Are tenants getting more & more finicky?

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  • Are tenants getting more & more finicky?

    I remember a time when I would place ads for accommodation and after speaking with someone who was interested and putting the phone down, the phone would ring instantly from another enquirer and so on for about 20 calls.

    It is a much different world now but I have noticed in the past 1-2 years or so that tenants are getting increasingly picky about what they want and what they won't accept. The list below is some of the things people ask me nowadays. All the property I have is in London.

    I am letting rooms in shared houses by the way, so some of this may not be relevant to whole properties.

    How far to the station? People often want less than a 10 minute walk.
    Is shopping within easy walking distance?
    Dishwasher - almost mandatory
    Garden and well maintained (not by the tenants)
    Nice decoration and furniture
    Broadband - 95% mandatory
    Lots of storage space in room
    A desk in the room
    Garage or Off-street Parking
    Bills and council tax inclusive in rent
    SKY TV or cable TV in their room
    En-suite or own bathroom - about 50% of people ask for this
    Spotless kitchens and bathrooms (not something I can fully control)
    Only to live with 1 or 2 other tenants.
    Other tenants must be within their age range preferences
    Other tenants must be into their kind of interests
    Other tenants must be their gender preferences or their preferred mix
    To be able to have people staying over (not just for 1 night) when they want.

    While I am OK with some of these things, I am not about others and some I find hard to accept. Maybe you can add to this list?

    I remember a time when nobody asked for these things and were just happy to find a good size, safe, clean and warm place to call home and that wasn't falling down and wasn't run by a Rigsby-esque landlord. Are tenants being too demanding now or have I lost touch with today's market?

    I would be interested in hearing about other LL views/experiences and what they think of the items in the above list (this isn't everything I have been asked for in recent times).

  • #2
    Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
    I remember a time when nobody asked for these things and were just happy to find a good size, safe, clean and warm place to call home and that wasn't falling down and wasn't run by a Rigsby-esque landlord. Are tenants being too demanding now or have I lost touch with today's market?
    I think you have answered your own question.

    Why should tenants pay you good money to put up with a home which is less pleasant than your own, when they can obviously get these things (on your list) elsewhere?

    Market forces, innit.

    (The only one which I would hold out against is 'bills included in rent' unless these are fixed, e.g. telephone/broadband rental. Unless they have to pay for their own energy usage, they will waste it. For Britain).
    '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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    • #3
      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
      I think you have answered your own question.

      Why should tenants pay you good money to put up with a home which is less pleasant than your own, when they can obviously get these things elsewhere?

      Market forces, innit.

      The only one which I would hold out against is 'bills included in rent' unless these are fixed (e.g. telephone/broadband rental). Unless they have to pay for their own energy usage, they will waste it. For Britain.
      I won't dignify your reply with a response.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
        I won't dignify your reply with a response.
        You just did.

        The truth may be unpalatable, but if all you want is for people to agree with your lament about the good old days of being able to palm tenants off with something which is only 'safe, clean and a decent size', why did you post your question?

        You asked for views and you got one!
        '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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        • #5
          Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
          Are tenants being too demanding now or have I lost touch with today's market?
          Hi,

          In my day job we provide a large number (several hundred) of shared flats and yes, the standards expected are much higher than 10 or 20 years ago. Most of our units have dishwashers, TVs, DVD players, intercom access, etc.

          But what interests me most about your comment is the reference to people being "too demanding". You probably didn't mean it this way, but it comes across as though you think that your customers should be grateful for what you give them. This view does seem a bit out of touch to me. Ours is a consumerist market. We provide, they buy. If we don't provide what they want, they won't buy.

          Last time I bought a car, I decided what I wanted, worked out what I was prepared to pay and asked a number of suppliers what they could deliver. Those that told me I was being too demanding (and some did) not surprisingly, didn't get my business.

          Preston

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
            You just did.

            The truth may be unpalatable, but if all you want is for people to agree with your lament about the good old days of being able to palm tenants off with something which is only 'safe, clean and a decent size', why did you post your question?

            You asked for views and you got one!
            I agree. Asking one's customers to lower their aspirations is never very inspiring.

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            • #7
              Some posters just want you to agree with them, and MTG has frightened the poor chap! Never mind - he probably won't ask another Q.
              The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                Some posters just want you to agree with them, and MTG has frightened the poor chap! Never mind - he probably won't ask another Q.
                If that is the case, he frightens easily for a hairy landlord
                '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
                  As a tenant, that looks like a perfectly reasonable wish list. Actually, I might write that down.

                  In all seriousness, I wouldn't necessarily demand all of those for a flat or house, but even inclusive bills isn't such an unreasonable demand for a shared property.

                  In my opinion, MTG is spot on. It sounds very much like you've lost touch, or you're charging too much.

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                  • #10
                    Tenants are real people too, they expect a good standard of living for the rent they are expected to pay and if this means some goods as standard, so be it.
                    The house we are in now did not have plumbing for a dishwasher, Ive had a dishwasher for years, why do i have to lower my standards when the LL didnt think to supply. We liked the house so paid for and installed it ourselves, however that little extra will go toward encouraging the next tenant.

                    We are leaving so much of our stuff in the house when we leave it just makes me wonder why LL don't in the first place, doesn't mean it has to be called furnished - just better!!

                    Some of the little extras are very important to a prospective tenant who wants to make the house their home.

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                    • #11
                      OP's grumbles about tenants' prefernces, in post #1, might be simply because many who now rent as tenants would not previously have wanted to: in those long-gone days when everyone who wanted to own-occupy could afford to do so. Now, they can't; hence their preference for a similar quality of property to rent.
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                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
                        Broadband - 95% mandatory
                        Question to anyone
                        How does one "provide" broadband to a house share?
                        Do you have to pay the phone bill as well?
                        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                        You can search the forums here:

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bel View Post
                          Question to anyone
                          How does one "provide" broadband to a house share?
                          Do you have to pay the phone bill as well?
                          Just a phone line and they can make their own arrangements, as normal.
                          ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                            Just a phone line and they can make their own arrangements, as normal.
                            Yes, but if they are on separate tenancies, isn't that just too much to expect them to share the phonebill and allocate who used what on calls?

                            Does the LL provide a wireless router thingy, or bt cable to all rooms?
                            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                            * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                            You can search the forums here:

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bel View Post
                              Question to anyone
                              How does one "provide" broadband to a house share?
                              Do you have to pay the phone bill as well?
                              With Sky and all ISP's, a BT line is required.
                              But the phone line cost forms part of the internet service that is offered.

                              However, there's no phone line required with cable internet if you just have the internet service.
                              The cable company provides a modem and a wireless router to a fixed point in the property and this allow any registered computer to access the connection wirelessly from anywhere in a property.

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