Here is a question for the blog clinic from Susan who is a landlord:
My tenant – in the middle of the second of a three year tenancy agreement – looks after the house brilliantly, BUT nearly every month he asks for something to be replaced or repaired or redecorated.
I have even added an extra radiator, put in a wood-burner and double glazed some windows at his request. My letting agent assures me that it is better to have someone who cares enough to want to improve the property, but his constant requests (all of which I have met up to now) are beginning to eat into any small profit.
This is the first time I have been a landlord and the first tenant who has been so “demanding”. My question is: Is this normal? Am I being unreasonable to begin to question the regularity of the requests?
My view is that your tenant is not entitled to make all these demands. You are responsible for maintaining the property in a good condition under your landlords ‘covenants’ which are set out in section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 but these are all about maintaining the existing condition – keeping the structure and exterior of the property in repair and the installations for the supply of electricity, gas etc.
They do NOT require you to improve the property. So long as the property is in repair, and there are no health and safety issues, that is the limit of your legal liability.
So far as replacing and repairing things are concerned – for each request you need to consider why it is necessary. If it is the tenant who has broken them then, unless it it down to ”fair wear and tear’, it is for the tenant to pay for the cost of repair.
The tenant takes the property as seen and cannot expect you to upgrade it for him. Redecoration for example, is normally down to the tenant to do and pay for unless the tenancy agreement states otherwise.
So far as future requests are concerned, take it on a case by case basis. If it is for an item which could genuinely have broken down due to normal usage then best to replace it. Check your tenancy agreement to find out what you are responsible for.
However if the request is something more in the nature of an upgrade of the property, such as double glazing and the like, say to him that he took the property as seen, but that you are willing to upgrade it if in turn the rent is increased to reflect this.
If you keep giving in to his demands he is probably going to keep asking.