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View Full Version : Decorations/decorating/improvements by T- good or bad?



smiler56
18-01-2009, 11:48 AM
We have viewed a property which has torn wallpaper in a couple of rooms which looks unsightly and is not to our taste. The landlord's say that if we agree to the tenancy we are not allowed to remove the wallpaper or paint over it even. Are they right in saying this?

Mrs Jones
18-01-2009, 12:18 PM
Yes LL can stipulate no decorating be done. Generally this is to prevent tenants painting ceilings black or navy blue with stars and walls red, green and purple with striped doors!! Putting this sort of stuff right after tenant goes is a nightmare.

However, I can understand your frustration if the decor is shabby. Perhaps you could negotiate with your prospective LL on a compromise agreeable to both parties.

When my tenants moved in nearly 3 years ago the house was newly decorated in neutral colours. Last year they asked if they could decorate their child's room - I gave permission for them to redecorate (in writing) PROVIDED only pastel colours were used and that the ceilings remain white. This they were happy to agree to. Any deviation from this agreement will mean they have to return the property to its original decorative state if they leave (or bang goes their deposit!!)

It is their home and hopefully will be for some years to come. I can't see the point in being unreasonable about things like this. There should be a negotiable solution.l

That said, a new tenant to a flat above one of my properties redecorated in primary colours - mainly a bright luminescent green!!!!! I would have shot him!!

Ericthelobster
18-01-2009, 13:03 PM
That said, a new tenant to a flat above one of my properties redecorated in primary colours - mainly a bright luminescent green!!!!! I would have shot him!!Well, I hope you've got a clause in your AST agreement which permits that particular remedy? :rolleyes:

Bel
19-01-2009, 10:58 AM
We have viewed a property which has torn wallpaper in a couple of rooms which looks unsightly and is not to our taste. The landlord's say that if we agree to the tenancy we are not allowed to remove the wallpaper or paint over it even. Are they right in saying this?

If you want the flat you need to say that it is conditional upon you changining the decorating and ask for prior approval of a particular scheme. If you say that you will use a professional decorator they may approve. Otherwise, walk away.

If you are already tenants and this clause of no decorating was included in the AST without them specially negotiating/discussing this with you prior to the tenancy, it might be deemed an 'unfair term' of the contract. See OFT guidelines for lettings.

But this is not the case with you, as you have discussed it in advance.

Poppy
19-01-2009, 16:12 PM
I agree with the landlord. I don't want my tenant redecorating my property. I don't know that they have the ability to undertake such work to my satisfaction and to my taste.

Perhaps you ought to say to yourself "what else is wrong with this property?".

If however you really like this property, try negotiating with the landlord to have the wallpaper repaired or replaced within a mutually agreed time as a condition of taking up the tenancy.

Whatever you do, find out whether the landlord has an inventory detailing things such as "yellow wallpaper - torn" or whatever description.

It's for you to decide whether this is a goer.

Real_Politik
27-05-2009, 14:39 PM
I agree with the landlord. I don't want my tenant redecorating my property. I don't know that they have the ability to undertake such work to my satisfaction and to my taste.

Couldn't agree more - just agreed a let on a very nicely (if I say so myself) refurbished cottage. All newly-plastered and newly-decorated in tasteful neutral colours (vanilla walls, tan carpets, stone floors/tiles etc.). Done to a much nicer standard than anything else I've seen in the area.

Tenant has asked if she can redecorate - with what, I ask myself? Has said she will return it to as it is now, but I bet she wouldn't be paying a professional to get it to the standard it's in now.

In the States and Aus/NZ many tenancies preclude putting up pictures, let alone redecorating ...

Neil H
07-07-2009, 19:05 PM
I am no stranger to letting property as I have been a landlord for over 10 years now but I have been using a letting agent for most of this time and I have started to realise after coming across this website that they are not as good at their job as I thought

The problem I have is one of my tenants is behind with her rent she has been in the house for just over 3 years the LA has given her notice to move out however if the T gets her rent up to date before the notice date I have agreed she can stay because apart from the last few months she has been a very good tenant keeping the house in good condition

But since the LA has been on her case about the rent she has wrote back to them saying “There has been no general maintenance in over 3 years house needs painting etc” This is rubbish as the house gets every thing it needs.

