What’s The Difference Between Landlord, Tenant & Guest?

08.02.20

Not sure about the differences between the landlord, tenant and guest. While it may be easy for some, nothing is ever as clear cut as you expect. At Leased we’re here to help and clear up all of the confusion. We’ll take a look at each of them and give you an easy to understand, no nonsense answer so you can get on with more important things in life.

Landlords

The landlord is the person that owns the property. This can be for residential, commercial or office spaces. In this role you’ll be looking to rent a property to a third party that’ll provide you with a regular income. You’ll be able to charge rent as a weekly, monthly or yearly figure. The choice is entirely up to you. 

Firstly you’ll want to decide whether you’ll manage the tenants or if you’d want to assign a property manager. Obviously they’ll take a commission from your profits, but it could be worth it to avoid all of the stress that can come with it. Let somebody else deal with the day to day management for you. Then you can sit back and reap the rewards.

You shouldn’t be unrealistic with rent amounts. Ideally they will be on par with market value and in line with other landlords that you’re competing with. Remember if you’re going to charge super high rent amounts, then the tenants will be expecting a property to match, otherwise they’ll end up looking elsewhere. 

Once you’re ready to lease your property, you or your property manager will be looking to get all of the legalities in place. 

These include:

  • Making sure all background checks are completed 
  • Agreed on the deposit and monthly rental amounts
  • Decided on the term of the tenancy agreement
  • Agreeing to the frequency of property inspections
  • Have the contract drawn up
  • Initial inspection of the property completed by the landlord and tenant
  • Ensure there is running water
  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors
  • Ensure all furniture conforms to fire regulation standards
  • Check that all electrical equipment you provide is PAT tested and safe for use

As a landlord, you’ll be responsible for all repairs to the property that are structural, and to fix household utilities, such as; water issues and electrical problems. If you’re managing the property yourself then you’ll be wise to have contractors available should a problem arise. But if you have a property manager, they’ll take care of these issues for you. 

Your property will become your tenants home. They’ll have to feel secure that they’ll not be asked to leave at a minute’s notice. To terminate a tenancy agreement, you’ll have to have valid reasons. But if your tenant has become a nightmare, ruining your property or being anti-social. Then you’ll be fully within your rights to serve notice. On a brighter note, you could have great tenants that you’ll want to have living at your property for years to come. 

Tenants

A tenant is the person or group of people that rent out a property. These are people that are looking for a home. Perhaps they can’t afford to buy one of their own or they like the freedom to move around. Whatever the reason, your tenant will be looking for a safe and stable environment that they can call home. Regardless of how long they sign a tenancy for. 

An advantage of renting is that tenants have the freedom to move on. Many of the most expensive repairs will fall down to the landlord, especially if they are structural or not of your causing. 

As a tenant, you’ll need to:

  • Pay your rent on time
  • Look after the property
  • Keep it clean and habitual
  • Pay for repairs when it is their fault (if their child spills paint all over the carpet)
  • Cannot make structural changes
  • Not decorate without landlords consent
  • Cannot call their own people in to fix problems (when the boiler has died)
  • If they bring their own electrical equipment, it’ll have to be tested
  • They should test smoke alarms once a month
  • Be good neighbours
  • Call if there is a fault
  • Leave the property clean and as they found it at the end of the tenancy
  • Give notice and adhere to the contract if they choose to move out early

Tenants should be aware of all of the rules and regulations before they move in. It shouldn’t be too difficult for them to follow. They should take care of the property as they would if it was their own. 

Obviously you cannot tell your tenants how to live, they are renting this space and paying you money for the privilege. But what you can ask for as a landlord is some respect and for them to adhere to the tenancy agreement.

Guests

Rules around guests should factor in the initial contract. But in a nutshell, a guest is somebody that visits for the day or stays a couple of nights sometimes. 

We all have family over to stay from time to time, whether this is grandkids, friends or crazy Aunt Maud who lives 8 hours away.  A guest is not somebody that sleeps at your property numerous nights a week on a regular basis. This will become a further issue if your tenant is charging money from their guests to stay at your property on a regular basis. Why? because they are effectively subletting to another person that you’ve not agreed to live at your property. 

Before a tenant moves into your property, make sure that they are clear on the rules surrounding guests. Then hopefully, you’ll never have the problem arise. Remind your tenants that if they’d like someone to move in, perhaps a new partner, that would appreciate a heads up. However, from a legal perspective, they are in their full rights to enjoy an uninterrupted family life without notifying you should they move a partner of family member in.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes the lines can become blurred and we just need to clarify who is responsible for what. Whether you’re a landlord, a tenant or a guest, a little knowledge goes a long way. We have plenty of other posts covering this in depth, so why not head on over to the blog now and fill up on the facts.

Here at Leased we’re happy to help. Contact us today

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