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There is an issue with one of my properties. Cracks, which you can fit your finger through keep appearing inside the property. In two of the bedrooms and in the hallway. Late last year I didn't think much about it, so I got the cracks filled and rooms repainted. The cracks have reappeared. I have therefore asked the building insurance to come and investigate, which they are now doing. As a result of all this my tenants (a group of sharers), are asking for a rent reduction or to break the contract and leave, as they don't feel safe. I have been assured by the insurance company that the property is safe. What rent reduction would you offer?
Get things in writing first. Assuming that the property is otherwise in good working order and no issues, why would you give discount? Possibly a gesture of goodwill, a one off.
Always worth being fair, but be careful giving discounts
A crack like that means something has moved, assuming they are not fracking under your property! How old is the house, what is the construction? We had some cracking at the top of an internal wall where previous building had stupidly been concrete blocks directly to a wooden floor. You need to sort it regardless of tenants.
As mentioned above cracks appearing in walls etc should always be investigated fully. What i would do is mark the crack with ie pencil and see if it has moved over a period of weeks. You can buy special measuring instruments which is a plastic measure put against the crack to see of it moves as well. Don't leave it - it will not go away. Explain to tenants the position and review it far a few weeks when you are able to find out what the problem is.
Their point about feeling unsafe is BS.
If they genuinely felt unsafe, then a discount in rent wouldn't suddenly make them feel safe again would it?
I would get a surveyor in, if they deem it to be safe then I would offer a one-month reduction in rent of say 10% for the inconvenience of having the property checked out as a measure of goodwill. It would also make me consider whether they are the kind of tenants who could become more of a problem down the line.
So the tenants will feel safe if the price is reduced, how much of a saving is there life worth? £25? £50. Laughable.
If they were really concerned about their life. They'd be demanding the tenancy is severed without hesitation so they can move out from a dangerous building. Infact if they were that concern about their safety, they wouldn't even wait for that. They should move out with immediate effect and worry about paying rent/talking with LL after.
The actually cracks are a different story, but them asking for a rent reduction is pulling wool over your eyes.
To cover your back, I'd have them moved out and leave the property vacant until you get it fully repaired (if thats possible).
I'm always super dubious about 'filling in the cracks' - That's a super short term fix that never solves the issue. If the property is starting to subside, a bit of plaster and filler will not stop a 10ton+ building from going any further.
P.S. I saw a house for sale a few weeks ago which was a cash only sale. A few days later the property was relisted at a reduced price of £15,000.
We then found out from a friend of a friend who looked to buy it. The reason it was cash only was because the building is dropping at a fairly alarming rate. Afternoon some more digging, we found out that the have the works done to lift a building of this status back up, was....£15,000! Mortgage companies would not touch is once they saw the searches.
Be careful if your houses are tilting. It's not a cheap or stress free situation to have.
What is the age and construction of the property?
Any similar cracks in property near by?
Omega Property (Formerly SBS Ltd.)
I am not professionally trained to give advice, generally posting for the benefit of the community or my own personal development.