I’ve been renting now for over 10 years. I’ve had good rental experiences and bad ones. As an experienced renter, I feel like it’s my duty to help inform people of their rights when renting.
You have the right to spend about 15 minutes looking through the property before choosing if you will commit 6 months to a year of your life living there. This is adequate to assess all possible scenarios, neighbours, and any weather-related quirks you may encounter while living there. You also have the right to be accompanied by a real-estate agent (who will not be responsible for managing the property) to allay any fears you may have and assure you of the property’s perfection and popularity with all renters, far and wide. You do not have the right to any kind of cooling off period after you have signed the rental agreement. This is your home, not a car.
You have the right to hand over all your personal information to as many different real estate agents as you like. You may give them your bank statements, copies of passports, credit cards, medicare cards, payslips, and more. While you may have concerns about things such as identity theft, you needn’t worry as all real estate agents are of the highest possible integrity.
You also have the right to give out the phone numbers of people who know you and employ you so your friends and bosses can report on your behaviour as a tenant and a human.
Your Relationship to the Landlord/Real Estate
You have the right to not be viewed as a client or a customer but as a tenant. Being a tenant means you are privileged to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to your landlord and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. While you do not have the right to customer service, you do have the right to be ignored or treated with suspicion or outright hostility. It’s a privilege, really.
Real Estate Inspections
You have the right to have a stranger walk through your house every few months and judge you on your cleaning abilities. They may also take photos so others can judge you too.
You have the right to request repairs. You have the right to have these requests repeatedly ignored until you give up requesting things and learn to live with the problem. Your landlord may choose to repair something, in which case you have the obligation to be grateful that the place you pay to live in is in working order.
End of Tenancy
When leaving a property you have the right to clean it top to bottom and stress about even minor wear and tear, lest you do not get your bond back and your property manager gives you a bad reference and you are homeless for the rest of your life or until the housing bubble bursts, whichever comes first.
Many people don’t know or understand these rights. I hope my little explainer has been helpful for you.
Just to clarify, like I said this is based on years of renting. I’m getting on pretty well with my current Real Estate property manager. Just the otherday they replied to an email to get something fixed in less than an hour, so that’s pretty good.