Tenants That Put Holes In The Wall

Tenants That Put Holes In The Wall

Yup, it’s definitely up there with one of the most irritating and inconvenient habits that, from my experience, most tenants seem to naturally carry – the need to create unnecessary gaping holes in walls that are unfit for purpose!

I don’t think I’ve ever obtained a tenant that hasn’t “carelessly” drilled, or even worse, forcefully hammered through, multiple holes in the walls. It genuinely irritates the fuck out of me.

I ALWAYS tell my tenants to use copious amounts of diligence when drilling holes in the walls. For example, if they want to hang up a photo frame, then they should ensure a proper “photo frame nail” is used, as opposed to a thick, heavy duty masonry nail that is suitable for building a garden shed. Big holes are both expensive and difficult to repair (if you want to do it properly).

Do they ever listen? No.

The cheapest and therefore the preferred way of resolving the issue is by stuffing the ghastly holes with polyfiler, and then applying a lick of paint. The end result is usually tragic, especially when executed by someone with zero D.I.Y skills. You’re never left with the smooth finish which was once-upon-a-time. The best option is to get a professional plasterer in, but that never happens because let’s face it, who’s going to bother? What usually happens is that a few days before the tenant is due to vacate, they pop out to Homebase to purchase a cheap tub of Polyfiler and apply their D.I.Y magic. As said, the result is typically tragic and leaves me in tears, along with the will to kill.

One of my tenants is due to move out in two weeks time so I’ve been lining up viewings to ensure minimal unoccupancy. Without the presence, but with the permission of my tenant, I went to the property earlier today to scope out the condition. The property isn’t actually in too bad shape, but I noticed multiple holes scattered around various walls in the property, which initially triggered a manageable flow of anger. However, the closer I inspected, the less manageable my anger became. Like they say, if you go looking for trouble, trouble will find you. Well, I went looking, and a shitload of trouble came at me like a runaway steam train. I started to slowly discover gaping hole after gaping hole as I crept through each room.

In the midst of my heart-attack, I frantically started texting my tenant:

Hi mate. House is in OK condition, but there are quite a few big holes in the walls that need to be fixed. Cheers

Hi buddy. The holes will be sorted before I move out

Alarm bells start ringing at this point.

So now I have to sit around and wait to see what kind of Chuckle Brother D.I.Y job he manages to pull out of his rectum. I’m scared.

For your own amusement, here are a few snaps of some of the holes. Please bear with me if I break down in tears as I post these…

Holes in Walls 1

Holes in Walls 2

Holes in Walls 3

Holes in Walls 4

I understand that putting up curtain railings will require drilling holes. But if you’re going to do that, at least do it elegantly, and not like you’ve unnecessarily tried to resolve the problem with a sledgehammer. Clearly a method my tenant endorses. I have no qualms with tenants hanging up photos or shelves, that’s cool with me. It’s expected, it’s their home. But at least do it with a little care, that’s all I’m saying.

(UPDATE: Just to clear up some confusion, and reduce some anger levels for certain people. As I said in the comments sections, curtain rails were originally fitted with the property, but the tenant said their “expensive” curtains required custom railings, so they replaced the original ones with their own. It’s not a HUGE deal because I know those holes won’t be visible when a railing goes back up. However, it’s still annoying knowing that they ripped the plasterboard in the process of removing their stupid custom rails!)

The strange thing was that there are holes literally scattered everywhere, mostly in places which didn’t seem logical. For example, those 4 holes next to the radiator, what the hell are they about? I couldn’t understand why the hell anyone would need holes in that location. It was just weird.

I also noticed there were more than your average amount of photo frames hung up on the wall, so I’m anticipating greater levels of damage. I dared not look under the frames to see how they were hung up- I was already depressed/scared enough. I’m just praying to God he used proper photo nails because they usually leave minimal damage.

There are so many alternative and friendly solutions to hanging up inanimate objects that don’t require drilling holes in walls these days. Why not try them, aye?

Holes in the walls are NOT “wear and tear”

I’d just like to make it clear (in case anyone is reading this for informational purposes), putting holes in walls is NOT classed as “fair wear and tear” – there is nothing natural about forcing a drill through plaster. The tenant is responsible for repairing any holes he or she has made, even if that means using the security deposit to do so.

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Showing 127 - 177 comments (out of 177)
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Goodlytennant 14th January, 2013 @ 13:26

Spelling is not a requirement for a good tenant. But it seems that being a pedantic tw* t is a must for being a landlord (in your case).

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John 14th January, 2013 @ 21:16

I see that you must have decided to use spell checker in your last comment, as you managed to spell "tenant" correctly this time unlike in your name "goodlytennant" Don't tell me I bet you off work and claiming benefits as you have a bad back? The reason you haven't missed a rent payment is because the council probably pay it directly into your landlords account.

P.s What the F*&K does "Goodly" mean ?

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Landlady 18th January, 2013 @ 20:43

Everyone has the right to make their home their own. With this right goes responsibilities as per their tenancy agreement & if this says no holes then it's no holes. After all tenants do get the opportunity to read their tenancy agreement before they sign it. I would be inclined to put picture hooks up for the specific tenant which cancels out any botch job that they may do especially if they are going to be long term tenants. There are far more serious things that can cause damage to your property - I have had 9 leaks into my ground floor flat from the botched plumbing done by the landlord of the property above mine!

