Rights & Responsibilities as a Tenant + Must Do’s

Rights and responsibilities as a Tenant

As a tenant, finding the right home marks the end of weeks of tiring work and tedious search. The moment you sign that Tenancy Agreement, you have yourself the dream home. The rules outlined in that Tenancy Agreement bestow some rights on you and impose other responsibilities.

The Process of a Tenancy Agreement starts from securing the premise with an earnest deposit that commonly represents the first-month rent to executing the Tenancy Agreement with a 2-month security deposit & half a-month utility deposit leading towards a smooth hand-over of vacant possession.
Both landlord & tenant agrees to a mutual covenant of individual responsibility and embarks onto a relationship that exchanges rest for rental revenue. 

So why don’t you leverage for the best tenancy option? 

Due to the lack in implementation of a Residential Tenancy Act, covenants in tenancy agreement are currently the only governing tenancy practices.

Here are 8 MUST DO’s when negotiating for a Tenancy Agreement;

  1. Upon paying Monthly Rental, you are entitled to peaceably occupy and enjoy the Demised Premise without any interruption from the Landlord or any persons rightfully claiming through under or in the trust for him.
  2. The renewal of lease shall be negotiated two-month prior to the expiry of the agreement and if a termination upon expiry is intended, it should be properly communicated and documented via email or post.
  3. Although the Landlord has the right to renew a tenancy at a revised rate, the tenant has the right to pre-determine the revisable rate in the agreement.
  4. Insist to have your Real Estate Negotiator (REN) list all inventories that are part of the property’s content and its current conditions, the items should be itemised and thoroughly documented in an appendix to remove any doubts/misunderstanding that may come between the Landlord and you upon the tenancy’s termination/return of vacant possession.
  5. If the place requires any fixes or repairs, it should be mentioned in the appendix to allow the Landlord and or REN to work have someone to fix it under a fair time.
  6. To disapprove of any sale showing during the duration of the tenancy. However, some case permits you to negotiate with the Landlord to receive favourable terms. 
  7. Minor repairs & typical home maintenance are usually costs borne by the tenant, eg. Air-conditioning, these changes are usually capped within RM300.00 on a single item.Any cost above could be discussed with the Landlord to share the cost burden too.
  8. Negotiate for Curtain & Shears to be steamed clean. However, this also works as a double-edged sword as the Landlord will then command the same upon the end of the tenancy.

Obviously , anyone would want to get the best in each & every deal. However, we need to understand that not every Landlord is the same.

Must-Know Terms of the Tenancy Agreement in Malaysia.

How to negotiate a favourable Tenancy Agreement?

You also have some responsibilities to show towards the property in a Tenancy Agreement. Because you’re only leasing the property, you’re supposed to abide by some rules, a tenancy agreement outlines many of these rules; but to get the best value and flexibility, try building on relations with the Landlord by giving them a reason to believe you and thus creating leverage.

  1. Taking care of the premises to ensure that you hand it over in good order to the Landlord upon vacating the property as it was when it was first occupied by you.
  2. Maintain the premises in a neat & tidy manner throughout the Tenancy period.
  3. Ensure that the utilities are taken care of on-time throughout the Tenancy period.
  4. Ensure that the property is being used accordingly to the stated purpose in the tenancy agreement.
  5. Be Responsible for any damaged caused to the property throughout the Tenancy period.
  6. Be more independent about solving minor problems throughout the Tenancy period.
  7. Ensure that air-conditioner is serviced twice yearly, for air conditioner units which are under-utilised, once yearly throughout the tenancy period.
  8. Obliging to the management house rule (if any) throughout the tenancy period.

To attract a good deal, one need to practice living in a good deal.

Responsibilities towards being a tenant are unique to each property. Breach of any obligation is grounds for legal action.

If you perform your duties properly and exercise your rights, you should have a happy stay on the property. Above all, maintain a healthy relationship with your Landlord.
To broaden your understanding, you could read more about house rental agreements here.

The article was a collaboration with guest author, Roxana 

A writer by calling and an academic, has created scintillating and remarkable content for dozens of websites in the purview of the Business Sector. She has a fair understanding of the inner workings of several business establishments, the agreements required to meet these establishments, that makes her the foremost expert in this field.


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  1. Zack Ng

    Thanks for the insight of being a real estate negotiator, but does it apply across all tenancy that you guys have experience or is it assumption that it would be negotiable with landlord for the above terms.


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