Can someone please let me know who is responsible for general painting and if the landlord believes the decoration is of an acceptable condition, but the tenant would like the house to be decorated if the landlord is responsible for this? The house was completely re-decorated throughout before she moved in is there an amount of time in which you have to redecorate?

The tenant also keeps saying she has no central heating but every time I have sent a plumber round the boiler has been working fine. The plumber has been around on 3 separate occasions. If I send a plumber round again and the boiler is working fine is it possible to claim the money back from the tenant?

mind the gap
07-07-2009, 19:23 PM
If the property was throughly redecorated when she moved in, then it should still be looking reasonable after 3 years unless she has abused it mightily, in which case, she cannot expect you to pick up the bill!

As a general rule, most LLs redecorate throughout in between lettings, or every 3-5 years, depending on which is longer. With shorter lettings it is often necessary to freshen up the emulsion paint (on walls and perhaps ceilings), but not the gloss unless it is chipped or discoloured. This is something which should be picked up on by the agent when they carry out their inspections of the property.

There is no statutory amount of time - much will depend on the nature and occupancy of the property, but some TAs contain clauses in which the LL undertakes to decorate every so often. I think ours says comlete redec every three years internally and every five externally, but we let to 6 students, so it can get a bit of a hammering. What does your TA say?

Your lodger sounds a bit of a pain, to be honest. I would be tempted to tell her that you are unhappy about the amount she is costing you in plumber's time and that if she complains again without due cause, you will be sending her the bill. Check that if it is a combi boiler she knows how to ensure the pressure thingy is correctly set. (Very technical, I know!) This could be why she does not think it works.

Beeber
07-07-2009, 21:24 PM
What does your tenancy agreement say about decoration? And did you undertake an inventory/schedule of condition which the tenant signed at the outset of the tenancy? Have you shown your tenant how to operate the boiler and left a manual for them?

Here's a link to a council website giving advice to tenants about what landlords are responsible for. See if your local council has a similar link.

If you wish to be brave enough to give your tenant permission to decorate, make sure you liaise to make sure you end up with acceptable colours/finishes and that they are aware that they will be responsible for the cost of having to put it right, if its shoddy.

http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/housing/private/content.php?page=advice_landlords

Tenant's Duties
...Unless a tenancy agreement states otherwise a tenant is also generally liable for the internal decoration of the accommodation, (unless the decorations have been damaged as a result of the landlord's negligence or as a consequence of the landlord carrying out other associated repair works).

http://www.doverdc.co.uk/housing/private_sector_housing/tenants_responsibilities.aspx

Repairs
Minor repairs such as changing a light bulb, internal decoration and keeping the property clean are the responsibility of the tenant.


http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/repair-private.htm#tenants_obligations

non-structural repairs and maintenance, for example, internal decoration and carpets, are not always the landlord’s responsibility; it will depend on the details of the individual tenancy agreements

Mrs Jones
08-07-2009, 06:03 AM
I expect to decorate and do anything required to bring property up to standard between lettings.

However, my tenants seem to be long term (e.g. 4+yrs and 3+yrs) so I do permit them to decorate but stipulate white ceilings and paintwork and only pastel colours on walls - also must be done to a reasonable standard. This has worked for us so far.

Re the heating, it seems tenant may not fully understand how it works so maybe you should spend a little time explaining it to her and then point out that the plumber has now been round 3 times, and each time finds nothing wrong. Therefore, the cost of further unnecessary visits will be charged to her.

Mrs Jones
08-07-2009, 06:12 AM
The tenant also keeps saying she has no central heating but every time I have sent a plumber round the boiler has been working fine. The plumber has been around on 3 separate occasions. If I send a plumber round again and the boiler is working fine is it possible to claim the money back from the tenant?

Is the problem possibly not with the boiler or pump? I had a real problem in one of my houses where a particular radiator - in the living room where it is most needed - simply would not heat up properly. Bleeding the radiator did not solve it. Eventually, I think the whole system had to be washed through and then refilled with the protective stuff etc. (it was small bore pipes).

MR M
16-08-2009, 08:04 AM
I have a clause in my AST which reads "At the end of the Tenancy, to yield up the Property and Fittings properly repaired, decorated and kept in accordance with the obligations hereinbefore contained and in the same condition as referred to in the Inventory and Schedule of Condition Report and where deemed necessary by the Landlord or the Landlords Agent, to pay for the professional cleaning of the Property and Fittings at the end of the Tenancy (the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for)."