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Anger Mangement! 21st February, 2013 @ 19:26

Lets cut the all the BS and especially the whining! First of all Landlords...you are all getting your mortgages paid for you so lets not get all OCD on nails in the wall. Its an easy fix. Secondly if it gets to you that much, make sure its pointed out clearly in your tenacy agreement or better yet be pro-active and buy some of these alternatives to nails your talking about and leave them for the tenant to use before they move in. Yes it will cost you a small sum but in comparisson to the cost of repair of your precious damaged walls. I think its a cost you can live with! To teneants that want to put pictures or what ever up. Ive always found that honesty/politeness goes a long way. If you intend to do something...plan ahead and ask!

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louise-marie aspinal 29th April, 2013 @ 22:50

my view on this is silly and childish yes i agree that you should leave the property as you found it but its not like the tenant knocked a wall down or something or broke any fixtures A WALL IS A WALL get over it HOLES in it will occur if the tenant had poles up or a shelve my landlord mr paul hawker told me i could paint his house and sent me written consent to do this and now he has demanded my nan who is 80 and ill garentor to pay 750 pounds to get the paint blasted of after i agreed with Hawker that i could do it he tricked me into painting his house to get money out of me not all but some private landlords are all con-merchants im afraid mine is and hes been stalking my property im moving because he and his girlfriend spoke to me like shit and were very unproffesional as landlords no body likes a whining landlord at the end of the day DO YOU WANT A TENANT OR NOT critisising will get you no rent no tenant and no respect xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Paul Hag 24th July, 2013 @ 15:01

you and all other landlords and fucking twats

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Goodlytennant 24th July, 2013 @ 15:54

"Don't tell me I bet you off work and claiming benefits as you have a bad back? The reason you haven't missed a rent payment is because the council probably pay it directly into your landlords account."

You have just proven my point you patronising Fuck. No i have never been on benefits for more than a month or two. The reason i rent is to have the flexibility to move easily for my business.

You truly are an Ass hat (look it up if you dont know what it means dipshit!

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Ridiculous landlords 5th February, 2014 @ 00:11

This is such a ridiculous post. Some furniture is required to be fixed to a wall, for example a wardrobe.

If I can't drill a hole to fix heavy furniture and it causes an accident, I will sue the landlord. Imagine a wardrobe full of stuff falling on your and possibly killing you!?

I don't care if the tenancy agreement says "no holes", my safety comes first. I will never leave those holes open, I will put some filler in and smooth it out before I leave, if the landlord complains he can go to the deposit protection provider that I use and put his case forward, as will I.

I'm sure that my reasons will convince the adjudicator that drilling some holes for my safety were necessary and fair wear and tear. What the stupid landlord who wrote this article doesn't understand is precisely this, if your furniture requires holes to be drilled, then it is fair wear and tear because otherwise you would not be able to use it safely.

So what would you rather have, Mr/s Landlord? A few small holes or a HUGE lawsuit? Pick your choice and don't complain later because if you do, it just proves that landlords are usually assholes.

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Scotty 5th February, 2014 @ 00:55

@Ridiculous landlords, what planet are you living on? I'm a social housing officer (and private landlord) and I deal with all aspects of landlord law every day. I can categorically tell you that you will not be able to sue a landlord based on "your own" heavy furniture causing accidents because you can't drill them to the wall. Everything you said is complete nonsense. There will never be a lawsuit, let alone a HUGE lawsuit and rightly so. The problem is you're not a landlord so you don't appreciate or understand how expensive and time consuming it can be to resolve huge holes in walls.
The post was about a tenant leaving huge holes unattended and using incorrect tools for the job. Its obvious you missed the point and then in a fit of rage decided to make up your own ridiculous law. How ironic!!!!!

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Tenant for now 16th April, 2014 @ 17:05

This all seems to be blown out of proportion!!
Surely common sense should have kicked in by now?
Pictures are part of alot of peoples lives, they are memories framed in an instant.
I agree that alternative methods should be supplied if you are bothered about a few pin holes, or simply putting a few picture hooks up yourself in places you feel would be appropriate for a picture.
I am not a Landlord, but my father is. It is annoying having to repaint everytime a tenant leaves, but you maximise your interest with a freshly decorated house.
As a tenant myself, I will put picture hooks up, however I will make sure that the 'damage' is repaired to a standard that I would be happy with, if it was my own house.
I think you need to withold judgement until they move out, because in all honesty, you cannot comment on the state of the house until they leave.
They are aware of the issue that needs to be fixed and if it isn't then you can keep a fair and reasonable amount to fix the damage yourself.
As for the personal insults, people need to grow up, landlords need tenants and vice versa.

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Jonathan R 16th April, 2014 @ 17:24

The landlord could do with watching this youtube video to see how easy it is to fix screw holes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJhMsfC8vdA

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Landlady 16th April, 2014 @ 20:33

I have never heard of wardrobes being screwed to a wall & if there was a need due to say uneven flooring then the landlord should have been made aware. This is a totally different situation from hanging a few pictures. There seems to be. Misconception that all landlords are uncaring & only interested in their rental income, let me assure all tenants out there that this is definitely nit the case. My tenants are very nice respectful people who have presented me with no problems and I have respected them likewise after all it may be my flat they are living in but it is their home.

