NEVER Believe The Crap Tenants Promise During Viewings

Never trust tenants

Bit of a no-brainer, but I’ll share my story anyways, because it’s cool to emphasise the importance of staying true to the rules of thumb now and then.

Today the penny finally dropped. I’ve conceded to the humiliating fact that my snake-oil tenant pulled the wool over my – what evidently seems to be – stupid and useless eyes.

Hook, line and sinker! I fell for the promises B.S she fed me during the viewing.

Reality dawned upon me late last night, when I received a text message from my tenant, reporting a “broken door”

Naturally, I shat my pants wondering which idiot did what to the door, so I launched an onslaught of questions in an attempt to encourage her to do what she should have done in the first place – provide me with an explanation of the actual problem, as opposed to a namby-pamby statement, which really, meant absolutely nothing at all.

Nope, during the viewing my tenant didn’t promise me that her ‘problem reporting’ skills were impeccable. If she had done, that would have been two pieces of shit she fed me, and I’d rather top myself than accept the fact that she outmanoeuvred me twice. I’ll get onto what she actually lied to me in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

After what felt like a life-time of exchanges, the mist finally cleared; what my tenant was actually trying to tell me is that the living room’s door handle had become stiff, and she wanted me to make it… unstiff.

*Slaps forehead*

HAVE YOU TRIED LOOKING AT THE DOOR HANDLE SQUARE IN THE FACE AND TOLD IT ONE OF YOUR STUPID MAINTENANCE ISSUES? THAT USUALLY KILLS MY STIFFY!

Rewind back to the viewing…

So, onto the baloney-pie she fed me during the viewing:

My dad is a painter & decorator.

My mum is a painter and decorator.

My cousin is a builder.

My cousin’s cousin is a builder.

My uncle is a spanner.

My brother is a hammer.

My nan is a spirit level.

I come from a long line of highly skilled tradesmen and tools.

I have building and decorating in my blood.

I am building and decorating.

So, the good thing about me is, that if any general DIY needs doing, I’ve got it covered. I won’t need to bother you.

Well, hump me sideways. For someone that has DIY so deeply ingrained in their blood, getting stumped by a stiff door handle is just bat-shit crazy. And annoying.

Here, try this, you lying sack of potatoes:

WD40

I should have known earlier!

As said, I should have realised something smelt fishy long ago. I guess my pride and gigantic ego didn’t want to admit failure.

The stiff door handle issue was just one of several primitive problems reported over the last couple of years. I should have known the moment she was perplexed by the light-bulb that needed replacing in the cooker’s extractor hood. Then after that, came a feature-wall she erected in the living room, which looked like it had been painted by a newborn donkey.

Now, I’m not saying I chose my tenant for her [non-existent] connections (because I didn’t), but it would have been nice if her claims materialised, because at the very least, it could have reduced the amount of time I waste on the niggling little problems… that slowly make you want to lose the will to live.

JUST SPLASH SOME FUCKING WD40 ON IT, YOU TWIT!! YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT IF YOUR NAN IS A SPIRIT LEVEL!

*Deep breathes*

If she had those handy connections it would have been a bonus, and I’m not going to lie, it was a minor factor I did bear in mind when choosing tenants. I’m just bored of dealing with dumb maintenance issues that I get notified of (which I really, really, really shouldn’t), like squeaky hinges, wonky bog-roll holders, and replacing light-bulbs. So anyone that offers me a glimmer of hope of at least minimising those issues, gets rewarded with a slight boost in preference.

She must have seen the desperation when I started foaming around the mouth as she gave me hope. She could probably tell I had dealt with one too many shoddy paint-jobs, and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

She took advantage, she said exactly what I wanted to hear, so I ended up believing what I wanted to believe.

Either way, I shouldn’t have paid any attention to her unsubstantiated claims. That was my mistake, and it was such a rookie mistake, too. I should whack that bottle of WD40 down my gullet for being so incompetent.

To clarify, I don’t want any tenant or their relatives to attempt any real D.I.Y issues, because that’s a wonderful recipe for disaster. However, I do expect them to have the initiative to squirt a little grease on a handle when required. No self-respecting landlord wants to get dragged out of bed to deal with that nonsense, or even worse, pay someone else to deal with it!

