Renumeration for work done

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  • Renumeration for work done

    Hi looking for a bit of advice. Here's the story so far...

    Tenant has been in house for almost 3 years, on 6 or 12 month fixed term tenancies and since May on a periodic tenancy. Following my telling her I was getting the house valued, she gave 1 months notice to quit. However, she gave this on 8th September and not in line with rent payment dates as I was under the impresssion she had to do. The rent is paid on 1st of each month.

    During the time in the house she has looked after it and made changes sometimes with consent others without my knowledge. Now she is demanding that we pay for these changes- a cheap kitchen that she claims cost £1000; laminate wooden flooring claims cost £800; cheap basic doors, removed original 1930s without knowledge; carpet in 2 bedroom without knowledge.

    She is a month in arrears £625. A deposit is held by the agent of £800.

    Suppose what I want to know is
    Does she have to pay rent up to end of October? Can I legally demand that payment?
    Should she be given her deposit back in view of rent arrears/improvements made.

    All advice suggestions gratefully received.
    Many thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by walter01 View Post
    Tenant has been in house for almost 3 years, on 6 or 12 month fixed term tenancies and since May on a periodic tenancy. Following my telling her I was getting the house valued, she gave 1 months notice to quit. However, she gave this on 8th September and not in line with rent payment dates as I was under the impresssion she had to do. The rent is paid on 1st of each month.
    In a periodic tenancy, T must give at least one month's notice and it must also expire at the end of a tenancy period. The tenancy periods begin the day after the fixed term expires, and their length is based on the frequency with which rent is payable, not the rent due date. e.g. If the fixed term ran 15th Jan 2010 to 14th Jan 2011, with rent payable monthly on the 1st of the month, the tenancy periods would run 15th - 14th as from 15th Jan 2011, and T's notice would have to expire on the 14th [mm/yy].

    During the time in the house she has looked after it and made changes sometimes with consent others without my knowledge. Now she is demanding that we pay for these changes- a cheap kitchen that she claims cost £1000; laminate wooden flooring claims cost £800; cheap basic doors, removed original 1930s without knowledge; carpet in 2 bedroom without knowledge.
    Unless you agreed to reimburse for the approved changes, then you have no liability to reimburse. Any alterations made without your knowledge or consent may comprise damage, for which you would be entitled to seek the cost of repair or reinstatement (but you'd need proof of what was there originally, ideally in the form of a check-in inventory/condition report).

    She is a month in arrears £625. A deposit is held by the agent of £800.

    Suppose what I want to know is
    Does she have to pay rent up to end of October? Can I legally demand that payment?
    Should she be given her deposit back in view of rent arrears/improvements made.
    I would certainly not agree to return the deposit till the tenancy has ended and you have assessed your full losses.

    Please tell us:
    Is this an AST in England/Wales?
    What date did the last fixed term commence? (dd/mm/yy)
    What was the length of term and did the contract specify an 'end' date?
    Is rent payable monthly?
    What date did the T serve notice, and did she do so in writing?
    What date does her notice expire?
    Is the deposit protected by a scheme?
    Did you have an inventory/condition report conducted at check-in back in 2008?
    Is the T working?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi thanks for your responses.

      The tenancy is in England and AST. The last fixed term was for 12 months and commenced 01.05.10. It stated that the tenancy expired on 30.04.11. I advised her that she was then going to be on a statutory periodic tenancy from 01.05.11. The rent is paid monthly on the first of each month.
      She gave notice on 8th September, firstly by text then in writing. She states her notice expires on 8th October. However I dispute this.
      Her deposit is held by an agent in a scheme.
      An inventory was made in 2008.
      She is self employed, with a partner who works but he's not on the tenancy agreement.

      Comment


      • #4
        You have two choices:

        1. You accept the notice as valid in which case you are not entitled to rent beyond the date the notice expires.

        2. You tell the tenant the notice is invalid, in which case the tenancy continues and you are entitled to rent.

        What you cannot do is to accept the notice and demand rent up to the date the notice would have expired if correct.