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Sooty 17th April, 2014 @ 09:10

Cannot believe this is still ongoing
Landlords 36
Tenants 2

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solo 21st April, 2014 @ 08:37

If i were a landlord and had a no nail/screw clause in the tenancy agreement I would ensure that there were wooden batons above every window and picture rails in all rooms (maybe with exception of kitchen).

People tend to do things the easy way and so making it easy for tenants to avoid making holes would seem to the most effective way of obtaining the wanted outcome.

Manufacturing has a (Japanese) term for this "Poka-yoke". OK this might not exactly be poka-yoke but the general point stands!

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Guilted Teen 1st September, 2014 @ 17:19

the door stoppers are not even effective sobwhen I open the door it hits the wall and puts a hole in it that is less than an inch long, does that take 500 dollars out of the safety deposit.

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Kat Johnson 28th November, 2014 @ 17:48

Shouldn't the tenant have put the original railings back up when he removed his custom drapery railings? It hardly seems fair that he take down the originals, then leave the place with them still down.

(side issue, why does the landlord icon for the site have to be male with a mustache?)

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 29th November, 2014 @ 10:23

Hi Kat,

Yup, in theory they should have. But I had to refill the holes they created, so it made no sense to request them to refit the original fittings. I'm actually glad they didn't, because I don't trust their D.I.Y skills.

Good question, and I'm amused that you asked. To be honest, I had one hell of a time trying to think of a gender-friendly face to represent a landlord. After pondering for what I considered to be "too long", I gave up and used the gender biased mustache face- I figured it represented "authority"

It was only meant to be a temporary solution until my creative juices gave me a more permanent solution, but I actually forgot about it until you flagged the issue. I'll have to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more suitable. Any ideas?

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EuropeanTenant 4th December, 2014 @ 12:01

I just wanted to add that with 15 years' experience in renting property both in the UK and in Europe we really do have the most RIDICULOUSLY petty contracts, I've even had ones with clauses about which door we could use (only the back door when renting the whole house) and shoe removal.
In Germany, in the 1980s when my parents rented there the tenant was entitled to the interest generated by their deposit.
In Spain, there are no clauses about pets or holes or anything, the tenant is the person who is protected and entitled to a home.
In Italy there were no issues either.
The point is in many countries rental is the norm so you're allowed to make the house your home. In England it is seen as a stop gap measure. It is even a real pain trying to get an initial contract for a longer term than 6 months before it becomes a rolling agreement - seriously!
Dear Landlords - You many own the building, but please let us make the house our home. I can't even secure the furniture in my baby's room or put any decoration up. YAY! A lovely magnolia nursery for the baby and a lovely magnolia bedroom for my 3 year-old.
The really ironic thing - all the blinking fittings (curtain rails, towel rails, etc) put up by the landlord are falling out of the walls because they've used the wrong raw plugs!

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Joe Pereira 1st April, 2015 @ 02:26

"even if that means using the security deposit to do so" (quoted from above) Here in Canada it is illegal for the landlord to use the security deposit for anything other than paying rent. It is also illegal for the landlord to charge a rental deposit that exceeds one months rent. The landlord also cannot request a "damage" deposit as this is illegal. The landlord can ask for money for damages and even file with the city to force some kind of payment for damages if an agreement cannot be reached. Many tenants don't know these laws and are suckered into paying first, last, and an additional "damage" deposit upon signing a new lease. This is completely illegal here!!

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joe 2nd June, 2015 @ 11:58

i am intrigued by this post. i am a tenant and i have hung up pictures.. i too get concerned that i will lose part of my deposit over holes left

i think both sides of the argument fair either way my feeling is that when i move it will be left the same way i moved in so i will take responsibility to repairing damage even a nail hole in a wall. it would be with polyfiller and paint... but if it is not a smooth finish i would get a price from a decorator.

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goodlytennant 2nd June, 2015 @ 12:09

Since my earlier comment in 2013, i have now moved house. When i left the property i returned it to the exact condition i found it (repair wise) and in a much cleaner state than i found it.(got a cleaning company in as i usually do)

The management company were shocked that they had to return my full deposit. "It almost never happens these days" they said.

So what reward do i get for caring and respecting the rental property?

A full refund of my deposit.....and.....(drum roll)

A charge of £150 for checking out.

So after all that, im down 150 for just leaving.

Maybe you can understand when us renters get a bit peed off.

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Mike 26th July, 2015 @ 08:41

Having grown up on a tough council estate, been a tenant of both social and private housing and for the last 25 years a landlord I have the following observations to tenants and landlords alike with regards to some of the posts.

Read the tenancy agreement, because in my experience most tenants, and yes it is most tenants (although by no means excludes landlords) read the agreement then promptly ignore the contents except for the landlords obligations.

This is a society problem, where rights have been thrust into the limelight with responsibilities being ignored.

I have seen some rented properties where the condition makes me ashamed to be a landlord and where the landlords are a disgrace.