Fortunately, I hedged my bets, because the factors that really mattered, like, a good salary, impeccable references, seemingly decent personal hygiene, and a steady job, were all in play.

But yeah, other than the fact she pulled my pants down with the whole “I’m Mrs DIY” crap, she’s an absolutely wonderful tenant! No complaints.

Landlording 101

Never believe the shit tenants tell you during a viewing (and vice versa).

And if you do, hedge your bets.

In my case the end result wasn’t too bad, because in the grand scheme of things, I didn’t hang my hopes on a factor overly fundamental. But you can see the potential in how devastating it can be if landlords blindly believe in unsubstantiated claims during viewings.

Always question what you’re told, and don’t believe anything without evidence!

In order to make me feel less futile, can you please tell me about a time when your tenant or landlord pulled the wool over your hazy eyes? Merci beaucoup xoxo

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76 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 26 - 76 comments (out of 76)
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 12:54

@Carol,
Dear lord, you just dragged up some awful memories! You always need to be weary of people that make a lot of noise about their impeccable standards and glowing self-confidence.

I once had a tenant that was also a landlord, so I was just assumed they would provide me with the same courtesy that they expect from their own tenants. Seems logical, right?

Similarly to your experience, it was a bloody nightmare. Probably one of the worst tenants I ever had, which was a real eye-opener considering their position.

We live, we learn!

Thanks for sharing your story, and reminding me that even landlords don't necessary make the best tenants.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 13:22

@Jenn,
I've learnt the hard way that as soon as rent payments starts becoming irregular, landlords should take action IMMEDIATELY, as opposed to waiting around. Too many landlords give tenants the benefit of the doubt and end up paying for it.

The reality is, most tenants in that situation only end up getting deeper into arrears.

Personally, I think you're doing the right thing by serving notice.

So, the way I approach situations like yours, is that I explain to the tenant that I completely emphasise and appreciate their position, and I try to be accommodating as possible. But then, I explain that I'm serving notice (whichever one is appropriate) for safety purposes - just in case they can't resolve their financial difficulties. If they do resolve it, you don't have to enforce the notice (obviously that's your decision and it ultimately depends on your tenants circumstances).

Goodluck!

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 13:25

@Mike,
100% agree.

"you will get this house/flat back in a lot better condition" - a classic line that no landlord should fall for.

I've read some comments in the past from other landlords, claiming that they have received their property back in better condition. But from my experience, it's never happened, so I imagine it's an unbelievably rare outcome.

I would never bank it!

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Stealth Bomber 21st September, 2018 @ 13:26

The thing with being a landlord is you have to know in advance what you are prepared to accept or not. Yes there is no substitute for experience and steering around pitfalls, but you know yourself as a person, and should have an idea on what you will or will not accept. If you want to go round every month to grease the door locks then it`s probably not for you.
Get your properties solid on the maintenance front, and there`s nothing to really get in a lather over, unless its damage or misuse that causes a problem, and there`s not a deal you can do about that happening. My letting agent as an all singing and dancing app/online portal for reporting things. I opt out of that because I don`t want tenants sat at home just pressing buttons for the sake of it. But I do try and build a confidence with them to report things, without fearing they will get the blame for it.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 13:29

@Paul Barrett,
I believe in Shelter's underlying cause, but I agree, some of their ideas are just plain ridiculous and unfair. It's almost like they don't consult with any real landlords before exerting their opinions or policies.

"I believe as the tenants become more desperate with reducing rental stock that their behaviour will change." - I hope so. But I also think that might be counteracted by an increasing amount of support for tenants i.e. with the spread of the narrative that tenants are victims by default.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 13:34

@Claire (comment #6),
Haha @ "lalala I'm not listening"

Claire, can't believe you're kicking me while I'm down! Regardless of the fact you're dead right, you should be pandering me with a morbid story of how you got turned over.

I agree, I would never want tenants to actually do real DIY, but I do want and expect tenants to be able to change lightbulbs... and resolve a stiff door handle. I don't want to be bothered with stuff like that.

