Complaining Tennant

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    Complaining Tennant

    Hey everyone,
    I have recently (2 months ago) let my property to a tenant who was nice in the beginning but has since started to complain about every minor issue.
    At the beginning, she complained that the property was not clean enough for her ( We had it clean a second time).
    She then complained that the shower head not working - I replaced it. She then informed me she intends to purchase a shower rail and a shower curtain. I said "Ok", as in Ok, I'm glad you will and she tried to take that from the rent. I refused it as it is not a necessity and does not affect her quality of life in the property and she backed down.

    Anyway, she is now complaining about the washing machine making too much noise. When I inspected it was in perfect condition and she signed an inventory proving that. She wants it replaced or fixed and she has been blowing my phone up. In addition to that, she is also complaining about issues such as: a small crack (gap) between the window and the frame ( we had a constructor fix the property before she moved in and he looked at all the windows and did not find anything). She is complaining that the door is stiff and that there is a leak from one of the radiators.
    Also, she is saying that she does not know how to turn on the heating in the property and wants someone to go and explain to her. The property agents have tried(to explain) but she still does not understand and that will cost me a minimum of 55 pounds( to send someone in person). I don't think I should be paying for that as she is the one not being able to understand. If next time she forgets how to turn on a light I don't think I should be responsible for that.
    We also have installed an old-fashioned boiler which needs pre-heating in advance. She is moaning as she can't shower directly after her son. We have tried explaining that she needs to wait an hour or so for it to heat back up and she can't seem to grasp the concept.

    My question is, am I being unreasonable here?
    I was very nice to her in the beginning but it seems to be as if she is taking advantage of that. I'm paying a letting agent to answer her calls and she still keeps blowing my phone for issues such as those above. I understand as an LL you will incur costs, and it is normal, but I can't spend money on everything she is complaining about. So far, there are 6 things and it seems everytime we talk on the phone there are 1 or 2 more things popping up (I'm not even joking).
    I know she is scared of losing her deposit so she wants to go over everything wrong with the property, but I think this is a bit excessive. Actually, its okay if she tells me there is a dent here and a screw missing there but I can't be sending people fixing every minor issue as eventually the costs will exceed my profit.

    What should I do and how should I deal with this issue?

    #2
    what issue? that's she is complaining or that works need carrying out? I would instruct your agents to attend (if you cant do it yourself) and go through a complete snag list. if you can attend, take a few cartridges of silicone sealant to fill in any gaps and some screw drivers to tighten things up. there are anti vibration mats you can buy for the washer if needed, from ebay for about £10 - I think I also saw them in b and q the other day. check the radiator leak - cos that might cost you more in the long run - pour some fernox or equivalent into the radiator that's leaking - I'm sure youtube will show you how, and take some 3 in 1 oil for door hinges. 2 hours work for you in total. the biggest job is getting the mat under the washing machine ( I would avoid supplying a washing machine in the future if the market would support it)

    all in, it will cost about £50 in bits maximum. I would also suggest putting together a 'manual' of how things work, it will be useful in the long term for your next tenant who you should be looking to install AS SOON as possible !

    Comment


      #3
      Can I ask why you’re paying a letting agent to deal with the tenant but you’re doing all the work? I’ve never used an agent so apologies if this is the general way it works; but it seems like you’re wasting money to me.

      Ive had a similar experience (although not this bad) in that I purchased a property with tenant in-situ 5 months into a 6 month AST. I went and met the tenant to basically introduce myself and for me to get to know them and I asked them to compile a list of issues they had with the property. It turns out the letting agent didn’t do a thing to rectify any issues in the 5 months they were there (broken shower, leaking ceiling from the shower, oven on the blink, boiler on the blink, damp in the bedroom etc etc etc) so it was now up to me
      to sort out, which wasn’t an issue.
      Upin arranging all the works to be done at their convenience, they were over the moon. I’ve done more in 2 months than had been done in 6 previous.
      But now for some bizarre reason they’ve kicked up a massive stink because of the works that have been done and complaining AFTER the fact, like “we couldn’t have a shower for a week” when the shower was being fixed, re-tiled etc (although they could still have a bath) and how they had no heating or hot water whilst the boiler was being replaced (a £2300 cost to me) and wanted money off the rent for the inconvenience. Yeah right.
      I am on the verge of issuing a Section 21 because of their unreasonable behaviour.

