Tenant-like Manner – What Does it Mean?

The term ‘tenant-like manner’ was first used in the 50s when a landlord took legal action after a tenant left his property in a terrible state. The judge stated that a tenant should treat a rental with respect and act in a ‘tenant-like manner.

Here we look at the responsibilities of a tenant and what acting in a ‘tenant-like manner’ means.

Tenant Responsibilities and Expectations

While most tenants understand that basic jobs around the property are down to them and are happy to carry them out, some things may not be so obvious. Here are some examples of tenant responsibilities:

  • Dampness and condensation – ensuring adequate air circulation and reducing humidity where possible are important. Tenants should not do things that increase dampness or condensation, such as drying clothes indoors and not airing humid rooms. Opening a window or using a dehumidifier helps to reduce dampness and condensation significantly, particularly after hot showers or cooking.
  • Unblocking toilets, sinks and drains – this includes external drains unless an issue is complex and requires an external company.
  • Changing fuses and light bulbs.
  • Bleeding the radiators.
  • Ensuring the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • Keeping the property pest-free. This includes fleas, bedbugs, ants, mice, cockroaches and rats. Anything like this should be dealt with as soon as it arises.
  • General gardening – this includes weeding, lawn mowing, and sweeping leaves.
  • Repressuring the boiler.
  • Keeping the exterior of the property clean, including windows.

How can a Landlord Help?

All good landlords should enlist a trusted handyperson for the jobs that tenants can not easily carry out themselves. A landlord should ensure their tenants have everything they require to carry out the jobs listed above. The keys for radiators and boilers should be easily accessible, for example.

While many tenants are happy to undertake these responsibilities and act in a ‘tenant-like manner’, a landlord must recognise that they occasionally need assistance. This could be the case for vulnerable people, a pregnant tenant or someone who is ill or recovering from an illness or operation. A good relationship between the tenant and landlord will enable good communication and respect.

Outlining what you expect from a tenant in the tenancy agreement is the best way to ensure that both landlord and tenant agree.

Contact Hardings Lettings for more advice on 01277 233400.