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View Full Version : Redecoration by T- should L allow it?



talby
13-04-2008, 13:01 PM
Hi,

Does anyone have any experience of what to do when tenants redecorate without consent ? We rent a small flat out via letting agents, and we've just found out following an inspection that the main bedroom was completely repainted, without the agent or ourselves knowing about it, and obviously in breach of the AST. :( The tenants are on HB and we were thinking of issuing a section 21 soon anyway for other reasons (suspicious damage), in addition to continuously late rental payments. We don't want to let this redecoration go unchallenged.

Is the correct process simply to remind the tenant of the need to obtain consent before redecoration, and that the flat should be returned upon exit precisely according to the inventory (minus normal wear and tear), otherwise redecoration costs will be deducted from the deposit ?

Does the redecoration give us any extra grounds to have them evicted should push come to shove ?

Does anyone have any thoughts about the best way to proceed ?

Thanks in advance
Mick

Colincbayley
13-04-2008, 13:12 PM
Is the correct process simply to remind the tenant of the need to obtain consent before redecoration, and that the flat should be returned upon exit precisely according to the inventory (minus normal wear and tear), otherwise redecoration costs will be deducted from the deposit


That would be about on the mark, yes.

jeffrey
13-04-2008, 14:13 PM
Also ground 12 (breach of non-rent obligation in Agreement).

heather5
17-04-2008, 20:53 PM
I once had to post to this site because I'd painted the whole of the studio I was in prior to leaving - with professional decorators doing the majority of the work - without consent - and only because, my computer desk had been placed against a wall and left a mark.

I couldn't match the paint exactly even though it was magnolia originally (7 years old) - I tried paint matches - and each time it was worse than before - and in the end redecorated everything. It cost me almost £200 to do - never mind time and goodness knows what.

The advice from the site then was that as long as I had decorated in the same fashion as originally found and that I had left it in a better state - that this would be overlooked by a normal landlord.

I also sought advice from the local CAB - and they said the same - that as long as I had attempted to use the same paint as original - and not done anything else - it was okay.

Also, I used to live in a flat that was painted ORANGE - and when I left the Landlord was furious that I hadn't painted the flat by the time I left. When I viewed the flat prior to moving in - I just casually asked if it would be possible to paint the flat a neutral colour rather than ORANGE.

After 4 months rental - she put the property on the market - but never visited it herself - but when the valuers said that ORANGE walls degraded the value - she tried to withold my deposit on the grounds that I had "agreed" to decorate.

I went to CAB and Shelter in the end - and she dropped the case. But took many months and letters from solicitors via CAB and Shelter to get my deposit back - loads of my time taken and worry about getting my deposit back.

Think you may need to try and divorce your need to get the tenant out for other reasons than the decorating - providing they have done it in a way that is in keeping with the property.

Obviously if they've painted ORANGE having been magnolia - you might have a stronger case!!!!

Good luck.

silvercar
23-10-2009, 21:30 PM
Tenant has been in property for three years and plans to stay for a few more years.

Property is a small house with one living room which is also provides the only internal access to the kitchen, so the living room is well used.


Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate. Rent shortfall herein is controlled as tenant claims HB which is now (due to arrears) paid direct to landlord. So most arrears can be is small top-up per month.

In my opinion, living room is scruffy partly as it is heavily used (wear and tear) and partly because it hasn't been well looked after (toddler bikes indoors etc).

Is it reasonable for landlord to contribute to redecoration costs? How often would redecoration be reasonable?

mind the gap
23-10-2009, 22:09 PM
Tenant has been in property for three years and plans to stay for a few more years.

Property is a small house with one living room which is also provides the only internal access to the kitchen, so the living room is well used.


Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate. Rent shortfall herein is controlled as tenant claims HB which is now (due to arrears) paid direct to landlord. So most arrears can be is small top-up per month.

In my opinion, living room is scruffy partly as it is heavily used (wear and tear) and partly because it hasn't been well looked after (toddler bikes indoors etc).

Is it reasonable for landlord to contribute to redecoration costs? How often would redecoration be reasonable?

With a family living in close quarters, I would suggest perhaps every 3 years.