With regards to the holes in walls etc., even my best tenant, and even where I put it in the agreement and explain why holes should not be drilled, they take absolutely no notice, because its a part of the tenancy agreement they choose to forget, and even where I've explained that stud partitioning does not lend itself very well to carrying heavy shelves!

When tenants and landlords comment about 'filling' holes, its a misnomer, because its really covering up holes, rather than filling them, and most go right into the fabric of the building whereas filling will only fill up the first centimetre of the hole if you are lucky. Air pressure stops filler going into the complete hole, which means over time your walls, if solid can become significantly weakened to such an extent they are more like honeycomb than a weight bearing structure and that can be potentially very dangerous, where of course then the tenant would be blaming the landlord for the structure?

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Wild wild west 29th July, 2015 @ 23:42

I worked in law, as usual one day my best friend and we were arguing over one thing or another . I will never forget this comment it has remained with me.
My friend said,
" It is not about right or wrong, the law is about the law and the law protects itself."

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A Renter 17th October, 2015 @ 00:14

I think your point is well justified however at the same extent this is why I only rent where the deposit is minimal.. If I pay $200 as a deposit and never see it again that is no issue - carpet (I have pets) and holes (wall mounted tvs / other) should be well covered in the $200 expense without room for the landlord to take advantage.

Honestly if you are renting property - you are doing it for profit and to make a personal gain at the expense of someone else who probably works a bit harder for to make ends meet..

At the end of the day - even if a tenant only lives there for a year - what is a $20 hole compared to how much money you made off them in that year? It is just a level of accountability that landlords should maintain.

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tenant 26th November, 2015 @ 18:15

I got halfway through these comments and got tired of them. I can only say thank God you aren't my landlord. I've gained a sudden new appreciation of my landlord even though he has put up shelves for me (at my cost) drilling holes in the walls - and the bookshelves came crashing down in the night because he hadn't used the right rawlplugs - the ones that splay out, for that type of wall, plus he didn't put screws in all the holes in the brackets - yet he blamed the shelves falling down on what he said were my putting too many books on the shelves. For God's sake a book shelf is for books. He re-did them and they are full of books and with the proper rawlplugs they are stable. But I never got an apology. Luckily for me my computer was just out of reach of the falling books. One wall has been damp, causing mould for the two years I have lived here. I know previous tenants had to throw out their furniture from that room when they left because it was green with mould. I am waiting for the landlord to fix the wall after finally getting a builder to come and see it. I was told a week but I haven't heard a word about doing the job in three weeks. Yet I would rather have my landlord than you, at least he doesn't try to prevent me having a life and having a home. How can you live without putting up shelves and pictures at the very least? I have rentedloads of places and always make good any damage and have always left the properties in better condition than they were when I moved there. I think you crying over your tenants holes which they had said they were going to fix is sad. Thank you for helping me appreciate my landlord more.

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tenant 26th November, 2015 @ 18:46

PS I think you and all you other landlords need to remember you are getting your mortgages well-paid by your tenants. Just because you had the capital to invest in a property does not make you superior beings. You may have the responsibility for the upkeep and structural repairs of your buildings but give and take with the people who are paying your mortgages, being concerned that they are able to have a happy home and quiet life and being prepared to do a little redecorating when they leave if necessary is not a big price to pay, is it.

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tenantandlandlord 27th November, 2015 @ 04:33

I've seen both sides of this being a tenant and a landlord.

When I was a tenant of 4 different properties.
1 landlord broke health and safety by letting a building which had raw sewage spilling from a soil pipe into the kitchen. The pipe was not even attached to the ground works.

Another landlord use to 'pop in' to the house unannounced whenever she felt like it, kept the deposit in her own bank account and refused to fix the flooding by the front door which happened every time it rained ruining her lovely laminate oak wood floors.

Another landlord attempted to claim we were liable for extra heating bills which he created in his own house (which was attached to the rental property) even when we had vacated the building after a dispute rose from when he kept repeatedly doing DIY at 3am in the morning.

The last landlord tried to claim our full deposit stating that the house was full of holes when he himself put in all of the fixtures and fittings which lasted only a few weeks. After being presented with photographic and video evidence of his own handiwork we got our deposit back.

Being a landlord I've had exactly 8 tenants over a 14 year period the fist tenant was excellent and stayed 5 years. The subsequent ones drilled holes in doors for cats which should not have been their, put up shelves without asking on walls which did not support the televisions they put on them. Re wired the electrics in the kitchen to add plugs in other rooms. Added three extra aerials and a satellite dish on a pole made for one aerial which bent in the wind and took the cabling with it after it fell down on a neighbours car. Changed the locks put holes everywhere for CCTV cameras.
Sweated on the main bed so much there was ooze and mildew embedded in the brand new mattress, it was supposed to have a mattress protector attached to it but they removed that too.
One tenant use to shoot our neighbours cats with his crossbow and pellet gun!

After all that, I've never done anything to a property without prior permission from the landlord and have always improved it when given permission. More importantly I always take documented evidence before, after and during any works carried out and of the permission given.

