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11 things you really need to tell your landlord

If you rent your home there are times when you really should contact your property manager or landlord.

Obvious reasons to make contact can include:

  • When you’ve decided to end your lease
  • When you need to report damage caused by disasters including storms, fires, or floods
  • When you need urgent repairs caused by dangerous electrical faults, burst water pipes, blocked toilets, gas leaks, roof leaks, lift/staircase faults, failure of essential services or appliances used for hot water, cooking, heating or laundering, according to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

But you may not be aware these are not the only reasons to promptly check in with your letting agent.
You may love your cat, but you really need to tell your landlord before you keep a pet at the property.

Letting agents say it is also advisable to seek prior approval before doing any of the following:

  1. Sub-letting the property to people not named on the lease
  2. Advertising the property on accommodation rental platforms
  3. Changing who occupies the home
  4. Allowing more people to live in the home than the lease allows
  5. Allowing pets such as cats and dogs to live at the home
  6. Hanging a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall
  7. Doing any cosmetic or structural modifications to the property
  8. Removing any property (i.e. putting paint cans in a shed)
  9. Smoking in the rental home
  10. Ending your lease
  11. Assembling water beds, aquariums, swimming pools or spas.

Not letting your property manager or landlord know before doing any of these things, can carry costly consequences including breaches of notice, notice to vacate and loss of bond.

Cindy Knight, General Manager of Time Conti Sheffield Real Estate in Western Australia says some tenants don’t realise they must tell their landlord if they want to get a pet.

The Victoria Park agent says having someone move in with you who was not approved as part of application process – in excess of the maximum number of occupants as per lease – is always reason to speak to your property manager.

“If you plan to make any renovation, alteration or addition to the premises such as wall hooks, painting, change curtains, light fittings, changing locks, replacement of plants, addition of garden beds, garden sheds, security screens, TV antennas or add any extra points such Foxtel or NBN, you must advise us,” Knight says.

“Breaking your lease – that is ending your tenancy before the lease has expired – also requires owner permission.”

Property Manager Lauren Dyson of Bowman & Company on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria stresses tenants should contact their agent in writing for all situations including maintenance.

“The amount of tenants in Victoria who don’t know that they are required to provide a minimum of 28 days written notice even if they wish to vacate the property at the end of their fixed term lease is phenomenal,” Dyson says.

Getting Foxtel installed?  Have you told your landlord yet?

“Failure for a tenant to provide adequate notice can lead to further costs to the tenants.

“It is the tenant’s legal responsibility as per their lease agreement to report any issues with the property as soon as they become aware as this is important not just for the tenants to avoid disruptions to their everyday living but also for the landlord’s insurance policy as this can become null and void should any claims be required and the correct procedure hasn’t been followed.”

Dyson reiterates the need for tenants to “get in touch” to request any additions to the structure of property, commonly installation of Foxtel, hanging pictures, painting walls and “additional family members, the four legged kind.”