Would you let to smoker who offered to pay extra for redecoration at tenancy end?

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    Would you let to smoker who offered to pay extra for redecoration at tenancy end?

    This concerns my aged father. His health is poor following a stroke, and he wants to spend his declining years living in the countryside, near to some friends and family. For various reasons, it makes sense for him to rent, not buy.

    The trouble is, he is a heavy smoker. Pretty cottages with gardens in the location he wants are fairly thin on the ground and he’s worried about telling the truth and being refused the tenancy – many properties specifically prohibit smokers. He is happy to pay for the house to be redecorated at the end of the tenancy, and to pay a non-refundable sum up front for this purpose (provided AST is at least 12 months). He has ample income to pay the rent. He will also have a daily cleaner. He is looking to rent an unfurnished property, BTW.

    If you were the landlord, would you consider such a prospective tenant, or would you just say no to a smoker regardless? Is there anything else he could offer which might help persuade a reluctant landlord?

    As I said, he's tempted just to keep quiet about the smoking, but I told him this would probably have negative consequences if it was discovered he'd lied about it, and he might be served notice. He doesn't really understand why paying the rent on time wouldn't be enough to keep the LL happy.

    #2
    It would not be just a question of redecoration though, would it? To eradicate the smell of tobacco smoke would need new carpets, curtains at least. Does smoke penetrate exposed timbers?

    I would not take a smoker, light or heavy. But that's just my choice.

    Good luck in the search though.

    pm
    Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

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      #3
      Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
      It would not be just a question of redecoration though, would it? To eradicate the smell of tobacco smoke would need new carpets, curtains at least.
      Surely professional steam cleaning of carpets would remove any smell? He can provide his own window coverings.

      I would not take a smoker, light or heavy. But that's just my choice.
      Okay, thanks for the feedback.

      Comment


        #4
        I would be more than happy to take a smoker on, just need to agree a price which is suitable for both of us!

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          #5
          I had former tenants who were heavy smokers - they managed to coat everything with a liberal layer of tar in the space of just 6 months!

          However, professional cleaners and a couple of coats of paint resolved the problem.

          Mind you, my cleaners are also used to clean 'crime scenes' by the Police, so maybe they have 'special' skills and chemicals.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            If you were the landlord, would you consider such a prospective tenant, or would you just say no to a smoker regardless? Is there anything else he could offer which might help persuade a reluctant landlord?
            I think it would probably be a 'no' from me I'm afraid: the only thing I can think of which might provide leverage would be the unequivocal offer of money upfront to cover the cleaning/redecorating costs as you've suggested, over and above the normal damage deposit. Important to make it clear in writing that you'd definitely expect to be paying this money, by way of compensation for the smoking, rather than having some or other wording which a LL might interpret as providing wriggle-room to back out of later - eg if there was a difference of opinion at the end of the tenancy as to whether such-and-such redecoration was actually necessary.

            Hope you find somewhere.

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              #7
              I don't normally accept smokers, for the usual reasons (health/wellbeing of the other HMO tenants, increased insurance premium, extra cleaning required of furnishings, void period while property is de-smellifed). However, in an unfurnished property and with money up front to cover cost of re-decoration and void period (until smell goes), I'm sure there will be someone willing to take him on. How heavy is 'heavy'?

              We renovated a house once which was previously inhabited by two chain-smokers and I seem to recall it took about three-four weeks of airing, plus cleaning and re-decorating before you couldn't tell.

              Good luck in your search.
              '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
                If you could find a landlord who smokes (like someone I know) they would probably not even know that your father smokes, in fact they would probably provide ashtrays.
                And you say that your father will have a daily cleaner. A lady I know who does cleaning/caring will not clean a house where the owner smokes.
                However I would approach a landlord and ask the question, "My Father likes the occasional cigar will you need any additional rent to cover this"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Telling a LL he doesn't smoke or only a little, when in fact they don't, it doesn't start the relationship of to a good start.

