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LANDLORDS what would you think about this?

(47 Posts)
BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 13:49:04

i moved into my house in july and i'm never leaving! grin (thank you to all who convinced me to go for it). we love the house, it's in the perfect location for school and shops and the park and family. it's also very cosy and very easy to heat. the only thing is that it's old and dated inside. not stuff that would need to be replaced/repaired by the LL but decor is dated and tired. i want to update it. ideally i would replace the bathroom suite, replace wall tiles in bathroom and kitchen, possibly add a few more kitchen cupboards, tile the floor from hallway through bathroom, kitchen and utility room, replace all the internal doors, replace carpet on stairs and landing and my bedroom and decorate throughout. i have an inspection tomorrow and was considering asking about this. if the landlord was to agree to this i would like to have some sort of guarantee that he wouldn't suddenly put the rent up to reflect the improvements or put the house up for sale. would that be just wishful thinking?

i'm really interested in LL opinions before i go to my own with my request. am i mad to be considering this? i really want to make it our home. he hasn't placed any restrictions on decorating (knows i wanted to repaint etc) but i know this goes beyond just decorating.

financialwizard Mon 05-Nov-12 13:52:26

You can but ask.

As an ex LL I would let you and leave your rent as it is. It would give me some comfort actually because it shows you are in it for the long haul.

Obviously if the wallpaper/paint was something hideous I would expect it to be out back to neutral before you left (if that is what it is) but that would be it.

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 05-Nov-12 13:58:18

I'd want a say on what you were planning to do and a guarantee of quality of work done. If that could be provided, I'd be happy to sign up to a 2 year lease on this basis.

BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 13:59:27

the wallpapers that are up at the minute are pretty bold (bright pink in one room, black in another and dark brown and red in another) but yes i would have no problem removing it and putting up a neutral colour if i decided to leave.

BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 14:04:50

thanks bogey.

pantone363 Mon 05-Nov-12 14:08:31

I asked my LL if I could pull up the carpet in the bathroom and toilet. She agreed and said "oh yes that's fine, at your own cost I presume? Carpets in bathrooms are disgusting"......oh how I laughed hmm

BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 14:12:30

didn't she know it was carpet when she had it fitted? confused

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 05-Nov-12 16:09:20

Why would you spend your own money to add value to someone else's property? As a landlord, I expect to pay to maintain my property, not make my tenants do it.

ecuse Mon 05-Nov-12 16:20:43

Can't quite tell whether you are wanting to ask your LL to do these things, asking if (s)he will pay for materials if you do the work, or if you're asking if you can just go ahead and do it at your own expense?

BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 16:20:51

the landlord hasn't asked me to do it and of course if they agreed and offered to contribute to costs i would accept but if not i'm okay with that.

why do it? well i cant see myself 'owning' (as in paying a mortgage) my own house anytime soon and i really want to have a home that reflects me and my dcs. we've never been able to decorate in any of the houses we've lived in. as i said i really would like to stay in this house long term, as if it were my own. of course the LL may have other plans and might want rid in a couple of years but if not then i'd like to have the house the way i would if it was my own. i know that might seem insane but i really want to put down roots here and for my dcs to know this is home.

BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 16:21:28

all at my expense.

ecuse Mon 05-Nov-12 16:26:34

If I were your landlord I would allow you to do it, be happy to sign a long term contract at no increase (2 or 3 years, presuming I expect to be letting it out that long anyway) or an inflation-linked increase perhaps to reassure you that I wouldn't 'profit' from what you did. However I probably would not offer you a rent reduction to do this as you might do some alterations that would reduce the value or I felt I had to put back after you left and you'd probably be doing things that don't need doing to let out at current rate. I might offer money for some of the things that I thought need doing but then if I was paying would want approval over colours, styles etc as well as quality of work.

BooyhooRemembering Mon 05-Nov-12 16:32:15

thanks ecuse that's really great to hear. i wouldn't expect any reduction in rent. as i said these are things that dont need to be done to make the house habitable (sp?) it's just my personal opinion that it's very dated and i would like to bring it up to date.

ecuse Mon 05-Nov-12 17:03:39

I'd actually be quite pleased! But I'm not a "proper" business headed landlord, just someone who rents out her 'single girl' flat whilst living in a slightly bigger flat with my OH that we rent together.

pantone363 Mon 05-Nov-12 17:32:44

Akiss, but what if you have a LL that doesn't maintain or update a property? I love this house, they have already said they wouldn't ever sell it (for legal reasons) but they are tighter than tight. They would laugh all the way home if I asked them to update the kitchen (1960s chipboard/vinyl cupboards). I don't think it's ludicrous to pay for it myself if I want to stay here for the next 10 years.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 05-Nov-12 17:37:04

Booy - blimey, I can't believe it was that long ago, it only seems 5 minutes ago. I'm glad all of our nagging encouragement helped smile

I would let you do it if I felt it could do with being done (so not much to lose) but I would want a fair bit of control over it tbh. However if I was happy with it the way it was, I would want to be extra sure you were improving it, not creating work if you move out.

- Wallpapering - I'd be happy to let you wallpaper any walls that are already papered. I would want to know that the quality of the work was going to be good though, so I would want to see the wallpapering of one room before I allowed you to do any other rooms and if I felt the existing paper was 'ok' I'd want to either approve the new paper. I wouldn't need to 'like' it, but I would want to feel it was suitable for renting out to others.

- Painting - I wouldn't allow you to repaint the skirting, door frames & ceilings anything other than white, I would also want to see the standard of this room by room as a bad paint job is a pain in the arse to sort out.

- Tiling - I would want either a tiler to do it or to see a small part you had done yourself before you did the whole thing as I wouldn't want a 'botch job'. I might also want something in the agreement that you put carpet/wooden flooring etc back when you move out if I didn't like where you wanted to tile.

