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Tenants can help themselves by helping their landlords

Pitting landlords against tenants is a narrative that has been building in recent years in the property market, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

There is an idea that landlords are all rich and greedy, but for the most part this is not true, and you even have some ‘accidental landlords’ who could not sell their properties due to negative equity and so must let them out instead.

Often, landlords are just people trying to run a viable business and to do so their properties need to be profitable.

In the current market that is not easy to do and so we have reached a point where rents are having to rise so that landlords can cover their costs.

But, if tenants can help keep costs down, then most reasonable landlords would prefer to avoid making extortionate rent increases.

So, here at Rocket, we thought we would look at a few ways in which tenants can help their landlords keep costs down and in turn pay less rent.

1)    Sense checks.

If there is a problem with your flat, instead of your first instinct being to call your landlord who will have to pay for someone to come out, you can diagnose some of the simpler issues.

If there’s an issue with the power, perhaps check the trip switches on the fuse board, or if the boiler is causing problems maybe you can top the pressure.

Dodgy furniture or door handles? This could be solved by simply tightening a few screws.

2)    Dishwashers and washing machines can be very expensive to replace if they break down, but if tenants change the filters regularly and keep them clean/ clear of blockages then this can extend the life of the machine significantly.

3)    Most of us know how to change the batteries in a smoke alarm or a lightbulb, so that’s probably not something you need to involve your landlord in, and you could even save on electricity by opting for energy efficient LED’s.

4)    A common problem for tenants can be mould, but this can be countered by opening your windows occasionally, using an anti-mould spray and avoiding putting wet clothes on the radiator.

5)    If you don’t put food down the sink and regularly use a sink/drain cleaner, you’re far less likely to develop problems in the pipes.

Of course, essential maintenance is something a landlord should be on top of, but It’s important to remember that every time a tenant needs something done, someone must pay for it.

And that someone is the landlord, but if the margins on the property are so tight that any extra costs could make a property no longer profitable then rents will inevitably have to increase.

So, if tenants can help their landlords out occasionally, then we can all work together to make sure the property market is affordable for everyone.