Proposed tenancy of property needing many repairs etc.

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  • Proposed tenancy of property needing many repairs etc.

    I am hoping for some advice please.

    I have found a property I wish to rent. The letting agent has told me the property is a Repossession and has been brought by a Investment Company.

    Having viewed the property it is exactly what we need. However, the previous owners have left it in a state. There is rubbish all over the garden, including bicycles, there are rabbit droppings mounted up against the house, there are plug sockets hanging from the walls, the banister for the stairs is wobbly (I have a 14 mth old), the carpet in the bedrooms doesnt fit properly, the decor is desperate and the whole house needs cleaning.

    Now, the letting agent said this property is to be taken "as seen".

    What I want to know is that normal? I am happy to clean the place up and give a lick of paint, but how far do I go? Is it my responsibilty to remove all this rubbish, replace carpets, paint top to bottom etc? Are there standards a rental property should meet for Heatlth & Safety etc?

    I am new to all this and I am worried about the whole thing. We really want this house as it is ideal. We also have to pay a Bond which will be returned when I vactate the property should the landlord feel the property is left satisfactory. I will do this of course, but if he decided to keep some of it to re-paint or replace a carpet, I will be annoyed due to the fact of the state of the house Im about to take it in.

    ANy advice would be so helpful. Thanking in advance.

  • #2
    There are certain standards but its up to you really. I took on a flat that needed alot of TLC, pigeon poop everywhere decor and carpets needed. I negotiated a lower rent to cover the cost of renovating the place (I got 6 weeks rent free) after I prepared a quote to do the work myself. HOWEVER... when it came to the LL sorting out structural issues they were a nightmare and I had to get Environmental health in.

    From my experience I would say walk away cos even if you do get a better rent etc if they are unwilling to sort the house out now they will be unwilling to do the stuff they are supposed to do!

    You could also send EHO round now tell them you were offered this place and see what they say as I don't feel it should be let in its current state.
    GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

    Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!


    • #3
      L is offering property "as seen". The only obligations binding L, irrespective of anything, are those in s.11 of LTA 1985. Otherwise, all problem aspects of the property will become your reposnsibility- so pitch your rent accordingly AND ensure that L gives consent to whatever you propose to do by way of rectification.
      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.
      2. Telephone advice: see
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


      • #4
        Thank you for your replies.

        The rent is very reasonable for the size and location of the property and I think due to the cosmetic surgery needed inside, this is reflected in the rent. A lick of paint top to bottom and a thorough clean and two small bedroom carpets are all that is really needed.

        Woud you suggest taking photographs of the property before I move in as proof to what I will have done? Im asking because I have no idea what the L will class as standards for when I leave in order to reclaim the deposit money.


        • #5
          Photos are a good idea, though you can bet your boots he'd be pretty pissed off if you left it in the state you found it!


          • #6
            I wouldnt dream of leaving it in the condition it is in, but I will not be happy if he wants painting and carpet cleaning done again when I leave considering I am having to do all this before I move in at MY cost!!


            • #7
              Originally posted by pooks View Post
              A lick of paint top to bottom and a thorough clean and two small bedroom carpets are all that is really needed.
              OK, earlier you mentioned electrical sockets hanging off and wonky bannisters which makes it sound a somewhat different proposition.

              Before you take this on, consider how long a tenancy agreement you will receive - is it going to be the standard 6 months? If so, it's entirely possible you could find your landlord doing the dirty on you and turfing you out as soon as that with absolutely no recourse, in favour of a new tenant who'll happily pay full whack for the newly done up property.

              I'm not saying that will happen, but there have been many sob stories on this forum where exactly that has taken place.


              • #8
                Thank you again for your replies.

                I have been assured that it will be a Long Term Tennancy, so carrying out licks of paint etc doesn't worry me.

                Ive been back today with the agent who said the management company will be in in the next few days to take photos etc and do the inventory lists etc. I too thought will also take my own photographs and ensure the landlord gets a copy of it too. I dont want any corners missed.

                Thanks again for all your help.


                • #9
                  Sorry - as a tenant - my full pennies worth on the idea of an "assured longterm tenancy".

                  How long it your long-term tenancy?

                  Did you know that LLs can sell the property during your long-term tenancy agreement? At the end of the agreement you will be out.

                  If you have the promise of - then don't go there.

                  I'm slightly suspicious - if it is an investment company - and they have bought a repossession - most do so for an investment in the property price rising and as a long-term investment in the property itself. In those cases - they are often very happy to bend over backwards with the prospective tenants - give or take a few things - a spar bath is never going to be an option!

