Tenants & Decorating Disasters

Tenants and Decorating Disasters

Hello everyone :)

So, this is a tad risky.

There’s a terribly good chance my tenant is in the process of Googling his rights in order to build a defence for the D.I.Y disaster we’re currently grappling with, so the buffoon might Google the relative keywords and land up on this page, and then put two and two together- realising he’s been thrown under the spotlight, and he’s the buffoon I’m actually referring to.

I sincerely hope that’s not how this all unravels, but if it does… GET OVER YOURSELF, I COULD BE TALKING ABOUT ANYONE! Why do you make everything about you?!?

The tale of… the weird shit on the walls!

*Ring* *Ring* *Ring* *Ring*

Urgh! Bollocks! It’s my tenant (who I’m going to refer to as Travis for today). My stomach starts to sink…

Should I? Shouldn’t? I shouldn’t!

I, reluctantly, do…

Hi Travis, what’s up? [please don’t ruin my day]

Hi Landlord, there’s something wron…

*Day ruined*

…g with the walls

WHAT? What do you mean? What’s wrong with the walls?

Initial thoughts? I hope that whatever shit he’s done, please don’t let it be as stupid as I’m imagining right now.

I painted the walls and now there are bubbles everywhere. It looks like the house is suffering from a chicken-pox epidemic, and so far the casualties are the hallway and two of the bedrooms!

It’s officially stupider.

Hmm… strange. It sounds like the walls weren’t properly prepared. Who painted the walls?”

My dad’s friend, he’s a professional painter and decorator, so everything was done properly. He thinks it’s the actual walls that is causing the problem.

I don’t know him, but I hate him with a passion. Your dad, too.

Okay. I’ll pop by tomorrow to see it with my own petrified peepers.

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

Hi Travis. Ok, let’s see the dam-ag…OOOOH, fuck me sideways and call me Sally! That looks worse than the acne on your mum’s face [and the colour you have chosen is bloody awful, you tasteless goofball].

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (not an actual pic from the scene of the crime):

Blistering/bubbling walls

Bubbling walls

Imagine that crap smothering the hallway and two of the bedrooms :(

My friend’s dad said there is something wrong with the lining on the walls.

I doubt it, because the walls don’t have any lining [this “professional” of yours… don’t ‘spose you found him in a dumpster?]…


Are you sure it’s not due to the [shit] paint you used? Or [manky] paint rollers? Or something related to the preparation (or lack thereof)? Or perhaps, limited ventilation after applying the paint? I’ve painted this entire house 3 times, top-to-bottom, side-to-side, hip-to-torso, ass-to-toe, and the walls have never contracted this weird anal-disease I see before me.

I used good quality paint. My dad’s mate (‘the pro’) said it was either the lining [which doesn’t exist] or a dampness issue.

*I touch and sniff the wall*

Err… there doesn’t seem to be any dampness. In any case, the walls were fine before you painted them, right?

Yes, they were.

For the lack of better words… Fuckity-fuck!!

At least with something like a broken toilet you largely know what you’re dealing with, but bubbling walls (also known as ‘blistering’), it’s just… I don’t know… messy.

What’s more annoying is that I had the entire house freshly painted before the turnip moved in. Why do people have to disrupt neutral colours?

The whole ‘making a property into a home’ malarkey is just a recipe for disaster when it’s more than psychological conditioning i.e. just allowing your mind and body to adapt to the new environment.

Who’s responsible for this D.I.Y disaster?

Firstly, before anyone crawls into my dazzling afro and gets uppity about the superficial disdain I’m showing towards my shit-for-brains tenant, I just want to say that I like my tenant. He’s a good guy; I’ve never had any issues with him. And I still don’t. Whatever sickness is man-handling the walls is just ‘one of those things‘, albeit a highly unwanted and irritable little booger (which I’m confident my tenant is responsible for, and the reason for why my life is currently ruined). But despite my dramatised prima donna dialogue, I don’t really blame my tenant, entirely.

100 x *deep breathes*

Secondly, it wasn’t difficult to detect the fact the work wasn’t done by a professional. The remains of the workmanship (if you can call it that) could have only been left behind by someone superbly under qualified; patchy application of paint and clumsy spillages on the skirting boards, just to name a few of the tell-tale signs. Not to mention the shambolic misdiagnosis of the problem. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was looking at the result of the local nursery’s half-term art project.

