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  • Buy-to-Let

    Advice on tenant damage mid-tenancy

    I did an inspection a few days ago and noticed damage to the carpets, skirting and door frames done by the tenant’s dog. 

    The tenant apologised and said she will make good all of the damage, was thinking about decorating anyway and was going to ask for permission on changing carpets to laminates.

    I had noticed very slight damage to the carpet a few months ago but now seems to have got worse. 

    She has said she was going to do a few things to the place a few months ago and she hasn’t done anything yet. 

    I can slowly see the place deteriorating at a slow rate. 

    My question is, should I be worried?

    If she was to leave next month I would say this all needs to be fixed or it will be deducted from the deposit, but what do you say to a tenant mid-tenancy?

    Would you state that it needs to be fixed or do you leave it to the tenant?

    As long as they fix it before they leave, is it an issue?

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    I don't let tenants decorate except if no issues for 6 months(ie not yours.. they clearly don't care about the place).  Then, I permit one small thing to be done to see if quality OK.  I advise you to decline your tenant's kind offer of any changes.

    I'd do nothing more.  If they reform their behaviour and stay 20 years no issues.  If they go in the next couple of years go after deposit and/or also sue for damages.

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    I would send the tenant an email listing what you've seen so that it's on record, as well as reminding them they said they'd fix the problems, asking them when they'd be looking to do the repairs. As mentioned by TAD above I wouldn't let them do any decorating/make changes until the above problems they've created have been rectified, saying you will consider it when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

    Good luck!

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    ##### As mentioned by TAD above ....#####

    - ummnnn, Thanks, actally  TAL - .. theartfullodger

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    Thanks both.

    "I wouldn't let them do any decorating/make changes until the above problems they've created have been rectified" - The decorating IS rectifying the damage. I.e. Damaged carpet being replaced with laminates.

    Just to be clear I do allow my tenants to decorate however my policy is made clear to the tenant and is as follows...

    1. I must be consulted on every decision
    2. Everything must be completed to a professional standard which I will inspect. I will highlight any problems with the job, just as if I was using a builder myself.
    3. I will recommend my tradespeople if necessary for them to use.


    But my question is more about do you let the tenants live in the damages they have created?

    "I would send the tenant an email listing what you've seen so that it's on record, as well as reminding them they said they'd fix the problems, asking them when they'd be looking to do the repairs"

    This could work. But if they don't respond with a timescale, would I really be in a position to chase them? Just thinking if this could be seen as harassment and ruining their 'quiet enjoyment'. My main concern is what the property is like when it's handed back to me but also preventing things from worsening.


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    I would always give the tenant the opportunity to change their ways. I've stated in the past that it's my duty as a LL if I see something going wrong that could result in a claim on the deposit to inform the tenant so that they can stop any further damage that is not fair wear and tear. If they're not ok with this then they're showing their true colours and you should then start weighing up your options.  There's no harrassment here, just a polite reminder of what you've seen and what they've said they'd do, in writing. I would also state that you'd like to re-inspect the areas in question in X weeks to make sure there hasn't been any further deterioration.

    The fact that carpet was there when they moved in should be pointed out politely, and that you had no intention of changing to laminate flooring and don't usually look to do such upgrades during a typical tenancy - if you feel it is necessary to state this. It all depends on your tenant profile and how long you realistically see them staying there.

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    Yeh that makes sense.

    I agree I think it's important to point this out so they are aware, but also they know you are aware of it too!

    Thanks again

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    Hi Adam just wondering did you carry out an initial inventory before the tenant moved in and has it been signed.

    When you have carried out inspections have you taken photos and written a report or had a clerk carry out for you .

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    Yes an inventory was done at the start via an independent clerk.

    For mid-tenancy inspections, I do this myself. It's not really a report, I just document only the areas which have changed (which include pictures and notes)

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