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Shannon 13th June, 2016 @ 22:29

I am shocked to hear a landlord who has other people pay of their mortgages by other people actually post the most ridiculous post and then actually post pictures! I truly hope that your life doesn't switch on you, or maybe that's exactly what should happen because you are extremely ungrateful and you just made me appreciate my landlord 100 times more

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Paradigm 3rd August, 2016 @ 12:36

I need to install some furniture, like custom light fittings, a bathroom cabinet and a wall fixing for a 7'x7'x14" shelving unit. To be able to hang things like pictures and televisions would be a dream come true.

The obstacle is that I have no idea what the norms of drilling in walls are. Before I came to this page, without any prior knowledge for all I knew it could do, say, £5000 worth of damage. You may laugh, but I'm relatively new to living independently of my parents and have no idea how the world works (surely this is normal for young adults? maybe it's an autistic geek thing). Given that these comments are somewhat representative of landlord opinion, I can now conclude that if I do screw things up, I'm more likely to do, say, £600 worth of damage. Which makes sense, because I have a feeling most people furnish their homes to some degree, even when they're renting.

Sure, you probably get a few careless idiots doing a couple of hundred quid's worth of damage, but you also get neurotics paralysed by fear of doing damage, who can't make their flats into homes. And people in between. A clear sense of what's normal and how much you'd have to pay to repair what kind of damage is really helpful.

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Paradigm 3rd August, 2016 @ 13:51

Okay, now I have a proportionate sense of the potential damage of and norms of drilling into walls, despite the best efforts of some commentators here to create fear and drama using hyperbolic, emotive, sometimes dichotomous language or right and wrong. I respect landlords just as much as I do non-landlords; it's just the minority who moralise about expenses who I find horrible, stupid and repulsive.

I get the impression from here that when drilling a few holes in walls for pictures, cabinets, etc, the personal risk is losing part of the deposit because the landlord has to pay £120 for a decorator. And the moral risk is that the landlord might have to pay £120 for a decorator if you don't have to. Ultimately, it's about a sum of money that, compared to the cost of a tenancy, is minuscule (say, a hundredth of the amount).

Angry landlords: having expenses in your business does not make you the oppressed victims! As with all economic activity, tenants buy a product/service (the right to use the property) from landlords, who take on the risks of assets, liabilities, expenses and incomes to make a profit. When you sign a tenancy agreement, you know the norms of tenants modifying your property so they can live in it. By weighing these norms against whatever restrictions you impose in the tenancy agreement, you know roughly what to expect. Implicitly, you consent to the risk. For taking this risk, you are rewarded with the growth of your capital. The world is not against you!

There's nothing wrong with having capital -- heck, some people work hard to create and grow that stuff -- but those who make moral issues out of business expenses need to check their privilege.

Some people work 9-5 jobs and take parenthood and other responsibilities seriously. In the grand scheme of a tenant's life, a £120 repair job is not worth becoming neurotic over -- for her own sake as well as everyone else's.

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Kat 3rd August, 2016 @ 14:29

Well.... it really depends on what material the wall is made of. If the building is an older building with plastered walls, or with walls covered with the older solid wood panelling (not the new laminate) then the expense to repair the holes might very well be quite high since the available qualified repair persons are expensive and rarer and/or the materials scarcer and harder to find or even impossible to match. I have some units where the sheetrocked walls would be inexpensive/easy to repair. I also have other units where the building is older with plastered walls and if you make a mistake in 'drilling' your hole, you can cause cracking across the wall.

Since you as the tenant may be unaware of what the wall surface is, you should discuss any plans for holes with the landlord ahead of time. If you damage things to a great extent, you may be placed on the 'would not rent to again.' You may laugh and say but I wouldn't be returning, but that is a question future landlords will ask when they call this landlord for a reference.

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Dominic 1st September, 2016 @ 03:43

I understand most landlords aren't very bright but really? I will admit some of those holes looked kinda bad but expensive to repair? I don't think so. it costs under $10 to buy Spackle, touch up paint, and a putty knife to repair said holes and minimal effort even if one has the same amount of idiocy as you when it comes to D.I.Y. It takes roughly three minutes to fix these holes. And at least in New York I know for a fact drilling holes is classed as wear and tear and it probably is in other states too.

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peopleplease 18th September, 2016 @ 11:28

what is this guy on? Seriously! What an utter nob jockey! A few holes that are relatively easy and inexpensive to repair insighting such anger; I think an anger management course is called for. And how twatty of him to talk about tenants in this manner. They are your bread and butter, allowing you to have a lovely mortgage free property and you speak about them like they are the bain of your life. In Germany and France the majority of folk rent. Why? Many reasons but largely due to rental regulations favouring renters over landlords which is how it should be. We really do have it arse about face in this country. Part of that favour is modifying the home to suit their needs. This dude needs to realise that with competition getting higher between landlords over here the tide will soon change in the renters favour and he will have to change his attitude if he wants to continue making money this way.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 18th September, 2016 @ 11:54

1) Just because tenant's pay for a service (i.e. a roof over their head) it doesn't automatically excuse them for everything. What kind of logic is that? It's that kind of mentality which is the problem.

2) It's not about the money, it's about having the decency to do a proper job. A tenant pissing on the floor is inexpensive to resolve, but it's still a problem- and paying rent doesn't make it excusable.

3) The problem is, when it's not your property, it's easy to say "you're overreacting" - but for the record, I wouldn't treat your property like that, and you'd appreciate it.