- Other I would want to approve the doors, kitchen cabinets, bathroom suite, tiles, carpets etc. As long as they were 'reasonable' I would be fine with it OR if you wanted some mad colour I'd insist they were returned to neutral/suitable when your lease was up.

I wouldn't charge you more.
I wouldn't pay towards it.

Apart from that, you do realise how much this will cost?? How sure are you that you can't start saving for a deposit on a place of your own? Or that he wont give you notice - you definitely, definitely need something in writing if you are going to do it - either security in length of tennancy or a refund of money if not - but as they are fine with it how it is, that could be hard to get him to agree to.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 05-Nov-12 17:51:21

Pantone - it's not ridiculous if you can get a contract for either long term tennancy or a refund of x if they terminate the tennancy, but I think that's always difficult to do if the LL doesn't have any problem with how it is now. But for something small like bathroom flooring it's not an issue is it.

Chopstheduck Mon 05-Nov-12 18:01:44

I really wouldn't want to do it on a short term lease. I have a 5 year lease (we've been here for 6 years already, and started a 5 year lease last year) and I still find it quite hard to part with my money for any major work like ripping out bathrooms, because it isn't really my house!

I have decorated several times in the time we've been here though. With small kids, I think walls need repainting every 2-3 years anyway, so just went with what I wanted and would repaint over the stronger colours before moving out. One idea is to do a feature wall in a stronger colour or paper, and leave the rest neutral. I did this in the bedroom, and the estate agent LOVED it at our last inspection!

Even with our 5 year lease, the LL only has to give us 2 months notice, the only reason we got the 5 year lease is to stop the hassle and cost of renewing the lease every year. Though because it was such a long lease (I think over 5 years) they had to get a solicitor involved and there was extra cost for that.

Chopstheduck Mon 05-Nov-12 18:02:18

shoudl say I think over 3 years required the solicitor.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 05-Nov-12 18:11:29

Have you any idea what any of this will cost? The level of work involved?
Have you ever done any refurbishment work?

As a landlord, I would want to know that you are not replacing old quality with cheap modern tat from b&q, and that the quality of workmanship would be good.

I would not be keen to let you rip the bathroom suite out, unless I saw a quote from a builder/plumber and got a say in the units and the tiles. Once you remove these items, you may easily discover problems that will be costly to sort out, or something may happen during removal. Just the bathroom would likely cost 5-10 k, not including tiling and ripping out old tiles.

replace internal doors? Do you know roughly how much this will cost?
What are the current doors? If you were considering replacing original wood doors with cheapo white hollow doors for £29 a pop from B&Q I would not be happy.

Tiling the floor? Do you know anything about underlay required for tiling floors?

I would be quite happy to let you pain skirting and doors (white), and paper and paint walls (neutral), along with new carpets, if they were high quality carpets and underlay. This would cost a couple of thousands, as there is no way I would let you put in carpets that will HAVE to be replaced once you move out, as opposed to professionally cleaned.

My issues with your list of work that needs doing is that I cant possibly imagine how you can afford all this (we are talking 30k up) and not have funds to get on the property ladder.

There is no point at all broaching this with the landlord if you have no idea what this will cost. If you were to approach me with this, without knowing the cost, I would say "no" outright and think you a bit of a looney

IWipeArses Mon 05-Nov-12 18:21:27

If you had a contract giving you long-term tenancy and approval from landlord then fine.

Without that guarantee though you're putting yourself at risk. If you improve the property you are increasing the rental value and after your 6 months/year on a short term tenancy they can whack the rent up and you either pay up or leave.

I'd wallpaper, paint, put up shelving, pictures, curtains etc. but wouldn't want to invest that much time and effort.

Do you rememer 'Home Invaders' on daytime tv? I always think of decorating rentals like that, spending as little as possible for maximum impact.

Chopstheduck Mon 05-Nov-12 18:39:59

Notquint, I wouldn't assume the ll will be that bothered about top quality. Ours replaced our floors after a flood with wickes basic flooring which is screwed a year later. She used polish builders who weren't uk qualified for gas works for e kitchen, who went on to bodge up a corner cupboard and install an extractor randomly below another cupboard.

In our house, even if we did get cheap replacements, it would be a lot better than Anything we had before, or she has put in.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 05-Nov-12 18:48:03

Well, Chopstheduck, You cannot assume that a LL will want to have a job done on the cheap by unqualified people, when the end result is that it is going to cost them to sort it out, just because yours did....

Besides, you have just explained why it is never a good idea to have a job done on the cheap. grin

The op is not giving any indication that her house is in such poor standard as yours, only that it needs updating.

lizziebach Mon 05-Nov-12 19:09:53

My parents have just had a nightmare tenant who wanted to redecorate everything and change things around (this wasn't what made her a nightmare by the way, that was other things). It was supposed to be a long term tenant but she only ended up staying 6 months. She wanted to swap the expensive carpet for a cheaper one, wallpaper walls that were currently painte, put quite bring wallpaper up etc. My point is that although you know you want to be there longterm, your ll has no reason to know that you will. I think you need to meet with them and discuss exactly what you want to do and be prepared if they refuse to accept that. After all you agreed to rent it decorated as it was. Hopefully though your ll would be fine with it (in the above case my parents let the woman do what she wanted as they could see no good reason to say no, although had they known she was a fruitloop...)

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Mon 05-Nov-12 19:14:23

I had a tenant who did not like the crazy paving in the front, and wanted me to remove this and put down Indian sandstone!! She did not realize how much it would cost, never having owned a home, she though it would be nice and easy, and look pretty.

We have re-landscaped the front now, to the tune of 6k, and we do indeed have indian sandstone, but NOT because a tenant said she did not like the crazy paving!

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