Is it acceptable and enforceable to have the tenant decorate the entire property, prior to vacating?

mind the gap
16-08-2009, 08:39 AM
Is it acceptable and enforceable to have the tenant decorate the entire property, prior to vacating?

I would not have thought so, really, unless it was in a pristine decorative state at commencement of tenancy and they have done appalling things to it.

It's reasonable to expect wear and tear commensurate with length of tenancy, but for T to remove dirty marks, etc.,from decorated surfaces. I think you could charge them to redecorate wallpapered areas where the wall paper has been torn, scratched or scribbled on. Other than that, most LLs expect to redecorate every 3-5 years depending on the level and nature of the occupancy.

Other than that, it begins to sound like betterment, doesn't it? And in reality, unless you can force the T to employ a professional decorator (which I doubt), you really would not want them to do it themselves, in most cases.

PRS
16-08-2009, 08:53 AM
The tenancy clause you quote and wish to rely upon is subject to serious challenge on a number of fronts under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations and if you tried to enforce it, and the tenants took suitable legal advice, you would almost certainly find it challenged in Court and there is a good chance it would be deemed void and unenforceable.

Lawcruncher
16-08-2009, 09:17 AM
Quite apart from the UTCCR, a landlord needs to bear in mind the provisions of Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927:

Damages for a breach of a covenant or agreement to keep or put premises in repair during the currency of a lease, or to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, whether such covenant or agreement is expressed or implied, and whether general or specific, shall in no case exceed the amount (if any) by which the value of the reversion (whether immediate or not) in the premises is diminished owing to the breach of such covenant or agreement as aforesaid [...]

Gellybaby
20-11-2009, 14:11 PM
Hi there

I have had a tenant in my flat for almost three years. She contacted me six months ago to ask my permission to lay a wooden floor and paint the walls. I said I was happy for her to do so but I could not afford to contribute.

Six months have passed and she has only just started doing the works. Her contract expires in April so I have reminded her that if she does continue doing the works, she needs to bear in mind she may only be in the flat another six months and therefore any expenses for decorations are at her own risk.

Could she come after me for money if I evict her in April?

Poppy
20-11-2009, 14:17 PM
What a bad idea to hand over responsibility for redecoration to a tenant.

Did you promise to pay her costs? If not, then she cannot ask you to reimburse her later.

Have you read this thread (http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=23962)? You'll learn what happens and whose nose is put out when tenants are allowed to work on their rented property and then find eviction is likely to boot.

I hope for your property’s re-lettable sake that it is done to a decent standard.

Are you intending to evict her in April? Boy, she gonna be mad!

westminster
20-11-2009, 15:06 PM
I agree with Poppy. Really bad idea to allow a tenant to carry out amateur DIY to your property. Not only will she be wasting her money on the works, but you may end up having to spend money to get the property back to a lettable standard, with no comeback as you've given apparently "no-strings" consent.

If it's not too late, tell her you've changed your mind and withdraw your consent for the works.

Gellybaby
20-11-2009, 15:49 PM
Hiya

No I didn't hand over the responsibility to her to redecorate her flat. It's all her idea and she is doing it completely off her own back. I have said to her I do not have the money to pay for it and have made it clear to her twice that I can not guarantee I will extend her contract after April and that she is going to this expense at her own risk. I cant see myself evicting her beforehand but my circumstances could well change before then.

What I am concerned about however is that she may try and make a claim on me after I evict her. Does she have any legal right to do this?

mind the gap
20-11-2009, 15:56 PM
Hiya

No I didn't hand over the responsibility to her to redecorate her flat. It's all her idea and she is doing it completely off her own back. I have said to her I do not have the money to pay for it and have made it clear to her twice that I can not guarantee I will extend her contract after April and that she is going to this expense at her own risk. I cant see myself evicting her beforehand but my circumstances could well change before then.

What I am concerned about however is that she may try and make a claim on me after I evict her. Does she have any legal right to do this?

Not unless it says in her tenancy contract that the T is welcome to decorate and refurbish the property in whatever style she likes at the LL's expense, no.

westminster
20-11-2009, 16:27 PM
What I am concerned about however is that she may try and make a claim on me after I evict her. Does she have any legal right to do this?

