How to stand out as the ideal renter

how to be a good tenant

With the rental market being so competitive, how do you stand out and be seen as a great person to rent to? What are the key qualities property managers and landlords are looking for?

Landlords naturally want to safeguard their property and increase its investment potential. Being a desirable renter involves ticking several valuable boxes.

If you’re currently renting, you can build on these qualities now but they also work as a checklist to include in your rental applications because they’re the most sought-after qualities landlords want to see from their tenants.

Here are our top tips for enhancing your tenancy reputation to make sure you’re the one they choose the next time you need to apply for a rental.

Be reliable

An ideal tenant is financially secure and understands their responsibilities. They pay their rent on time, they maintain their property and it always looks good on inspection. They fulfil the obligations they agreed to when they signed the lease and never create surprises like having a pet or a housemate that weren’t agreed to by the property manager or owner.

Be reputable

Great tenants have good, verifiable references. Their rental history is presented and shows they have a track record of reliable renting. Rental history speaks volumes in terms of character, trustworthiness, and communicates a renter who understands what’s expected of them and the standard they need to maintain.

Be responsible

Desirable tenants are respectful of the neighbours and protect the property by minimising maintenance costs through responsible use. They keep the noise down at socially responsible times, stick to the written rules regarding their property and surroundings and also the unwritten social codes of living in their community. They bring their bins in after collection, they don’t let their pets stray onto neighbouring properties, and are pleasant to their neighbours.

Be easy to deal with

That means answering correspondence quickly and efficiently so the landlord or property manager only needs to ask once. Develop a collaborative relationship. People who are easy to get on with make the best impressions.

Read through your lease — all of it. It’s the best way to know what your obligations are so you can be certain you’re fulfilling them. You can be evicted for breaking any of the lease terms, it’s not only about paying rent on time and keeping the place tidy.

Take care of the minor things yourself. Responsible tenants know to change the smoke alarm batteries and how to unblock a sink. Phoning the property manager for small items like this is going to give you a bad reputation.

‘It’s best to treat the property like you own it,’ advises Ash Brown, Director of One Agency Orange. ‘But one of the great upsides of renting is that you don’t have to take care of large maintenance issues. If you haven’t rented before and aren’t sure what those are, have a chat with your property manager early and find out what kind of issues they want to know about and what you’re to take care of yourself.’

Be respectful

An ideal tenant is mature enough to show an innate respect towards their property manager, the landlord and their rights and obligations of their rental property. This goes for everyone living at the property, not just the person who spends the most time dealing with the property manager or landlord. It’s a priceless quality that’s certain to stand you in excellent stead when it comes to your next potential rental.

‘It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking renting is an adversarial relationship,’ saysAsh. ‘But this is an unhelpful way to see it. It’s actually a relationship that benefits both parties. The owner wants to maximise their investment and you want a nice place to live. Developing a good, respectful, working relationship is the best way to make life easier for everyone.’

If you nurture a respectful attitude towards your landlord or property manager, they will treat you with respect in return. It’s a win-win.


If a tap is leaking or a toilet is showing signs of being continually faulty, if a cupboard or pantry door is becoming loose at the hinge, if a chip or crack on walls or tiles is threatening to worsen, don’t wait — speak up. These early maintenance reports will put you in good standing because you’ll save the owner money over time.

‘It’s a common misunderstanding that notifying us of these maintenance issues is a bother,’saidAsh. ‘But the opposite is true. We’d much rather know about them early than find out at the final inspection there’s an issue that could have been fixed sooner and you didn’t tell us about it.’

Open communication via the appropriate channels is one of the most exacting standards sought by rental providers. Keep your communication limited to things that affect the property or your lease. Should any issues include a personal situation or problem, keep the details brief and to the facts. Oversharing personal details may  work against you.

Be honest

Honesty is a major factor in the makings of a must-have tenant. This includes the prompt reporting of accidents or incidents committed by the tenants or their pets.

‘Landlords and property managers understand that accidents can happen,’ says Ash. ‘It makes you look more responsible if you’re honest about it and work with us to fix a problem rather than trying to hide it. We have lots of experience with these things and can go straight to the best solution.’

If you have a pet, absolute honesty is a must along with ensuring the pet is monitored according to your tenancy agreements.  

If your circumstances change and you end up, for example, in a tight financial situation, it’s far better to be honest and talk to your rent provider so you’re not leaving them wondering what’s going on. Honesty goes a long way to creating a reputation as a good tenant.

If you have any queries about your rules and rights as a renter, your property manager is the best person to head to for information. They keep up to date with new legislation and have lots of practical tips to help renters and landlords.

If you’re ready to rent, there’s more useful information in our article, How to Stand Out in a Competitive Rental Market.

See our current rental property listings here. You can book an inspection, see the brochure or apply to rent the property by clicking on the links below the main picture. One Agency Orange use 2Apply, which allows you to apply for multiple rental properties with just one application. It’s just one of the ways we make life easier for our clients. Our service is all about making your real estate experience as stress-free as possible.

02 6362 9560 | | Suite 7/230 Summer Street Orange NSW 2800