Little issues like that are a money-pit for landlords that don't live close to their rentals.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 13:52

@Charlotte Walker
In theory that sounds like a good way of minimising the crazy call-outs, but you're still always going to have issues crop up.

The thing is, my tenant never sold me with the whole DIY crap, it was more so that she gave me hope that she would be competent enough to deal with the little issues if they were to occur.

She quickly went from DIY warrior to a DIY imbecile in my withering eyes.

Going forward, I should probably ask all protective tenants to do a practical exam. I'll ask them to tighten screws, change lightbulbs, and for good measure, I'll put a bin next to the kitchen sink, and get them to choose which one they should dispose food into.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 14:23

@Claire (comment #9),

First and foremost, thank you for sharing! Your awful experience has confirmed that I'm not sitting alone on the stupid step.

It always hurts more when you know you should know better.

"Treat all prospective tenants the same", never a truer word spoken!

I personally made a rule long ago to never let to anyone I know personally. It just makes the whole situation cloudy for me.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 14:28

@helen clarke,
Holy moly. Talk about close call.

If you didn't live close by and/or if you hadn't of gone round there as quickly as you did... game over!

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 14:34

@Claudine,

WTF @ "put everything out in the garden for 6 months"!!

I've mentioned it before in a few blog posts- some of my worst tenants have been "professionals"

I don't pay little attention to the prestige of someone's job anymore, because it really doesn't define someone's character, or their ability to be a good tenant.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 14:49

@Dave,

I'd be interested to know who actually defined those issues you mentioned as fair wear and tear - was it the agent or the deposit scheme?

I'm with you, I can't fathom how anyone can class them as fair wear and tear. That said, the deposit schemes appear to be increasingly siding with tenants unfairly these days.

I had a tenant that seemingly allowed her young daughter to play with nail polish and spill it freely all over the carpets. Weirdly, he got shirty with me when I said he needs to pay for the clean up cost, because he felt it was wear and tear. Not sure what planet he was living on.

Long story short, he ended up paying. There was no way I was going to concede.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 14:50

@Grumpy
*slaps forehead*

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 15:01

@Lorraine,

Hahah! God, reminds me of my tenant from several years ago.

She complained the drain in the garden was over-spilling every time she run the kitchen sink. So I called out Dyno-Rod (who are extortionate, by the way) to clear the blockage.

The engineer's report showed that my tenant had been rinsing hot fat/oil and rice down the sink instead of scraping her dirty plates into the bin first.

Beggars belief.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 15:29

@Phil,
I certainly believe in a bad run of tenants!

Hahah tenants and their pets, man! The lengths pet-owners go to are incredible.

Coincidentally, last week I had a let a plumber into a property because my tenant was at work.

As soon as I opened the front door, a cat dashed inside the house, which initially got me very concerned.

In fairness to my tenant, the property was immaculate, but still, there was no mention of a cat.

As said in a previous comment, experience has taught me that a tenants occupation is meaningless. I had a head-chef as a tenant, and he was one of the filthiest buggers I had ever come across. The kitchen was saturated in congealed fat, and the cooker and oven and clearly NEVER been cleaned. Absolutely disgusting.

I also had a tenant that was a surgeon, he was also a filthy bugger.

Two occupations which you'd think would be held by individuals with notably strong hygiene standards.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 15:33

@Tony,
Hahah, that's an example of exactly what I'm talking about.

Of course, stupid situations like that can easily transpire into expensive situations, so it's only hilarious when things don't get to that point. Otherwise, incompetence to that level is soul-destroying.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 15:59

@lurch,
Hahah what a ridiculous request.

You should have offered to paint fake windows, with fake scenery onto the walls!

He defo must have been genuinely depressed. Good joke, deserved at least a smirk!

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 17:19

@Davina
Haha, sounds like a comedy sketch!

I once had an encounter with a prospective tenant that spoke the Queen's English. I initially spoke to her on the phone- she was very keen to feed me a load of crap about how she came from a wealthy background, so I had high expectations.