                  If you are about to take on a property by an investment company unwilling to pay even basic cosmetic stuff (i.e. bannisters) to ensure a tenant - then I would question the prospective LL.

                  This could be the tip of the iceberg.

                  Depends also on the agreement you have.

                  These days - where I am - Bucks - it is so highly regulated amongst all agencies that they all act the same and it is very very very rare that you'd get a property "as seen", unless they brought in a professional "clerk" - these things now exist - and they take photos.

                  No matter what - you must take photos - and make sure it's in good light. I'm a seasoned mover - but I was asked to inspect on moving in a property with a carpet I found suspect - pictures showed it to be okay - I've now taken photos within two weeks of move in when it's daylight proper - and there are stains all over the place!!!!!

                  I contacted the LA with my recent photos and dates - and they said they are null and void - because I accepted the photos in bad light.

                  Will be interesting to see if I have to replace a bad carpet on moving - won't surprise me.

                  There seem to be some really reasonable LLs on this site - and they offer advice with is second to none - but there are LLs out there who'll screw you no matter how much you've done to improve their property.

                  If you really are hell-bent - then protect yourself - and get the contract in advance of signing - I demand that always!!!! before I even sign an aspect of paper.

                  But some LAs think they are god and you are desperate - so will depend on the market you are in and area you are renting in.

                  Tell us - and the LLs on this site will help you - they are from far and wide!


                  • #10
                    Thanks Heather5 for your information.

                    I am totally new to all this renting lark, as I currently rent from my uncle and its all too easy!

                    I will definately read and understand the contract/inventroy lists and anything else they give me before I put my name on that dotted line! I am so paranoid about stuff like this.

                    We really like this property and has the potential to be a wonderful family home and I would be upset to lose it at this stage. Its all due to go ahead this Friday, so we shall see.

                    Thanks again.


                    • #11
                      Tell us now - so we can help - what are the terms of your agreement?


                      • #12
                        I dont know as yet as it will all be drawn out for us on Friday, the day of signing. WHat sort of terms should I be expecting? Like I said I am new to all this.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pooks View Post
                          I dont know as yet as it will all be drawn out for us on Friday, the day of signing. WHat sort of terms should I be expecting? Like I said I am new to all this.
                          Ok, I'm sure Heather5 will agree - major alarm bells now ringing I'm afraid (and I'm a landlord!). You shouldn't have a tenancy agreement stuffed under your nose to sign there and then - any agent worth his salt would know full well that you should be given time to read the agreement through and take appropriate legal advice if necessary before signing. At least overnight.

                          Also, it's hardly likely that the agent is going to write out a brand new contract just for you - they will have a draft version which they will edit, and there's no reason why you couldn't see that right now... or is there?

                          And why aren't they telling you how long the agreement will be? If you are going to be sinking time and money into this property, you should be insisting on a minimum term of whatever you see fit (ie, the shortest time you wouldn't feel hard done by if you were given your marching orders.) Frankly I'd be amazed if they offer you more than a year.

                          Find out all the information you need and get a copy of the agreement ASAP (then come back here for advice if need be); DON'T get pressurised into signing it at the last minute, and be prepared to walk away if they won't play ball.


                          • #14
                            I too now am becoming concerned.

                            I am sure the agent said today that I will be signing the Tennancy on Friday morning. I was presuming there will be a contract for me to read and sign too and maybe an inventory list or something. Oh dear I am starting to worry.

                            So what should I be asking at this point, so close to signing?

                            - minimum length of a year maybe, Im sure she said it will be the "standard" 6 month to start, then providing we are good tennants it will be extended etc.

                            I dont know what is normal and what isnt.

                            HELP I AM NOW WORRIED


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pooks View Post
                              Im sure she said it will be the "standard" 6 month to start, then providing we are good tennants it will be extended etc.

                              I dont know what is normal and what isnt.
                              Well, that's totally normal... exactly what the vast majority of landlords say and do - but the point is that in your situation, if you spend a lot of time and effort doing up this place, you are 100% vulnerable to the landlord turning round after 4 months and saying, 'sorry, change of plan, here's your two months' notice to quit' and there won't be a darned thing you can do about it. And certainly no onus on the landlord to reimburse you for money you've spent.

                              If you're agreeing to all this work, then there needs to be some payback to you - eg make them agree now to a 12-month fixed term (if that's what your saying is the minimum)


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