4) Anger management... pot/kettle/black. Calm down.

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Bemused 17th October, 2016 @ 16:05

@The Landlord
"1) Just because tenant's pay for a service (i.e. a roof over their head)..."

A service? Do you mean a basic human right?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th October, 2016 @ 16:36

Drilling holes into walls inappropriately is not a human right.

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Aimza 10th April, 2017 @ 18:37

@Dominic - Drilling holes is not considered normal wear and tear in NY. Landlords can legally withhold a security deposit for holes like anchoring a tv or furniture. No one should have to clean up your craters.

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Rob 15th February, 2018 @ 20:10

I'm a tenant, (and a decent one I hope).I have looked after properties like they were my own,so much so that I've ended up spending hours and day's doing something or other that needs attention ie ;;
Today I took off all ubends to clean them ;as I've only been here for couple of months,.
I then cleared out damp rubble from behind a panel that covered the sewage pipe and stop cock ,cut off a piece of the inner timber that had post beetle in it causing piles of brown dust and treated it and surrounding wood too,with woodworm killer etc,and have left the panel off to keep it aired and am going to modify it to have a brass grill in it as per keeping the damp under control. I originally ,,,
took off all fronts panels under each kitchen unit found rubbish and damp dirty piles of muddy stuff so scraped it all out .washed with bleach after thouroghly hoovering ,left them off for couple of weeks to air out !! (I saw slight moisture glistening, turned out to be a slow leaking cold water pipe)which I solved by tightening up forgot to mention earlier.
put bug killer at back and then went on to check out the entire house for damp problems so I can be aware and I found some in mainly kitchen and bathroom,as built on! .so allways keep Windows open a little .
I've sealed properly round the bathroom around bath, and kitchen sink as leaking through to cupboards,and had rotted the supporting base unit,so cut off section and this aired out along with the floor as per earlier,
checked underneath bath ,as previous tenants had flooded lounge sloshing about in the oddly placed bath!
Bled the radiators,
fixed (,well bought a new one)the door threshold as was cracked and letting in water !
And this summer I am going to take up some tiles by the front door 're seal outside (well investigate) leave to dry out for week or so then lay them back and no more water soaking into carpet in hall floor
at the moment I am keeping the hall just stone and putting towel up against the door and keeping it aired out etc. Also I have had to use 3 tins of heavy duty flea killer as previous tenants allowed a mangy street cat in upstairs in the bedroom and its taken two months to get rid!!! So that was nitemare was covered in bites and couldn't unpack my clothes and stuff for weeks .anyway .I love this house its a really old property, walls are over a foot thick, it's a little end cottage with a small garden all be it big bank of rubble covered in thin layer of soil. I plan on making it lovely , I don't trouble my landlord with these things .why should one .I am going to ask if I can put up curtain poles as need to to keep place warmer etc. I don't have a lot of money but I have common sense .I'm hoping he will let me live here for year's .
make what you will out of my post .:-)

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TJS 1st May, 2019 @ 02:37

KAT mentioned something very important.It depends on the material the holes are made in.I rented my cottage to a professional, “Home improvement specialist” who without asking drilled and screwed holes into old growth solid wood redwood paneling to mount their flat screen TV, sound bar, and satellite speakers in addition to shelving.
When I eventually discovered his, “Creativity”, it was too late.
This was after I said on the way in that the one thing that would “sour our deal” would be to damage the woodwork.
If a wall is sheetrock I wouldn’t care since repainting even replacing carpet etc is often expected of a landlord but once you drill, screw,nail into solid wood it’s never the same.
Live and learn.I put it in writing after the first time( I wrongly assumed his professionalism would rule out in the first instance) and sure enough they did the same thing within a year to the vintage woodwork in the bedroom.
Never,ever, rent anything irreplaceable that you value or are attached to.Needless to say they don’t live in my building anymore.

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Paul 22nd December, 2019 @ 14:52

This is so tight. The holes aren't that big! Some landlords seem to think they are above everyone else.

I live in a shared rented house, where all the walls are a very boring cream colour. There is a grand total of one picture hung up in the living room, and a clock in the kitchen, but apparently I'm not allowed to put anything on the walls in my bedroom, which is why I don't spend a lot of time in there. The landlord charges £750 rent a month, yet won't update the very dated kitchen. Apparently we can't even change our energy provider without his permission! It's not exactly him who is paying our bills! During the last inspection, he commented on the bathroom ceiling starting to flake because of moisture. We don't have an extraction fan and I had to keep the window closed when it was dark outside because of wasps flying in! Now I have to shower in the dark lol. My house is so depressing and when I see other people's houses and flats it makes me even more depressed.

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This post aged badly 9th April, 2020 @ 20:23

The OP sounds like the type of LL that gives good LLs a bad name. That or it's just a troll post which worked wonders ;-)

As I read and got to pictures I expected to see three attempts at putting a shelf up, instead it's just some nice small holes. Even ones too by looks of it. Sure, some cracking around the curtain ones but that;ll be covered by any future rails.

Couldn't agree more with earlier comment "A few holes that are relatively easy and inexpensive to repair insighting such anger; I think an anger management course is called for".