Bel
23-10-2009, 23:38 PM
Check your agreement first.

If it says nothing, its up to you regarding any contribution.

Your agreement proabably says that T needs you permission to redecorate, but you are not obliged to decorate under your stautory obligations, unless it is a House in Multiple Occupation .

If you make repairs to building you are required to make good any decorations that have been disturbed.

Housing association tenants are responsible for decorating their own property.

tom999
24-10-2009, 00:35 AM
Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate. Rent shortfall herein is controlled as tenant claims HB which is now (due to arrears) paid direct to landlord. So most arrears can be is small top-up per month.So, just to clarify, the tenant has at least 8 weeks rent arrears, which she says is being saved to use for decoration?


Is it reasonable for landlord to contribute to redecoration costs? How often would redecoration be reasonable?No statutory obligations, but landlord could contribute as a goodwill gesture; this would depend on tenant. For example, if tenant has been proven to be unreliable with rent, how likely is she to maintain the property once its decorated to a good standard?

havensRus
24-10-2009, 04:22 AM
Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate.

Nice try by your T. won't be the first time this excuse has been used, and won't be the last either. Can T provide proof of the account in which the "savings" are kept? ......

I thought not!

mind the gap
24-10-2009, 09:50 AM
Nice try by your T. won't be the first time this excuse has been used, and won't be the last either. Can T provide proof of the account in which the "savings" are kept? ......

I thought not!

Exactly. And even if T is 'saving for cost of redecorating', it's tough, isn't it. Her first priority is the rent. If contract makes T liable for redecoration - assuming the clause is fair - it's not OK for her to withold rent to pay for it. If she cannot afford both rent and paint, she'll have to manage with cleaning or touching up the walls until she can afford to paint throughout.

If LL is responsible, then it's a different matter and she shouldn't need to be saving to redecorate anyway.

I'd be inclined to serve a s8 unless she has been a brilliant tenant otherwise.

silvercar
24-10-2009, 13:50 PM
No statutory obligations, but landlord could contribute as a goodwill gesture; this would depend on tenant. For example, if tenant has been proven to be unreliable with rent, how likely is she to maintain the property once its decorated to a good standard?

Actually the tenant does keep the property well in terms of cleanliness, notifying problems, fixing minor bits. Maintaining a good decorative standard is the weakness, but then tenant lives there not me.


I'd be inclined to serve a s8 unless she has been a brilliant tenant otherwise.

Financially moving forward this tenant makes sense. Over 95% of the rent is now paid direct by the LA, so there seems little point in evicting, risking a void, a tenant who loses their job, gets into arrears etc....


If you make repairs to building you are required to make good any decorations that have been disturbed.

Thats does apply, partly, at leat to one wall, but tenant also wants to replace laminate floor.


Housing association tenants are responsible for decorating their own property.

A good point, thanks for that; though tenant will no doubt point out that HA tenants have greater security than AST.

westminster
24-10-2009, 14:13 PM
As tom999 says there's no statutory obligation to pay for redecoration. I personally wouldn't contribute (certainly not when T owes you money), and I wouldn't accept it as an excuse for rent arrears.

Also, I wouldn't allow any T to DIY redecoration (if that is what is being proposed). T should seek permission to redecorate, and LL should approve the contractor and specifications/materials/colours. It probably matters less in this case as from the sound of it, the degree of wear and tear will mean the whole place needs redecorating anyway when T eventually leaves.

Nevertheless, amateur redecoration can be equivalent to damaging your property, e.g. bodged preparation, ceilings painted purple gloss, painting over sockets, light switches or bathroom tiles, nasty wallpaper, paint marks on carpets, etc.

mind the gap
24-10-2009, 16:02 PM
accept it as an excuse for rent arrears.

Also, I wouldn't allow any T to DIY redecoration (if that is what is being proposed). T should seek permission to redecorate, and LL should approve the contractor and specifications/materials/colours. It probably matters less in this case as from the sound of it, the degree of wear and tear will mean the whole place needs redecorating anyway when T eventually leaves.

Nevertheless, amateur redecoration can be equivalent to damaging your property, e.g. bodged preparation, ceilings painted purple gloss, painting over sockets, light switches or bathroom tiles, nasty wallpaper, paint marks on carpets, etc.

