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Are corporate tenants more trouble than they are worth?

(12 Posts)
Mintie190 Fri 07-Feb-14 20:20:15

Hi, we are about to rent out our apartment which up until now has been our family home. It's in central London. It is being advertised with an estate agent and we've had an offer from a corporate tenant via a relocation agent. They are willing to pay the full advertised price (which was more than what we thought we'd get) but made their offer subject to 5 conditions, 3 of which we can meet and 2 of which we can't for legal and practical reasons. Today they have come back with 4 more conditions relating to decorating - they basically want any hint of decoration to be changed to white ie remove wallpaper, any coloured walls, any window dressings which have a pattern. And, the lease will be drawn up by them and no doubt skewed in their favour. They have already indicated key clauses which we would have to agree to which benefit them not us. The tenant will be the occupant's employer, a major global bank.

My gut instinct says these people are not worth having as tenants. Yes, they will pay top money but I'm sure they will be very demanding once they move in. Also, as with any central London location, it isn't that gentrified a neighbourhood. It's a melting pot of lots of different people. If they can't handle anything other than white walls, how will they cope with the neighbourhood? I'm scared they will move out as soon as they can and the bank who is named as the tenant will sue us for relocation costs etc by claiming we are in breach of our obligations as landlord (they will comb through the lease and find any clause they might rely on).

And, because they are corporate, we figure we'll have to get the estate agent to manage the property whereas we were planning on doing so originally. So, that eats into the profit.

What have other people's experience of corporate tenants been? Are they more trouble than they are worth?

specialsubject Fri 07-Feb-14 20:55:11

run away.

a central London flat should rent easily. You don't need this.

Mintie190 Fri 07-Feb-14 21:07:41

Thank you specialsubject You are right. I am sure we will be able to rent it, possibly not for as high rent. If it was a new build in a concierge attended building, I'd have no doubts but it's just a period conversion on a normal London street. Of course I may be being over sensitive to their suggestion that I rid my house of all the decoration that I did (it's pretty easy on the eye; not a red feature wall in sight!)... And of course I'm being cautious since it is our first time renting it and I'm wary of entering into a lease with a bank which will have the might of an internal legal team and fancy external legal advisers at its disposal. Others will say I am being stupid and corporate tenants are the holy grail.

pluCaChange Fri 07-Feb-14 21:11:39

They sound very high-maintenance!

lotsofcheese Fri 07-Feb-14 21:16:24

In this instance, I'd avoid. They sound demanding. You don't need the hassle.

HaveToWearHeels Fri 07-Feb-14 21:16:56

We did a corporate let once for two years, had no problems at all, but we did not have all the conditions you did. We dealt with a relocation company that was dealing with it on behalf of the employer. I was a 4 bed house, with a single male occupier who was Canadian. They signed our usual lease with no special conditions. We dealt with the relocation company for inventories. The tenant was great, he allowed us to enter when he was at work for gas checks and the place was left in perfect condition.

Mintie190 Fri 07-Feb-14 21:59:40

Thank you for the responses. Perhaps they are just trying it on as they were fine with the 2 conditions we pushed back on. I'll see what their reaction is to me saying that there is no way I am painting over the wallpaper in the master bedroom (and if they so much as leave a finger print on it, I will be livid. It is handprinted in Wales by a very small designer and is a work of art!! Of course that's all IMO). It's probably more the relocation agent acting like she is a big shot and waiting the bank to think she drives a hard bargain But I am inclined to wait for someone else who likes the place for what it is to come along.

pluCaChange Fri 07-Feb-14 22:49:32

Ummm... I am a bit worried now, about you renting out your house with "work of art" wallpaper. Are you sure you are emotionally robust enough to let someone else live there without worrying about "your" home? Overly-emotionally invested LLs are often anxious, as are their tenants...

LilMissSunshine9 Fri 07-Feb-14 23:26:09

I used to work for a well known London estate agent and handled lots of corporate lets - never heard of anything like those demands. Mostly they want fully furnished places n the place to be managed by the estate agent so that when things go work they are fixed fast.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 08-Feb-14 17:56:25

As a longterm LL, a few thoughts:

- My agents always have a standard contract. One can add a few items with mutual agreement, but I would never let tenants write the contract. Very risky, especially as any bank will have a massive legal team on tap.

- A good agent is useful with any tenant, corporate or private. Among other advantages, they should have legal expertise plus a list of reliable firms to do repairs and they are used to handling disputes. I would never let a property without management; imo a false economy.
Anyway, corporate clients normally want to deal with experienced agents rather than amateur LLs

- If you let a property, you have to accept normal wear and tear. You may well get fingermarks on walls, minor crockery breakages etc. I plan for complete re-painting every 3 years.
This may well be why they want white walls without wallpaper, so they can easily be repainted between tenants. I never have wallpaper because minor tears could count as normal wear, but would put off the next tenants.
btw: if a small part of a wall has say crayon scribbles, the tenants are normally only responsible for re-doing that bit of the wall. So, the LL ends up having to decorate the whole wall, to avoid an odd patch.
"Art work" is worrying.

specialsubject Sat 08-Feb-14 18:07:07

I'm also worried now. You must expect some wear and tear and must detach from the place. You won't get additional compensation for damage to 'work of art' wall paper over 'normal' wallpaper.

HaveToWearHeels Sat 08-Feb-14 21:00:51

You really do need to detach yourself as no one, not even the best tenant in the world, will look after your house as if it were there own. This is going to be your property, but not your home.

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