5 Common Disputes Between Landlords And Tenants

Story Highlights
  • #1 - Late payments
  • #2 - Damage or neglect of property
  • #3 - Noise complaints
  • #4 - Wear and tear of property
  • #5 - Pest problems

The landlord-tenant relationship is often strained and there are many disputes that frequently occur between these two parties. This can be due to disagreements about rent, disrepair, deposits and service charges.

However, with the correct guidance and rules put in place, this does not have to be such a negative experience and it does not have to reach a point where there are serious consequences suffered by both parties.

There are many options to consider when resolving property disputes and there is more than one way that an agreement can be reached in a civilized way:

#1 – Late payments

Late payments from tenants is a common but significant issue that landlords have to deal with, often on a monthly basis.

A great way to manage late payment is to issue a penalty for fees paid after the due date!

This will effectively cover any administration fees like phone calls and follow up calls. The penalty will have to be stipulated in the lease agreement so that both parties are aware of it.

If there is no consequence of paying late fees, the tenant might make a habit of it.

#2 – Damage or neglect of property

It is the tenant’s responsibility to report any damages made to the property to the landlord as soon as possible.

It is the landlord’s duty to conduct regular inspections of the property to ensure that all damage has been reported. Lease agreements should include details of the various responsibilities of each party.

If the property has been damaged, a written warning should be issued in which it will request the tenant to rectify the damage. If the tenant refuses the request, the landlord may use the deposit to cover the expense.

However, if the damage is a result of wear and tear, the tenant may not be held liable.

#3 – Noise complaints

Tenants may become noisy and whether it is a result of moving furniture, maintenance, screaming children, get-togethers, visitors, or loud music, it might become a nuisance for others on the property.

If the noise complaints continue, then a written warning must be issued to the tenant. Depending on the rules of the lease agreement or the body corporate, it may even lead to a fine.

If the behaviour continues, there may be grounds for cancelling the lease completely, but this will depend on the clauses laid out in the lease agreement!

#4 – Wear and tear of property

It happens that properties take damage from storms or natural elements and it is the landlord’s responsibility to make reparations in the case of leaky roofs, plumbing and drain problems, or leaky gutters.

The landlord will also need to ensure that the property is maintained from the inside like the functionality of windows and doors.

To avoid potential disputes, both the tenant and the landlord should inspect the property before the tenant moves in and make a list of things that need to be repaired.

When discussing damages, ensure that all communication is done in writing to have it as a point of reference.

#5 – Pest problems

A serious problem that is faced by many tenants is pests, especially if renting an older building. This is usually the landlord’s responsibility because they need to ensure that the tenants are living in healthy conditions.

It is, however, the tenant’s responsibility to report any pest infestations as they arise. If a pest infestation occurs due to the actions or negligence of the tenants, such as not emptying bins frequently, the cost will be for their account and the landlord is removed from this financial responsibility.

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    1. Great question, Mahmood.

      Depending on the details of the lease contract, the tenant tends to be responsible for the utilities, which include water, electricity, refuse & sewerage.

  1. 5 Common Disputes Between Landlords And Tenants
    I think this is a stupid one sided problem that onlt covers landlords and title is misleading. The tenant is often the one who doesn’t have a choice being desperate to have a roof over their head and have to sign contracts designed by inconsiderate greedy landlords. I have been a very good tenant who practised good stewardship of the properties even fixing things l found faulty that the landlords ignored (at my own cost for my piece of mind). But still got l was treated badly with parts or whole deposits being taken because l got another job elsewhere and relocated. Ending the lease early is actually an advantage to landlords, because they collect another deposit and increase the rent within a year.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nompumelelo.

      I kindly disagree with your assertion as the five issues mentioned in this article tend to be the most contentious issues in the landlord-tenant relationship, which are affecting both parties, hence the chosen title.

      Even though you may personally believe that landlords can ‘do whatever they want’, tenants have quite the rights and based on your explanation, it seems you’ve been incorrectly treated and you should approach the Rental Housing Tribunal to seek justice.

      Good luck.

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