My unprofessional diagnosis? When I walked into the house, the one thing that hit me like a tonne of vegetarian farts was a man-made heatwave. The house was heated up like an iguana tank. I suspect Travis, the buffoon, had painted the walls and allowed them to dry in his Mediterranean sweatbox, and that’s what caused the blistering. Or at least, it was one of the contributing variables. The heat certainly couldn’t have helped matters.

In any case, from my point of view, which I also believe is supported by law, is that my tenant is obligated to:

  • Repair or pay for any damage caused by them, their family or friends
  • Return the property in the same condition as it was received (minus wear and tear)

With that in mind, I’m inclined to believe that it’s my tenant’s responsibility to pulverise those ghastly boils into an oblivion, and not mine. I did articulate my position to Travis, and judging by his response, I think he felt his choices were limited. (IF YOU’RE READING THIS TRAVIS, THEY ARE LIMITED! So stop researching for escape routes!)

But that didn’t stop him from taking one last swipe before toppling over; he made the point that the problem could have been with the coat of paint which he painted over. Reluctant as I am to believe that steaming bullshit- sure, it could have been. But I highly doubted it.

I admired Madam’s fighting spirit nonetheless. Either way, his fearless efforts didn’t negate the fact that the property didn’t come infected with diseased walls, and the problem was given birth to after his interference.

Side note: please God!! I sincerely hope I don’t get swamped by ‘Painting & Decorating’ boffins with erections, foaming around the mouth, ready to give me a full blown analysis on what caused the bubbles. I honestly don’t think I can take that!

Very interesting fact: the last time I talked about penises/erections in one of my blog posts, a very disgruntled reader unsubscribed from my blog, with the following comment, “stupid use of the word pecker and penis in the last blog – not necessary – goodbye”

I’m not too fond of losing subscribers, but I thought that was hilarious. Oh, and speaking of which, if you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, and you’re the type of person that wouldn’t mind receiving occasional reading material on landlord stuff and peckers- both flaccid and stiff- then feel free to sign up.


The reality is, Travis and I could have played the pointing game and surrendered to our primal instincts by slinging our own faeces at one another all day long. We could have even conducted some tests to determine where the truth lies. But it all seemed like a terrible waste of time. I just wanted to amicably resolve the problem as quickly as possible so I could return to picking my nose and procrastinating, and fortunately Travis felt the same.

I genuinely hate prolonging repairs, especially when they’re inevitable. I also feel uneasy knowing that my tenants are living in an environment which makes them feel uncomfortable, because that makes me feel iffy.

Resolving the problem

I feel it would have been effortless to stand firm and simply demand the old boy to shut his pie-hole and resolve the problem himself. The beauty with that game plan is that I’m not sure he would have had any recall (for the reasons mentioned). I’m also confident that many of the less wimpy hard-nosed landlords would have chosen that path. No judgement from me, I’m just saying.

Ultimately, I believe Travis was responsible for repairing the walls, so if he had refused responsibility, I would have felt comfortable deducting the costs from his deposit without facing too many problems. However, I took the following into consideration:

  • He’s a good tenant; he pays rent on time, he’s courteous, and generally doesn’t climb up my ass and cause a commotion.
  • I’d like to keep him as a long-term tenant.
  • The potential cost of throwing salt over the situation (which is trivial in the grand scheme of things), probably wouldn’t have been worth it.
  • It’s easy to build a defence from both sides, even if one case was remarkably more floppy than the other. But, it wasn’t a black and white scenario, like fist holes through the walls.
  • I’m a team player, so I prefer working together to resolve problems.
  • I’m a nice chap :) Yes, really.

That was enough for me to be compromising, or at least, not utilise the full force I felt I had available at my disposal.

I ended up getting a few quotes from local handymen to determine how much it would be cost to remedy the widespread infection, because I’d be damned if I left it in the incapable hands of the local nursery and their stupid initiative arty-farty schemes again.

The general consensus was that the walls needed scraping and sanding down, cleaned with sugar soap, and then primed with latex, before a new coat could be applied. (Also, it was *most likely* my tenant’s fault).

Yup, a real slog of a job.

After gathering the quotes, I approached Travis with what I felt to be a fair proposition, which was to handle it like a modern day date: to split the bill. At least that way no one walks away feeling like they should have got laid after paying for both covers. A feeling I never wish to experience again.

Travis seemed happy to proceed (probably because he conceded to the fact that he’s lucky he didn’t have to foot the entire bill), and more importantly, I feel like we managed to keep our healthy and flourishing relationship intact. Although, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the Devil on his shoulder convinces him to feel like an underappreciated employee, and consequently piss in the kitchen sink from now on, and steal the bog-roll holder on the way out. Time will tell.

