How to avoid the most common landlord-tenant conflicts
Landlord and tenant conflict can happen, but it can be minimised or avoided completely. Read on to find out all about the most common landlord/tenant conflicts, and how to develop a hassle-free property relationship.
Late or unpaid rent
Tenants are legally required to pay their full rent on time. Landlords (or their property manager) should thoroughly check and verify a potential tenant’s employment, income and credit history information in their rental application before entering into a lease agreement with them.
Damage versus wear and tear
Tenants are responsible for repairing any damage that they may cause to a rental property, but landlords are responsible for the cost of repairing any general wear and tear. It’s important for both landlords and tenants to understand the difference between the two.
The simplest explanation is that damage usually results from a single incident but wear and tear happens gradually over time.
Repairs and maintenance
Landlords (or their property managers) are responsible for promptly arranging for genuine repairs and maintenance issues to be resolved.
Tenants need to ensure that they comply with any property maintenance required under the terms of their lease agreement (such as mowing the lawn).
Tenants making excessive noise in a rental property can frustrate their neighbours. The neighbours’ complaints can go to the landlord (or their property manager), rather than the tenant. Many lease agreements contain noise clauses and excessive noise can be a breach of these rental agreements.
Landlords must give their tenants sufficient notice of any rent increase. The notice period depends on the type of lease agreement. It is usually between 4 weeks and 2 months.
There are also rules over how often rent can be increased (usually no more than once every 6 months, depending on the agreement), and it’s important for landlords to comply with these regulations.
In addition, new legislation has just been passed in Queensland that will limit rent increases to once per year after July 1, 2023.
Landlords have a right to know who is regularly residing at their property and all regular residents should be listed and approved on the lease agreement. If not, this can be a breach of the agreement by the tenants.
Landlords (or their property managers) are required to give tenants 7 days’ notice before inspections. Tenants must be given at least 24 hours notice in situations where landlords or property managers want to show the property to potential buyers or future tenants.
Unauthorised property adjustments
Examples of unauthorised property adjustments could include tenants changing property locks, as well as adding or removing any property fixtures and fittings without the landlord’s consent. Most leases contain conditions that the property must be returned in its original condition. Unauthorised adjustments are usually a breach of the agreement.
Tenants wanting to break leases early
Tenants may want to break their lease agreement early due to a change in their situation. However, if they have signed a lease for a fixed term, the landlord is still entitled to their rent payments for the duration of the lease term. A compromise can often be reached if the tenant is prepared to pay the landlord’s costs of finding a suitable new tenant to replace them as quickly as possible.
Returning tenant bonds
Tenant bond returns can be the source of potential conflict when tenants are moving out. They must be lodged with the Rental Tenancies Authority (RTA) when tenants move in. At the end of a lease agreement, a landlord has the right to apply to the RTA for all or part of a tenant’s bond to be paid to to them if the tenant has:
- damaged the property,
- lost or destroyed any property items,
- left the property in an unreasonably dirty condition, and/or
- has unpaid rent, electricity, gas or water bills.
Unfortunately, evictions of bad tenants can be necessary. This process (and the events leading up to it) inevitably involves a degree of conflict. Landlords (and their property managers) should ensure compliance with all tenant eviction regulations in this situation, including obtaining the proper eviction notice.
If a tenant refuses to vacate a property on the eviction date, contact the RTA. They will authorise the police to remove the tenants from the property if necessary.
How to avoid or minimise any of these conflicts
The best way for landlords to avoid or minimise any of these conflicts in Mount Isa is to work proactively with a local and experienced property manager like one of our team at Jays Real Estate. We can help you every step of the way from sourcing and vetting quality tenants through to managing every aspect of the lease agreement.
If you need your property professionally managed, or you’re thinking about selling, buying, leasing or renting any Mt Isa property, then contact our team today for an obligation-free chat!
We’d be happy to provide you with advice and to answer any property questions you have.