      Anyways, my suggestion is as above; go yourself to see all these issues and make decisions from there. You may agree that the washer is too loud, or that the door is stiff. If so, rectify them. If not then explain you think she’s being unreasonable in her expectations..... and go home and get the Section 21 ready!

      How long is the AST?

      Comment


        #4
        I’d suggest that what the landlord has there is (probably an elderly) property that isn’t really suitable for letting without some TLC.

        Odds on it’s a previous home let out, where the prior resident simply put up with its quirks.

        Washing machines do just wear out.
        The tenancy agreement should determine who’s responsible for the maintenance or replacement.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Tell the tenant that is unfortunate that she finds the property unsuitable for her needs and that you hope she'll be happier in her new home that she moves into after vacating this one.

          Then turn the conversation into which date she'd be happy to move out and agree on how you'll draft a mutually acceptable release from the AST.

          Once vacant, give the property a going over so that there are no issues with the next occupants.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by security2 View Post
            give the property a going over so that there are no issues with the next occupants.
            alternatively, give the next occupants a going over so that there are no issues

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Vallie View Post

              Anyway, she is now complaining about the washing machine making too much noise. IT WORKS. Tell her that if she wants a better washing machine, she needs to agree a higher rent.

              In addition to that, she is also complaining about issues such as: a small crack (gap) between the window and the frame ( we had a constructor fix the property before she moved in and he looked at all the windows and did not find anything). Take sealant and get her to show you where.

              She is complaining that the door is stiff "fix" with can of spray oil

              and that there is a leak from one of the radiators. FIX - to be fair I've had this when tenant's primary age kids have bashed into it with something, and the joint started dripping.

              Also, she is saying that she does not know how to turn on the heating in the property and wants someone to go and explain to her. Laminate instructions and take her through it line by line.


              The property agents have tried(to explain) but she still does not understand and that will cost me a minimum of 55 pounds( to send someone in person). It is well known what I think of most letting agents. They didn't do a decent check in did they ? I have rented out and had my kids rent student houses and agents spend zero time on explaining anything.
              On a rental property that I bought it I couldn't understand why the heating wouldn't work whilst sitting and trying to understand with the full manual in my hands. It was only when the gas fitter came around to do the safety check that I realised (he pointed out how stupid I was - all for free - in with the price) that I was being a muppet (and I'm a Chartered Automation Engineer)


              I don't think I should be paying for that as she is the one not being able to understand. Goodwill - do it yourself and know that it's done.

              If next time she forgets how to turn on a light I don't think I should be responsible for that. That's just silly.

              We also have installed an old-fashioned boiler which needs pre-heating in advance. She is moaning as she can't shower directly after her son. We have tried explaining that she needs to wait an hour or so for it to heat back up and she can't seem to grasp the concept. I don't think I understand. How long is son playing in the shower ? Is there a hot water tank ? Is it Furred up with limescale. I once owned a house that had a massive cast iron bath, and the hot water tank was so furred up that you couldn't fill the bath with hot water before the cast iron had cooled it down.
              Perhaps invest in an electric shower ?


              My question is, am I being unreasonable here? YES in my opinion .

              I was very nice to her in the beginning but it seems to be as if she is taking advantage of that. There's a fine line. I want my investment to stay nice, so want issues pointing out to me, and I'll fix them. It cost time and money.

              I'm paying a letting agent to answer her calls and she still keeps blowing my phone for issues such as those above. I feel your pain, why pay for a dog and bark yourself ?

              I understand as an LL you will incur costs, and it is normal, but I can't spend money on everything she is complaining about. Not everything no. But some.

              So far, there are 6 things and it seems everytime we talk on the phone there are 1 or 2 more things popping up (I'm not even joking).
              I know she is scared of losing her deposit was the inventory not very good ? so she wants to go over everything wrong with the property, but I think this is a bit excessive. Not really.

              Actually, its okay if she tells me there is a dent here and a screw missing there but I can't be sending people fixing every minor issue as eventually the costs will exceed my profit. The issue is that the business model doesn't allow paying full wack for tradesmen does it.
              The way I look at it, is that I did all my investment plans based on 10 month occupancy, and my current tenant looks like she's staying 12 months and another 12 months and another and another. That means I have 2 months rent spare, which I can take off the mortgage, or spend on the house.


              What should I do and how should I deal with this issue?

              Discuss with the agent how they are managing the tenant and what issues you do want to hear about.

              Comment

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