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Self managing rental property - what are reasonable demands from tenants?

(20 Posts)
Whizkidwithacrazystreak Fri 05-Aug-11 19:28:55

We have just rented our flat and have chosen to self manage as although we moved out of London we are near by.

The tenants have asked for some repairs which I am happy to do (fixing hinges on cupboard doors, replacing broken door knob etc).

The areas I am unsure of are:

1. The kitchen tap has dripped for a long time and I have had plumber look at this and each time they have fixed it temporarily - do I just do this again? They have asked that we contribute to their water bill as the drip will significantly increase their bill. This is not true as there is not water meter and the rates are fixed.

2. There is no freezer and they have asked me to purchase one for them

3. They have now asked us to remove the sofa and dining chair at our cost when they had not requested this prior to them moving in. I would have been happy to take them at the time of moving, but I'm not keen on paying for further removals now.

4. The kick board under the benches in the kitchen does not fit exactly as the new larger washing machine does not allow it. They have asked this to be fixed, but we can't unless we take the washing machine out.

Any suggestions would be most welcome as I'm new to this and don't know if we do complete all demands when most things are in good 'working order'?

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 05-Aug-11 20:35:48

1 and 2 sound reasonable requests. I don't know anyone who lives without a freezer (I'm presuming here the fridge doesn't have a freezer section or it's only a shelf). The drip needs to be fixed by you. If it can't, you'd need to replace the whole thing, IMO.

3 - not reasonable unless the sofa and dining chair are horribly ugly and they were too timid to voice this at the time.

4 - I don't quite understand it but if they think it looks ugly, then, yes, finish the job properly, even if it means taking out the washing machine.

I would really, really consider a letting agency.

smalltownshame Fri 05-Aug-11 20:43:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 05-Aug-11 20:48:27

A letting agency would at least get the plumber in etc. I'd much rather pay someone than drive into London at short notice to sit around in a flat waiting for workmen to turn up.

The freezer - OK, technically you're not obliged to provide one. But this is 2011, I think people expect one.

smalltownshame Fri 05-Aug-11 20:52:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scaryteacher Fri 05-Aug-11 21:01:32

I rent my property out whilst being in rented myself, so I would sort No.1 out.

No2: I let my house without any white goods whatsoever on the advice of my letting agent, and I provided my own freezers in my rental. There is a small freezer on top of the built in fridge, but that is standard for Belgium. They rented it without a freezer, if they want one, they pay.

No 3: Tough, they pay for the removal and for the storage if you have no room for the items.

No 4: If they wish to be without a washing machine whilst it is fixed then fine; again, my tenants provided their own washing machine, so I don't have to deal with issues like that.

LemonDifficult Fri 05-Aug-11 21:11:55

1. You must deal with
2. Gerroff. They took it without. Maybe get one for the next tenants.
3. If you have room for them you could take delivery of them, but tht would be paid for and arranged by tenants. Don't fall out over this if possible, as if they've got plans they may well dump the stuff they don't want.
4. I'd solve this but many landlords wouldn't. Maybe say you'll address it at the six monthly meeting/check?

Whizkidwithacrazystreak Fri 05-Aug-11 21:25:03

Thanks for your advice. I think that I will continue to manage as they estate agent would just pass on the requests in any case.

I've got a handyman to quote for the simple jobs and will see what his says about building the kickboard around the washing machine.

Unfortunately changing the tap in the bathroom entails breaking the tiles which I don't really want to do. Unfortunately it is not as simple as changing the washer as it's not that type of tap.

The sofa was a great one but I must admit it didnt' come up well when the cleaners steam cleaned it. I don't have room for it and have said that they can dispose of it and the table at their cost as they didn't tell me that they didn't want them until today.

As for the freezer, I agree they can purchase their own. We had one but we took it with us as they didn't tell us at the time that they wanted it.

Thanks for your comments.

mumofsussex Fri 05-Aug-11 21:37:46

No idea on most of your questions but we are just in the process of renting out a property and when we spoke to a couple of estate agents who deal with rentals they recommended not having too many electrical items/white goods as if they go wrong, then it would be our responsibility to repair/replace. One even suggested 'gifting' the old washing machine that is there to the tenants so we wouldn't have any issues being forced to fix/replace if it went wrong and also advised removing the tv and other smaller electrical items.