Final word on the matter

I guess, if my experience highlights one thing – other than the fact my doofus tenant is a liability – it’s that it’s always worth looking beyond the legal rights, because there are usually other practical factors in play that are more important.

From my point of view, the law rarely equates to ‘fair’ (regardless of which side you stand), and sometimes it’s wiser to be fair compared to getting away with what you can, legally speaking. But then again, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if some of you ghastly rascals find my route to resolution completely absurd, and perhaps unfair.

Of course, each situation should be assessed by its own set of circumstances; sometimes it’s perfectly reasonable to make the tenant pay through their eyeballs to cover the cost of their own bumbling stupidity, and other times it’s just cool to work together.

What would you have done?

I’m hoping to open the comical floodgates with my next question: have you got any decorating disasters worth sharing? If so, what happened and how did you deal with it?

Love & Peace ya’ll xoxo

72 Join the Conversation...

Showing 22 - 72 comments (out of 72)
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 11:58

Hahaha @ back to front wallpaper!! That's brilliant.

Everyone's a professional, didn't ya' know?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 12:05

Dear Lord! I genuinely feel for you.

Some of my lowest points have been after tenants have checked out and I've had to repaint the entire house. It's not just the direct financial costs, but it's the time it takes. Doing a proper job takes ages; from prepping the walls (e.g. poly-filling, sanding etc), to masking all the edges, applying multiple coats etc. It's near impossible to recoup that money.

Truly soul-destroying process!

Stay strong, brother! Stay strong.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 12:15

100% agree regarding the difficulty in finding decent decorators.

The problem is, any Tom, Dick & Harry cam just pop into Tescos and print off a few business cards and become a "professional decorator"

Funny enough, I've been through the same experience, where someone painted the walls in the kitchen without wiping them down first. Inevitably, the paint just flaked off months later because they painted over grease, and it acted as a stripping agent.

Surely, washing the walls/doors down with sugar soap is the bare minimum! I think it's just a laziness thing.

Ahh, never heard of the paint recycling centres. Sounds like a good initiative! Thanks for sharing.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 12:20

hahah @ I had a tenant who painted the room, without moving the wardrobe.

That's like mopping the bathroom floor without moving the mats.

If I had a pound for every time a prospective tenant said they plan on 'transforming the house into a home' during viewings, I wouldn't even need to actually let the property, but only take the viewings! I'd probably be richer.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 12:21



Latex paint is a general term which covers all paints that use synthetic polymers such as acrylic, vinyl acrylic (PVA), styrene acrylic, etc. as binders.

But incidentally, yes, many of my fantasies do include latex... and you.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 12:47


Hahah, I knew I could rely on you Nige; I knew you'd pull through. Two corkers!

Glued on New York skyline and the illusive big blue square. Amazing!

I remember back in the day, when laminate flooring used to be glued down with crazy strong adhesive. I still have nightmares about scraping that stuff off with a shovel!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 13:02


Haaaa, I literally laughed out loud when reading the part apart papering over the plug socket!! Jokes aside, the tenant must be on the scale. That's not normal at all.

Gloss on the walls!! I genuinely don't think I would have been mentally strong enough to deal with that.

Thanks Lizzielou, appreciate it! Suffering in mass numbers is always more comforting :)

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 13:08


We're just prepping you for what's to come :)

5 years and no disasters... a real life miracle, ladies and gentlemen. Whatever you're doing, just keep on doing it!

Yeah, I'd obviously prefer if tenants didn't decorate, but when a good long-term tenant makes the request, it's tough to deny it.

I'm usually quite strict with what I allow in regards to decorating, but some times these things happen. It's hard to avoid forever if you go through enough tenants. But like I said, you've done incredibly well.

From my experience, it's usually the tenants with children (i.e. families) that get creative and run free with their inspiration!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 13:17


I'm dying!!! Wiping pink paint off with a cloth and pubes painted into the walls hahah!

Horrific at the time, I'm sure, but so comforting to hear after it's all been said and done.

All these comments are bringing back so many memories, and while the displays of share stupidity is reason to fear for humanity, it's only made me stronger for the future decorating disasters I inevitably face!

Thanks for sharing Cat :)

Pubes painted in the walls, I'm still laughing.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 13:23


Agreed :)

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 13:34


Gloss black door, inside and out, including fittings... that really is classy! Clearly for the modern minimalist look.

I hate it when tenants don't bother removing the fittings before painting, be it light switches, plug sockets, door handles/locks.

