coming to the end of lease, when can I carry out repairs?

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  • coming to the end of lease, when can I carry out repairs?

    Hello,
    New to the forum, I've searched but can't find anything related to this question.

    I have tenants who have handed their notice in. There are a few things that I've asked them to do during their tenancy, which they haven't, such as replace all the plants they removed from the garden and clean the mould they keep letting build up on the bathroom and bedroom ceiling, which may now need redecorating as it's quite bad.

    I was wondering when I can start these jobs myself as I would like the house to be ready for rental as soon as they leave. Both of the above items are covered in the lease. I will give them one more reminder and time to rectify the situation themselves, something they've not done up to now, but if nothing happens can I just start the work myself before they move out?

    If I'm to do these repairs myself I would be looking to recover the cost from their deposit, so with that in mind do I have to wait until after the final checkout/inventory so that the damage can be recorded properly?

    thanks.

  • #2
    I know exactly how you feel, but if I were you, I would wait until the place is vacant. You never know how much hidden damage there is.

    To cheer you up, last year we established that you can ask for lost rent while repairing tenants' dilapidations. Maybe you can mention that in your letter to them?

    Read through to page 6: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...e-from-deposit

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    • #3
      Thanks JK0, that's an interesting thread.

      Another question arising from this is that of showing prospective tenants round. Is it the norm to wait until the current tenants have left and the repairs done? As I would want them to see it in it's current condition.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by blueperil View Post
        Thanks JK0, that's an interesting thread.

        Another question arising from this is that of showing prospective tenants round. Is it the norm to wait until the current tenants have left and the repairs done? As I would want them to see it in it's current condition.
        Did you mis-type that? Surely you wouldn't want the viewers to see the place in a poor state?

        It is the norm for letting agents to show viewers while the old people are there because they are keen to keep your account. (If they have someone to take over, you aren't going to employ another agent, are you?)

        If you are letting furnished you may not wish to pay council tax during the void period, and if you are paying a mortgage you may not be able to afford to pay that during voids.

        Neither of those apply to me, so I don't let the new people view until the place is looking nice again.

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        • #5
          You cannot force the tenants to allow you access to carry out repairs or show viewers around whilst they are still there. Besides, as above, you want to present the place in A1 condition, not show them dirty dishes in the sink and unmade beds - no way you can force tenants to tidy up either as its their home whilst they live there.

          There is no harm in advertising and telling prospective tenants it will be available to view from xx date (when tenants have gone and you've done a quick refresh), so probably best to wait, than waste your time showing people around who may decide against it if they don't like what they see!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JK0 View Post
            Did you mis-type that? Surely you wouldn't want the viewers to see the place in a poor state?
            yes, sorry, that is what I meant, I don't want prospective renters seeing it as it is.

            Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
            You cannot force the tenants to allow you access to carry out repairs or show viewers around whilst they are still there.
            I wasn't going to force them but do believe I can arrange access to the property to carry out repairs, especially if they have been asked to correct them and they haven't and also believe I can arrange viewings whilst they are still there.

            Having said that I think you are right and it is all best left until after they have gone.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by blueperil View Post
              I wasn't going to force them but do believe I can arrange access to the property to carry out repairs
              Yes, there is an implied right to access to carry out repairs (though I doubt this would include replanting the garden), however, if the T refuses access you would need a court order to enforce your right of access.
              and also believe I can arrange viewings whilst they are still there.
              Only if the contract reserves a right to conduct viewings. Again, if T refuses, you'd need a court order.

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              • #8
                In addition to the "repair access" mentioned by Westminster, I would suggest that the repairs you are intending to make are of no benefit to the tenant in residence, so the clause may not be enforceable. You wish to repaint the mouldy ceilings for your own benefit in reletting, so they do not have to agree. You also need to allow them to end the tenancy and actually move out before you can claim any recompense for the repainting work. Up until the last day of their tenancy, they are responsible for the property and still have a chance to do the work themselves. If you go in any do it before thry leave, you are effectively negating your right to charge the cost against their deposit (I am assuming deposit is protected?).

                Similarly, even if the tenancy agreement states that you are allowed access for viewing, this must still be with the tenant's agreement and consent. If they choose to refuse, you would need a court order to achieve access.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                  Up until the last day of their tenancy, they are responsible for the property and still have a chance to do the work themselves. If you go in any do it before thry leave, you are effectively negating your right to charge the cost against their deposit (I am assuming deposit is protected?)
                  Thanks for the reply LesleyAnne. Yes, the deposit is protected. Even though I have quite a good relationship with the tenants and don't expect they would stop me carrying out any repairs it is this scenario that I've been thinking about and which led me to the conclusion above, that it's all probably best to wait until they have left.

                  I'm meeting them tomorrow and plan on taking some photo's to remind them how it was originally, what would happen if they attempt the repairs, costing themselves money, yet the repairs aren't up to the original condition? Or do I need to sit down with them and detail exactly what's required, in other words, how much say do I have in the repairs they carry out? for example what if they were to use gloss paint to repair a matt painted wall?

                  thanks.

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                  • #10
                    Mind the Gap, (another poster on here) says she never allows tenants to re-paint as they inevitably c*ck it up. I think that's good advice!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blueperil View Post
                      I'm meeting them tomorrow and plan on taking some photo's to remind them how it was originally, what would happen if they attempt the repairs, costing themselves money, yet the repairs aren't up to the original condition? Or do I need to sit down with them and detail exactly what's required, in other words, how much say do I have in the repairs they carry out? for example what if they were to use gloss paint to repair a matt painted wall?
                      If they did that, then it would comprise damage, as you'd have to repaint the wall to put it right.

                      You can't stop them doing stupid things like this, but you can remind them that they are liable for any damage caused by them, and bodged repairs count as damage.

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