Decorations/decorating/improvements by T- good or bad?

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  • Decorations/decorating/improvements by T- good or bad?

    We have viewed a property which has torn wallpaper in a couple of rooms which looks unsightly and is not to our taste. The landlord's say that if we agree to the tenancy we are not allowed to remove the wallpaper or paint over it even. Are they right in saying this?

  • #2
    Yes LL can stipulate no decorating be done. Generally this is to prevent tenants painting ceilings black or navy blue with stars and walls red, green and purple with striped doors!! Putting this sort of stuff right after tenant goes is a nightmare.

    However, I can understand your frustration if the decor is shabby. Perhaps you could negotiate with your prospective LL on a compromise agreeable to both parties.

    When my tenants moved in nearly 3 years ago the house was newly decorated in neutral colours. Last year they asked if they could decorate their child's room - I gave permission for them to redecorate (in writing) PROVIDED only pastel colours were used and that the ceilings remain white. This they were happy to agree to. Any deviation from this agreement will mean they have to return the property to its original decorative state if they leave (or bang goes their deposit!!)

    It is their home and hopefully will be for some years to come. I can't see the point in being unreasonable about things like this. There should be a negotiable solution.l

    That said, a new tenant to a flat above one of my properties redecorated in primary colours - mainly a bright luminescent green!!!!! I would have shot him!!
    Mrs Jones
    I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
      That said, a new tenant to a flat above one of my properties redecorated in primary colours - mainly a bright luminescent green!!!!! I would have shot him!!
      Well, I hope you've got a clause in your AST agreement which permits that particular remedy?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by smiler56 View Post
        We have viewed a property which has torn wallpaper in a couple of rooms which looks unsightly and is not to our taste. The landlord's say that if we agree to the tenancy we are not allowed to remove the wallpaper or paint over it even. Are they right in saying this?
        If you want the flat you need to say that it is conditional upon you changining the decorating and ask for prior approval of a particular scheme. If you say that you will use a professional decorator they may approve. Otherwise, walk away.

        If you are already tenants and this clause of no decorating was included in the AST without them specially negotiating/discussing this with you prior to the tenancy, it might be deemed an 'unfair term' of the contract. See OFT guidelines for lettings.

        But this is not the case with you, as you have discussed it in advance.
        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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        • #5
          I agree with the landlord. I don't want my tenant redecorating my property. I don't know that they have the ability to undertake such work to my satisfaction and to my taste.

          Perhaps you ought to say to yourself "what else is wrong with this property?".

          If however you really like this property, try negotiating with the landlord to have the wallpaper repaired or replaced within a mutually agreed time as a condition of taking up the tenancy.

          Whatever you do, find out whether the landlord has an inventory detailing things such as "yellow wallpaper - torn" or whatever description.

          It's for you to decide whether this is a goer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Poppy View Post
            I agree with the landlord. I don't want my tenant redecorating my property. I don't know that they have the ability to undertake such work to my satisfaction and to my taste.
            Couldn't agree more - just agreed a let on a very nicely (if I say so myself) refurbished cottage. All newly-plastered and newly-decorated in tasteful neutral colours (vanilla walls, tan carpets, stone floors/tiles etc.). Done to a much nicer standard than anything else I've seen in the area.

            Tenant has asked if she can redecorate - with what, I ask myself? Has said she will return it to as it is now, but I bet she wouldn't be paying a professional to get it to the standard it's in now.

            In the States and Aus/NZ many tenancies preclude putting up pictures, let alone redecorating ...

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            • #7
              Who is responsible for maintain the internal decorating

              I am no stranger to letting property as I have been a landlord for over 10 years now but I have been using a letting agent for most of this time and I have started to realise after coming across this website that they are not as good at their job as I thought

              The problem I have is one of my tenants is behind with her rent she has been in the house for just over 3 years the LA has given her notice to move out however if the T gets her rent up to date before the notice date I have agreed she can stay because apart from the last few months she has been a very good tenant keeping the house in good condition

              But since the LA has been on her case about the rent she has wrote back to them saying “There has been no general maintenance in over 3 years house needs painting etc” This is rubbish as the house gets every thing it needs.

              Can someone please let me know who is responsible for general painting and if the landlord believes the decoration is of an acceptable condition, but the tenant would like the house to be decorated if the landlord is responsible for this? The house was completely re-decorated throughout before she moved in is there an amount of time in which you have to redecorate?

              The tenant also keeps saying she has no central heating but every time I have sent a plumber round the boiler has been working fine. The plumber has been around on 3 separate occasions. If I send a plumber round again and the boiler is working fine is it possible to claim the money back from the tenant?

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              • #8
                If the property was throughly redecorated when she moved in, then it should still be looking reasonable after 3 years unless she has abused it mightily, in which case, she cannot expect you to pick up the bill!

                As a general rule, most LLs redecorate throughout in between lettings, or every 3-5 years, depending on which is longer. With shorter lettings it is often necessary to freshen up the emulsion paint (on walls and perhaps ceilings), but not the gloss unless it is chipped or discoloured. This is something which should be picked up on by the agent when they carry out their inspections of the property.