Share laziness!

I've lost count of how many light switches and plug sockets I've had to scrape paint off of.

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Paul 15th February, 2018 @ 16:41

Not sure if this counts as decorating, had tenant who painted a life size Jesus Christ in crucifix position, hands and feet nailed but no cross, with wounds and blood dripping from side of torso.

It was painted IN BLOOD RED on the magnolia background.

@Landlord you really are a softy at heart, I would have had him pay for the lot, I get your reasons but he is entirely at fault. Why should you underwrite his cock up.

He in turn should make a claim on the so called professional decorators public liability insurance.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 15th February, 2018 @ 16:47

It's a disaster either way! And, Holy moly, that sounds terrifying! Straight out of that Tom Hanks movie, The Da Vinci Code!

Yeah, you're probably right :/

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Hems 15th February, 2018 @ 19:34

Loved you blog on Tennant "Travis" and the wall pimples! I've just taken back a three bed from the incumbent tenants and found something you would not believe (perhaps you would).
The tenant had decided they wanted to change the wallpaper in the lounge but found it difficult to strip the wallpaper (I always use quality paste... I find it helps keep the wallpaper up). Anyway to cut a long story short...the lady of the house had gone to the local DIY Shed and purchased a 20kg bag of finishing plaster......... I think she then put the said plaster up all four walls using a shovel!!! It did take me some time to find a professional plasterer prepared to remedy the lunar surface nightmare that was the lounge (A good plasterer is hard to find and must be cherished once found). I withheld a portion of the deposit to cover the obvious cost... but was NOT present the day the tenants actually departed.... they in ?reprisal for my keeping a bit of their deposit; nicked all the LED light bulbs, bathroom and WC fittings and all the TRV's off the radiators, they even took the gas top-up card and lecky top-up key away with them. Their provided contact address turned out to be somewhat "inaccurate". Ho-hum
Question: In the AST contract; Can you forbid the tenant from decorating without the landlords' input/say-so?

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J.C 16th February, 2018 @ 09:28

Oh yes, 'My dad is a painter-decorator, he painted the walls for me'. Hmm nice even coats but also half-covered skirting boards, door frames and handles... [Does he REALLY do it for a living, darling? And they actually PAY him??]
Out of curiosity, how did your quotes for fixing the chicken pox played out in comparison to monthly rent? I think that would be a factor for me.

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Valerie 16th February, 2018 @ 11:00

What a timely tonic your rant is.My tenants have usually been of the type too sodding lazy to even touch up a bit of scratched paint,using the leftovers I have placed under the sink.One girl asked if she could paint the bathroom in a suitable colour.She must have been a goth,because her choice was a very dark purplish black.It took about five coats of magnolia to cover it.

I seem to recall she,like all tenants,had a relative who was a painter,who was going to sort it out.

A friend had tenants who asked if they could paper and re-carpet the sitting room.She eagerly accepted,they would cover the costs they said.They obtained a load of discontinued wallpaper sample books,and slapped the squares randomly all over the walls.They did likewise with carpets samples and bits of offcuts.

Just enjoyed watching "Hitler finds out he's French" and "Hitler does IT cover" I would love to see them do "Hitler deals with complaining tenant"

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th February, 2018 @ 12:31

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

Jesus Christ, I don't even know what to say to your disaster! Your tenant sounds like a wrecking-ball.

So, she actually just plastered over the walls to cover the wallpaper? I don't even see the logic in slapping on the plaster. Wouldn't have it been easier just to paint over it?

It's weird how tenants get uppity when you deduct/use their deposit for damages they caused. I had a tenant that smashed the frontdoor in half (God knows how), then she got really shirty with me because I made her pay for it out of the deposit! She made it seem like I was being totally unreasonable. Beggars belief.

Yup, in theory you can provide guidelines covering the do's and dont's when it comes to decorating. However, most tenancy agreements just stipulate that the property must be returned to its original state when the tenancy ends.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th February, 2018 @ 12:45

Hah yeah, it's amazing how many dads are professional painters and decorators!

I did take the cost into consideration actually. To get all 3 rooms prepped (sanded/smoothened, wiped down and then primed), the average quote I received was £500, which I didn't think was too bad, considering we'll be splitting the bill. That doesn't include the application of the final coat, though. Rent is £950, so the maths wasn't crippling.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th February, 2018 @ 13:02

I ALWAYS leave excess paint in the loft for touch-ups. I don't think they've ever been used by the tenant. A bit of common courtesy, people!!

