The Ten Commandments For Tenants

God meets Landlord

I received a tenant’s rent today, but it was delivered an excruciating 12 days late, but it was no big deal. It’s the first time it’s been delayed by this particular tenant, and he’s generally a very reasonable chap. However, he did “that thing”!! The thing which I’ve already discussed in detail and already blown copious amounts of blood vessels over. Here, have some fucking more… . . . .

The fuck-nut thought it was cool-as-hell to refrain from participating in the simple and courteous act of picking up his God damn phone and warning me that rent was going to be late. I gave the chump 5 working days before I eventually buckled and made the first move. His overbearingly casual reply was very much expected, but still managed to reduce me into a tear-jerking mess. “Rent is going to be late this month, be with you shortly. Thanks” he said. “Going to be”? No! It’s already late, jack-arse, hence why I contacted you!

I find it strange that people can just be so blasé about shit like that. If I’m ever going to be late, whether it be for a payment or an appointment, I notify the appropriate person before time (if possible). If for whatever reason I can’t notify before time, I profusely apologise and make it clear that I’m self-aware of my wrongdoing, as soon as possible. It’s called manners.

I don’t know if it’s just a “tenant thing”, but I’ve had several tenants that behaved in the exact same way in the same situation. They think it’s OK to pay late without notifying anyone. I’m not saying they’re necessarily bad tenants, I’m just saying, a lot of them have been programmed to believe shit like that is OK because risks like that are “part of our job”, so we, as landlords, should just “deal with it”

I can’t speak for every landlord, but generally, we expect late payments once in a while. It IS part of the job, and it’s perfectly normal (“normal” is not to be confused with being “right” or “OK”). However, that’s not the issue which is making me shit my pants right now- the issue is with how the tenants believe it’s acceptable. Sadly, it’s only acceptable in the sense that landlords have no other choice but to accept it. One thing is for sure, tolerating rudeness is not part of our job.

Moving onto my point- which is probably hard to believe is not entirely about manners at this point- but it’s seriously not. I’ve realised there’s a consistent and distinct string of sins that many tenants regularly commit. There are literally only a handful of problems inflicted by tenants, which most landlords deal with. Essentially, landlords generally deal with ALL the same problems. Some of the problems landlords face can be complicated, but they’ve usually derived from an escalated version of one of the common problems we all deal with.

Perhaps Tenancy agreements are just too long and convoluted, so tenant’s don’t actually realise what is expected of them. That’s easy to appreciate, because no one wants to read 4-8 pages of cow shit rules that tells them how to behave, and no one is going to remember them all even if they do. Let’s trim the fat, and give tenants a few commandments which 1) they can easily digest 2) tackles the main reoccurring issues 3) is light enough to stick on the fridge door and/or take into the toilet for some easy reading while taking a steaming dump.

With all this in mind, I thought I’d quickly jot down a short list of countering acts that would prevent 99.9999% of all the landlord/tenant problems I have dealt with as a landlord. It only needs to be short, because as I’ve said, most of the problems landlords deal with stem from only a handful of basic issues, which later on manifest into a complicated pile of shit.

Tenants, follow the simple Commandments, and 99% of landlord/tenancy problems will eradicate- at least mine will!

1] Remember rent day, to keep it holy

Pay rent on time, and keep that calendar month holy! Stick to the greed upon date.

The bread and butter of all commandants. Live it, learn it, love it.

2] Honour thy shelter

Have some pride; take care of the property as if it were your own. It may not be your property, but it is your home.

3] Honour thy Landlord

Be respectful.

Don’t give your landlord the silent treatment and don’t hide from your problems, communicate, be honest, and maybe there’s a solution. Communication is key.

4] Thou shalt not steal

Don’t take the Lord’s shit. It’s illegal and blasphemy.

The rule of thumb is simple. If it’s provided with the property, then it isn’t yours to take as a parting gift when you roll out.

5] Thou shalt part with dignity

When you vacate at the end of the tenancy, take ALL your shit with you, even if you don’t want it. The reality is, if you don’t want your shit, your Lord sure as hell won’t.

Never during my time as a landlord have I considered any of my tenants’ junk as my treasure. My shit is 99% of the time better than yours.

6] Thou shalt remain true to thyself

Don’t be someone you’re not. If you’re not a gas safe registered engineer, get your grubby little spanner off the pipes.

Landlords expect things to break, so we won’t mind when it happens. It’s annoying when it happens, but, here it is again, it’s “part of the job”. However, what we do mind is when a tenant takes matters into his own unqualified hands. Leave it to the professionals (unless you are one).

I’d rather pull a fiver out from under my cum-stained mattress to employ a professional than get subjected to your ill-prepared craftsmanship. Your attempt(s) will eventually cost your lord more. Rest assured, I won’t hesitate to strike down upon thee when that happens. It’s called the tenancy deposit, bitch.

