What condition should expect my property to be in?

We have found, over the years, that many renters can have expectations that can be off the mark when moving into a property, thinking that every place is going to shine like new. With all the excitement of moving, and the stress of boxing up all your belongings, it can sometimes feel a bit too much.

It is fair to want to be able to think of your place as home. However, sometimes making it homely takes more work than you initially expect and it won't be long before you turn your new property into a comfortable home.

So, before all the stress begins to set in, here's a few realities to keep in mind. 


The first thing you need to realise is that not every rental property is going to be sparkling clean. That does not mean you should accept a dirty property; the law generally states that a rental property needs to be cleaned to a "reasonable" standard, but you need to keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean perfect. A property may have been vacant for a few weeks and even with being professionally cleaned, dust will settle and a spider may even spin a web.


In a similar vein, you need to be reasonably flexible when it comes to upkeep. In some properties, tenants change over every year. Not every landlord is going to invest in a new coat of paint, or re-grout all the tiles, or new replace flooring for every new tenancy. So if there’s some faint marks on the wall or some scrapes in the parquet, that's all perfectly normal. You can, however, talk to them about potentially doing some cosmetic work around the property.


While the landlord will generally take charge of serious maintenance and appliance issues, the previous tenant may not have reported all of these as needed and so the landlord, or managing agent simply isn't aware of any issues. This type of thing is not a point to get angry about. You should just calmly bring it up with your landlord so that it gets resolved as efficiently as possible.


Now, when we say you need to be flexible when moving into a new rental property, this does not mean that you should be willing to put up with the place under any conditions. If the property is in a condition that seems unreasonably dirty or poorly kept, you should of course bring this up with your landlord or agent.

Additionally, safety is an area in which you should make no compromises. If you feel that the state of the property or its features pose some kind of health or safety threat, this is not something that you need to be shy about bringing up with the landlord. For example, all gas appliances and smoke detectors should be professionally tested before you move in and electrical items should be deemed safe to use.

The bottom line is – don’t let yourself get downhearted over small issues, it's bound to be a stressful time. Your property will feel like home over a very short space of time.