In the Toronto rental scene, there are landlords, their tenants, and oftentimes, the property managers between them.
Each role has their own duties to take care of -- from the landlord’s duty to present a clean and functioning dwelling place, to the tenant’s responsibility to maintain that very space of habitation.
In this post we’ll cover all the ways you can become and remain a AAA ("triple-A") tenant, one that will benefit from long-term tenancies and great landlord-tenant relationships.
Of course, a solid financial foundation can help you achieve objective AAA-status, which means you're unlikely to default on a lease on account of your robust credit rating. Further, tenants are using rental resumes these days, which aim to provide tenant credentials at a glance.
Pay your rent on time
Want to pay late fees, annoy your landlord and jeopardize your housing in one easy move? Make your rent payments late.
Because your landlord has been gracious enough to select you as a tenant, you need to step up and pay your rent on time. This ensures your landlord can keep up with their financial responsibilities concerning the property at large, and that you remain in good standing within your rental relationship.
Good landlords will have strict late policies detailed for you in the lease. They can charge you a penalty for rent payments, sometimes between $20 and $50 per day. This can be avoided, especially if you are financially responsible and you can afford the unit to begin with.
Report any property issues right away
Another tenant duty is to look after the space you’re renting.
If something is going wrong with an appliance, fixture, plumbing area or any electrical work, you need to tell your landlord or property manager so they can arrange to have it fixed and avoid any further property damage.
If you don’t report problems, and they turn into even bigger problems, you can be held liable for neglect.
If you live in a ground floor or basement suite, for example, and you're noticing any water damage coming in from outside, this would be a serious issue in need of immediate attention. Don't hesitate.
Keep the property clean and well maintained
A simple way to avoid damage to the property, so you don’t have to bring any bad news to your landlord or their property managers, is to keep the property and its appliances clean and well maintained.
If you spill something in your oven, for example, clean it up to avoid baked-on damage and smoke. If mould is growing in your shower, report it or clean it yourself.
Make sure there are no fire hazards like piled up clothing or documents. It’ll keep your own mental house and home clean and organized, and it’ll keep your name in the good books should your unit get inspected.
Cooperate when showing
If you’ve communicated with your landlord that you’re intending to move out, allowing your landlord to show the unit to prospective tenants while you’re still in the unit is helpful and can avoid unnecessary vacancies.
Provide a best time for showings, which could be while you’re away at work during the day or out for an evening.
When you're moving away, always be as gracious and professional as you were when you moved in.
Achieve that AAA status
Kindness, professionalism and business intersect during a landlord-property manager-tenant relationship.
Generally, if you’re kind and professional concerning your landlord’s property and place of small or large business, you’ll become the AAA tenant that every landlord wants to rent to.