My Tenant’s Disgusting Taste In Furniture Has Ruined My Life

Ugly Car

So the other day I took a viewing (generally, always a miserable experience), right?

My initial plan, as prearranged with my current tenant, was to take the viewing with the new prospective tenant, and then immediately after, pop back into the property to take a few glamorous snaps for marketing purposes. I planned on whipping it onto Rightmove to generate a flood of enquiries. That usually does the trick.

Pictures are probably the core of any BTL tenant finding expedition, so it’s important to get it bang-on. The consequences of lousy imagery will definitely reflect on the quantity and quality of leads. In fact, in the past, I did a small and highly futile experiment on how much difference images can make to an advert.

Ok, so, the property itself is in fabulous condition. My tenant is clean, the property is clean- there isn’t a hygiene issue. You could quite comfortably eat off the floor without contracting hepatitis or some other form of disease that will invert your penis.

However, the furniture and the general arrangement of items in the property left me in disarray, like someone had randomly kicked in the nuts.

Holy shit, I’m still bemused at how someone can have such disgustingly sinful taste!! As a general principle, I don’t provide furniture with any of my lets, so the furnishings and layout is left in the capable hands of my tenants. Of course, whenever a landlord leaves any kind of responsibility in the hands of a tenant, there’s always margin for error. Needless to say, tenants can say the same about landlords. On this occasion, however, I, the landlord, fell victim.

The furniture was timelessly awful, straight out of a seedy motel from the 60’s. To add insult to injury, everything was staged so awkwardly that it made mobility around the property extremely difficult. I had to turn sideways and suck my tummy in, to navigate through certain areas.

I’m not claiming to be an interior design diva, but I can at least competently buy a collection of items knowing they’d match, suit the property, physically fit the rooms, and have some appeal to “normal” humans. What I witnessed was a pile of junk crammed into a house.

Here’s a short break down of why the decor/furniture made me cry

  • Total mismatch shambles! It was so bizarre; initially I thought my tenant was just trying to make some kind of moral stand by being controversial, like a hippy or some shit – “Fuck fashion” But he smelt clean, had short hair, and I didn’t see any tie-dye clothing. Sadly, there goes that theory. I think this boiled down to genuinely poor taste.
  • Hideous focal points – the main living room is bought to its death by a bright red Persian rug, with silhouette donkeys. I’m not joking. Silhouette donkeys!

    The colours were similar to the shades scouring the verruca growing under my foot. The rug pretty much covered every square inch of the surface, removing all signs of the beautiful hardwood flooring. Tragic.

  • Over sized furniture – the living room was also shadowed by a relatively enormous computer desk that was located in the corner of the room- so big that it managed to reach into the centre of the room, creating a nice and inconvenient obstruction. So basically, the main chilling area of the property was taken over by an ugly Persian rug and an obscenely over sized computer desk.
  • Attack of tupperware – there was empty tupperware stacked up EVERYWHERE. It’s like he’s using them as substitutes for household ornaments. There was even tupperware in the bedrooms. What the fuck? Why would anyone have tupperware in the bedroom?
  • Polyester wardrobe – the master bedroom was swallowed up by a wardrobe, which was made of fabric, and reliant on the technology of Velcro – that’s how the doors were kept closed.
  • Waterproofing shit – the dining table was covered with a “easy wipe” transparent plastic sheet. The funny thing was, the table it was protecting was already battered. Chipped to shit.

    On a sidenote, I use sheets like that to have sex on when I bring home prostitutes. Enough said.

While I was showing my prospective tenant around I felt deeply embarrassed. I was actually thinking, “no way would this dude want to rent this pile of shit”. Fortunately, the prospect managed to visualise the property without the hordes of mismatching shit scattered everywhere (he’s a better man than I am), hence why he wanted the place.

Anyways, there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to take photos of the property in that condition!! That’s how aids became a global pandemic – an infected monkey was unleashed into the public. That property is currently definitely defected.

So the plan now is to wait until my tenant moves himself and his crap out of the property before I take any new pictures. Fortunately, I didn’t plan on taking anymore viewings until my tenant moved out because I want to fit new kitchen units. However, I did want to start marketing the property and arrange viewings in advance, so the property is kept vacant for as little time as possible. But I suppose I’ll have to take a hit there.

Don’t suppose this has happened to anyone else? I’ve decided that bad furniture/decor imposed by tenants is landlord-cancer!!!

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jools 24th June, 2010 @ 09:34

My letting agent took on a house that was recently vacated due to a bereavement and the family wanted to rent it. I saw a picture of this place and it was pure 60's/70's complete with white plastic moon chairs, laminate cupboards and surfaces in wiered colours, psychodelic lampshades et al. Soda syphons, bowl champagne glasses

The family were going to clear the place until we suggested they market 'as is - a retro delight'. Place went within 3 days for more rent than a similar 'normal' property!

No accounting for taste!


The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th June, 2010 @ 10:10

hahaha @ retro delight. Nice spin!

At least that place had a theme and consistency - I don't have that luxury!

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Pauline 26th June, 2010 @ 19:48

I think you should be in your knees every night, saying a prayer of thanks that your tenant paid his rent on time, kept the place in good condition and was clean in his habits. Taste comes a long way down the list.

I was talking to my chum the estate agent today and she told me about a house they recently sold.

It had previously been let out. The landlord took the view that if the rent was paid on time, the tentants could do pretty much as they liked.

