Should I offer a discount to tenants for inconvenience?(21 Posts)
I have a small ex-LA flat (I lived there before moving in with DH) I let out to a wonderful young couple (quiet, pleasant, reasonable, responsible etc). I'm grateful for such great tenants. One works and the other is doing a post-grad degree so they're not rolling in cash.
The LA have decided to replace the windows in the building (and about time too). This will amount to some inconvenience for the tenants (they have had to be in when the windows were measured, someone will have to be home for the builders etc). I believe the window replacement itself will be finished in one day, and the windows should be much better than the current lot. I assume there will be some dust and mess.
Should I offer them a discount on their rent to compensate for the inconvenience or should I give them one if they ask? If so, how much is reasonable? Or is this a situation where a gift would be appropriate, just to thank them for dealing with this with such good grace?
I'd just give a gift, that in itself is lovely, most LLs wouldn't do anything
I would give it as a gift as well. You sound really lovely.
Ours didn't when they had numerous amounts of DIY to the flat & garden. We left shortly after as it felt like we were not getting what we paid for. I don't think you have to do anything but if you do it is appreciated and will likely help retain them as tenants.
I think I feel a bit maternal toward them and they have been smashing.
The LA have been exceptionally crap so the tenants have had far more contact with them than I would have liked and I feel they deserve thanks for that.
M&S voucher maybe?
The tenants do not have to be home to arrange access for the LA/builders - you have to arrange acces btw. Unless the tenants want to be there it's up to you to sort out a key holder and access.
I wouldn't give them a discount on the rent because then you are setting a precedent for when future work is done but perhaps a voucher or some wine/flowers?
I'd give them a discount and did same in similar situation. In fact due to crapbuilder they got a month free. I think that feels more businesslike.
You can't expect them to be home. It's not their problem. Will they be expected to miss work? You should be there to oversea the work
Ha, when our boiler was condemned late November we were left with an unheated house and no hot water for a week and a half - nothing from our landlord. I was raging!
When we had some external building repairs done, I refunded our lovely tenants the rent for the five days it took, as it must have caused them some inconvenience, although they were out most of the time. In return, they are generally very helpful. eg sent me photos of the work in progress.
Knock a bit off the rent if you like. Not an m and s voucher,not everyone wants knickers or overpriced food!
Kokusai and leighdinglady you are absolutely right, but the Council, who have 'measured for the windows' maybe four times since 2002 but have never actually taken any action to replace them, suddenly in the space of a single week put half a dozen letters through the tenants' letterbox telling them it would be done imminently. I was not notified. Of course the Council have my mailing address, they send me all the bills (and I live two streets away ffs), but the contractor has been contacting the tenants. Until my friend downstairs told me about it I had no idea it was going ahead. I didn't want or expect the tenants to have any contact with them at all.
Normally when there is something like a boiler safety inspection that needs to take place I offer to arrange the inspection and then okay it with the tenants, but that involves so much arranging and rearranging that they have said they're quite happy if the Corgi chap contacts them and they will arrange it themselves.
As a former tenant I know I would rather be in on my own to wait for a tradesman myself rather than (1) being out and having my landlord in my home or (2) actually hosting my landlord all afternoon while we wait together. But the option is always there. I work from home only minutes from the flat so it is not difficult for me to arrange to be there.
QuiteUnfitBit yes, this is the sort of relationship I would like to maintain.
specialsubject yes, good point. Nothing spends like cash.
friendlessfred I had that concern. Up to now most of the maintenance (decorating etc) has been done in between tenants and just small things like safety inspections and minor repairs have taken place while tenants are living there. I can't think of a bigger project that might take place in the next few years, unless the roof needs repair. Tbh if another project of this size was necessary in the future I'd be happy to offer another discount.
I did wonder if the windows are defective or the works do not proceed smoothly that might involve more faffing and they might then expect a second discount, so I may wait until everything is done to everyone's satisfaction before I offer.
I may wait until everything is done to everyone's satisfaction before I offer
Yes, that was what I did. I think it's fine to set a precedent for a rebate for the days when they have been disturbed, as that seems reasonable and professional, and I would expect to do that again, should the need arise. I felt a gift would have been more of a precedent, and a bit personal. The rebate was for the specific number of days they were inconvenienced.
When there's been a small thing that's needed to be done, eg gas check, they have been happy to have the gas man contact them to arrange an appointment. The mum is at home for part of the week, so it works well, as I think she prefers that to me showing him in. I would feel a bit bad about going in her home, as it's a bit of an unequal relationship.
QuiteUnfitBit thanks for your reply.
If I do a calculation based on the number of days they'll have been inconvenienced I think the discount would come in under £100. DH said I should offer 'a couple of hundred quid' - ?! If calculating per day did you do the maths to actual pence? That would be more professional but I'd feel like a pedant.
Like you I'd prefer not to be in their home because who wants their landlord poking around? But I have the time to do it and would be happy to if it was more convenient.
To be fair the tenants' were only involved because they didn't notify me that they'd received notice from the contractor about the windows, it seems because they thought they'd want to be there during the works anyway so they were 'not bothering me' about it. I don't mean to infantilise them; if they had been unhappy I'd have thought they'd contact me immediately to ask why on earth I hadn't notified them re windows. But I do think they just thought they were being helpful.
The notoriously awful LA are at fault, to absolutely no one's surprise. Since 2002 they have first said there was no budget left for new windows in our building (all the surrounding flats were done then), then I had to pester them when the glass was in danger of falling out of the window onto passersby (because the exterior hadn't been painted since 2002 and frames had rotted) and then they did repairs. For the last 5-8 years they've been pestering us to pay a made-up sum for the windows despite having no contractor to do the job, then they tendered (and measured) a number of times but never went ahead with the work. Due to their usual slipshoddery I have fears about the standard of the work and the windows themselves, but now I'm just ranting.
After the work was completed, I said I'd give them a pro rata rebate for the number of days, and transferred it to their bank account. I did actually round it up, although I didn't mention that to them.
The LA sound like a nightmare! I hope they do a good job with the windows.
Cheers. Fingers crossed!
Thank you for your sensible advice.
I wouldn't get into a rent rebate but a thank you gift would be nice. Something like a voucher for a local restaurant or, as others suggested, M&S.
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