I've dabbled with the goths before. I had a tenant that wanted to paint the hallway a "neutral" colour, so I said sure. According to her, a neutral colour is deep blue/black. Mind-boggling.

Haha, so basically, the room ended up looking like a patchwork quilt?

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Lisa 16th February, 2018 @ 16:22

Wow this is eye opening! I'm a bit of a naieve landlord and did have to deal with feature walls, dark patchy paint, awful paper and stinking cigarette smell/yellow walls after my first ever tenant, also lack of rent but just figured they were a one off! Im a tenant too and in my last house I only painted rooms that needed it, in neutral wipeable paint, touched up all rooms before leaving including filling all picture holes and left pots of paint for future touch ups. I just thought that was the done thing! I know people who haven't been allowed to paint even neutral colours or hang pictures and now I see why. Thank goodness I have a friend renting my house now and we'll be selling up when she goes.

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Katy 16th February, 2018 @ 16:45

I can relate to the dread when noticing a call from the tenant, although in my case it is an email from my managing agent taunting me in my inbox. I have had so many disasters that I would gladly swap painting disasters for. Take the time when my managing agent emailed me a photo of my kitchen extension roof with a huge scaffold on it raised about 12 feet up to my neighbour's chimney. My neighbour said they were only leaning one pole in the garden and my poor tenant freaked when he realised what they had done. I told my neighbour to take it down immediately. The roof continually leaked after that and I had to have it re-laid. 10 years later guess who has approached me for permission to lean a scaffold on my roof? Still dealing with that but I am not allowing her.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th February, 2018 @ 09:38


I think at some point every landlord has to deal with some form of DIY disaster. It's so difficult to avoid altogether.

It genuinely is incredible how "the done thing", which seems so incredibly obvious to most, is still alien to so many people.

Not to scare you or anything, but some times renting to friends can create bigger problems *if* there is a DIY problem to deal with. It's usually a brilliant way of destroying friendships. Of course, it's all circumstantial.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th February, 2018 @ 09:40


God damn, that's on another level! That's what nightmares are made of. I feel for you.

I think I'll stick to dealing with manky paint diseases and spillages!

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Geoff 18th February, 2018 @ 10:06

Seems this subject has an awful lot of common ground from the number of comments, looks like every landlord's nightmare has been realised at some point had a couple of numbnuts do their own interior grand designs thing on occasion. Number one tenants unbelievably thought it would be a good idea to paint the ceiling black and stick on little silver stars in the master bedroom. Just for a single week there, I was single-handedly supporting Dulux's profit margins with the number of coats of white emulsion to cover the bloody mess. Number two decided it would save costs by using some old paint they found to brighten up the interior woodwork wonderful except that paint happened to be Sandtex still look on the bright side if you want to file one's nails you only need to rub them on the skirting boards or door frames.

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andrewa 20th February, 2018 @ 20:46

All my houses are painted with the same high cover, washable very light yellow paint so if touch ups are needs its only one wall you have to do at a time. Buy the toughest high quality paint you can, its easier to clean than re paint. Glue comes off floors with a brass wire brush on an angle grinder. I buy profill ( South African pollyfilla)in 20 litre buckets and rod my own blocked drains. You almost always have to replace light bulbs as usually only one works per room. I enjoy spending the rent money and in 7 years the last mortgage will be paid off......its why we do it ;)

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Dave c 21st February, 2018 @ 13:45

Laughed my ass off at your diy disasters had a few of my own. Missing gas cupboard when i asked tenant where it was i got "i dont know" like the cupboard fairy came and took it. Had to repaint every time fucktard have moved out including filling punch holes in walls replacing doors wallpaper paste on ceilings, broken floor boards where fucktard kids have jumped out off their bunk beds. Plug sockets on upside down. My oven and hob have to be replaced because grease and fat are in the actual working of the items. Broken boiler was told when fucktards moved out they broke it intentionally to get a new one. Done with landlording its a mugs game. Good luck peeps

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Grumpy 21st February, 2018 @ 13:57

Dave C

“It’s A mugs game”. You are Not wrong.

We 4 viewings for our bldg today and tomorrow. One offer already in.....we should be out within a few months.

I read somewhere 90% of all private landlords own only one house.

The government are deliberately forcing all these landlords out of business. All the rights are for the tenant. Very little to protect the landlords from the mass of morons who feel it’s their right to trash someone else’s house.

