First time landlord - constant requests from Tenant, do I have to repair ?

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    First time landlord - constant requests from Tenant, do I have to repair ?

    Hi guys

    Relatively new to being a landlord as I'm renting my place out whilst I work away from home (getting on for 2 years now).

    The tenants we have have resulted in having to pay out more on maintenance than we were expecting, and I'm getting to the point where I now want to say no to some of it and wondered where I stood.

    In the 2 years they've been there we've had

    - request to replace older carpet with laminate flooring (finally agreed I'd pay half as I didn't really want it there but they did)
    - 3 lots of door handles supposedly breaking
    - Shower tray needing replacing because it was leaking down the back and caused water damage right down through to the kitchen (plumber who did the work said he thought it looked like probably 2 people had been using it and the weight had resulted in the sealant coming away)
    - Multiple call outs when the boiler stopped (each time because they had let the water pressure drop below minimum and the boiler switches off for safety)
    - Request to have the BBQ in the garden removed because they don't want it there
    - Repair to plug socket that had been blown up due to a cheap chinese phone charger being used
    - Request to pay for decking stain that had been worn down
    - Request to pay for fence stain as the existing (2 year old) stain was fading and they didnt like it

    When we had this years Gas Safe Certificate done, the guy checking said he found one of the rings had a blocked igniter. (not a failure in the safety check btw)

    The tenant has now requested I get this fixed.

    I know the igniter is down to just some fat/food down in it, and it's a 10 minute job to do it, but if I get the letting agency to send their man out then I know that's gonna be 100+ quid, which might not seem like a lot, but it seems like we're ALWAYS paying out for something and when the rent coming in goes nowhere close to paying for where I'm living atm then all this money makes a difference.

    I said to the agent they just need to clean the hob properly, but they've come back and again said they want it fixed.

    Speaking to the letting agent a few times, he's called the tenants by nickname, and the last couple of requests have come from the tenants dad. When I questioned this he told me it was because the tenants dad used to be a landlord he used to handle.

    So my gut feeling from all this is that the tenants are probably mates of his, and the dad being an ex-landlord also friendly with the agent is playing the "just demand the landlord fix it every time" game.

    Or it could just be that whilst none of these things happen to me at my house, it's treated differently by someone else when it's not there.
    Not having anything to compare it to, I guess I'm just looking to hear whether you should always just suck it up or whether it's right to feel like you can say no sometimes ?

    Thanks for reading

    S

    #2
    I suggest to start thinking about getting a new agent and new tenants

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Anna1985 View Post
      I suggest to start thinking about getting a new agent and new tenants
      Honestly that's my gut instinct too, not having any experience to compare this with though I'm just worried I'm being too precious.

      Comment


        #4
        Until you start saying no, they will continuously expect you to faff around fixing and replacing for them.
        Pay for what you need to, let them go whiste for the rest.
        Of course you can say no.

        Comment


          #5
          Hate to say it but you are seen as a pushover now. The worst type of tenant. Section 21, new agent as already stated above. Get the oven cleaned from their deposit.

          Comment


            #6
            There's only a few months left on the agreement. I won't section 21 a family, especially not with Covid n stuff. Once the tenancy runs out hopefully things will be more back to normal and they can find somewhere new. Cheers for the advice all.

            Comment


              #7
              The tenancy won't ever "run out", it will simply carry on until someone ends it.

              If it was me:

              - request to replace older carpet with laminate flooring (finally agreed I'd pay half as I didn't really want it there but they did)
              Sounds like a reasonable outcome for a long term tenant.
              3 lots of door handles supposedly breaking
              I'd pay for the first time and recharge them for the rest.
              Shower tray needing replacing because it was leaking down the back and caused water damage right down through to the kitchen (plumber who did the work said he thought it looked like probably 2 people had been using it and the weight had resulted in the sealant coming away)
              If it happens again, I'd tell them it would be recharged.
              Multiple call outs when the boiler stopped (each time because they had let the water pressure drop below minimum and the boiler switches off for safety)
              Recharge (assuming the plumber confirmed why it happened.
              Request to have the BBQ in the garden removed because they don't want it there
              Their problem.
              Repair to plug socket that had been blown up due to a cheap chinese phone charger being used
              Recharge.
              Request to pay for decking stain that had been worn down
              Their cost.
              Request to pay for fence stain as the existing (2 year old) stain was fading and they didnt like it
              Their cost.