I was mislead in a similar vain to you. She turned up to view the property in a clapped out car with a rickety engine that disturbed the entire road. She then started demanding all kinds of crap as she walked through each room.

Fortunately, she refused the property because I wouldn't pay for fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms (bearing in mind it's an unfurnished property).

Blessing in disguise, she was a proper div!

Don't feel intimidated. Be strong! But I definitely know the feeling. It's never nice dealing with unpleasant people. Just keep reminding yourself that you're in the right!

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 17:19

@brendan richardson
Thanks, appreciate it :)

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g mclandlord 21st September, 2018 @ 17:45

My tenant complained about many things.....her kid broke a decent living room door on a 100 year old property - she said it should have been stronger for him to swing on!
She didn't have a ladder so asked us to change the bulbs on a high ceiling. Also, didn't want to change bathroom bulb as it looked 'tricky'. Thought we should remove some snails. We didn't. Wouldn't arrange for gas fitter to service or fix sink - thought it was my job to waste a day to let all trades in. Lost keys so we had to go down with spare. Did it once.
Needless to say there was a fight over the bond when she left. I agreed to half just to get rid of her (she did more in damage than that).
Her dad was also a builder. She thought she was a princess.

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 17:55

@Gillian mclandlord
I've never been able to sympathise with tenants that get abusive when they're blatantly in the wrong e.g. in rent arrears. I have no interest in people that always misdirect their anger, because they always carry around the sense of entitlement.

You made the right call evicting them, that's for sure.

Pretty intense that the guy was found dead a few months later, though!

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The Landlord 21st September, 2018 @ 18:17

@Paul,
Landlords are people too, we've all gotta let it out somewhere :)

To be fair, it's when other landlords share their experiences - unrelated or otherwise - in blog posts like these, which end up making the most useful and interesting reads.

Some of the stories are hilarious, and I often learn useful tips and tactics from other landlords in the process. The comments sections are often the most useful, so I welcome everyone's story, even if it is slightly off topic.

100% agreed, I don't want my tenants doing any *real* DIY (which I've already said). As Glen said perfectly (in comment #1), the real ticking time-bombs are the non DIY enthusiasts who give any repair a try before contacting the landlord.

I don't expect my tenants to be particularly useful with DIY, but I do expect them to be able to address the very minimal of maintenance issues without the need to contact a landlord.

But also - which I feel like you're neglecting - in my very specific case, I [wrongly] assumed that applying WD40 to a stiff door handle was with in the capabilities of my tenant after she gave me her glossy pro-DIY sales pitch. She's the one that said she wouldn't bother me with little maintenance issues.

Also bear in mind, this blog post/rant was powered off the back of several stupid issues she had previously raised.

If she never made such a big song and dance about it all, this whole thing wouldn't be an issue.

I have no problem with tenants being useless at DIY. I'm not particularly skilled at DIY myself. But don't tell me you're a marathon runner when you don't have any legs. That's all I'm saying :)

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carmel 21st September, 2018 @ 22:11

Learnt so much from your blog. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your carry on x

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Benji 21st September, 2018 @ 22:19

@Paul,

Warren v Keen

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Benji 21st September, 2018 @ 22:24

@The Landlord,

Any chance of posting all your replies under one post?

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Benji 21st September, 2018 @ 22:50

C'mon Man! Throw me a bone.
What 'T' swear word is now acceptable on here?
Tellytubby?

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Paul 21st September, 2018 @ 23:24

I think perhaps that with all our justified whingeing about idiotic tenants we are forgetting something.
For those tenants that behave themselves; like paying the rent etc sometimes they just need a bit of assistance to carry out tasks that they should really be more than capable of.
But it reassures them if the LL attends even if a light bulb is changed while the LL hapoens to be there.
I know whenever I attend one of my properties I always ask if everything is OK or not however minor.
So I have changed bulbs and pressurised boilers; reset RCD etc!
The tenants appreciate this and I consider it is just something I do as a hands on LL.
It can be the little things which a impresses a tenant.
You will never know how being a helpful LL will impact on your business.
So while a LL should not be mollycoddling tenants sometimes for good tenants it could make all the difference in that good tenant wishing to stay your tenant.
None of my goid tenants have ever taken the p and so I have done things they should do ordinarily.
I don't mind and it keeps the customer satisfied!!!!!