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Dave c 21st February, 2018 @ 21:14

Its pure jealousy on tenants part and yeah one actually told me it was his right to destroy what he wanted as it was his home (most of these fucktards are lucky im a changed man after my last stint in jail over a decade ago or i would have put them and their families in hospital). They get peanuts off the government. Then the government pays them 3 times their money to give to the landlord and it causes them pain "why should i go without the landlords got money he dont need it". Never going to happen and the government knows it. Look at the programs on the tv its all about bad landlords, propaganda for the government for whats to come, i can see mandatory licenses for every house you rent out. Compulsory buy orders to take houses off private landlords for a fraction of their worth. Sick of being vilified by everyone for owning houses. I am a good landlord i do repairs i make improvements so people can live in a nice house. Social services said they were "extremely pleased" with my efforts as a landlord (they are involved with my tenant). I am in the incredibly lucky position that i dont have a morgage, if i did i would have lost everything last year and been on the dole myself. The law is already stacked against us landlords and its only going to get worse. I watched a program about bailifs evicting people and one girl was 10k in arrears when they kicked her out. She was saying i cant believe you are throwing me and my baby out. Then she started bringing out her stuff, even the baby had designer clothes all paid for by the landlords housing benefit. No point in being a landlord as everyone sees us as an easy target for easy money. Government puts a cap on benefits and it comes out of the housing benefit not their money but yours (so they trying to make a killing on court fees and debt collection). This new universal credit comes in all over soon and your tenants (if they end up on benefits) will have the rent paid direct to them no matter what (and forget about an APA to get your money, tried it the DWP basically flipped me the bird and said no has to go to the tenant/lodger. I got accused of trying to bully the tenant into it, the rent was 7 weeks in arrears ffs). They are not paying the landlord and the governments answer will be to make it harder and longer to evict someone, force longer tenancies and if you have an empty house for x amount of time the council will force you to take one of their bag of shite tenants who have already robbed the council, social housing and private landlords because its their "human right" to being housed but the council wont want to deal with them again. I feel sorry for any private landlord who has more than 1 benefits tenant they will lose everything as the councils are telling people they have to be removed by bailifs or they will have made themselves "intentionaly homeless" and not entitled to any help if they are. Another crisis coming to the uk soon batten down your hatches this is going to be one mother fucking bumpy ride.

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Grumpy 21st February, 2018 @ 22:02

Dave C,

Well said mate. All your points about licensing and the TV propaganda against us are all valid. Hence we are getting out as well, not worth the hassle.

We won’t let housing benefit people in for the very reasons you point out. As the Landlord author here has pointed out many times in other posts on this site, most housing benefit tenants are decent people. However the risk to the landlord of taking one on is simple too high. It’s risky enough with every other tenant!

I inherited two when we bought our property. One had his housing benefit “re-assessed” due to him not being truthful about his part time employment. Hence council decided they had “over paid his benefits” and tried to recover this over payment by deducting the rent paid to us for our housing benefit tenant No.2. WTF

So a tenant lies to the council and the Landlord essential gets fined. Great system.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd February, 2018 @ 13:02

@Dave c,
Haha, reading through the comments and how much DIY stupidity we've have had to deal with has been hilarious! Next time it happens to me, I'm just going to reread all the comments and remind myself I'm not alone!

I've experienced many of the same ridiculous issues you mentioned.

Filling holes in the walls is a classic. Drives me bonkers when some idiot uses a big heavy-duty and destructive nail that can hold up a tank, just to hold up a light-weight picture.

I wrote an entire ranting blog post on tenants creating unnecessary gaping holes in the walls. All I want and expect is for tenants/people to use the right tools for the right job, otherwise don't do it.

Bizarrely, I had a buttload of tenants respond negatively, telling me I was in the wrong, and I was some kind of evil anti-hole monster.

I'm sorry, how about I rip chunks of plaster out of your walls to hang up a picture of my hamster?!?


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Dave c 22nd February, 2018 @ 22:34

I actually did everything for the tenant i have in my other house, painted kitchen put up curtain poles and tie backs mirror pictures the lot. Took 3 days but at least when i go round there i dont feel like pulling my eyes out my head and clubing her to death with the nearest blunt object. Felt like using something very sharp to remove her head when i had to condemn the oven and hob though lol

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Dave c 22nd February, 2018 @ 22:37

Evil anti hole monster lmao love it. You do have a way with words mate

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Smithy 26th February, 2018 @ 12:04

Good heavens - I laughed out loud at the Sandtex on the skirting board (Geoff at no 45).

