be retained when money is owed to the landlord or property manager, including instances of unpaid rent and damage.

“Tenants who treat the rental property as though it were their own home and pay their rent on time are most likely to get their bond money back.”

5. Lease renewal/cancellation

People rent for many different reasons. While it can provide a flexible lifestyle, some tenants may fear the uncertainty of not having their lease agreement renewed.

“In some instances, tenants may be told they are having their lease cancelled and that they have to move out within a short time frame. This can be extremely stressful,” Ms Parrella says.

“There are many reasons a landlord could cancel or not renew a lease, which are often beyond the tenant’s control. For example, landlords may sell the property or develop it. We encourage landlords to give their tenants as much notice as possible if they do not intend to offer a renewal of the lease. Likewise, tenants should indicate their preference to stay in a property well ahead of lease renewal if the opportunity arises.”

 

Many thanks to Residential Property Mangers for this great article

Margaret Price
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Margaret Price is the licensee of Margret Price Real Estate, an innovative real estate agency on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Margaret graduated from North Sydney Technical College in Film Design and TV Production. After graduating Margaret forged a successful career in the media, and with husband David Price worked on television shows like The Mike Walsh Show and drama shows like Number 96. After a brief hiatus to enjoy the privileges of motherhood, Margaret was enticed into changing careers and join a friend in a real estate company in Kurrajong on the outskirts of Sydney. The business of real estate was an instant passion and after gaining her license at the University of Western Sydney decided to make the ultimate sea change and relocated to Forster on the Mid North Coast. The years of media and business training have been invaluable and Margaret Price Real Estate is now one of the most innovative real estate agencies on the coast.
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