I’ve been enduring the unpleasant task of taking viewings this week for a property that’s due to become available very shortly.
Admittedly, the property isn’t in the absolute best condition. Structurally, it’s sound, however, there are some visual horrors on the decor front. I wouldn’t say it’s cripplingly bad, but there are some mortifying features, like out-dated kitchen units, and the downstairs hallway that is screaming to be stroked with a fresh lick of paint.
As I was showing one couple around, they said they liked the property, but hesitant to commit because of the decor. They specifically mentioned the shit-stained kitchen units and the dull-as-sin walls.
They’re right. I couldn’t blame them. In hindsight, I should have addressed these issues before marketing the property *slaps forehead*
After they had a moment to themselves, presumably strategising their next move, they approached me with an offer. They said they’ll take the property on the basis that they can redecorate the property (if I pay for the supplies) and if I reduce the rent by £30 per month (in exchange for their labour).
Interesting! Very interesting!
Let’s weigh it up…
Advantages for Landlord
- First and foremost, it saves me from having to do the work. I bloody hate painting.
- I don’t need to get in labourers to do the work, which would realistically cost me more than reducing rent by £30 per month.
- If I were to get decorators in now (or do it myself), it may prolong the vacancy period, which would ultimately cost me more. The couple were ready to move in immediately.
Disadvantages for Landlord
- The standard of work could be an utter abomination and I’d have no recall.
- If it goes wrong, it could potentially cause a sour relationship.
- Lower monthly rental income.
Advantages for Tenants
- They’ll save money
- They’ll live in a freshly decorated property
- They’ll be able provide input on the refurb, so they’ll live in a property they’ll get to enjoy
Disadvantages for Tenants
I actually couldn’t think of any. Did I miss the bigger picture here?
Perhaps, some ground rules would help?
If I were to agree to the offer there would definitely need to be ground rules, least of all to help counter the possibility of a piss-poor finish.
- Work needs to be completed to a high standard. If not, the work will need to be redone at the tenant’s expense. “High standard” would need to be defined.
- There will be a set budget on materials.
- We all get a say on the colour palette.
My biggest reservation is that if this goes wrong it could be an epic disaster, not only on the poor craftsmanship front, but it wouldn’t exactly be the best start to our relationship. Can I really be assed for all that drama? Probably not. Is that my decision made? Let me sleep on it.
I’d be interested to know what you would do in this situation, or if you’ve had a similar arrangement? If so, how did it go?
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.