                There is no statutory amount of time - much will depend on the nature and occupancy of the property, but some TAs contain clauses in which the LL undertakes to decorate every so often. I think ours says comlete redec every three years internally and every five externally, but we let to 6 students, so it can get a bit of a hammering. What does your TA say?

                Your lodger sounds a bit of a pain, to be honest. I would be tempted to tell her that you are unhappy about the amount she is costing you in plumber's time and that if she complains again without due cause, you will be sending her the bill. Check that if it is a combi boiler she knows how to ensure the pressure thingy is correctly set. (Very technical, I know!) This could be why she does not think it works.
                '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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                • #9
                  What does your tenancy agreement say about decoration? And did you undertake an inventory/schedule of condition which the tenant signed at the outset of the tenancy? Have you shown your tenant how to operate the boiler and left a manual for them?

                  Here's a link to a council website giving advice to tenants about what landlords are responsible for. See if your local council has a similar link.

                  If you wish to be brave enough to give your tenant permission to decorate, make sure you liaise to make sure you end up with acceptable colours/finishes and that they are aware that they will be responsible for the cost of having to put it right, if its shoddy.

                  http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/housing/p...vice_landlords

                  Tenant's Duties
                  ...Unless a tenancy agreement states otherwise a tenant is also generally liable for the internal decoration of the accommodation, (unless the decorations have been damaged as a result of the landlord's negligence or as a consequence of the landlord carrying out other associated repair works).

                  http://www.doverdc.co.uk/housing/pri...ibilities.aspx

                  Repairs
                  Minor repairs such as changing a light bulb, internal decoration and keeping the property clean are the responsibility of the tenant.


                  http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/repa...ts_obligations

                  non-structural repairs and maintenance, for example, internal decoration and carpets, are not always the landlord’s responsibility; it will depend on the details of the individual tenancy agreements

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                  • #10
                    I expect to decorate and do anything required to bring property up to standard between lettings.

                    However, my tenants seem to be long term (e.g. 4+yrs and 3+yrs) so I do permit them to decorate but stipulate white ceilings and paintwork and only pastel colours on walls - also must be done to a reasonable standard. This has worked for us so far.

                    Re the heating, it seems tenant may not fully understand how it works so maybe you should spend a little time explaining it to her and then point out that the plumber has now been round 3 times, and each time finds nothing wrong. Therefore, the cost of further unnecessary visits will be charged to her.
                    Mrs Jones
                    I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Neil H View Post
                      The tenant also keeps saying she has no central heating but every time I have sent a plumber round the boiler has been working fine. The plumber has been around on 3 separate occasions. If I send a plumber round again and the boiler is working fine is it possible to claim the money back from the tenant?
                      Is the problem possibly not with the boiler or pump? I had a real problem in one of my houses where a particular radiator - in the living room where it is most needed - simply would not heat up properly. Bleeding the radiator did not solve it. Eventually, I think the whole system had to be washed through and then refilled with the protective stuff etc. (it was small bore pipes).
                      Mrs Jones
                      I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is the tenant responsible for decorating?

                        I have a clause in my AST which reads "At the end of the Tenancy, to yield up the Property and Fittings properly repaired, decorated and kept in accordance with the obligations hereinbefore contained and in the same condition as referred to in the Inventory and Schedule of Condition Report and where deemed necessary by the Landlord or the Landlords Agent, to pay for the professional cleaning of the Property and Fittings at the end of the Tenancy (the reasonable use thereof nevertheless to be allowed for)."

                        Is it acceptable and enforceable to have the tenant decorate the entire property, prior to vacating?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MR M View Post

                          Is it acceptable and enforceable to have the tenant decorate the entire property, prior to vacating?
                          I would not have thought so, really, unless it was in a pristine decorative state at commencement of tenancy and they have done appalling things to it.

                          It's reasonable to expect wear and tear commensurate with length of tenancy, but for T to remove dirty marks, etc.,from decorated surfaces. I think you could charge them to redecorate wallpapered areas where the wall paper has been torn, scratched or scribbled on. Other than that, most LLs expect to redecorate every 3-5 years depending on the level and nature of the occupancy.

                          Other than that, it begins to sound like betterment, doesn't it? And in reality, unless you can force the T to employ a professional decorator (which I doubt), you really would not want them to do it themselves, in most cases.
                          '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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                          • #14
                            The tenancy clause you quote and wish to rely upon is subject to serious challenge on a number of fronts under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations and if you tried to enforce it, and the tenants took suitable legal advice, you would almost certainly find it challenged in Court and there is a good chance it would be deemed void and unenforceable.
                            The comments given here are provided free of charge and inevitably without sight or knowledge of the full facts and are thus given in good faith but without liability and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice.

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                            • #15
                              Quite apart from the UTCCR, a landlord needs to bear in mind the provisions of Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927:

                              Damages for a breach of a covenant or agreement to keep or put premises in repair during the currency of a lease, or to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, whether such covenant or agreement is expressed or implied, and whether general or specific, shall in no case exceed the amount (if any) by which the value of the reversion (whether immediate or not) in the premises is diminished owing to the breach of such covenant or agreement as aforesaid [...]

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