Access to tenant's room for repairs

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    Access to tenant's room for repairs

    Hi all,

    Great forum by the way, such a valuable resource and one I wish I had found a lot sooner!

    Anyway, just wondering if someone could help with a dilemma I have? I rent out a property on an HMO basis. One of the tenant's tenancy ends at the end of June and I've been having a lot of trouble finding a new tenant.

    The feedback I've been getting from prospective new tenants who have viewed the room is that the walls look grubby and it needs painted - it is a basement room and I think the lack of natural light maybe makes this look worse than it really is - in addition to other minor things such as some of the bedroom furniture needs to be replaced. So, I'd really like to paint the room asap in the hope that I avoid a period where I have no tenant for the room.

    However, I sent left a message and sent an email to my tenant last week to arrange a convenient time and she's got back to me yesterday to say that although she doesn't mind the furniture being replaced, she isn't prepared to let any workmen, it would be my husband, to have access to paint the room.

    The reasons she's given for this are that she hates the smell of paint and feels it would be unsafe to sleep in a freshly painted room, she thinks it would be a hassle to her to have to remove her things from the room while it gets painted (I've told her we'd use dust mats etc) and she feels that as she's moving out soon the repairs aren't going to be of any benefit to her.

    I do understand where she is coming from, however, the TA states that she is to allow access for repairs at all reasonable times. She's counteracted this by saying that four weeks before the tenancy is due to end isn't reasonable, that the repairs are cosmetic and not essential - although I've pointed out that the TA doesn't differentiate - and she is adamant she isn't going to give access.

    Where do I go from here? I've tried to reason with her and am more than willing to agree to a day at the drop of a hat that is completely convenient to her, but she isn't having it. Not carrying out the repairs could be the difference between me losing a month's rent or finding a tenant sooner.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    #2
    IMHO a paint job that is meant to improve the 'rentability' of the room, is not a repair. And I would think there i nothing you can do to enforce such a clause right now anyway. You cant just get in the room if she doesnt allow it.

    I would agree with the tenant that it is a hassle I wouldnt want, a few weeks before moving out and sleeping in a freshly painted room is not ideal. Cant you throw in something (like a discount) to convince her? On the other hand, if you paint it the next day after she is gone, there is no reason why you will not be able to find a new tenant in a few day's time. Where is the whole month coming from?
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

    Comment


      #3
      You are not making repairs, you are decorating for cosmetic reasons.

      If she won't let you in, there's little you can do about it.
      No one likes voids, but they should be factored in to your accounts.

      Why would you lose a months rent?
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment


        #4
        No, you're right, I may find a new tenant in a few day's time after painting the room when she moves out.

        It's just in my experience it's been much easier to find a tenant who is looking to move in on the 1st July or the 1st September, there has tended to be a bit of a lull in between - I should say I usually rent to post-grad students and young professionals.

        Discount is an option I could maybe consider. Also, I should have been a little clearer, the TA states that the tenant has agreed to allow access at all reasonable times to carry out not just repairs but alterations. Would this make a difference?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Liz_70 View Post
          , the TA states that the tenant has agreed to allow access at all reasonable times to carry out not just repairs but alterations. Would this make a difference?
          Yes, it will make it much easier for you to get a court order to make the tenant give you access. However, getting a court order before 1st July is - optimistic.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the help.

            I think if an offer of a small reduction in the last month's rent doesn't help, I will just have to wait until she's moved out.

            I am a little more pleased that the fact the TA states that access for alterations must be provided indicates that I at least appear to be 'in the right'. The tenant may not know that achieving a court order before she moves out is unrealistic and so I might use this as a bargaining tool - would the costs of a court order be passed on to the tenant/what are the costs?

            Comment


              #7
              The cost would be £175 and it is possible (maybe even probable) that those costs would be awarded against the tenant - making them pay you back may be a different issue!

              Comment


                #8
                Would I have to actively pursue for payment or would the court not enforce the tenant to make a payment e.g. through a CCJ, attachment of earnings etc?

                Helpful to know for the future but given the circumstances and hassle involved I have no intention of trying to obtain a court order against this tenant.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don't feel you're in the right and that it is unreasonable to expect a paying T the inconvenience of moving their belongings and putting up with the smell. It is also a worry for the T if they knock the brand new paintwork whilst moving out, you risk complicating any deposit deductions.

                  My bed isn't easily moved and is very expensive. I would go absolutely nuclear if a speck of paint got onto it and would initiate a court claim for £3K in 8 days flat (after a letter before action of course). What happens if T claims that you damaged their property ?

                  It will be easier to paint once the room is empty anyway. Should only take a day.
                  I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                  I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Liz_70 View Post
                    Would I have to actively pursue for payment or would the court not enforce the tenant to make a payment e.g. through a CCJ, attachment of earnings etc?

                    Helpful to know for the future but given the circumstances and hassle involved I have no intention of trying to obtain a court order against this tenant.
                    The court makes the order. If he tenant pays within 14 days, they don't get a CCJ. If they don't, you have to enforce it (at cost). This article covers your options: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010...force-judgment

                    Obtaining such an order is perfectly possible - however, I have never come across a landlord who has considered it worthwhile.

                    IMHO a 2 week void or so between tenants is preferable and should be included in any financial planning.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Liz_70 View Post
                      Thanks for the help.

                      I think if an offer of a small reduction in the last month's rent doesn't help, I will just have to wait until she's moved out.

                      I am a little more pleased that the fact the TA states that access for alterations must be provided indicates that I at least appear to be 'in the right'. The tenant may not know that achieving a court order before she moves out is unrealistic and so I might use this as a bargaining tool - would the costs of a court order be passed on to the tenant/what are the costs?
                      Little if any chance of getting a court order for a tenant refusing LL access(No known cases),only chance of getting a court order is down the s21 route and so on...

                      Just wait to the tenant leaves and do the painting then,less stress for you...

                      Good luck....
                      Thunderbirds are go

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by 45002 View Post
                        Little if any chance of getting a court order for a tenant refusing LL access(No known cases)
                        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                        Obtaining such an order is perfectly possible - however, I have never come across a landlord who has considered it worthwhile.
                        I was specifically thinking of 45002's outlook on this issue when I wrote the above

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                          I was specifically thinking of 45002's outlook on this issue when I wrote the above

                          Blimey,im shocked,must be the weather......................lol
                          Thunderbirds are go

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