No, she can't claim against you, but equally, you can't claim against her if she fits the new floor so badly it has to be replaced; you've given consent without, it seems, making any conditions as to materials to be used or the standard of work? That's what you should be concerned about.

quarterday
20-11-2009, 20:40 PM
funny how different landlords have different approaches. Unless we have just refurbished ourselves we would always permit a tenant to redecorate and contribute toward materials the thinking being that if the tenant has put in time and energy to make the dwelling to their taste, they will value the tenancy and stay longer...

westminster
20-11-2009, 20:53 PM
funny how different landlords have different approaches. Unless we have just refurbished ourselves we would always permit a tenant to redecorate and contribute toward materials the thinking being that if the tenant has put in time and energy to make the dwelling to their taste, they will value the tenancy and stay longer...
Then you haven't experienced bad DIY by a tenant. Yet.

mind the gap
21-11-2009, 00:18 AM
funny how different landlords have different approaches. Unless we have just refurbished ourselves we would always permit a tenant to redecorate and contribute toward materials the thinking being that if the tenant has put in time and energy to make the dwelling to their taste, they will value the tenancy and stay longer...

In theory, yes. In practice, it is a rare tenant who can decorate professionally.

Try to encourage them to buy a few cheerful throws and pot plants instead. Much less stressful for all concerned.

zip
21-11-2009, 15:32 PM
If the T redecorates without LL consent, would this be classed as damage if contract had stated T had to get LL permission? Even if the decorating was not up to a good standard you could hardly claim the walls had been damaged surely!! and after 3 yrs wear and tear could the LL claim back all money to redecorate? What's the difference between this and nicotine staining? Probably another breach of contract that you can't do much about!!!

mind the gap
21-11-2009, 16:22 PM
If the T redecorates without LL consent, would this be classed as damage if contract had stated T had to get LL permission? Even if the decorating was not up to a good standard you could hardly claim the walls had been damaged surely!! and after 3 yrs wear and tear could the LL claim back all money to redecorate? What's the difference between this and nicotine staining? Probably another breach of contract that you can't do much about!!!

Not at all. T's bad decorating, especially without prior approval/permission of LL, is just as deductable from deposit as any other kind of damage inflicted by them on your property. In some cases, it looks exactly as if someone has thrown a pot of paint over the wall (and everything else in sight) whilst drunk. Most people would not dream of pretending to be hairdressers or plasterers or tree surgeons without prior training, would they? So why novice decorators (or even ones who've wielded a paintbrush before), think they are able to achieve a truly professional finish when applying paint or wallpaper, is beyond me. Yet anything less than professional in all these areas of expertise, although not generally life-threatening, is just plain naff, isn't it?

Rodent1
21-11-2009, 16:54 PM
Not at all. T's bad decorating, especially without prior approval/permission of LL, is just as deductable from deposit as any other kind of damage inflicted by them on your property. In some cases, it looks exactly as if someone has thrown a pot of paint over the wall (and everything else in sight) whilst drunk. Most people would not dream of pretending to be hairdressers or plasterers or tree surgeons without prior training, would they? So why novice decorators (or even ones who've wielded a paintbrush before), think they are able to achieve a truly professional finish when applying paint or wallpaper, is beyond me. Yet anything less than professional in all these areas of expertise, although not generally life-threatening, is just plain naff, isn't it?

If property needs decorating then as LL i have no problem in doing it. If prop does not need decorating then it does not get done, by anyone. If tenant decides to diy badly then i deduct appropriate cost to put right the 'plain naff' which i completely agree; it invariably will be.

Snorkerz
21-11-2009, 17:45 PM
Cool, thanks.

Next question, does anyone know where I can get insurance as a Landlord to provide cover for a problem DSS tenant?

Did you get references and referenced guarantor before tenancy agreement was signed?

If yes - the answer is 'unlikely'
If no - the answer is 'no chance'

zip
22-11-2009, 15:30 PM
Hi Mind the Gap, If you are right about being compensated from T if they decorate badly, that is great! I of course am a little sceptical to say the least after the response I had regarding my smoking T and what come back If any I may have. My T also had removed battery from the smoke alarm,(for obvious reasons) which would put my my chance of claiming on my building Insurance zero if fire damaged the property and an assessor had picked up on it. I wonder what my chances would be of the chance of suing the little **** of a T if this happened.

