Redecoration by T- should L allow it?

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  • Redecoration by T- should L allow it?

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any experience of what to do when tenants redecorate without consent ? We rent a small flat out via letting agents, and we've just found out following an inspection that the main bedroom was completely repainted, without the agent or ourselves knowing about it, and obviously in breach of the AST. The tenants are on HB and we were thinking of issuing a section 21 soon anyway for other reasons (suspicious damage), in addition to continuously late rental payments. We don't want to let this redecoration go unchallenged.

    Is the correct process simply to remind the tenant of the need to obtain consent before redecoration, and that the flat should be returned upon exit precisely according to the inventory (minus normal wear and tear), otherwise redecoration costs will be deducted from the deposit ?

    Does the redecoration give us any extra grounds to have them evicted should push come to shove ?

    Does anyone have any thoughts about the best way to proceed ?

    Thanks in advance
    Mick

  • #2
    Originally posted by talby View Post
    Is the correct process simply to remind the tenant of the need to obtain consent before redecoration, and that the flat should be returned upon exit precisely according to the inventory (minus normal wear and tear), otherwise redecoration costs will be deducted from the deposit
    That would be about on the mark, yes.

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    • #3
      Also ground 12 (breach of non-rent obligation in Agreement).
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
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      • #4
        I once had to post to this site because I'd painted the whole of the studio I was in prior to leaving - with professional decorators doing the majority of the work - without consent - and only because, my computer desk had been placed against a wall and left a mark.

        I couldn't match the paint exactly even though it was magnolia originally (7 years old) - I tried paint matches - and each time it was worse than before - and in the end redecorated everything. It cost me almost £200 to do - never mind time and goodness knows what.

        The advice from the site then was that as long as I had decorated in the same fashion as originally found and that I had left it in a better state - that this would be overlooked by a normal landlord.

        I also sought advice from the local CAB - and they said the same - that as long as I had attempted to use the same paint as original - and not done anything else - it was okay.

        Also, I used to live in a flat that was painted ORANGE - and when I left the Landlord was furious that I hadn't painted the flat by the time I left. When I viewed the flat prior to moving in - I just casually asked if it would be possible to paint the flat a neutral colour rather than ORANGE.

        After 4 months rental - she put the property on the market - but never visited it herself - but when the valuers said that ORANGE walls degraded the value - she tried to withold my deposit on the grounds that I had "agreed" to decorate.

        I went to CAB and Shelter in the end - and she dropped the case. But took many months and letters from solicitors via CAB and Shelter to get my deposit back - loads of my time taken and worry about getting my deposit back.

        Think you may need to try and divorce your need to get the tenant out for other reasons than the decorating - providing they have done it in a way that is in keeping with the property.

        Obviously if they've painted ORANGE having been magnolia - you might have a stronger case!!!!

        Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Who pays for redecorating?

          Tenant has been in property for three years and plans to stay for a few more years.

          Property is a small house with one living room which is also provides the only internal access to the kitchen, so the living room is well used.


          Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate. Rent shortfall herein is controlled as tenant claims HB which is now (due to arrears) paid direct to landlord. So most arrears can be is small top-up per month.

          In my opinion, living room is scruffy partly as it is heavily used (wear and tear) and partly because it hasn't been well looked after (toddler bikes indoors etc).

          Is it reasonable for landlord to contribute to redecoration costs? How often would redecoration be reasonable?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by silvercar View Post
            Tenant has been in property for three years and plans to stay for a few more years.

            Property is a small house with one living room which is also provides the only internal access to the kitchen, so the living room is well used.


            Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate. Rent shortfall herein is controlled as tenant claims HB which is now (due to arrears) paid direct to landlord. So most arrears can be is small top-up per month.

            In my opinion, living room is scruffy partly as it is heavily used (wear and tear) and partly because it hasn't been well looked after (toddler bikes indoors etc).

            Is it reasonable for landlord to contribute to redecoration costs? How often would redecoration be reasonable?
            With a family living in close quarters, I would suggest perhaps every 3 years.
            '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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            • #7
              Check your agreement first.

              If it says nothing, its up to you regarding any contribution.

              Your agreement proabably says that T needs you permission to redecorate, but you are not obliged to decorate under your stautory obligations, unless it is a House in Multiple Occupation .

              If you make repairs to building you are required to make good any decorations that have been disturbed.

              Housing association tenants are responsible for decorating their own property.
              All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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              • #8
                Originally posted by silvercar View Post
                Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate. Rent shortfall herein is controlled as tenant claims HB which is now (due to arrears) paid direct to landlord. So most arrears can be is small top-up per month.
                So, just to clarify, the tenant has at least 8 weeks rent arrears, which she says is being saved to use for decoration?