7] Thou shalt not stew in silence

Report problems to your Lord immediately, especially problems that can potentially manifest into something worse; don’t let things go unheard. Generally, it’s easier and quicker to resolve problems at their early stages. It’s easy. Real easy.

8] Thou shalt empathise

Remain realistic about how things actually work in the real world. If something is broken, the Lord may need “appropriate” time to make suitable arrangements, and may not be able to perform miracles over night. Moreover, if there is no hot water, and the plumber cancels or misses the appointment, understand it is not the Lord’s fault.

9] Thou shalt respect the Lord’s role

Understand that the Lord is running a business, and not a charity. While we adhere to be fair, we need to be firm.

Despite popular belief, Landlord’s are like regular people, we rely on the rental income to pay bills, just as much as you rely on your income to pay your bills.

10] Thou shalt accept responsibility

If you’ve broken something, take it on the chin and accept responsibility. Don’t pass the buck and don’t try to mask the problem with strategically positioned furniture. When the problem is surfaced, which it often is, the outcome is often embarrassing. Spare yourself.

It’s all very simple stuff.

God bless everyone x

7 Comments- join the conversation...

Guest Avatar
Benji 4th May, 2013 @ 20:24

Mate, we've been through this before.

Youre too laid back with the late rent payments, thats why they are taking the piss.

5 working days?!?- and I bet you sent that by text message after you'd eventually got round to checking your bank account a few days later.
What happened to the standing order set up anyway?

“Rent is going to be late this month, be with you shortly. Thanks”

Shortly? WTF does that mean? Straight back on the blower asking them exactly when. And then let them know its not acceptable but you'll put up with it on this one occasion.

Sadly, it’s only acceptable in the sense that landlords have no other choice but to accept it.

F*****g right landlords have another choice. Rent payment is not optional.

it was delivered an excruciating 12 days late

And now he knows he can take the piss, it will be a month late the next time he needs a free overdraft.

we expect late payments once in a while

Agreed, of course late rent payments happen but youre too laissez faire about it all, get a grip.
-You know it makes sense.

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th May, 2013 @ 20:51

1) I check my balance on days rent is due. I knew immediately. I gave him a few days to notify me.

2) A standing order is setup. But that doesn't mean anything. Easily cancelled.

3) I responded to him asking him "exactly" when he would pay, as you rightly said, "shortly" didn't tell me anything.

4) I made it clear I needed rent immediate on the day it was due. His responses were understanding, and he agreed, so I didn't write about it.

5) Rent payment is not optional. But if rent isn't paid on time, we have to accept that moment. It's called reality. YOU get a grip!

6) I'm pretty firm, but I also understand that forcing someone to pay when they don't have the money isn't going to work. I'd rather work with a tenant than against (if possible).

2
Guest Avatar
Benji 4th May, 2013 @ 21:13

That sounds a lot better but I reckon youre still being too easy. He's already worked out how to pay for his christmas presents this year.

When he texted "Rent is going to be late this month, be with you shortly" was he actually calling you "shortly"?
You look very under endowed in your above picture.

I know I don't have any problems in that department cos my late paying tenants often call me "big cock".

Cheers!

3
Guest Avatar
Bingola 7th May, 2013 @ 08:35

Messr. Landlord

Generally in favour of your efforts to foster a peacable landlord-tenant relationship; I'd agree that this solves more problems than it causes.

However...

"His responses were understanding, and he agreed, so I didn't write about it."

Really? You need to use the rainforest like it's going out of fashion (which it is). Put *everything* in writing. If Benji's nightmare scenario comes true and you end up having to serve notice, where's your paper trail? A few texts does not a case make. I know you know this, because I read your blog!

I don't go off half-cock (which is what my tenants call me, but for medical reasons rather than hierarchical) when rent is late either, but I fully accept that it's probably going to happen again. A lukewarm letter is basically mandatory.

4
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th May, 2013 @ 10:11

@Bingola
When I said "so I didn't write about it", I meant in my blog post :)

5
Guest Avatar
Bingola 16th May, 2013 @ 13:00

...Oh.

Consider my diatribe duly retracted. I don't think this was so much a problem of Orwellian clarity as one of mild- to moderate-strength Derp ;p

6
Guest Avatar
Xland 15th June, 2013 @ 10:33

I agree with your commandments, I'm a tenant and a professional, and about to buy next year and it would annoy me if I was subjected you what you have been through. But your writing style makes me think you're an arrogant bastard and that of you desire the respect of your tenant youve gone the wrong way about it. I have a great landlord who I wouldn't mess around because as you stated- I have dignity and also diligence, perhaps you need to change te calibre of your tenants. And perhaps your attitude.

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