Gellybaby
23-11-2009, 16:20 PM
I am happy for her to do works if its what she wants. She's been there three years and I would have had to re-decorate anyway so if she wants to do it and pay for it fine, but I've made it clear it's at her own risk.

Thanks for your comments everyone

Telometer
23-11-2009, 17:48 PM
She's been there three years and I would have had to re-decorate anyway

But sometimes bad redecoration can be much more to reverse than no redecoration.

Lawcruncher
23-11-2009, 20:04 PM
A. Landlords do not think tenants should be allowed to redecorate.

B. At end of the tenancy landlords want to charge tenants for redecorating.

I think you can only have one of the above.

mind the gap
23-11-2009, 20:36 PM
A. Landlords do not think tenants should be allowed to redecorate.

B. At end of the tenancy landlords want to charge tenants for redecorating.

I think you can only have one of the above.

No, that is not quite the case. Perhaps this:

A. Landlords do not think tenants should be allowed to redecorate unless they are able to do it to a professional standard and in consultation with the LL about colours, etc.
B. At the end of the tenancy landlords may require tenants to pay for redecoration is they have inflicted more than fair wear and tear on the decorated surfaces.

Both statements seem perfectly reasonable to me.:)

Gellybaby
24-11-2009, 12:28 PM
Totally agree. I'm a pretty laiback landlord and find it quite endearing she wants to look after my property. She's been there three years so I would have had to freshen it up when she moved out anyway so I dont mind. I just didn't want her coming after me for the money to do it!

michelle_stt
22-02-2010, 21:51 PM
I moved into a property a couple of days ago. I still dont have a working cooker and still need a fence panel to be fixed.

The LL gave me permission to decorate. The previous tenants were smokers despite my tenancy stating no smoking. Everything was a dingy yellow. I painted all woodwork white and walla magnolia. LL also gave me permission to wallpaper on wall as a feature wall in the front room Its white with black pattern. I showed him a sample first and he said it was fine. Iv spent the last 2 days decorating.

Today the LL turned up and used a key and let himself in the house to try and get the cooker working, he also said that he doesn't like the decorating.

He told me he will keep a spare set of keys.

Is this allowed? I don't really feel comfortable with him having the power to just walk in.

Will I also have to pull the paper down?
Any advice would be great.

bullybantam
22-02-2010, 21:57 PM
LL access should be in tenancy agreement. The norm is 24 hours notice, except for an emergency.

If he's given permission to decorate then and he doesn't like, tough on him.

Fact previous tenants were smokers has no bearing on your agreement.

michelle_stt
22-02-2010, 21:59 PM
It does say at least 24hours notice. There was no emergency and he did not even call. He came in, tried to ignite the cooker looked at the paper and left.

tom999
22-02-2010, 22:43 PM
It does say at least 24hours notice. There was no emergency and he did not even call. He came in, tried to ignite the cooker looked at the paper and left.You have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property during your tenancy. The LL should not enter the property without your permission, as this is harassment; he could be prosecuted for this.

If this unauthorised access by the LL concerns you, change the locks (keep the original locks and replace when tenancy ends).

bullybantam
23-02-2010, 06:40 AM
You have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property during your tenancy. The LL should not enter the property without your permission, as this is harassment; he could be prosecuted for this.

If this unauthorised access by the LL concerns you, change the locks (keep the original locks and replace when tenancy ends).

Sureley better to add an extra lock? This adds to security and means not messing with original fittings as much...

michelle_stt
23-02-2010, 07:58 AM
I just don't like the fact he was so casual about the fact he assumes he can enter when he likes.

The fact of a spare key doesn't bother me as it does make sense. I just dont want him turning up whenever he likes.

Mars Mug
23-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Sureley better to add an extra lock? This adds to security and means not messing with original fittings as much...

It's often very easy to change the mechanism of an existing lock, and put the original mechanism back when leaving, but to add another lock will mean changes to the woodwork that might not be easy to reverse and the landlord could charge for that.


The fact of a spare key doesn't bother me as it does make sense. I just dont want him turning up whenever he likes.

Tell him that, nicely, before you risk winding him up by changing locks.