        I agree that the tenant has no claim for her improvements unless you agreed to compensate her for them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by walter01 View Post
          The last fixed term was for 12 months and commenced 01.05.10. It stated that the tenancy expired on 30.04.11. I advised her that she was then going to be on a statutory periodic tenancy from 01.05.11. The rent is paid monthly on the first of each month.
          She gave notice on 8th September, firstly by text then in writing. She states her notice expires on 8th October. However I dispute this.
          You are entitled to dispute it; T's notice should have expired on 31st October 2011 (because in this case the tenancy periods run 1st - last day of the month) and yes, you're entitled to rent up to 31st October. Take note of lawcruncher's comment above, however; you must inform T that you do not accept her notice expiring on 8th October (preferably in writing) and that the earliest it can expire is 31st October.

          Her deposit is held by an agent in a scheme.
          An inventory was made in 2008.
          She is self employed, with a partner who works but he's not on the tenancy agreement.
          From what you describe of the unauthorized alterations, your losses (i.e. unpaid rent plus cost of repairs/reinstatement of alterations) will exceed the deposit amount. This being the case, and assuming T disputes your claims (seems likely when she's expecting you to pay her!) I recommend you bypass deposit scheme ADR (it's not compulsory) and claim in the county court for your full losses; that is, once you've assessed the exact amount and given T a break-down of your losses in a letter before action. The agent will have to lodge the deposit with the scheme pending the court's judgment.

          The claim will be allocated to the small claims track (assuming it's less than £5,000) where court fees are low and you don't need a solicitor. You may, however, find it helpful to buy or borrow a book on the small claims procedure.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            From what you describe of the unauthorized alterations, your losses (i.e. unpaid rent plus cost of repairs/reinstatement of alterations) will exceed the deposit amount. This being the case, and assuming T disputes your claims (seems likely when she's expecting you to pay her!) I recommend you bypass deposit scheme ADR (it's not compulsory) and claim in the county court for your full losses; that is, once you've assessed the exact amount and given T a break-down of your losses in a letter before action. The agent will have to lodge the deposit with the scheme pending the court's judgment.
            If the changes do not affect the lettability or market price of the property I do not think you can require the tenant to pay to restore it to an as let condition because there is no loss in the diminution of the value of the reversion.
            [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
              If the changes do not affect the lettability or market price of the property I do not think you can require the tenant to pay to restore it to an as let condition because there is no loss in the diminution of the value of the reversion.
              That will be for the court to decide, but if original period doors are replaced with cheap modern ones then it's likely to have an adverse effect on the appeal/value of the property.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                That will be for the court to decide, but if original period doors are replaced with cheap modern ones then it's likely to have an adverse effect on the appeal/value of the property.
                completely agree as this would be a proveable diminution!
                [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Renumeration for work done

                  Hi
                  a question for experienced landlords. What is considered a fair % of costs to pay a vacating tenant for work they have made to property? She has been in the house for 3 years.

                  My tenant is leaving has done some work which she claims cost £1800. No receipts to show this is true. She is in arrears of 625 and I suspect she won't pay her final rent next month.

                  I want to be fair to her but not get ripped off also!
                  Many thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No receipts?? for £1800 squids worth of work??

                    Can she substantiate, b/c I always require a receipt, even if its £1.50 for a lightbulb!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did you agree to the work being done, in advance, and that you would pay?? If not nope, and you'd be entitled to get her to pay for things to be put-back as they were..


                      (eg T "improves" kitchen cabinets by installing nice flash IKEA stuff, but without LL's agreement or approval. Cabinets no long match rest of kitchen, although IKEA stuff looks nice. I think LL can charge T for ripping out IKEA & re-installing (if still available..) original B&Q s**te..)
                      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


                      • #12
                        Yes I can see where she spent the money, kitchen and laminate flooring for hall and liv room. However I dont think it was as much as she saying. Also it has been her choice to replace as the kitchen and flooring were fine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If the work can be substantiated as having cost £1800, and you agreed to the works in terms of scope and quality, then you should probably be looking to pay between a third and two thirds depending on when they did the work and how long you thing their work will last you.

                          I would expect to see receipts for the major items - if the work was done by a contractor and the invoce misplaced, the contractor may be prepared to supply a copy or covering letter.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I didn't agree to pay anything as it was for her own comfort/choice. What she removed was fine. However I do want to be fair to her and also avoid finding a house that has been stripped. :0(

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by walter01 View Post
                              I do want to be fair to her and also avoid finding a house that has been stripped.
                              If she wants to remove her flooring (out of spite because you declined to pay), she'd need to reinstate the old stuff or equivalent thereof, or she'd be liable for the cost of making good.

                              All of which just goes to show - letting tenants do their own work on the property or fund it is never a good idea...

                              Comment

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