What You Can and Cannot Do As Tenants

Can you remember the first time you started renting a home? Wasn’t it complicated? No one really has a template for you to follow, or list to refer. To resolve this, we’ve compiled a list of questions and answers for you tenants out there. Or in simpler terms, the do’s and don’t’s of tenants.

Point 1

1. Can tenants change the locks?

A tenant needs to keep in mind that even though they are renting the space, they need to still notify their landlord accordingly.

Your landlord may feel cheated or annoyed that you have changed the locks without their knowledge. If you need to change the locks due to safety, remember to let your landlord know.

Always keep in mind your landlord’s point of view before changing. Anyone would panic if they couldn’t open their doors. So, make sure to be courteous when changing locks as it could affect how your landlord treats you in the long run.

2. Can a tenant stop paying rent if their landlords have not met their end of the bargain? Can a tenant deduct rent?

No. No matter what, if a tenant does not pay their rent according to the signed agreement, they will get into trouble. If your landlord has not fixed faulty items or paid the utilities, make sure both you and your landlord are aware about the status of the payments.

However, it is possible for your landlord to press charges in regards to you not paying, resulting in a messy situation. This is why tenancy agreements are important as they protect and cover the rights of both parties and serve as reference in court if necessary.

If both parties are able come to a compromise, and it is signed or documented, it can be resolved. Otherwise, potential charges.

3. Can tenants end the tenancy early?

Yes, but the deposit may not necessarily be refunded. Tenants will have to refer back to the tenancy agreement if there is a clause safeguarding or pertaining to the deposit if they decide to end it early. If the agreement does not state or mention that you can refund your deposit, it will be difficult for the you to ask your landlord to return it.

This is why the tenancy agreement is crucial when it comes to renting a home.

Don’t know how to craft a tenancy agreement? SPEEDHOME has a template for you that allows you to add additional clauses. More time will also be saved as it will be sent to you when it’s signed.

For more information, click here.

4. Can a tenant sue another tenant?

The tenants should remember that the house does not belong to either of them. For minor disputes like someone eating your food when you labelled it, suing them is unnecessary and the reason for suing would not be considered in court. Take a breather and discuss with them calmly on the rules of the house if there are any. If there are no rules, it would be good to establish one for both parties to follow.

In regards to missing property or the occurrence of physical situations, tenants can take action provided that the evidence is concrete. Notify the landlord of the situation and discuss with the landlord before confronting the other tenant. This is so that if any damages happen during the dispute, it will be handled accordingly.

If the tenant is also your landlord i.e the master tenant, you will need to check your tenancy agreement with them. This is to ensure and reconfirm that your case is clear and that you have sufficient evidence to proceed.

On the contrary, if there is insufficient proof, it will be difficult for you to go on with the case. Always make sure that your facts are right and that you have a solid case before bringing a lawyer into the picture.

5. Can a tenant evict a subtenant?

No, unless the agreement to rent is between the tenant and subtenant. For example, the subtenant is renting through the landlord and the agreement is between the two. The tenant cannot be evicted by the subtenant or vice-versa.

It depends on who the subtenant had a signed agreement with. If the tenant cannot handle the living situation with subtenant, the tenant will need to bring it up with the landlord. Evicting them without the landlord’s knowledge will create friction.

Be respectful and let your landlord know the reasons you are requesting the subtenant’s leave. If your reasons are sound, your landlord will deal with the subtenant accordingly.

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