She said the carpet was like the ones in a very down-market pub, where your feet stick to the carpet as you walk. And apparently the tenants bought a pig, thinking it was some small, domesticated thing that they could keep in doors. Of course, if was just an ordinary pig, so as it grew, they built a sty in the garden (small terraced house in a built up area). But they also used to let the pig come into the house and there were bits of straw and pig-poo through the house.

When they moved out, the landlord did very little to the place but still wanted a top price for it and wondered why people were put off.

Funnily enough, I had noticed it on the Estate Agent's website and wondered why it wasn't moving. Now I know why.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th June, 2010 @ 22:06

Hey Pauline,

Don't get me wrong, my tenant was great. I'm extremely grateful that he paid rent on time and kept the place clean. And you're right, taste does come a long way down the list. However, I just wanted to highlight the problems bad taste can cause a landlord!

I think the example you highlighted picks at a very common mistake landlords make - they believe everything is ok as long as the tenant pays rent on time! It's an extremely naive approach. A lot of landlords have been stung by tenants that put down several months of rent in advance just to keep the landlord happy and away from the property. In the mean time, tenants have been farming cannabis in the properties. It's becoming more and more common!

But that's why it's important to always perform quarterly inspections!

Keeping a pig in the property, that's the first time I've heard that one :)

Guest Avatar
Pauline 26th June, 2010 @ 22:22

Yup - it was definitely a wipe-your-feet-on-the-way-out property !

Guest Avatar
TML 12th July, 2010 @ 07:14

And the problem is?

What the tenant does with the property while they pay their rent is up to them. They also have no obligation (no matter what the tenancy agreement says) to allow you access for viewings. So what you do is wait until tenant leaves, and then take whatever photos you need of an empty property (thus making it look bigger).

You don't want a void? Then be greatful the tenant let you do viewings and stop moaning about something that is b**ger all to do with you.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th July, 2010 @ 08:28

So, after writing an entire post on what "the problem is", and using the title, "My Tenant’s Disgusting Taste In Furniture Has Ruined My Life" you still ask the brain dead question of what the problem is.

To make it clear, I never disputed:
1) my tenant doesn't have the right to decorate the place how he pleases
2) my tenant "HAD" to allow me to take viewings.

And NO, what the tenant does with the property while they pay the rent is NOT up to them, hence why there are terms and conditions in the Tenancy Agreement.

Now, because you were focusing your time on trying to "attack me", your simple mind managed to fabricate the situation with shit that is completely inaccurate.

Simply, my tenant's taste in furniture has delayed the "old to new tenant" transition, which isn't ideal for ANY landlord. If that's too difficult to comprehend (which it clearly is), then I can't help you.

Quit wasting my time, idiot.

Guest Avatar
TML 12th July, 2010 @ 11:14

Thanks for your kind words, I am pleased you agree that your tenant was being generous to allow you to do 'viewings' and that you are obviously very grateful to him/her for doings so - possibly saving you a few weeks worth of rent void.

I am not really sure why you say that your "tenant doesn't have the right to decorate the place how he pleases" as this wasn't what I suggested, indeed quite the opposite. So long as the property is returned to you in the same condition it was in when you let it (less wear and tear) then he can do what he wants in the mean time - build furniture out of empty Pizza Boxes if that is his whim! It's the principle of exclusive occupation and (in it's legal, not literal sense) quiet enjoyment. It is all well and good having terms in your agreement that insist the tenant can only have decor and furniture that you like - but not everyone can afford 'classy furniture' and not everyone will share your tastes. Sure, the terms may be there, but in the real world they are unenforceable and therefore a waste of ink.

I do, of course, realise that you do not want a void betwen lets. Who would? But you are ranting about something that is pointless. You can't do anything about it, the tenant isn't doing anything wrong. So live with it, put a plan together to deal with it, or suffer a coronary before your time.

Sadly, you have no idea of my inteligence, other than a single forum post, so it may be a little early to make the blanket statement of calling me an idiot. On the other hand, I have had a little time since my first post to study some of your other pages.....

I look forward to commenting on some of your other posts shortly - just as soon as I can put some reasoned and intelligent observations together. I think you'll like my new pseudonym.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th July, 2010 @ 12:00

Dear God. Read what i said properly...

To make it clear, I never disputed:
1) my tenant doesn’t have the right to decorate the place how he pleases
2) my tenant “HAD” to allow me to take viewings.

So the fact you failed to read the words in front of you properly, again...has made you the idiot again. Well done.

Sorry, you were talking about your intelligence. Please, continue...

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Twattybollocks 12th July, 2010 @ 12:06

You go girlfriend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Landlords Pet Idiot 12th July, 2010 @ 12:39

To make it clear, I never disputed:
1) my tenant DOESN'T have the right to decorate the place how he pleases

So you dispute the tenants right to redecorate? I thought this section of your first post was a humerous typo - but you have repeated it verbatim - not a typo, it is obviously what you think.

You are wrong - and some day a tenant will stand up to you and explain just what your rights - and his - are.


Of course, if I have mis-interpreted your meaning, I apologise. When I went to school double-negatives equalled a positive. However, language evolves and it may now be different - perhaps my English isn't what it was. Maybe one of us needs an english language course at night school!

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Landlords Pet Idiot 12th July, 2010 @ 20:24

Sorry about the link - it works for me.

Friends again? Until the next time ;)


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