Even with the clearest contracts some things always remain unsaid between landlords and tenants, and the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not isn’t always easy to convey. A lot of landlords use the idea of ‘house rules’ to ensure that tenants are respecting their property and to enforce a set of non-contractual rules that still need to be followed. Sometimes these are written down, but often it’s just a case of having a conversation when your tenants move in. So, will house rules work for you?
Sometimes tenants don’t realise the problems they can cause landlords by doing completely innocent things. One pet hate of landlords is blue-tack on plaster. Most tenants would never even think of this, but for landlords it’s a massive issue. These are the perfect things to include in your ‘house rules’ and well worth having a conversation about.
Tenants are free to live their own lives in your property, but they are not free to damage it by failing to maintain it to a reasonable standard. Here a list or a conversation about what is acceptable and what isn’t is well worth having. Often cleanliness is a case of habits and different people are used to doing different things, so house rules can really make clear the way your property needs to be treated.
It goes without saying that drug abuse or other illegal activity simply should not be tolerated. In this case it quite literally goes without saying: there’s no need to worry about making this clear to your tenants. If you do find your tenants crossing the boundaries then a quiet word is wise, but your next step has to be a call to the landlord insurance provider and, often, eviction.
House rules are a good way of keeping things casual and friendly while still maintaining standards. They’re particularly useful in shared properties where tenants can easily clash over simple things. Don’t expect that everyone just knows how to keep your property in good condition: make it clear and you shouldn’t have any problems.