When do tenants' requests go too far?

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  • When do tenants' requests go too far?

    Tenants moved in at the beginning of the year and have issued a stream of requests/demands since then, the main ones being

    - After signing the contract but before moving in, requesting that I change the wallpaper in one room as they decided they didn't like the colour
    - Asking to get a cat (despite the advert and contract saying no uncaged pets), oh and we want you to install a cat flap for it too
    - Asking for the hall to be redecorated as they don't like the 'horrible' colour
    - When the (brand-new before they moved in) boiler went wrong in May and was out of action for 3 days due to a part being ordered, sending an email full of hyperbole like 'we can't sleep and we are getting ill because it's so cold' and demanding I refund 3 days' rent and pay for the electric heater they had to buy (in May).

    Now the latest thing is that they 'can't use' the garden because it requires too much maintenance and is full of 'dangerous' plants.

    The garden was completely cleared and left in an easily-maintainable state (and an electric mower provided) when they moved in. Looking at it now I don't think they have had the mower out at all yet. The 'dangerous' plants are some nettles at the back near the neighbours' hedge (mowing the grass would help) which also has some brambles coming through (easily rectified with some secuteurs).

    They want me to fix this by extending the patio over most of the grass so they don't have to cut it.

    I've rented this place out for over 10 years and haven't encountered any similar behaviour from tenants before.

    I paid for the wallpaper to be done and refunded the rent money during the boiler outage so we got off on the right foot, but now I'm starting to feel that these requests will be never-ending.

    I'm also happy for them to do whatever they like to the decor but they are expecting me to pay to change it to suit their tastes.

    The place is in good nick, it's very reasonably priced (a search today shows the cheapest 2-bed available in the town is £100pcm more and they go up a lot from there) and I don't charge any fees at all on moving in, so I don't think they are being short-changed.

    I'm wondering whether it's time to suggest they start to look for a place more suited to their requirements and give them notice (their contract has finished). Fortunately I don't have a mortgage and it's a very competitive area for finding property so I'm not worried about voids.

    Advice?


  • #2
    I suspect you know the answer!

    And in future (hindsight is always 20/20) - stop them dead at the first request, or at worst the second. If they didnt like the wallpaper they didnt have to take the property.

    Get rid.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

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    • #3
      Get rid too.

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      • #4
        They rented it as "Seen". Any negotiations should be done before signing the agreement not after.

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        • #5
          They need to seek accommodation elsewhere. 'Precious' doesn't begin to describe them.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Suzy76 View Post
            I'm also happy for them to do whatever they like to the decor but they are expecting me to pay to change it to suit their tastes
            STOP.
            Tell them they cannot modify YOUR house / flat at all, and in writing, nor are you going to pay. END OF.
            -- Enough is enough -- be brave.

            You are not at fault here.



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            • #7
              I'd have given them notice to leave at the end of their contract period. Just tell them they would clearly be happier elsewhere.

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              • #8
                Probably as above ...although I might be tempted to be more pragmatic if I could be bothered.
                Assuming the fixed period has ended, put the rent up straight away to the upper end of the market rate.
                Politely say you can recommend a gardener etc but the arrangement and payment is entirely up to them. Respond the same to every unreasonable request.
                If they carry on, continue putting up the rent at each opportunity until the rent exceeds the annoyance factor.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank them for their kind request: State that you are sure they will be happy in their next home. Decline their request:
                  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...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Suzy76 View Post
                    Tenants moved in at the beginning of the year and have issued a stream of requests/demands since then, the main ones being

                    - After signing the contract but before moving in, requesting that I change the wallpaper in one room as they decided they didn't like the colour
                    - Asking to get a cat (despite the advert and contract saying no uncaged pets), oh and we want you to install a cat flap for it too
                    - Asking for the hall to be redecorated as they don't like the 'horrible' colour
                    - When the (brand-new before they moved in) boiler went wrong in May and was out of action for 3 days due to a part being ordered, sending an email full of hyperbole like 'we can't sleep and we are getting ill because it's so cold' and demanding I refund 3 days' rent and pay for the electric heater they had to buy (in May).

                    Now the latest thing is that they 'can't use' the garden because it requires too much maintenance and is full of 'dangerous' plants.

                    The garden was completely cleared and left in an easily-maintainable state (and an electric mower provided) when they moved in. Looking at it now I don't think they have had the mower out at all yet. The 'dangerous' plants are some nettles at the back near the neighbours' hedge (mowing the grass would help) which also has some brambles coming through (easily rectified with some secuteurs).

                    They want me to fix this by extending the patio over most of the grass so they don't have to cut

                    I've rented this place out for over 10 years and haven't encountered any similar behaviour from tenants before.

                    I paid for the wallpaper to be done and refunded the rent money during the boiler outage so we got off on the right foot, but now I'm starting to feel that these requests will be never-ending.

                    I'm also happy for them to do whatever they like to the decor but they are expecting me to pay to change it to suit their tastes.

                    The place is in good nick, it's very reasonably priced (a search today shows the cheapest 2-bed available in the town is £100pcm more and they go up a lot from there) and I don't charge any fees at all on moving in, so I don't think they are being short-changed.

                    I'm wondering whether it's time to suggest they start to look for a place more suited to their requirements and give them notice (their contract has finished). Fortunately I don't have a mortgage and it's a very competitive area for finding property so I'm not worried about voids.

                    Advice?
                    Hi there, I had a tenant like this and she was difficult from the outset. You could say the flat is "as shown when they undertook the viewing". Personally, I wouldnt pander to this type of behaviour as you never know when the next ridiculous request will come. Usually Monday morning, I would suggest if they are so unhappy to exit the contract and property and you have been more than generous so far. Ensure you take all meter readings prescisely. Good private rental accommodation is hard to come by so they are taking a risk being so demanding. I have tenants now that stay for years and in return I dont increase their rent.

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                    • #11
                      If you trust the tenant I would allow them to decorate upon approval. To agreed specifications and at THEIR EXPENSE. This improves the property and keeps them happy. I have had this happen, new paint colour in lounge. More difficult in your case with a new tenant so I would have said wait and see....then view matter again later when you are ready.

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                      • #12
                        Get them out. No question.

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                        • #13
                          After signing the contract but before moving in,

                          I would have objected, since, they changed the terms of the deal.

                          A good tenant would have discussed their request with you before signing the contract. Usually, I am receptive. These tenants have trapped you with a contract and expect you to do x,y and z. They are trying to better the deal.

                          I would have told them their request is unreasonable, and would say if they want x,y and z. You should be allowed to increase the rent to take into account of any improvements.





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                          • #14
                            This thread is nearly two months old, guys.

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