I’ve been taking viewings this week for a property that’s due to become available very shortly. Admittedly, the property isn’t in tip-top condition and people have pointed that out to me. Structurally, it’s sound, no problems there. I’m talking about the visual pleasantries. Well, visual horrors, in this case, like out-dated kitchen units that look like they’ve been smeared with satan’s excrement and walls that are screaming to be stroked with a fresh lick of paint. Basically, nice bricks, shit everything else!
As I was showing one couple around the house, they said they liked the property, but was hesitant to commit because of the outdated style. They specifically mentioned the shit-stained kitchen units, the dull walls and the horrid coffee stained carpet located in the master bedroom. All features which I knew were dragging the property down.
Knowing the work needed to be done, and knowing that ignoring the work would result in a struggle to pull in the punters, my quick-wit (ha) lead me to put a deal on the table. I proposed that I’ll buy new paint, carpet and kitchen unit doors of their choice (as long as they’re neutral colours and I accept their taste), if they agree to do the labour. In return for their hardwork I’ll lower the rent by £30 per month. That’s £360 they’ll be saving annually. They seemed pretty cool with the idea. And I’m sure a lot of other landlords/tenants would snap at the opportunity.
Advantages for Landlord
- I don’t need to get in labourers to do the work, which would cost me a lot more than reducing rent by £30 per month.
- If I were to get decorators in now (or do it myself), I would have to keep the property empty for at least another week. That would cost me even more money. By doing it my way, tenants move in straight away, and decorating can begin when they’re ready.
Advantages for Tenants
- They’ll save money
- They’ll live in a freshly decorated property
- They’ll get to provide input on the decoration styling, so they’ll live in a property they’ll get to enjoy
There were a few outlined rules that needed to be agreed, which were as follows:
- Work needs to be completed to a high standard. If not, the work will need to be redone at the tenant’s expense. I’ll be moderating.
- I will provide a strict definition of “high quality” and will be moderating at every step, so there’s no confusion.
- There will be a set budget. This is a business move, nothing else.
I must confess though, I probably won’t commit to this deal because I’ve found another potential tenant that is willing to pay more than the asking price, and is willing to pay 3 months upfront, and pay for the 2 weeks that i’ll need to revamp the property. The guy is probably a drug dealer (even though he told me he’s a professional), but as long as rent is paid…
Just to clarify, I will be checking references from previous landlords and employers. I ain’t no fool, fool!
Even though I won’t be commiting to the deal, I thought I’d just write this situation up because I think it’s still a pretty good idea if any Landlord has a property that needs work.
Anyhow, I’ve decided to look under my thick layer bondage gear to get my work overalls out and do the work myself. It’s going to be pretty tough because I’ll have to juggle the labour around my nine-to-five and my ever so demanding social life! But it should be a nice D.I.Y learning curve.
I’d be interesting to know if any Landlord or Tenant would ever strike up a deal like this. Anyone? Someone?