Absolutely. I have rarely agreed with anyone on this forum more wholeheartedly than I do here! T's skewed polystyrene tiles, badly overpainted in turquoise gloss have a profoundly depressing effect upon the human spirit (not to mention the bank balance after decorating disaster is put right).

silvercar
24-10-2009, 16:28 PM
In this case, tenant has good taste and previous redecorating was of a good standard.

The tenant is not going to be in a financial position or has any wish to leave for a good few years in any case.

I'm going to only agree to right off some rent arrears against the redecoration of the wall that needs doing as a result of work I had carried out.

Thanks all.

Bel
24-10-2009, 18:30 PM
In this case, tenant has good taste and previous redecorating was of a good standard.

The tenant is not going to be in a financial position or has any wish to leave for a good few years in any case.

I'm going to only agree to right off some rent arrears against the redecoration of the wall that needs doing as a result of work I had carried out.

Thanks all.

Cooperation and compromise can lead to long and happy tenancy.

Its a balancing act sometimes

westminster
24-10-2009, 18:54 PM
Absolutely. I have rarely agreed with anyone on this forum more wholeheartedly than I do here! T's skewed polystyrene tiles, badly overpainted in turquoise gloss have a profoundly depressing effect upon the human spirit (not to mention the bank balance after decorating disaster is put right).

I'm almost grateful - almost - to the tenant who taught me about tenant-DIY. He'd painted the bedroom purple, everything purple, not just the walls... Same T helped me learn about small claims procedure as well as the mysterious correlation between rent arrears and damage to property.

mind the gap
24-10-2009, 20:20 PM
Yes, lilac/purple has an inexplicable appeal for some people, doesn't it? The tenants occupying a property we bought (and subsequently gutted - the house, not the tenants!) had painted all the walls purple and all the lovely cornicing and ceilings black, including the ceiling roses and picture rails..then as a finishing touch, glued gold stars all over. The bathroom walls, ceiling and floor had been emulsioned in three shades of blue/green (all equally bilious), presumably in an attempt to create a 'watery' theme. It didn't work.

Bel
24-10-2009, 23:08 PM
Yes, lilac/purple has an inexplicable appeal for some people, doesn't it? The tenants occupying a property we bought (and subsequently gutted - the house, not the tenants!) had painted all the walls purple and all the lovely cornicing and ceilings black, including the ceiling roses and picture rails..then as a finishing touch, glued gold stars all over. The bathroom walls, ceiling and floor had been emulsioned in three shades of blue/green (all equally bilious), presumably in an attempt to create a 'watery' theme. It didn't work.

Sounds like a 'seemed like a good idea at the time' job

fthl
25-10-2009, 06:37 AM
what gets me is the fact that tenants, who might only be there six months, can be bothered to spend one or more of their 26 weekends in the property, decorating. And paying for the materials to do so, when they won't be around to 'enjoy' their labours.

Why not just enjoy life instead? Go to the pub? Spend the money on disneyland paris tickets instead?

mind the gap
25-10-2009, 07:30 AM
Because (I suppose) the 'nesting' instinct is quite strong in most adults. Even the ones who should be prevented by legal injunctions from ever wielding a paint roller, or even allowed anywhere near B & Q, are nonetheless exposed to far too many TV home make-over programmes, which make it all look incredibly easy.

Students are best. They like to individualise their rooms when they move in (with millions of photos, fluffy toys/crates of alcohol and their favourite duvet cover), but they lack the inclination and the money to start re-decorating. The thought wouldn't even occur to them. Their weekends are sacrosanct : for catching up with their sleep, drinking, watching 'The X Factor', arguing with their housemates, catching up with their sleep again and in the week before finals, perhaps doing a spot of revision. Praise be for students:)

westminster
25-10-2009, 11:23 AM
Because (I suppose) the 'nesting' instinct is quite strong in most adults. Even the ones who should be prevented by legal injunctions from ever wielding a paint roller, or even allowed anywhere near B & Q, are nonetheless exposed to far too many TV home make-over programmes, which make it all look incredibly easy.