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Benji 21st September, 2018 @ 23:34

@The Landlord,

Tellytubby seems to have escaped the moderator police.
Does that mean I can call a tit a "Dumbfuck Tellytubby" instead from now on?

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Benji 21st September, 2018 @ 23:38

@Paul,

Read "Warren v Keen" you Tellytubby.

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The Landlord 22nd September, 2018 @ 08:00

@Ben
TellyTubby is fine :)

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The Landlord 22nd September, 2018 @ 08:12

@Paul,
I think you're making a lot of baseless assumptions.

I can't speak for any other landlord on here, but I suspect they're like me.

I have a moan and share my experiences, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate my tenants or provide them with a good service. I don't actually vent my frustrations in front of my tenants, that's what this blog and my family are for.

Despite how ridiculous the maintenance issues are, I address them all. I feel like I go above and beyond. I think most of the comments on here from other landlords also demonstrate that. I can kindly and professionally deal with a stupid issue, and my service doesn't suddenly become any less professional because I verbalise the situation for what it is... stupid.

I think you're assuming that just because landlords vent on here, it automatically makes them less accommodating than you as a landlord.

I know how much tenants appreciate a quick response and action to all their concerns, and I know how valuable happy tenants are, so that's why I try my best to be as accommodating as possible.

But again, I think you're taking this very specific case (i.e. the stiff door handle scenario) out of context, and making it into something that it's not.

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Benji 22nd September, 2018 @ 08:45

@The Landlord,

Don't feed the Tellytubby!

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Paul 22nd September, 2018 @ 12:11

Yep I'm sure that we are all great LL on here.
Just need to remember that our tenants are our most valued customers.
Yes we can bitch about them to eachother to vent but I'm sure many tenants read this site.
So we should be respectful even though that is the last thing I have felt for some of my wrongun tenants.
Also is that Benji a little bit weird!!!???

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Paul Barrett 22nd September, 2018 @ 12:17

Warren V Keen
Love to see how the Deposit Adjudicator will take any notice of that!!
Tenant like manner!?
Do me a favour Benji?
The LL is always in the wrong!!

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Benji 22nd September, 2018 @ 13:03

"Also is that Benji a little bit weird!!!???"

Weird as a box of frogs, but unlike you, I know a bit about being a landlord;

"Warren V Keen
Love to see how the Deposit Adjudicator will take any notice of that!!
"

Here you are Tellytubby;

https://www.mydepositsscotland.co.uk/landlords/dispute-tools/case-studies/frozen-pipes

Adjudicator's Findings

The tenant had a duty to take reasonable care to safeguard the property from damage.

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Paul 22nd September, 2018 @ 14:02

Really Benji you really don't know as much as you believe
I reckon. I know far more than you!

Doesn't matter what the Adjudicator in Scotland states.
Different country full of bonkers Scotsman.
Down in the sane world in England LL struggle to win in adjudication disputes to the point that many LL don't even bother with deposits anymore.
Im afraid your assessment of your knowledge being better than mine is vastly misplaced.
Scotland to be is whefe veasties exist.
I would never countenance being a Scottish LL and have no interest in what happens in that far away land!
England is my interest.
Down here LL have real problems with deposit schemes.
But that isn't the isdue with tenant like manner.
Few tenants achieve this and so I reckon LL need to do some handholding at times no matter how frustrating this can be.Sort of goes with the territory.
But for LL who use LA I guess it could work out expensive.
That is a LL business decision.
Personally I'd rather cut my throat than use a High St LA.
This landlirding game has to be considered from a holistic perspective.
Dealing with people we call tenants can be really annoying at times.
One just has to be on one's game which fortunately I am.
Now a little question to validate your knowledge

Would a S21 be valid if the Gas Certificate was handed to the tenant after they had signed the tenancy?