GJMSurrey
23-02-2010, 09:43 AM
He simply may not be aware of the rules, who knows... as a softer approach you might want to kindly point out (in writing) to him that you are not sure if he is aware of the universal rules, but it is every tenants statuatory right to not have somebody access their property without permisson (and remember this permission is at your discretion). You may mention that you are happy for the occasional access, of course, but would like to have this by appointment/agreement only. Please could he confirm understanding of this?

Who knows you might receive a positive response and not need change the locks. If not, change the locks.

Emergencies access is excepted, and by emergency this means a *real* emergency by the way, such as a gas leak/fire!.

mind the gap
23-02-2010, 18:27 PM
The LL gave me permission to decorate. The previous tenants were smokers despite my tenancy stating no smoking. Everything was a dingy yellow. I painted all woodwork white and walla magnolia. LL also gave me permission to wallpaper on wall as a feature wall in the front room Its white with black pattern. I showed him a sample first and he said it was fine. Iv spent the last 2 days decorating.

Today the LL turned up and...said that he doesn't like the decorating.

Will I also have to pull the paper down?
Any advice would be great.

Unless you have your LL's permission in writing, or an independent witness who will testify that LL agreed orally to your redecorating, then you will struggle to persuade a court (or the deposit arbitration service) that you should not be liable for cost of redecorating property to its start-of tenancy colour scheme, if LL lies and insists on it.

It is always inadvisable for tenants to redecorate unless
(i) in consultation with the LL
(ii) using professional decorators (not DIY) and
(iii) with something clear in writing as to colours, designs and who is to carry out the works.

Otherwise it will end in tears.

bullybantam
23-02-2010, 19:58 PM
Unless you have your LL's permission in writing, or an independent witness who will testify that LL agreed orally to your redecorating, then you will struggle to persuade a court (or the deposit arbitration service) that you should not be liable for cost of redecorating property to its start-of tenancy colour scheme, if LL lies and insists on it.



Very true, but LL has only said he doesn't like it - not quite the same as saying reinstate as it was.

But agree that things aren't looking good when LL & tenant are arguing over such points.

michelle_stt
23-02-2010, 20:40 PM
I woke up this morning to the back door being slammed shut. The landlord had let himself in through the back gate which is padlocked. He now doesn't mind the decorating as the bubbles have gone. (as wallpaper does).

Yet he was in my house at 9am this morning apparently going to fix the fence panel.

Since we have been using the loo and running water, the ceiling in the kitchen now too and he cant get anyone to fix it until next week. We have to have a bucket there. To me that is an emergency. yet he is very casual about this.

mind the gap
23-02-2010, 20:44 PM
I woke up this morning to the back door being slammed shut. The landlord had let himself in through the back gate which is padlocked. He now doesn't mind the decorating as the bubbles have gone. (as wallpaper does).

Yet he was in my house at 9am this morning apparently going to fix the fence panel.

Since we have been using the loo and running water, the ceiling in the kitchen now too and he cant get anyone to fix it until next week. We have to have a bucket there. To me that is an emergency. yet he is very casual about this.
Write to him and say that you consider the repairs to be needed urgently and that if he does not arrange for them to be carried out within the next five working days (give a date) you will obtain three quotes yourself. If he still does not act, you will instruct the best quote then deduct cost from rent until he reimburses you.

Then do it.

grimesk
16-04-2010, 12:18 PM
I have had a look at the various threads relating to this subject and think I already know the answer to my question before I ask it - but I will anyway :-)

I bought a BTL flat with an existing tenant about 2.5 years ago. I knew it would need redecorating at some point but she was quite happy with it, and apart from laying some new flooring in the lounge and kitchen, have not had to do anything.

Unfortunately my (excellent) tenant (who is LHA by the way) has given notice and is moving on in 2 weeks. I have a decorator, carpet fitter and new kitchen lined up for when she moves out and I have several interested new tenants.

I have been asked by 2 'possibles' whether they could decorate & carpet the property themselves.? Both have said that either they/their partner are proffessional decorators.

What are your thoughts on this?