Whizkidwithacrazystreak Fri 05-Aug-11 21:40:26

Yes, we were told the same about white goods and TVs. We only left a brand new washing machine and the integrated fridge (without a freezer).

Whizkidwithacrazystreak Fri 05-Aug-11 21:48:37

Also, these will be our first and last tenants as we will sell the flat rather than getting new tenants.

herhonesty Fri 05-Aug-11 21:51:24

from a landlord (2xflats, 12 years each)

We have just rented our flat and have chosen to self manage as although we moved out of London we are near by.

The tenants have asked for some repairs which I am happy to do (fixing hinges on cupboard doors, replacing broken door knob etc).

The areas I am unsure of are:

1. The kitchen tap has dripped for a long time and I have had plumber look at this and each time they have fixed it temporarily - do I just do this again? They have asked that we contribute to their water bill as the drip will significantly increase their bill. This is not true as there is not water meter and the rates are fixed.

sounds like tap may need to be replaced/ just to do it, will cot you a lot less in additional payments.

2. There is no freezer and they have asked me to purchase one for them

no, they rented the flat knowing there wasnt a fridge.

3. sofa and dining chair = no. they rented it out with the furniture at in place and signed it an inventory to that effect. if they want to move and store the furniture, this is their problem. If they want to get rid of the furniture then they need to purchase it off you.

4. not really clear what is going on here, can you phost photo?

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 06-Aug-11 07:04:38

"As for the freezer, I agree they can purchase their own. We had one but we took it with us as they didn't tell us at the time that they wanted it. "

So they saw the flat with the freezer, they didn't say they wanted it and you took it away? I must have got this wrong.

I remember a notorious students' landlord in Leeds many years ago who used to swap furniture after contracts were signed smile

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 06-Aug-11 07:07:38

"The letting agent would probably just tell them when someone was coming & expect them to be in."

No, the letting agent would go and let the handyman in if it's for something that's not the tenants' fault, e.g. a washing machine. I can see why you'd expect the tenants to wait at home if it was to replace a window they'd smashed in whilst playing football. It's for all these small hassles that I wouldn't bother managing the rental myself.

nooka Sat 06-Aug-11 07:27:24

I'm not sure that's always the case - it might depend on the agent. I think ours gives the workmen the keys but I don't think they then wait around whilst they are doing the jobs. We pay an agent and I don't feel I get very good value for money. Sure they handle all the small stuff, but the quotes they have got for work have been very inflated compared to the ones we have arranged, and it's a big chunk of money to hand over (although most of it is for finding the tenants).

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 06-Aug-11 07:31:33

Nooka - I know of a letting agency who charges a commission to the plumber, electrician etc for giving them the job. (Incidentally, the owner of the agency has just done a runner abroad with 3 months' worth of rental money from everybody.)

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 06-Aug-11 07:32:40

Yes, I meant giving the keys, not necessarily staying there at the time, but even so it's a bit of a hassle if you have to do it yourself as an owner.

ballstoit Sat 06-Aug-11 07:47:15

As a tenant I would expect;

1. You to sort the tap...it is annoying and means if they go away for a weekend without emptying the sink you could have water damage to deal with instead.

2. They purchase their own freezer...unless it was on the inventory.

3. The furniture they can dump at their own expense if they dont want it (most councils do bulk collections or charities may collect...but that's down to your tenant to sort).

4. Unless the kickboard is dangerous I'm not sure what the problem is... a photo may help but if it was like that when they viewed it's fine for you not to fix.

LawrieMarlow Sat 06-Aug-11 07:55:00

As a tenant I would expect

1) That you sort out the tap. I wouldn't be asking for money off my water bill (especially if not on a meter) but a dripping tap would be v annoying

2) If no freezer on the inventory then up to me to get one if I want to

3) Up to me to deal with. Although as they are yours I should ask you first

4) Not sure quite what the problem is but I would probably put up with it.

Whizkidwithacrazystreak Sat 06-Aug-11 10:57:17

Lawrie - would you like to move into the property!

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