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  • Problem Tenants

    Feeling wronged ... What would you do?



    Ok, so I am pretty used to getting my houses back wrecked.  In fact over 23 years as a landlord it seems to always happen.  This is why I am gradually selling up.  Everybody seems to make great play of what marvellous returns you can make (this one was gross 4%) but completely ignores the huge deterioration that tenants seem to inflict on houses.

    Anyway the latest is no exception.  The tenants have been there for 2 and a half years.

    When they moved in the living room and the dining room both had new laminate floors and had just been newly repainted.  The laminate cost £421 on a deal at B&Q, but obviously there was also the labour in laying it.  Now for some reason they have decided to regularly mop the floors and now the laminates are ruined.  Superficially they look ok but really they are wrecked as bits have lifted off.  So I could probably relet if the new people were happy to have rugs on top but that isn't exactly fair or the way I like my houses to be.

    I have had laminates in my own houses in the past and they have still been like new after 10 years.  In fact I have a laminate floor in the living room of an hmo that I laid in 1998 and it still looks perfect.

    The walls have come back very badly marked and stained in many places and the top of the fireplace is ruined.

    The kitchen is cleaned but a new hood was fitted whilst they were there and it literally has grease hanging off it.

    All of the gloss white doors in the house which were all fresh are black with dirt.

    I just feel a little wronged.

    However during the tenancy there was a significant issue with damp in the bedrooms and throughout the house.  This was their fault.  I am pretty sure of this because I had let the house for over 20 years before and never had an issue.  They had black mould and peeling paper literally everywhere within 2 months of moving in.  This was the same painted paper that was on the walls when I bought the house in 1996 and had been painted a few times over the years always looking perfect.

    I sorted their mould problem by installing a Newair whole house vent system and a new cooker hood and a new bathroom extractor but apart from a clean up didn't redecorate as the house was rammed full with their things.

    The result is that they have moved out now 2 and a bit years on from the damp issue and I didn't even bother advertising the house.  I am now at the beginning of what will be a £10k refurb.  They moved into a well presented house.  Like all tenants they don't think they have done anything wrong. 

    I am on the verge of just giving back their full deposit and taking this on the chin because I am so utterly demoralised by people and the whole buy to let thing now where the landlord is always assumed to be the one in the wrong. All I need is a great big argument over damp making me out to be some sort of scumlord. What would everyone else do?

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    Sorry the hear your unfortunate experience. I expect many have similar stories as its all part and parcel of the business of being a landlord. I must say I have never had any such problems in 30 years of renting. perhaps i have just been very lucky.

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    It is relentless.  Nice people can still ruin houses.  I don't know how it is that tenants seem to inflict far more wear on properties than my family does and we have 4 children.

    Over the years my maintenance bill has been eye-watering and that is doing most of the work myself. It could be that I have high standards but part of the reason I am gradually closing out and not reletting is that nothing is ever up to scratch in my opinion. I do get accused of being a perfectionist. 

    My own house is worth a couple of million and I like it just right.  I go for the same standards in my let places but nobody seems to care/ look after them properly.

    I think I need to go for small units that can be pressure washed at the end of tenancies and be done with it!

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    The problem is because its not their own house/flat many do not care less.

    We in our own homes, if there's a problem we fix it straight away, they just leave it and it always get worst. Maybe you should not return all the deposit but I know where you are coming from.

    Perhaps you should invest in those storage containers being made into living spaces. Then you can have everything bolted down and pressure washing would be much easier.

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    I don't Blame you selling up, I have.  The Rules and Regulations are so biased in favour of the Tenant that your fighting a losing battle !!! 

    Apart from wear and Tear - example : A Carpet worn away after being walked upon 1000's of times, the property should be returned to you in the exact same condition as when Let - Not dirty doors or grease hanging from the cooker hood - they should lose their Deposit - but again the DPS are Biased towards the Tenants - So Hardluck .... Jeez !!!

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    Hi James

    I get where you are coming from, just had a tenant leave a property who has always claimed to be houseproud, cooker and window frames suggested otherwise

    you wouldnt have moved into the flat the state it was in

    We now put less and less into the properties, cooker hoods get taken out as an example, we use wall extractor fans, everything painted white, fewer white goods

    only change carpet where needed, on new builds we use amtico flooring at £26 a metre, it has been in some of our flats for over 10 years and still looks good


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    Chartered Accountant, FCA 34th year in public practice,

    BTL since 1992

    http://www.blythepropertyholdings.com

    Hi David

    Out of interest, did you return the full deposit to the tenant that just left?

    I have rarely ever withheld any deposit funds because I like an easy life but with the hoops we have to jump through now, and squeezed margins, I might just be unfairly mugging myself!  Surely in the case above I can prove that I am actually incurring costs that arguably I shouldn't have to.

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    There was no deposit, as this was a tenant who I took away from the agent

    but if there had been, I would have returned the deposit, never found TDS to be on the landlords side with wear and tear or cleaning

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    I have had the same- amtico flooring and now after 20yrs its probably needs replacing. Great stuff and well worth the original outlay.

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    can i make a suggestion regarding flooring, go for a luxury vinyl tile rather than laminate flooring, the stuff i use costs around £12 per m2 plus fitting, but lasts forever, it can be mopped to tennants heart content.

    page 47 https://www.carpetandflooring.co.uk/CFS%2...ection.pdf

    lifetime gaurantee for domestic aplications

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    Hi Broose,

    I tried the link but a) it's unsecure so my system doesn't like it and b) when I went to the main URL it was a test page!  Do you have the name of the actual product so I can search for it please (just out of curiosity as we've just finished the refurb).

    Thanks,

    Heather.

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