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AIBU or is tenant?

(22 Posts)
WaroftheRoses Wed 19-Nov-14 13:33:25

We are accidental landlords (complicated situation involving death, a will re-written and a lot of bad feeling and lost finances!) Current tennant has been in property 3+ years. It is managed by an agent. Rent has remained the same throughout, issues raised by tenant are dealt with ASAP by professional workmen. House is in good order-fully refurbished 5 yrs ago.

Today agents have rung to tell us that the neighbours are complaining to tenant that a dead conifer tree in the boundary has been removed and left a stump which they want removing. Also the tenant says water puddles on the drive when it rains and she wants the whole drive resurfacing.

Bearing in mind we have had no work done on conifers, and driveway is by no means in bad condition AWeBU or think these complaints are going a bit too far? Since the property looses us money and these are pricey things to resolve is acceptable to say no way? Or AIBU? confused

LIZS Wed 19-Nov-14 13:38:00

yabu not to at least visit or get a report back on the current situation and how the tenant feels. Things deteriorate over time.

Mrsstarlord Wed 19-Nov-14 13:40:09

If its losing you money why don't you just sell up? Is there a complicated back story which means you can't? You don't have to tell us, that just seems a logical thing to do if you are losing money on it.

Catsarebastards Wed 19-Nov-14 13:41:15

You really need to go and assess the problem yourselves. No-one here knows what the extent of the damage/deterioration is.

WaroftheRoses Wed 19-Nov-14 13:41:28

These requests have been made after routine inspection yesterday by agent. Couple of other minor things to repair in house which are perfectly reasonable. These 2 just make us feel she is pushing it a bit....

mausmaus Wed 19-Nov-14 13:41:58

you need to have a look and see it the situation is costmetic or dangerous.

if it costs money to resolve, then it costs.

if you are running at a loss you need to review the business. maybe it's time to raise rent (at the next possible occasion) or to sell.

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Wed 19-Nov-14 13:42:29

they can ask, doesn't mean they will get them! The driveway if it is fine and no pot holes etc then I can't see that that is something that needs to be fixed or part of your duties as a landlord. The stump perhaps you could deal with the neighbour directly and ask what it is that they want you to do?

I don't have any legal experience though only speaking a a tenant myself. I'd expect the landlord to deal with the neighbour directly and not involve me if it was something beyond my control. The driveway would be something that I might bring up in conversation if the landlord asked me if any issues.

also surely the puddling on the driveway is normal? and its a drainage issue if anything and no need for the whole drive to be resurfaced. MY mum and dads block paved drive pools water but they had some 'holes' put in for drainage to rectify it.

MellowAutumn Wed 19-Nov-14 13:43:37

You are not unreasonable to ignore thease requests they are cosmetic not health and safty issues .

avocadotoast Wed 19-Nov-14 13:43:39

Stumps and puddles are just par for the course, I'd say. It's difficult to judge without pictures, but unless the drive is all cracked and broken and causing potential health risks, I think you're ok to tell them to stuff it.

killerlego Wed 19-Nov-14 13:43:55

But it's not the tenant complaining is it, it is the neighbours of the house which you own. Perhaps you need to have a word with said neighbours about tree stump. With regards to puddles on the drive, perhaps you should also check this out. You might not want to spend money but it might mean a bigger problem in the long run if there is subsidence causing (eventual) potholes and you haven't looked after the properyt.

NorwaySpruce Wed 19-Nov-14 13:44:51

I'd also be wary of pinning it all on the tenant.

We love the place we're renting, no problems at all.

But every time we have an inspection, the letting agents seem to find work that needs doing. It's getting to the point where I think they are trying to keep the local tradesmen in business.

The landlord must think we're the fussiest people alive.

AgentAlice Wed 19-Nov-14 13:44:58

Could you have a chat with the tenant yourself? Ideally you would go round on a rainy day and see the drive. Who knows how the conversation went? The agent could have been like 'thats dreadful, imo the whole drive needs doing...leave it with me, I'll ask'. Until you speak the the tenant you can't make a decision really.

WaroftheRoses Wed 19-Nov-14 13:46:22

Mrsstarlord we can't sell until January at the earliest and have been seriously considering it. This might be the catalyst we need...
I last saw the drive about 3 months ago. It's an old drive, but whose drive doesn't have puddles on after the rain..... hmm

WaroftheRoses Wed 19-Nov-14 13:48:20

Interesting to hear that Norway

StillSquirrelling Wed 19-Nov-14 13:48:24

Puddles on the drive are not a reason for the drive to be resurfaced for a tenant. Unless she has to wade through an entire driveway of water to be able to reach the house? Our primary school entrance has a massive puddle of water right in the school gate entrance when it rains - that actually is about 3 inches deep and has to be waded through. It's an annoyance but I haven't asked the school to resurface the school entrance although my kids go to/from school on the bus mostly so it doesn't actually affect me most of the time .

Also, I don't think the neighbours have any recourse to insist the stump is removed? It's not the same thing as having a huge tree that's overhanging their property or blocking light to their house.

Both of these problems seem very petty and looks like both neighbours and tenant are wanting cosmetic things fixed without any outlay on their parts. I would go and inspect the property - on a rainy day - and see just what the problems are. I think both are being rather cheeky, personally. Perhaps someone who is a letting agent or some such is better able to advise whether these are genuine problems that legally have to fixed?

StillSquirrelling Wed 19-Nov-14 13:48:49

*be fixed.

God, I do wish MN would let us edit our posts!!

fourwoodenchairs Wed 19-Nov-14 13:49:23

I think you should visit the house personally before you make a decision.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 19-Nov-14 13:50:06

Check it out and make a decision. May be trying it on, might not. Tenant just needs an answer from you on the tree issue, to stop the neighbour hassling them.

Mrsstarlord Wed 19-Nov-14 13:52:10

Sorry, I know that seemed very nosey of me but I think thats what I would do. Other people have given you much more constructive and helpful advice!

TheCraicDealer Wed 19-Nov-14 13:58:31

When I read your OP the lines that stuck out to me were, It is managed by an agent….issues raised by tenant are dealt with ASAP by professional workmen. Are these contractors instructed or recommended by the letting agent? Because it wouldn’t be unheard of for the agents to take a percentage of the final invoice as per a prior agreement with the builders. I would be wary and always get my own quote.

If this is the case then it could easily be a case of the agent asking if the tenant had any issues and then presenting their musings on “well, there’s a few dips in the drive where water gathers but that’s about it” as a major issue which needs rectified now. However, you do need to be careful with driveways and walkways, so do take a look at it and consider getting any obvious depressions filled in to protect yourself.

PatricianOfAnkhMorpork Wed 19-Nov-14 14:01:32

If you haven't had any work done on the boundary trees, who authorised the removal of the dead one that left the stump? Also is said stump on your land?

I'd personally go and visit to check the full state both tree and drive regardless of what the agent's inspection report says. It will be the only way to really assess it and then you can make a decision from there.

Inthedarkaboutfashion Wed 19-Nov-14 14:02:53

Who removed the conifer? If you didn't remove it and the neighbour didn't remove it then who did? If the tenant removed the conifer without permission then they need to deal with the resulting stump problem and need reminding that they can't just remove trees without permission and employing a proper contractor.
Puddles shouldn't really be pooling on the driveway. Driveways should be constructed so that water drains away from the property. You need to inspect the drive to see if it is sinking in parts or if there is a drainage issue. If you sell in January and there is a problem with the drive it will show up on a survey so you might as well try to resolve it now.

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