It’s never a bad idea to give some guidance to tenants on what their responsibilities are. It’s all too easy for tenants to not read their tenancy agreement so give them a separate document outlining these responsibilities otherwise they might assume that every problem with the property is your responsibility – whatever the cause.

It all comes down to common sense. If a tenant treats the property well then there will be fewer maintenance issues. For example, understanding when they move in the causes and affects of condensation, not making any structural alterations, understanding what, if anything, they can do with the property’s decor, their cleaning responsibilities can all save you both a lot of grief later.

I’ve seen it all as a landlord and an agent. Tenants spilling sugary drinks on a carpet and not cleaning up so dirt sticks to it like glue leaving dark stains; not looking after their pets properly and allowing them to damage carpets, furniture, door frames and skirting boards; allowing their children to scribble on walls; not keeping the oven clean; decorating (badly) without consent – the list goes on.

Most of the above are down to laziness and ignorance and most of them can be avoided if you simply point out to tenants, before they move in, what they can and what they can’t do. A cleaning checklist is a useful thing to give them so they understand the condition the property must be handed back in. Also, give them a maintenance guide which clearly outlines what they can and can’t do as well as what you are responsible for.

This landlord clearly has taken things too far with his restrictive do’s, don’ts and fines. He probably looks to make more money from fines than he does from rent. Clearly he is not cut out for this landlord business!