Maintaining the property
When renting a home, it is crucial that the property be properly maintained. This would apply to a home that you own as well, but is especially important when you do not have ownership of the property. As with anything that is in your care that is not yours, it is your responsibility to ensure that the property is not damaged in anyway and is in the same state that it was originally when you vacate. Most all rental agreements will have some sort of expected standard outlined within that will need to be maintained. Even if it is not in the rental agreement, making sure that no harm comes to anothers property is basic manners.
Rental agreements will almost always require you to pay some amount of money as a bond payment. The purpose of the bond payment is to ensure that the landlord has funds available in the event that a tenant were to refuse to pay for any damage that they caused. This bond payment should be paid back to you after your rental agreement is terminated, although that comes with conditions. As mentioned previously, there is an expectation that the state of the property be maintained. Failure to do this may result in your bond money being kept by the landlord. What merits forfiture of the bond should be outlined to some degree in the rental agreement, so it is important that you go over it properly.
What to do about existing damage
You may be thinking about what happens when there is existing damage already on the property. Any damage that is already on the property is not your responsibility. That said, it is important that you are able to prove that the damage is pre-existing. In most cases, the landlord will know of any previous damage and will not try to hold you accountable. However, this is not always the case. To prevent being held accountable for something that you did not cause, it is important that you document any damage to the property that already exists when you move in. The best way to do this is to make a written list, as well as taking photographs. This should be sufficient to protect you from any misplaced accusations; accidental or otherwise.
Fixed term and other contract types
There are various different types of rental contracts, but one that is important to know about is fixed term contracts. A fixed term contract is essentially a contract that is in effect for a fixed period of time. At the end of the contract period, you and the landlord can decide to renew the contract, either with the same terms or with new ones. If the contract is not renewed, that would mean the end of the tenancy. Although there are downsides to being locked into such an agreement, it also offers various protections. Being locked into the same conditions for a fixed time makes your tenancy a lot more predictable and prevents things from being changed unexpectedly.
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