                  As for cleaning at the end of the Tennancy, to whos standard and how would you feel if the LL, insists on it being cleaned 3/4 times at £100-300 a shot. And i be sure you(Or somebody else) be back on here, saying bad LL charging old man £1000 cleaning because he smoked, is this legal?

                  As somebody else mentioned about a greater fire risk. As old people who smoke are more likely to fall asleep with a lit fag. Ok, fire alarms works and he gets out, but P is gutted and LL has to find a new place for him to live and the hassle of insurance claims and rebuilt.

                  As per a daily cleaner, ok that what agreed up front but the LL, would have great differculty enforcing it. And I guess a court would evict(S8) somebody on this ground.

                  Above is the reasons why a lot of LL don't rent to smokers, if they don't have to.
                  Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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                    #10
                    @MTG, Heavy smoker as in 40 a day.
                    @mjbfire, the LL wouldn't have to 'enforce' the daily cleaner. My father can't really manage without one.

                    He's looking at a rental level of about £700-800 per month for a 2-bed cottage. I was thinking of an offer to pay something in the region of £700, but from the sound of it he'd need to offer more to cover a month void at the end of the tenancy. £1,200 sound acceptable? Totally non-refundable, and separate to the deposit.

                    Another thought; if the property details don't actually specify no smoking, should my father raise the subject or not?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      if you go down the road of asking about any other non-specified behaviour not mentioned in the letting agreement, where do you stop?

                      it is unlikely that a LL would have overlooked a no smoking clause in an agreement if it was a problem for them and their property, but down to them ultimately.

                      pm
                      Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If the LL neithers says in there advert or as part of the viewing, smokers are not allowed, then it's the LL look out. Whether you the T or LL you should be honest, but it doesn't mean you have to tell your whole live story.
                        I always ask whether the T, is a non smoking or not, going to run a business from the P, more information is better than none, and all other factors being equal, the non smoker will get the P unless the previous T was a heavy smoker, as you could get compalints from the the new T whos a non smoker, and still can smell the smoke.

                        As per the £1,200, what happens if it only costs £800 to clean the P, does he get £400 back. As a LL I be very carefull as defining any money in lue of anythings as not a deposit, and therefore does not need protecting.
                        As a T, no problem as if you prepared to right off £1200 for cleaning, all well and good. But as you know "Westminister" not everybody in the world is as honest and keep to our word as we are.
                        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Always Problems View Post
                          However I would approach a landlord and ask the question, "My Father likes the occasional cigar will you need any additional rent to cover this"
                          Bu that would be a lie. Honesty is surely the best policy, otherwise when the LL finds out about T's 60 a day cigarette habit (as he will do, at some point), he will wonder what else T has lied to him about. Not the best basis for a relationship?
                          '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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by westminster View Post
                            He's looking at a rental level of about £700-800 per month for a 2-bed cottage. I was thinking of an offer to pay something in the region of £700, but from the sound of it he'd need to offer more to cover a month void at the end of the tenancy. £1,200 sound acceptable? Totally non-refundable, and separate to the deposit.
                            I could imagine that might work for me.

                            Another thought; if the property details don't actually specify no smoking, should my father raise the subject or not?
                            My initial reaction was to say 'not', in that surely any landlord who discriminates against smokers will always ask about it or make it clear in their T&Cs; therefore why raise it?

                            Then I thought, well OK, if the LL doesn't mind smokers then why should T avoid mentioning it? The only circumstance it might be an issue would surely be if the LL does object and has forgetten to raise it - in which case unpleasantness would ensue when realisation hits after your Dad's moved in, and would probably end up with an S21 at the earliest opportunity.

                            So I'd say in these circumstances, yes, best to be proactive. And then if the LL does say 'Oh sorry, no smoking actually', then you have the opportunity to dive in with your £1200 offer!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Perhaps a house would not involve as many smoker-related consequences as a flat would.
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
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