Advice please on changing a bathroom with tenant occupying property.

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    Advice please on changing a bathroom with tenant occupying property.

    Hi All,
    This is my first post so please be gentle!

    I have a number of HMO flats, acquired within the last year and am slowly going through them carrying out the repairs and upgrades that the previous owner did not do.

    Basically one tenant has a shower cubicle with a curtain around it. Whenever he uses it, water floods the floor. I cannot simply add a cubicle without moving/replacing the shower, as the shower itself is positioned outside where the shower cubicle walls would be placed.

    I suspect when the work is started, the room will require a new floor and may as well replace the whole bathroom, as it is very dated, especially as the toilet and sink will be out anyway.

    I am happy to offer to put the tenant up in a nearby hotel for a few days while the work is carried out - are there any implications I haven't though of by offering this. Also, I suspect he will not want to move out while we take on the repairs, and we will have to work round him. Is there any advice you more experienced landlords can offer me in this situation?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.

    #2
    It is a very generous off to re-home temporarily in a hotel but not every tenant will accept.
    You don't say if this tenant is on an AST or has some sort of protected tenancy?

    If on an AST I would discuss the upgrade with the tenant and explain why you want to do this along with describing the mess and lack of bathroom use that will be involved. A competent plumber can replace a loo within 2 hours but the rest of the work will take longer and give him a realistic timescale and hours of work the contractor will be on site.

    Lastly extol the pleasures of a nice new bathroom. I find older tenants don't like change at all but after the event they are very happy.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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      #3
      Many thanks for taking the time to respond.

      The tenant is on an AST, and is a very good tenant but with slight mobility/sight issues, so I actually doubt he would take the offer of staying somewhere else for a few days as it would have quite an impact on his life. If the tenant was not quite as good, I would not consider doing the work whilst he is still living there.

      I think I need to decide what I actually want to take on while the flat is tenanted, and discuss it with him then. He might decide he does not want the upheaval, and then the work just becomes minimal until he leaves I suppose.

      Thanks again for your reply.

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        #4
        The situation is that the existing provisions are slowly deteriorating the room/property. At some point this will leave the room/property unusable and the occupier will have to leave.

        These type of works cannot be done effectively with the tenant in residence so their temporary vacation is, in reality, necessary. The works will be done much faster if they are not living there.

        I have done works like this where tenants have insisted on staying in residence dispite being offered alternative short term accomm. It doesn't work. They complain about dust, the time it takes to do the work and the builders spend most of the day cleaning up, fixing temp services, unfixing temp services etc.... rather than getting on with the work itself.
        There is always scope for misinterpretation.

        If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

        Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

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          #5
          If you could pin a builder/plumber down to a realistic time-frame (five-seven working days?) and offer your T the equivalent of at least full refund of his rent for that week, he may prefer to go and live with family/friends rather than stay in a hotel.

          The problem with putting Ts up in hotels is that they end up spending a fortune on eating out, as hotel rooms do not of course have cooking facilities.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


            #6
            Given the points raised in the OP it would be unfair to try and hold a builder to a specific timescale unless all the required works have been identified.

            You don't want the tenant to leave expecting to be 'away' for a week only to discover during the strip-out that the whole floor structure needs replacing due to water damage.
            There is always scope for misinterpretation.

            If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

            Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mk1fan View Post
              Given the points raised in the OP it would be unfair to try and hold a builder to a specific timescale unless all the required works have been identified.

              You don't want the tenant to leave expecting to be 'away' for a week only to discover during the strip-out that the whole floor structure needs replacing due to water damage.
              You are probably right. On reflection, I realise that the chance of pinning any builder down and expecting him to complete a job in an agreed time-frame is ludicrously optimistic, let alone when potential water damage offers such scope for extending the job almost indefinitely.

              OP : Probably best just to lay 100% waterproof flooring and seal it with transparent silicone all round the edges (i.e. where it meets the walls/skirting),then postpone the major works until end of T's tenancy.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                #8
                There are a number of "prefabricated" base & 3 sides plus door units that are quickly attached to modified plumbing. Hoping that the pipework needs minimal modification and the underfloor is in good shape, it is possible to return the shower to service in the day and allow making good later on. At £400 ish, that is on a par with tiles and a tiler for the area.

                We did 10 units in Maida Vale in this way a few years ago.

                A number of supppliers also pre fab these with mobility aids- as per your post- but are more expensive.

                You could promise to refurbish a void and move him in.
                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you all for your thoughts and experience!

                  MTG - I had not considered the fact of being unable to cook your own meals whilst in a hotel - very valid point, and even if the offer was for a self catering place to stay, it is still going to be difficult.

                  Mk1fan - this tenant has put up with a lots from us recently, we refurbished a flat above him - new bathroom, kitchen, the whole flat - and made quite a bit of noise. The tenant was so good about it, but you are correct - the dust, noise and upheaval - all a lot to put up with despite having a new bathroom at the end of it. Taking into account the work has to be started before the extent of the job is apparent, (who knows what other repairs will be unearthed) all this great advice has made me rethink the whole job!

                  Finally - Leaseholdanswers - you have sent me a great idea with the prefab showers! Many thanks for that nugget. A search for these on the internet lead me to looking at half shower doors for the disabled showers. The shower has half doors fitted which means the water is kept in the tray, and a shower curtain is still used which means we will not have to have the shower moved at this point. We can do as Mind The Gap suggested too, and put waterproof flooring down and seal around the edges and make do until the end of the tenancy.

                  Fantastic ideas, and great advice. Many thanks for all your help.

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