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Benji 22nd September, 2018 @ 14:52

TLDR

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KPearson 22nd September, 2018 @ 21:18

Biggest con job ever by one of my tenants was a posh family. Mum & dad Oxbridge graduates, kids in private school, members of the golf club rented a brand new detached home.

Ended up with 3 months rent arrears by the time they left which we’d already started a claim for in court. Once we got in there we found there was £15,000 of damage in only 18 months in the property from new.

All the solid oak flooring had to be pulled up, new oven & toilets and worktops needed. All the glass on the dining room doors and the stainless steel splash back was scoured to death.

All the walls needed repainting, and were thick with mud. It was clear they’d NEVER so much as hoovered at any point during the tenancy. In fact the kitchen worktops looked like a bag of potting compost had been spread over them. I felt so very sad for their children living in those filthy conditions.

We’ve been pursuing them through the legal system for a year now and haven’t yet managed to recoup a single penny, despite the fact that they’re both working. They’re just ignoring the courts demands for them to supply their financial details. 😟

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Claudine 23rd September, 2018 @ 08:30

Paul, you seem to have it sussed, congratulations!!! Wish the tenants did bloody read this blog, might make them realise we’re not here to cater to every whim they have and we’re only human. Just because they rent doesn’t mean they don’t have to lift a finger. I’ve been asked to remove spiders, replace ovens (they didn’t know how to turn it on) unblock doorways which we’re used by them as a bin. If these people get their own properties what do they do? How do they make it to work each morning? The original post was about tenants pretending their something their not, not DIY. I’ve bent over backwards for a lot of my tenants only to have my fingers burnt. I’m alwaya professional. Some of the horror stories here where people are left with £15k damage are a lesson to us all and I’m glad people come on here to vent, that’s what it’s for. I feel for these poor landlords and I thank them for venting.

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The Landlord 23rd September, 2018 @ 10:02

@KPearson,
Truly awful.

Don't give up chasing! That's what they want!

God damn poshos!

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The Landlord 23rd September, 2018 @ 10:11

@Claudine
100% agreed! Well said.

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PaulP 23rd September, 2018 @ 21:16

@Benji 48

It is bizarre quoting some case law from 1953 which refers to " wind and water tight" and depends on implied terms.

The Landlord and Tenant Act came along soon after and has been updated several times, section 11 seems to put the obligation on US to keep a property wind and watertight.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11

Of course there are complete ijiot tenants but maybe the Landlords that rent to such Ijiots are Ijiots themselves and maybe so too those that expect more than is reasonable.

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Claudine 24th September, 2018 @ 08:49

There’s always one 🙄

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Amy 24th September, 2018 @ 14:22

I love this and it actually made me feel so much better about myself. I too get these queries all the time and it is frustrating to the point i questioned my own strength and sanity. But you have made me feel normal so thank you.
My favourite is when i inspected a house, i noticed a 5 inch whole on the INSIDE of the uPVC front door. I advised them that its clearly damaged and would need to be fixed before leaving otherwise it will be deducted from the deposit. They told me 'oh we noticed this at the weekend but have no idea how it got there, shall we call the police?'

I know

No words

My responce "erm...hmmm...what exactly are you going to report? 'my house has been burgled, the thief locked himself in, and tried to kick the door out, even though it opens inwards'"

Yeah sure be my guest.

Unfortunately they are still standing by their guns...i really do hope mydeposits see the logic with this one.

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The Landlord 24th September, 2018 @ 18:20

@Amy
Glad you feel better! Misery in numbers in so much sweeter, isn't it? :)

You're definitely not alone. I guess that's one of the best aspects of the comments section - you realise that you're going through the same experiences as many other landlords.

Years ago I had a tenant pretty much split the front door in half, and she pretty much said the same thing, "I don't know how that happened"

They didn't even report the issue to me, I saw it during the final inspection, on the day they were vacating. It was all very suspicious.

In my case, I managed to recoup the money through the deposit (I hope that gives you some hope).

My tenant was pretty pee'd about the whole ordeal, because it ended up costing £300 to replace the door. But I have no idea what she expected.

