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EH11
26-05-2006, 10:45 AM
Hi,

Just stumbled across this website and i'm really impressed with the quality and information, great stuff!

Anyway, i'm looking for some advice regarding tenants I have in my property.... i'm relatively new to the business. A year and a half ago I let out my flat. Prior to doing so, I decorated the property. I also ensured that appliances were checked, smoke alarms etc. It's a good quality let.

I received a call from the tenents recently to say they felt the walls and doors were a little tatty and askked if they could be decorated (they were done prior to them moving in 14 months ago). They then sent a text saying that they felt the carpets were worn and as they planned to stay in the property in the long term, that they would like laminate or new carpets.

I'm really not too sure where my obligation lies here. Is there a rule as to whether or not I need to decorate and renew the carpet etc? If so, as they are planning on staying longer term, is it the 'done thing' to agree a split in costs?

What are people's experiences of this situation? I'd value the advice of someone who has dealt with this situation before. The carpets aren't in terrible shape, but certainly not brand new. However, I don't want to be mean and they are in the main good tenents.

ANy help appreciated.

Thanks

David Lawrenson
26-05-2006, 20:15 PM
I'd be tempted to say,in as nice a way as possible "Well you took the property on face value when they saw it and that is that."
However, if you feel maybe it could do with redecoration anyway, I'd say, "OK, if you stay for another 6 months I would do it then."
Reason is, I don't think 14 months is a very long time to start demanding what are fairly expensive redecorations.
Why not take a view of the letting market - how busy is it, and how good is your place compared with others. Pose as a tenant and go and see some.
Then, you'll know if their demands are fair or not.
If your palce is better value than the market lcoally and there are lots of tenants, then tell them no. If they dont like it , they'll move and you should be able to get another tenant.
I would shy away from splitting the cost with them, - it makes it all a bit murky - or if you really must do it , make it clear there is no liability on you when they come to leave.
And for any improvements doe, add them to the inventory and have it signed!
Good luck
David Lawrenson Topic Expert and Author of "Successful Property Letting" and buy to let consultancy at www.lettingfocus.com

PaulF
26-05-2006, 20:57 PM
Err.......I think you might approach it differently such as:-


The first thing you should do is inspect the property's decor and carpets.
Having assessed the situation it should not ahve deteriorated to any extent other than fear wear and tear taking into consideration whether a family with children live there when there will be more marks on the walls and wear on carpets etc.
You can't prevent outright a tenant from decorating, but you are entitled to have it done to a decent standard. Your permission should be sought with proposals for colours and materials to be used, and at their own expense.
You have no obligation to have the property redecorated, or carpets replaced at all if they were in good condition, and if you did, would the tenants be back again in another 15 months?
If the carpets were of decent quality you might be able to obtain a contribution for replacements if the "wear & tear" amount to damage being beyond normal usage. It's a judgement call though.
You shouldn't offer to redecorate by trying to tie-in the tenants to a further term; assess it at face value.

EH11
01-06-2006, 11:20 AM
thanks for the advice. Went to check the property and the walls were in good condition. One wll was slightly marked (caused by traffic at the door). Therefore, I declined to decorate and explained that I would do so every 3 years. I did however give them the option to decorate at their own cost on the proviso that they let me see colours first.

Carpets also in decent condition. Again, I said i'd preview periodically but they weren't in a worse condition than when they signed up for the property.

Thanks again.