At least the nightmare of "Changing Rooms" is over, although it was a guilty pleasure seeing the hideous results of MDF + violent hues of paint and the preferably horrified faces of the unlucky couple whose home had been 'transformed' by Linda or Lawrence.

Bel
25-10-2009, 14:09 PM
At least the nightmare of "Changing Rooms" is over, although it was a guilty pleasure seeing the hideous results of MDF + violent hues of paint and the preferably horrified faces of the unlucky couple whose home had been 'transformed' by Linda or Lawrence.

DIY chains made a fortune out of that.

I think it would be great to have a program celebrating rooms that have remained unchanged for more than 15 years.

theartfullodger
16-08-2010, 20:15 PM
The wife's and sis-in-law's house's tenants have giving notice.. (fine, they were basically OK, 1st letting for all parties..).

Agents have very promptly found prospective tenants - couple, both work, small kid, can move in 1 week after previous depart: Perfect.. (Assuming references check-out). They want a 12-month deal as they really really love the house (great!) and want to put in a new kitchen & repaint everything - guess what!! Landlord's favourite, Magnolia...


So, assuming this is all legit & not too good to be true and really a cannabis farmer or whatever,, (the girls are quite happy with a paint-job & new kitchen..) what conditions might the assembled company think up as required prior to agreement??

Off the top of me 'ead I'd suggest..

Kitchen (quite small).
- Approval by LL of plan layout & door colours..
- Kitchen/fittings/etc immediately becomes property of Landlord..
- Any electrics and/or gas to be fitted/approved by time-served-badge-holding craftsperson acceptable to the authorities (safety certs etc).
- Sign off on completion by agents local handy-man (the quick once-over: LL will pay for this)
- Any structural alterations only with approval of Landlords
- Flooring/doors/lighting etc. to be inspected prior to tenancy as-per-normal & any damage handled by normal deposit process
- Nil charges otherwise to LL

Paint-Job
- Carpets etc. to be inspected prior to tenancy as-per-normal & any damage handled by normal deposit stuff.
- Sign off on completion by agents local handy-man (the quick once-over). LLs will pay for this.

I sort of feel I'm suggesting too much & being heavy-handed but it's the girls only letting & we all know an over-enthusiastic "DIYer" can wreak £kssssss of consequences...

Regards & thanks in advance for your thoughts, whatever they may be!

Lodger

Snorkerz
16-08-2010, 20:19 PM
Tenants willing to put in new kitchen (around £2k plus fitting, even for a small one) with the potential of eviction in 12 months - something doesn't sound right to me.

westminster
17-08-2010, 08:47 AM
- Approval by LL of plan layout & door colours..
- Kitchen/fittings/etc immediately becomes property of Landlord..
- Any electrics and/or gas to be fitted/approved by time-served-badge-holding craftsperson acceptable to the authorities (safety certs etc).
- Sign off on completion by agents local handy-man (the quick once-over: LL will pay for this)
- Any structural alterations only with approval of Landlords
- Flooring/doors/lighting etc. to be inspected prior to tenancy as-per-normal & any damage handled by normal deposit process
- Nil charges otherwise to LL...

...we all know an over-enthusiastic "DIYer" can wreak £kssssss of consequences...
Yes, and what happens if they don't comply ('oh, we thought the bright pink cupboards were much nicer in the end/didn't realize that wall was structural'), and/or make a total mess of it? Is your wife prepared to pursue legal action against T for cost of damage, and could the tenants afford to pay for the cost for professionals to put things right?

thesaint
17-08-2010, 09:09 AM
Say "No".
If it needs a new kitchen and paint job, then get the owners to get it done out of their own pocket before they let it again.

Alternatively, let them have it, and make provision for it to be painted in six months time if they are conducting the tenancy appropriately.
Then the kitchen three months after that.

Paul Gibbs
17-08-2010, 13:43 PM
Any approval from LL must be in writing.

Compliance with any applicable building regs?

Do you really want the agents handy man signing off the work?

Perhaps LL should be the party buying the units (and T pays LL). If there is then any defect LL can sue without needing an assignment from T.

theartfullodger
18-08-2010, 14:17 PM
Thanks guys, very valuable & considered points: I am now taking instruction from my principals....