Regardless, don't brand all tenants with the same brush. In the same way you wouldn't expect to because of the 'rogue landlord' stories that end up in the public domain.

Equally, those tenants who have commented along lines of 'we pay your mortgage', you've obviously lived very little, don't understand the UK housing problem (in short, you need the private rent sector more than you realise) and are likely the tenant no LL wants. Don't presume you know your LLs personal circumstances, and don't act like you're entitled.

Paul (last poster, in case you're notifed of this response) "apparently we can't even change our energy provider without his permission". Put simply, that's illegal (if you are named/pay the bill you can change, if LL is named/pays then you DO need their permission).

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Neil Bailey 27th June, 2020 @ 06:55

Just cost up the wall damage. Get it fixed professionally and deduct from the deposit.
Simple. Next time buy picture hooks for tenants that do not damage the walls.

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Interested 23rd September, 2020 @ 00:20

What an interesting thread!

Tenancy agreements are put in place for a reason, if a tenant was not happy with the terms of an agreement they have the choice to not rent that property. Once the agreement is signed they are required to abide to said terms irrespective of how draconian they may seem.

Yes, housing is a basic need, however even the council struggle to provide this need and whilst LL may be making a profit they are also providing a product and should not be penalised for doing so.

As a tenant, I would always endeavour to seek permission before making alterations, because quite frankly whilst I live in the property I do not own it; and if I were to make any alterations I would attempt to fix or expect to compensate the landlord to make it right.

To lambast a LL for expressing this is beyond me. Its like buying a car on PCP (I think that’s the term) any damages to that car irrespective of how long you’ve had the car would be at your expense, without question.

Some tenants (myself included) have actually improved rented property, but such improvements are for my personal benefit to enhance my comfort. Whilst the landlord may have benefited, that is a choice I made. Would I like this to be taken into consideration in the event of damage, of course, should it be considered is subjective, since who am I to quantify the alterations I made without permission?

Bottom line is, if the agreement says don’t do it and you choose to do it anyway, be prepared to bear the consequences.

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A Tenant 25th May, 2021 @ 16:36

I am actually German and was seriously shocked about how tenants here are treated when I moved here. There is "doing the right thing out of human decency" and then there is doing the right thing "because of supply and demand". LL's in the UK have the demand on their side which is why it is so bad. I appreciate that there are some ghastly tenants out there but putting holes in a wall for pictures, shelves and securing furniture (yes, that is a thing) is part of life. And with all the recent legal changes will hopefully be a clause of the past. Do you as a landlord have nails and screws in your wall? If you do then you can't reasonably expect others to live without. How would you feel if your tenant called you and asked you to put a nail in the the wall to ensure a good job was done? If you declined that as well I'd seriously think twice about carrying on in the letting business. That's clearly not your thing.

Many LLs pretend like they are letting properties out of the goodness of their heart (oh what would we do without you? guess what? The gov would have to get their finger out) but it's undeniable that if it wasn't profitable (despite the occasional hiccup) they wouldn't be doing it in the first place - having someone pay your mortgage is profitable in itself even if you didn't charge rent beyond that. Losing your cool over holes in the wall (even the ones showing in the picture) is petty at best.

Filling a hole and painting over is the easiest thing ever and it's unrealistic in any case to have a wall that looks 100% perfect after someone lived in a property for some time. Your own property wouldn't look like that either.

There might be exceptions to the rule but if you are such a perfectionist why not ask the tenant what they need to put on the wall and then do it for them to minimise risk? LL's are often petty opportunists who get a hissy fit over every penny they lose. Which is why more laws are coming into place over what is and isn't reasonable wear and tear. Because some have to have it spelled out. I am sure once the law is no longer on your side, suddenly the law is stupid.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th May, 2021 @ 16:49

@A Tenant

I'm sorry, with all due respect, it sounds like you didn't even read the blog post.

I have no qualms with tenants hanging up photos or shelves, that’s cool with me. It’s expected, it’s their home. But at least do it with a little care, that’s all I’m saying.

When I wrote this blog post my issue/frustration was with tenants that do the things you mentioned (e.g. put up shelves, hang photo frames etc) without care.

Is that really too much to ask, are landlords really being mean? Why are the tenants the victim in this situation? I'm baffled.

The whole point is, there is a right and wrong way to put up picture frames, and it's annoying when DIY isn't done properly. In my own home I wouldn't use an oversized nail to hang a small picture frame.

It's not about being a perfectionist, it's about putting up curtain rails without ripping off the plaster because inappropriate methods/screws were used.

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Jonathan R 25th May, 2021 @ 17:17

These the screw holes in the wall are a very small issue, something that can be fixed with 10 minutes work.

I had a tenant who stole most of my furniture (dining table, chairs, bedroom cabinets...)and small kitchen appliances, cutlery, unplugged a freezer that hadn't been defrosted in 4 years letting it defrost on a parquet floor that then needed replacing afterwards, didn't pay the last months rent, didn't clean the flat for the entire 4 years she was in there leaving it so disgusting and filthy it had to be cleaned twice.

The policewoman I reported it to said her brother had a property that he rented out and the tenants took all the internal doors off and set fire to them in the garden.

My stepmother's brother rented his house and it was vandalised by the tenants and also holes knocked through the doors.