It may help your case if you have a inventory, and if you have written evidence (e.g. text messages) of the tenant admitting that the damage happened during their tenancy. Adjudicators generally rely purely on evidence.

I hope justice is served! If not, at least you can drown your sorrows with us again. Many of us have been stung by unfair deposit claim outcomes :/

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andrewa 25th September, 2018 @ 09:06

I too don't want my tenants doing dig (part of being a landlord is you must enjoy painting and decorating). Pitching up for a three month inspection disguising it as a maintenance visit with tool, tap washer, lightbulbs etc. and saying " I'm here for a maintenance visit" is a good excuse for checking to see if they are busy trashing the place :)

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StealthBomber 25th September, 2018 @ 17:21

@andrewa That might work if you only let one property out. But a growing portfolio would either make it impossible, or you ill 🤒 in the process. Quarterly inspections are about as welcome as an STD, and tenants do have the right to peace and being unmolested. Seeing you every 12 weeks would soon have them heading for the door, especially if there’s nothing wrong with the property in the first place. There’s really nothing to gain by it anyway. Things can turn on a sixpence, and properties go from well looked after, to trashed in no time, if things go wrong. You could go round every week but it won’t stop it. You have to build a trust with tenants, then you get a balance on what they are capable of, or expected to do, and what they should report. It works both ways, if tenants get scared of reporting things incase they get the blame, that can be a whole lot worse than reporting every stupid mortal thing.

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andrewa 25th September, 2018 @ 18:32

@stealthbomber
Valid point, I have 7 rental properties so its a good job I am retired as I spend about 16 hours a month on them. Its always better to replace a loose screw than an entire kitchen cupboard once the hinges have torn loose. Or re grout/seal a kitchen sink before wood rot sets in underneath. when I was still working for a boss and starting out as a landlord it was difficult to convince myself I was better off painting/plumbing/carpeting/tiling than my workmates in the pub or golf course on the weekends. However I am long retired whilst they are still working despite being in their late fifties or early sixties. After 12 years a property pays for itself, after 20 it pays you :) Its the early by are that are the killers though.

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Stealth Bomber 26th September, 2018 @ 18:52

@andrewa Wow, so your tenants have you hovering round for 2 hours every month, really? Anyways that simply is not the right answer, nor feasible, for most landlords. Those who are still working, those who own property in different towns, cities or even countries. Those who don’t have practical skills themselves, sure they going to pay for maintenance every 5 minutes. Maybe we digress a little here. The main key in tenants not having a go at DIY is to have things in good order from the start. Buy quality door handles, commercially rated, and you won’t need to oil them every week. Avoid egg box doors, remove security alarms, there’s loads of stuff landlords can do to reduce defects, problems and things not having a fair lifespan, which should see them to the next void period. Some landlords look on void periods like a knife in the anus, that’s up to them if they are financially stretched, (or mega greedy) I like a month clear on change of tenant, gives me chance to upgrade property a little, and check it thoroughly. At least you made it to retirement so congrats and enjoy.

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andrewa 26th September, 2018 @ 20:35

@ stealth bomber
Bit of a misunderstanding, Site visit every three months :) and I agree with you on buying heavy duty stuff for rentals. Better Cobra taps than Tiscalli! If I install the light bulbs the fittings don't get broken and I'm including travel time and parts buying expeditions. 13 kitchens and 20 toilets, 15 Baths and 10 showers with 10 gas and electric geysers means something is always going wrong ( some of the property's have cottages and granny flats attached). I too buy solid wood doors but would be unable to rent the places with out functional burglar alarms and garden intruder detection systems. Same with the radio operated electric gates and garage doors. Keep on slogging away at it and I hope all your mortgages are 20 year ones close to their burning parties:) from previous correspondence I believe the landlord of this site is getting close to winning out as well!

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Stealth Bomber 29th September, 2018 @ 16:15

@andrewa Yes almost there, been quite a fight, and I suppose the real good days of rental are in the past now. At least experience helps greatly in steering around the pitfalls, and the lunacy which Government keeps throwing our way. Still a far better investment for retirement, and probably the only way we are going to get the chance to, with the way things are.

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