I had some metallic purple paint on the woodwork - yes - doors, door frames, skirting boards (probably like Alison at no 3). I couldn't get any normal paint to 'take' over it, so I took a piece of purple painted skirting board (which had fallen off - haha) to a specialist paint supplier to get some advice. He had the answer - he held up a rather small tin of paint and said "£27.50".
Needless to say I headed straight for B&Q and bought something similar for about £12.

But my problems pale into insignificance compared to some of your contributors.

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BBN Network 1st March, 2018 @ 11:02

I love the humour of your blog. Being a landlord, you definitely need to have a good sense of humour!

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David C 2nd March, 2018 @ 16:25

Sense of humor! NO! You have to have skin thicker than a turd stuck to a rhinos anus to get through more than a year or two of the crap you got to put up with.

You'll get less scorn from people if you tell them you work for the fecking Taliban and at least if you did work for the Taliban you might get some free counseling to get over your ordeal LMAO

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Lord of the Manor 5th March, 2018 @ 19:28

Great site, thanks a lot.

As a novice landlord, I made the mistake of not protecting the deposit of a skankard I wanted to evict so I had to return his deposit, get him to sign the receipt with the date and time and my wife signing as witness before getting him to sign the Section 21 notice with the date and time again witnessed by my wife. A few days later he phoned up about something else and at the end of the conversation casually asked if I minded him painting the walls to get them back to a good state. I foolishly agreed and he painted everything white including the wooden doors. I had to completely redecorate because there were flecks of paint all over the floor and on every fixture and fitting. Live and learn.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th March, 2018 @ 21:33

@BBN Network
Thank you, appreciate it.

I agree with you and David C, you need both humour and a thick skin, otherwise you'll get eaten alive :)

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The Landlord 5th March, 2018 @ 21:37

@Lord of the Manor
Thanks a lot :)

Ahh nightmare! Yup, allowing tenants to paint is such a gamble! Of course, it's one of the few gambles where the house rarely wins!

Live and learn, indeed! The story of my landlording life. Sigh.

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David C 5th March, 2018 @ 22:16

tenant phrase translation:

I'm good at decorating me - Bullshit prepare to get the professionals in and maybe even have to have stuff sandblasted off where there shouldn't be anything in the first place.

Can I do a feature wall - Can I hang the most piss poor excuse for wallpaper I can find so the pattern doesn't match up and can I get glue on everything else and not even bother to clean it up.

Can I decorate to make it my home - Can I splosh obscenely colored paint unevenly across your walls, ceilings, skirting boards, plug sockets and light fixtures - plus previous item

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Valerie 6th March, 2018 @ 14:00

Agree David,and can I add "I want to make this my home" translates as " for the next few months until I lose my job/partner/marbles, or you become sick of the rent arrears and evict me"

It is one sentence that chills me to the bone.

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Jon 8th March, 2018 @ 18:57

This is the reason I've sold loads...people now want show homes to rent, subsequently destroy them through wear and tear or diy decorating. It costs thousands to pit right, buy to let isn't worth it as it costs thousands to keep a property maintained.

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Natalie 23rd May, 2018 @ 08:10

John, yes I can confirm that such services as these exist, we call them essay mills. They are to serve the student population who are too lazy/thick/hungover/lack appropriate communication skills etc to do the work for their own degrees.....

I work in the university sector and there are initiatives kicking in to really try to stop students submitting essays that they've bought, such as going back to making them sit exams rather than hand in essays, so do be patient with your guys; they may have time to clean soon as their income may start to drop!

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Tanya 25th September, 2018 @ 17:01

Unfortunately I've been here a few times (1) House check time to be faced with one wall in most of the rooms wallpapered even though tenancy agreement and being told directly before move in NO WALLPAPER newly plasterered walls (2) Tenant has been given some paint with lumps in it not bothered about this little issue just painted the walls. Walls looked like it was from some throwback to the seventies wood chip walls came into my mind. Give me strength :) (3) And the classic tenant moves out removes the 50 inch T.V they decided without permission to hang on the wall. Tenant couldn't be arsed to move T.V when they had the bright idea to paint the wall red. Hopefully the next tenant has the same size picture to hang in it's place 😂

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Sarah 17th November, 2018 @ 22:54

I’ve had a tenant who tried to Sharpie, (yes Sharpie FFS!) ‘Love Life Live’ on the sitting room wall. Except she got bored and resigned herself to just ‘Love’. ‘Life’ and ‘Live’ existed just in the outline of bubble letters as she’d got given up the colouring in after the first word. FML.
But, and I know other landlords will be jealous of me, I have another tenant who is an actual real life painter and decorator. He’s also a neat freak so repaints the house every year to keep it looking smart. Even did the outside this year. I have rewarded him with reduced rent from time to time.
You win some, you lose some I guess!