By gut feeling is to do it myself but let the tenant choose colours (within reason - perhaps from a selection put forward by myself)

If I DID decide to let them do it, should it be at their own expense, even though i was going to do it anyway? or should I contribute?

jeffrey
16-04-2010, 12:34 PM
Better to proceed as in your penultimate paragraph. Giving T carte blanche often leads to large problems later.

mind the gap
16-04-2010, 12:35 PM
I have had a look at the various threads relating to this subject and think I already know the answer to my question before I ask it - but I will anyway :-)

I bought a BTL flat with an existing tenant about 2.5 years ago. I knew it would need redecorating at some point but she was quite happy with it, and apart from laying some new flooring in the lounge and kitchen, have not had to do anything.

Unfortunately my (excellent) tenant (who is LHA by the way) has given notice and is moving on in 2 weeks. I have a decorator, carpet fitter and new kitchen lined up for when she moves out and I have several interested new tenants.

I have been asked by 2 'possibles' whether they could decorate & carpet the property themselves.? Both have said that either they/their partner are proffessional decorators.

What are your thoughts on this?

By gut feeling is to do it myself but let the tenant choose colours (within reason - perhaps from a selection put forward by myself)

If I DID decide to let them do it, should it be at their own expense, even though i was going to do it anyway? or should I contribute?

Insist to seeing documentation proving that their partners are 'professional decorators' (ie their City and Guilds or other equivalent certificates proving they are qualified, and passports to prove their ID.)

Otherwise, politely decline their offer. Don't let them choose the paint either, except from a range you provide. Some people have the most appalling taste and their idea of 'neutral' will not be the same as yours. You will finish up with a turquoise ceiling and purple walls and it will all end in tears. You have no idea how long these people are planing to stay, at this point - just say no.

P.Pilcher
16-04-2010, 15:15 PM
Although I take on board the advice which every one else has given, I tend to take on a more "laissez faire" view. When I get such a request, I remind them that only pastel shaades can be used and that decoration must be of a high standard. The tenant is warned that if they insist on "dark purple with green splodges" or similar - it is after all their home, then it MUST be restored to acceptable pastel shaded decor before they vacate, or they must agree for an appropriate sum to be deducted from their deposit. If of course, they have been in residence for a year or three, normal wear and tear rules mean that re-decoration will be needed in any case - at my expense.

P.P.

mattygg
11-05-2010, 14:12 PM
Hi Again,

I have another quick question for you.

If i have tennants moving in and wish to decorate (which im happy for them to do) do i have to contribute any money towards it or is that all their perogrative.

If i do have to contribute am i able to claim any of the money back via the taxman.

Thanks

Matt

Holmes1981
11-05-2010, 14:21 PM
You dont have to contribute unless you agreed to.. This topic comes up a lot about tenant DIY... I was speaking to a friend who owns a LA and they had a tenent who painted a fridge freezer PINK !!!:eek:...

Make sure you agree the details before work commences...

mind the gap
11-05-2010, 15:01 PM
If we are talking DIY decorating here (as opposed to their paying for a professional), do not let them do it, full stop. Only allow them to do the work themselves if they can show you their formal qualifications in painting and decorating.

Otherwise they are liable to make a pig's ear of it, it will take value off your property and it will all end in tears.

Better to agree colours with them, then get a decorator to do it and split the cost.

P.Pilcher
11-05-2010, 15:44 PM
Maybe I've been lucky, but I have had no trouble with this. It is a request that I often get, and my answer is that unless pale pastel shades are used, you may be required to restore the colours to this before you leave or expect a deduction from your deposit for this to be done.

P.P.

Moderator1
11-05-2010, 16:21 PM
Several largely similar questions on separate threads have been merged into this thread (hence the repetitive nature of answers).

westminster
11-05-2010, 19:05 PM
f i have tennants moving in and wish to decorate (which im happy for them to do) do i have to contribute any money towards it or is that all their perogrative.

If i do have to contribute am i able to claim any of the money back via the taxman.

What you should be asking is "if T makes a total mess of it, or paints the ceilings perfectly in black, can I claim against them for the cost of putting it right afterwards?". Answer: No, if you gave them permission to decorate without imposing any conditions as to the type, quality and standard of the work in a signed agreement.

Bazdaa
11-05-2010, 21:04 PM
We have viewed a property which has torn wallpaper in a couple of rooms which looks unsightly and is not to our taste. The landlord's say that if we agree to the tenancy we are not allowed to remove the wallpaper or paint over it even. Are they right in saying this?