              When we had this years Gas Safe Certificate done, the guy checking said he found one of the rings had a blocked igniter. (not a failure in the safety check btw)
              The tenant has now requested I get this fixed.
              Explain that it's probably food and if the tradesman confirms that it is, the cost will be recharged to them. If it's a mechanical failure you're obviously going to get it fixed at your cost.

              Tenants are expected to behave in a tenant like manner and do the basic maintenance the property needs. The agent and landlord dad should know this.

              If I hear from any of my tenants more than once a year I'm surprised. There's often a flurry when they first move in (and haven't worked out how to do things and find stuff we've not noticed) but after that, it's usually complete silence until something goes wrong.

              But I'm not renting at the top end of the market.
              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


                #8
                Next request, reply (verbally only) saying you're sure they'll be happy with that being done in their next home.
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  The tenancy won't ever "run out", it will simply carry on until someone ends it.

                  If it was me:

                  Tenants are expected to behave in a tenant like manner and do the basic maintenance the property needs. The agent and landlord dad should know this.
                  That's EXACTLY how I treated all the properties i rented.
                  It's my home whilst I'm there, look after it as such.
                  I never called the Landlord out for anything I could sort out.

                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  But I'm not renting at the top end of the market.
                  Neither am I, nowhere close.
                  Just a decent family home in a decent area that I look after well whilst I'm in it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by nowinwales View Post
                    That's EXACTLY how I treated all the properties i rented.
                    It's my home whilst I'm there, look after it as such.
                    I never called the Landlord out for anything I could sort out.
                    That's your model then, anything that you're being asked to do beyond that is probably too much.

                    Do it through the agent, that's what you pay them for.
                    They can deliver the bad news to the tenants.

                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      That's your model then, anything that you're being asked to do beyond that is probably too much.

                      Do it through the agent, that's what you pay them for.
                      They can deliver the bad news to the tenants.
                      Oh definitely. I've never spoken to them directly, and want to keep it that way, though as I mentioned above, I get the feeling they are friends of his and so he's always pushing for them to get what they want.

                      I noticed in the last inspection photos I got that they'd painted one of the rooms without asking if they could - I mentioned it and he shrugged it off and said it looked good. I don't mind in that it's their home whilst they live there, but does indicate somewhat that he's not one to say no to them.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm afraid it's a common problem when you use an agent, and, or are not local to sort things out yourself.
                        Some of the things you've mentioned are down to them, broken door handles, decking and fence stain, carpet is a personal issue, sockets are a safety issue at the end of the day, shower tray just needed re-sealing or quadrant fitted, not replacing unless it was broke? GSC is a must but it's not down to you to clean the cooker.
                        You need to start telling them NO! for the mundane things and see what happens, ( they'll probably threaten to stop paying the rent, or part of it ), that's where the agent should do their job, ( you're paying them ), but I bet they won't do their job, just tell you about it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I would be putting the rent up to the maximum reasonable level and keep putting it up every year!

                          Say 'No' to anything unreasonable and 'Yes' to only things you deem your responsibility.

                          I would be asking the plumbing why the pressure keeps dropping in the boiler - must be a fault there somewhere and show tenant how to repressurise .

                          I would buy the stain & let them paint the decking & fence - this will save you money in the long term.

                          I would also say that if the igniter turns out to be food / cleaning then you will charge them the repair.

                          Socket & door handles I would pay for.

                          Good luck

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by weirdfish View Post
                            You need to start telling them NO! for the mundane things and see what happens, ( they'll probably threaten to stop paying the rent, or part of it ), that's where the agent should do their job, ( you're paying them ), but I bet they won't do their job, just tell you about it.
                            Will do.

                            The minute the agent doesnt do something about it when they dont pay their rent though - that's a whole different level of sh*t. Best not come to that!!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              jpucng62,

                              Thanks, That's pretty much the route I've taken so far.

                              The boiler is serviced yearly, we asked about the drop in pressure and the british gas guy said that it's just one of those maintenance tasks that you do after the summer. I'm not going to worry too much as once the boiler is in use it's fine.
                              To me, little house maintenance things like bleeding radiators, checking boiler pressure isn't something you expect your landlord to teach you to do. They know now and know we won't be paying for another callout based on a drop in pressure.

                              Comment

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