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Catherine 30th March, 2019 @ 07:41

Tenant been in property for 5 years and we had a good relationship. She left today and we are now in dispute over the way she has left the property. She painted the master bedroom, after asking permission (which was given, providing if she left the property it would be returned to its neutral colour scheme). She chose dark blue and added a mural on one wall. The attempt to put this back to neutral is shocking!!! The blue still shows through in patches and there is still wet paint on the laminate. The property is in an overall dirty condition only surpassed by the kitchen and oven which nearly brought me to tears. Now she is unhappy that I won’t agreed to her full deposit refund via TDS scheme. I’m gutted and crying into my cornflakes and just needed a rant .......

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J E 1st February, 2020 @ 12:20

I have read several of your blog posts and related comments, found by doing a general google search for specific issues.
I have to say that the attitude of yourself and some of the commenters toward tenants, is appalling. Using insulting and derogatory terms about tenants is discriminatory. Tenants are all different sorts of ordinary everyday people.

We rent out two houses which we keep in very good repair (promptly) and charge fair rent (below local market average). We give long term secure AST tenancies with no threat of selling or reposessing the property. We respect the tenants so they respect their homes. Both homes have had the same tenants for six years. Better for the tenant and the Landlord, we get a regular income.

Landlords should expect wear and tear at the end of a tenancy - rent is to maintain the property, it's not all profit.

I won't be reading any more of your offensive blogs.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 1st February, 2020 @ 12:25

@J E

We rent out two houses which we keep in very good repair (promptly) and charge fair rent (below local market average). We give long term secure AST tenancies with no threat of selling or reposessing the property. We respect the tenants so they respect their homes. Both homes have had the same tenants for six years. Better for the tenant and the Landlord, we get a regular income.


In fact, I have tenants that have stayed longer.

My attitude towards genuinely bad tenants is negative. I adore good tenants. Show me where I have said otherwise. Did you read any of my blog posts where I praise my awesome tenants, and where I criticise landlords that don't respect good tenants?

Instead of reading what I wrote, you got uppity by my tone and read what you wanted to read.

Ironically, I find your ignorance highly offensive.

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Nobody 12th March, 2020 @ 23:48

I employed my friend's brother who is a professional ha ha to decorate one room, it was supposed to be a treat so I got one good room in my rambling Edwardian house. What a pig's ear he made and he had to keep coming back to fix it time and time again. I gave up in the end and had to pay him as there was all this passive aggressive anger coming off him. It still not finished and when I set to ,to finish not myself I found more problems and problems waiting to happen. I angry with myself now for letting him get away with it. What an immature shit head. £400 for just one room, simple paint job. I hear countless stories about bad decorating jobs, why do we put ourselves through it!!

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KLC 23rd March, 2020 @ 16:48

Hi, I just came across this article while researching into decorating and what's 'normal' and what isn't when renting out. First off, thank you for your website and blog, it's been a massive help to us as noob landlords. I'm just wondering if we are allowed to ask that no decoration be done for say the first few months of a lease and if they intend to stay beyond that set period etc can we stipulate only neutral decor? I have purchased your tenant lease, I haven't had time to read through it though yet so not sure if there are any stipulations in there. Thank you again

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd March, 2020 @ 18:09

Hi @KLC,

Many thanks, appreciate it :)

Generally speaking, there are clauses in tenancy agreements which state that alternating the appearance of the property is not permitted without the landlord's permission. Section 9 covers it in the tenancy agreement available from my website. So that should cover you.

But other than that, tenant's are required to return the property in the same condition as the start of the tenancy (minus any wear and tear). So that should also cover you if the tenant does make any decorative choices that displeases you.

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Lou 25th May, 2020 @ 14:37

My new tenants have been in less than six weeks and already they’ve taken doors down, decorated at least one of the bedrooms and have just today ripped up the dining room floor and replacing it with god knows what. I only know because we have friends in common and have been shown pictures on social media. I have arranged an inspection and not said anything to the tenants. I have used your shirt hold tenancy agreement with them which specifically forbids decorating and altering the property. I also know they are being a nuisance to the neighbours as I’ve been sent footage from them of the tenants running across gardens at 1am and drinking/partying till the small hours. I am a new landlord and have no idea where to turn. We didn’t use a letting agent as they were all closed so this is all on us. What do I do?!

















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