So count yourself lucky you were left with a job that would take 10 minutes to complete and cost next to nothing to repair.

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Eric 25th May, 2021 @ 17:38

The flat wasn't cleaned in 4 years?

Jonathan, do you know what's also less than 10mins work? Regular inspections.

Not sure luck has anything to do with this, sounds more like negligence on your part (sorry, but it's true).

Fixing screw holes isnt a big task, but I think people are missing the point.

Cleaning poo off a carpet isn't a costly or taxing job but why should landlords have to deal with tenants taking dumps on the floor?

We can all list worse situations.

Know what's worse than stolen furniture? A house burning down due to a neglected candle.

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Jonathan R 25th May, 2021 @ 18:09


Yes, there can always be a lot worse.
I think what is generally more common and worse than a bit of damage and theft is when a tenant stops paying the rent for months and the landlord has to get them evicted. This is very true at the moment because there has been a ban on evictions, so there must be some landlords that haven't had any rent payments over a year.

But leaving a few screw holes in the wall isn't worth writing a blog about.
If it's in the tenancy agreement that the tenant is not allowed to make holes in the wall without the landlords permission then they will be able to take the cost of repair out of the deposit.

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A Tenant 25th May, 2021 @ 19:13

@The Landlord

Well, I read your post as well as many of your comments. Your post is literally titled "Tenants who put holes in the wall" not "Tenants who can't use a drill properly and leave craters". You seem to be generally against putting holes in the wall for things you don't seem necessary (which could be anything really depending on the LL's views). And you also accuse people of not being able to fill holes properly. But a hole is a hole - whether done properly or not and they need to be filled. So since it still won't look like it was before even if filled and painted, when is a hole ok in your opinion? Apart from that hole above the window the other ones look pretty normal to me (in fact I moved into many properties with such holes and nobody fixed them before we moved in - seems like some landlords don't have such high standards for new tenants, they just quibble when it comes to paying back the deposit). It's also not just your post but the whole "Don't put holes in the wall attitude" which is common among other landlords here - some to a worse degree.

But you also said:

"I’d just like to make it clear (in case anyone is reading this for informational purposes), putting holes in walls is NOT classed as “fair wear and tear” – there is nothing natural about forcing a drill through plaster. The tenant is responsible for repairing any holes he or she has made, even if that means using the security deposit to do so."

So does that apply to all holes or just the ones that were done badly? What about installing a shelf? I think that's a pretty natural request. I mean where do you draw the line? Wouldn't it make more sense to call you in case I need a shelf putting up just in case I mess up? If you drilled the hole for me, would I still have to fix it? How do you assess a tenants drilling skills prior to them moving in? Do you tell them they can put in holes if they are skilled enough? Or do you have a blanket no-holes policy in your contracts? So many questions...

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th May, 2021 @ 21:17

@A Tenant

Haha, yes the title is "Tenants who put holes in the wall", it's ambiguous. Based on my title, the blog post could be about the fact I love tenants that put holes in the wall.

The title isn't "I hate all holes made by tenants"

I’d just like to make it clear (in case anyone is reading this for informational purposes), putting holes in walls is NOT classed as “fair wear and tear” – there is nothing natural about forcing a drill through plaster. The tenant is responsible for repairing any holes he or she has made, even if that means using the security deposit to do so.

That does not indicate whether I'm for or against holes, I'm stating a fact, that holes are not fair wear and tear (i.e. they don't just occur naturally by normal usage). I made the statement for informational purposes, which I think would be a perfectly normal enquiry in this situation, for both tenants and landlords.

Gosh, please stop putting words in my mouth and fabricating stories.

I don't know if you're just gunning for landlords, or what, but you've literally just read what you wanted to read rather than what I have actually said.

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A Tenant 26th May, 2021 @ 09:43

@The Landlord

I am not actually putting any words in your mouth. I just asked a few genuine questions for you to clarify as your article is quite ambiguous, that's correct.

But you went on the defence and didn't answer any of those - I am genuinely interested in the answers

I actually have a brilliant landlord and he is very precious about his walls, too. But for light stuff I have opted for command strips (primarily because the walls are not penetrable with a nail, and I don't really want to get a drill out for a picture). But there are a couple of shelves I want to hang up and I asked him if he is ok with that and he was. But he wasn't questioning my DIY skills. Otherwise he is the kind of guy who would come over and do it for me.

So considering that I, as well as many others, understood your post as an "Anti-Hole" attitude and then you say the problem is just badly done holes the following questions are still outstanding and would greatly help to clarify your stance:

"I’d just like to make it clear (in case anyone is reading this for informational purposes), putting holes in walls is NOT classed as “fair wear and tear” – there is nothing natural about forcing a drill through plaster. The tenant is responsible for repairing any holes he or she has made, even if that means using the security deposit to do so."

So does that apply to all holes or just the ones that were done badly? What about installing a shelf? I think that's a pretty natural request. I mean where do you draw the line? Wouldn't it make more sense to call you in case I need a shelf putting up just in case I mess up? If you drilled the hole for me, would I still have to fix it? How do you assess a tenants drilling skills prior to them moving in? Do you tell them they can put in holes if they are skilled enough? Or do you have a blanket no-holes policy in your contracts? So many questions...

















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