Summer’s approach spurs REIA to champion mutual agreements for tenant home modifications

Tenants looking to make moderate changes to a property they’re renting should reach out to their property manager in a bid to put in place a mutual agreement, according to a top industry body.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has urged those renting their home long term to seek the agreements as they allow more flexibility and freedom as their living needs change.

REIA President, Hayden Groves said a mutual agreement could be particularly useful as summer approaches.

“Thirty per cent of Australians rent the home they live in, however, there are times when a tenant may require modifications such as mild renovations for cooling or heating systems, and it can be difficult to make desired amendments to suit their needs,” he said.

“Regardless of the state or territory where you live, all Australian tenancy legislation allows for tenants, property managers and property owners to negotiate a mutual agreement. 

“Mutual agreements are a great way for tenants to make home modifications, and to provide surety to property owners that their investment is protected. 

“As summer approaches, tenanted homes without efficient cooling systems can get very uncomfortable. 

“Mutual agreements to improve the ambient environment of a tenant’s home are a sensible option given it improves a property’s value.”

Mr Groves said communicating effectively and taking a respectful approach towards modifications could go a long way to negotiating a deal that benefits tenants, property managers and property owners.

He said it was ideal for tenants to develop a proposal and know exactly what they are asking for before contacting their property manager to let them know what they’d like to modify.

“Get their thoughts around what might work for the property owner and importantly, consider what changes are to occur and how the costs of the improvements might be apportioned,” he said. 

Tenancy Skills Institute Chief Executive Officer Paul Tommasini supports the REIA’s efforts for tenants to effectively communicate with property managers, and to enhance their home environments through negotiating mutually beneficial modifications. 

“Sustainable tenancies start with tenants understanding the key tenets of effective communication with their property manager, and knowing their rights and responsibilities,” he said.

“When planning underpins the tenants’ efforts in seeking modifications, tenants can work with their property manager to achieve an end result that is a win-win for all parties, including the property owner.” 

REIA’s tenant resource is being launched ahead of summer in order to help renters seek improvements such as better home cooling.

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