                Originally posted by silvercar View Post
                Is it reasonable for landlord to contribute to redecoration costs? How often would redecoration be reasonable?
                No statutory obligations, but landlord could contribute as a goodwill gesture; this would depend on tenant. For example, if tenant has been proven to be unreliable with rent, how likely is she to maintain the property once its decorated to a good standard?
                The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by silvercar View Post
                  Tenant now wants to redecorate and has fallen behind with rent as she is saving up to redecorate.
                  Nice try by your T. won't be the first time this excuse has been used, and won't be the last either. Can T provide proof of the account in which the "savings" are kept? ......

                  I thought not!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by havensRus View Post
                    Nice try by your T. won't be the first time this excuse has been used, and won't be the last either. Can T provide proof of the account in which the "savings" are kept? ......

                    I thought not!
                    Exactly. And even if T is 'saving for cost of redecorating', it's tough, isn't it. Her first priority is the rent. If contract makes T liable for redecoration - assuming the clause is fair - it's not OK for her to withold rent to pay for it. If she cannot afford both rent and paint, she'll have to manage with cleaning or touching up the walls until she can afford to paint throughout.

                    If LL is responsible, then it's a different matter and she shouldn't need to be saving to redecorate anyway.

                    I'd be inclined to serve a s8 unless she has been a brilliant tenant otherwise.
                    '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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                    • #11
                      No statutory obligations, but landlord could contribute as a goodwill gesture; this would depend on tenant. For example, if tenant has been proven to be unreliable with rent, how likely is she to maintain the property once its decorated to a good standard?
                      Actually the tenant does keep the property well in terms of cleanliness, notifying problems, fixing minor bits. Maintaining a good decorative standard is the weakness, but then tenant lives there not me.

                      I'd be inclined to serve a s8 unless she has been a brilliant tenant otherwise.
                      Financially moving forward this tenant makes sense. Over 95% of the rent is now paid direct by the LA, so there seems little point in evicting, risking a void, a tenant who loses their job, gets into arrears etc....

                      If you make repairs to building you are required to make good any decorations that have been disturbed.
                      Thats does apply, partly, at leat to one wall, but tenant also wants to replace laminate floor.

                      Housing association tenants are responsible for decorating their own property.
                      A good point, thanks for that; though tenant will no doubt point out that HA tenants have greater security than AST.

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                      • #12
                        As tom999 says there's no statutory obligation to pay for redecoration. I personally wouldn't contribute (certainly not when T owes you money), and I wouldn't accept it as an excuse for rent arrears.

                        Also, I wouldn't allow any T to DIY redecoration (if that is what is being proposed). T should seek permission to redecorate, and LL should approve the contractor and specifications/materials/colours. It probably matters less in this case as from the sound of it, the degree of wear and tear will mean the whole place needs redecorating anyway when T eventually leaves.

                        Nevertheless, amateur redecoration can be equivalent to damaging your property, e.g. bodged preparation, ceilings painted purple gloss, painting over sockets, light switches or bathroom tiles, nasty wallpaper, paint marks on carpets, etc.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          accept it as an excuse for rent arrears.

                          Also, I wouldn't allow any T to DIY redecoration (if that is what is being proposed). T should seek permission to redecorate, and LL should approve the contractor and specifications/materials/colours. It probably matters less in this case as from the sound of it, the degree of wear and tear will mean the whole place needs redecorating anyway when T eventually leaves.

                          Nevertheless, amateur redecoration can be equivalent to damaging your property, e.g. bodged preparation, ceilings painted purple gloss, painting over sockets, light switches or bathroom tiles, nasty wallpaper, paint marks on carpets, etc.
                          Absolutely. I have rarely agreed with anyone on this forum more wholeheartedly than I do here! T's skewed polystyrene tiles, badly overpainted in turquoise gloss have a profoundly depressing effect upon the human spirit (not to mention the bank balance after decorating disaster is put right).
                          '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
                            In this case, tenant has good taste and previous redecorating was of a good standard.

                            The tenant is not going to be in a financial position or has any wish to leave for a good few years in any case.

                            I'm going to only agree to right off some rent arrears against the redecoration of the wall that needs doing as a result of work I had carried out.

                            Thanks all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by silvercar View Post
                              In this case, tenant has good taste and previous redecorating was of a good standard.

                              The tenant is not going to be in a financial position or has any wish to leave for a good few years in any case.

                              I'm going to only agree to right off some rent arrears against the redecoration of the wall that needs doing as a result of work I had carried out.

                              Thanks all.
                              Cooperation and compromise can lead to long and happy tenancy.

                              Its a balancing act sometimes
                              All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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