Its simple, if the LL wants to keep the property empty then its thier right. MY suggestion to you is walk on and keep looking. You have not even moved in yet, and yet are looking at challenging thier rights!!

I came to this website looking for advice and assistance, but am becomming more frustrated each time I visit this website by some of the comments.

mind the gap
11-05-2010, 21:12 PM
Its simple, if the LL wants to keep the property empty then its thier right. MY suggestion to you is walk on and keep looking. You have not even moved in yet, and yet are looking at challenging thier rights!!That is not necessarily very helpful, as OP may have set their heart on the property in question, or the LL may know that he can easily get more tenants in if OP takes the huff at not being allowed to decorate. Let us be clear : it is not normal for tenants on short (e.g. less than 3 years) contracts to re-decorate either by DIY or by paying a decorator, unless by agreement with the LL. Normally the LL decorates before the T moves in. The reasons for this are simple. (i) It is the LL's property (ii) some people - including tenants - have execrable taste and even worse decorating skills. westminster is right.


I came to this website looking for advice and assistance, but am becomming more frustrated each time I visit this website by some of the comments. Challenge them, then - or find a different website!

property mongrel
11-05-2010, 22:37 PM
Several largely similar questions on separate threads have been merged into this thread (hence the repetitive nature of answers).

will you be merging all the questions about serving s8 and s21 notices as well, they seem to crop up every day, if not every other day?

pm

newquay
06-06-2010, 14:04 PM
Hi i am new to this forum but was just wandering if anyone could help me.
My tenants have asked if they can do some improvements to my property. Although these are not necessary (plastic fascias under guttering) and various other things which they are wanting to do. How do i stand regarding this when i come to sell as they have said they will pay for this as they dont actually need replacing. Please can anyone help.

mind the gap
06-06-2010, 14:12 PM
Hi i am new to this forum but was just wandering if anyone could help me.
My tenants have asked if they can do some improvements to my property. Although these are not necessary (plastic fascias under guttering) and various other things which they are wanting to do. How do i stand regarding this when i come to sell as they have said they will pay for this as they dont actually need replacing. Please can anyone help.
Tread very carefully. To some extent your decision will depend on how long they have lived there and your relationship with them, but as a general principle, allowing tenants to make alterations (especially DIY alterations) to your property is not advisable. One man's 'improvement' can be another man's tasteless eyesore. Most people think imitation stone cladding is naff, but there will always be someone who thinks it's a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

At the very least, if you do agree, stay in control of what they add/change, how, who does the work and who will remove it all at the end. It can be a hassle insisting that the property is restored to its original state at the end of the tenancy if you have no wish to hang on to their 'improvements'.

Good luck.

Interlaken
06-06-2010, 14:16 PM
Are you mad! Whose house is it - YOURS - so tell them to abide by the tenancy agreement which probably says no DIY or go.

Even if you wanted these things doing ask yourself :-

1. Why do they want to do this? Will they try to take money off the rent?
2. Are they capable of doing the work
3. What about health and safety, public liability - what if one fell off ladder whilst doing it?

Stay in control, don't be afraid to say NO and keep a slightly distant professional relationship with any tenants.

newquay
06-06-2010, 14:17 PM
my main concern is that the improvements which they have asked if they can do will certainly make the property look better as they will be replacing the wood fascias with upvc and i would not want them removed. Thus what will happen when i wish to sell the property 5 years down the line will they be able to claim anything back off me. My relationship with my tenants is very good and they have been in a couple of years with no problems what so ever.

mind the gap
06-06-2010, 14:19 PM
my main concern is that the improvements which they have asked if they can do will certainly make the property look better as they will be replacing the wood fascias with upvc and i would not want them removed. Thus what will happen when i wish to sell the property 5 years down the line will they be able to claim anything back off me. My relationship with my tenants is very good and they have been in a couple of years with no problems what so ever.

In that case, it may well be worth sitting down with your tenants and agreeing exactly what will be done, by whom and at whose expense - and whether the additions are to stay after the currents Ts leave.

Once you have agreed on these things, get it in writing and have everyone sign it - just in case there is any comeback later.

newquay
06-06-2010, 14:23 PM
ok thanks for that much appreciated:

jeffrey
06-06-2010, 22:57 PM
For cautionary tales, see the previous posts on this thread. I'd not let T start any 'decorating' or 'improving' at all.