am I being too 'contractual' in my approach?

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    am I being too 'contractual' in my approach?

    i'm a lovely chap, no honestly i am however in my 9-5 i have to be very structured/formal in many of my communications and work processes i.e. i can rarely simply say 'yes' to something, i am required to say 'yes assuming criteria x,y,z are met ...' to ensure all parties are protected including myself!

    i have 1 x property that i rent out and in my relationship with the neighbours (it's a block of 4 flats) and the tenant i tend to be quite formal/contractual in my approach. couple of examples:


    1. when work requires to be carried out on the block i am happy to pay my 1/4 share however i always request to see a copy of the quote from the tradesman/company prior to handing over £x followed by a copy of the invoice receipt. this has caused issues in the past with one of the residents writing to me (via my agent) saying i 'evidently didn't trust them' to which i replied it was nothing to do with trust, simply a process i am more comfortable following as it's a business venture for me, tax purposes etc etc. and of course i'm not going to hand over £x to a virtual stranger every few months simply because he/she advises work needs done on the block. a few weeks back i was asked (via my agent, all comms go via them) for £25 which i offered without question assuming above process was followed. i didn't hear back so i'm assuming the residents have thought 'too much hassle' and paid my share themselves.

    2. my tenant asked if she could redecorate. i advised yes with a few stipualtions e.g. all costs to be met by her inclusive of any damage repair costs that occurred as part of the works e.g. plaster falling off wall that she (or designate tradesman) was scraping.


    don't get me wrong, when i see my agent/tenant face to face i don't speak/act like a solicitor, i chat away, have a laugh etc, however when down to the specifics i like to be more formal in my approach. am i wrong?

    #2
    Quite right I think. Might be a good plan to keep an eye on your tenant's decorating. I don't let mine any more. The one time I did, they just painted the walls where they didn't have furniture!
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      Seeing as how you are so structured and formal, perhaps you could locate the 'shift' key on your keyboard.
      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

      Comment


        #4
        Not sure what sort of advice you are after, but no, i dont think you are. I say when it comes to doing business, erring on the side of formality is never bad.
        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


          #5
          Being a landlord is a business proposition so being businesslike in your actions is not wrong. It certainly makes enforcement action easier when everything is well documented and proper consultations have been carried out.
          I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

          Comment


            #6
            If more of the landlords on this forum took a leaf out of your book they wouldn't be in the situations they are now!

            Contracts are contracts, business is business - keep it that way and you won't go far wrong. I can't think your co residents would spend money in a store without seeing what it is they were paying for, why should you.
            My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

            Comment


              #7
              thanks for replies, i'm sure i'll find the shift key one of these days

              yeah tbh i'm not overly keen on letting the tenant decorate however i have a sense (hopefully accurate!) that she'll do things to a good standard and the room she wants to do is in need of it so i'll see how she does with that and gauge from there.

              thanks for comments re: taking a business approach, confirms to me i'm approaching things in the correct manner.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cheeky_chappie View Post
                i always request to see a copy of the quote from the tradesman/company prior to handing over £x followed by a copy of the invoice receipt. this has caused issues in the past with one of the residents writing to me (via my agent) saying i 'evidently didn't trust them' to which i replied it was nothing to do with trust, simply a process i am more comfortable following as it's a business venture for me, tax purposes etc etc.
                I think the simple (and truthful) response, which would not antagonise other residents, would have been to say that as you are a landlord you (or your accountant) needs copies of receipts for preparation of your Tax Return. (My accountant gets blamed for a lot, I can tell you! )

                Comment


                  #9
                  A few of things struck me with the block maintenance:-

                  Why do they have to go via your LA? Surely writing to you, emailing or even phoning you direct would be simpler and quicker.

                  Do you take turns in arranging quotes, paying invoices and collecting money from the other 3 or do you pay for the time of the person who organises it?

                  What happens when the situation is urgent like a blocked drain or leaking roof.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cheeky_chappie View Post
                    don't get me wrong, when i see my agent/tenant face to face i don't speak/act like a solicitor, i chat away, have a laugh etc, however when down to the specifics i like to be more formal in my approach. am i wrong?
                    No, you're not wrong. The tenant is not your friend, he/she is someone with whom you have a contractual relationship overlaid with statutory obligations on both sides. Always keep it professional. Always put things in writing.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ditto to Westminster's post.

                      I don't think there is anything wrong in the way you are handling your tenancy. It is your business and you should put things in writing.

                      Even when I make telephone calls, I do a brief note on my computer outlining the conversation and record the date of the conversation, name of person spoken to etc. Sometimes, I will even do a letter along the lines of "this letter is to confirm the contents of our telephone conversation of such and such date etc". I don't always do this, but depending on the situation - I will follow this method of communication.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Evening,

                        I agree with the other posts and I am rather formal with my tenants and will often email / txt to confirm details of conversations more just of a case to ensure that both sides came away with the same outcome!

                        Business often needs to be formal to be effective so don't worry.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by daveg View Post
                          A few of things struck me with the block maintenance:-

                          Why do they have to go via your LA? Surely writing to you, emailing or even phoning you direct would be simpler and quicker.

                          Do you take turns in arranging quotes, paying invoices and collecting money from the other 3 or do you pay for the time of the person who organises it?

                          What happens when the situation is urgent like a blocked drain or leaking roof.
                          tbh i prefer as much as possible going via my letting agent to ensure they are aware of all comms, transactions etc. whilst i agree it can add to timescales i.e. as oppose to contacting me direct, it helps ensure any potential issues don't become a 'he said she said' situation, especially if things have been said via phone calls as oppose to emails i.e. no trail. and tbh i don't want the tenant/residents having a direct contact number/email for me, i'm paying my letting agent for a managed service so i like to get my monies worth!

                          there's one resident in the block that tends to manage block maintenance and it was he that said i didn't trust the residents when i requested quotes etc. bear in mind that was for works that were costing me circa £300 so, whether the residents felt i was not trusting them or not, i wasn't about to hand over that kind of money without some form of proof that the works were going ahead. for me though the sums are almost irrelevant, it's a process that i want to follow to ensure all parties are protected.

                          to possibly contradict myself, there was a scenario a few weeks back where the resident in the flat above mine requested circa £20 from me as a roofer had discovered some remedial works that required to be carried out, i think it was a blocked gutter or something causing a leak. in that scenario i had the money with the resident within a couple of days.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You'll still get "he said, she said" when involving LAs (it will turn into "he said that you said that when I said x that it was ok, so we did and now he said he didn't say that we said we were gonna" (all very Vicky Pollard).

                            I don't want to make friends with my LLs but have a friendly business relationship.

                            Although I have today received a chrimble card from them with "love from" but I suspect it was a slip up. I have to really watch myself in emails to them that I don't sign off with an x .
                            I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                            I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Christmas Card? Bah, Humbug! Even my relatives will be lucky to get one this year with the stamps going up. I have had three cards from letting agents, and these are already in the recycling.
                              To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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