AIIC recommends Landlords allow tenants to decorate and make improvements

AIIC recommends Landlords allow tenants to decorate and make improvements

12:16 PM, 23rd March 2017, About 7 years ago 4

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The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has recommended that Landlords and agents allow tenants to personalise, decorate and make improvements to their homes.

This is following a survey by online home improvement platform Plentific showing that:

  • 73% of tenants have carried out their own DIY
  • 23% of tennats have spent more than £500 on home improvements

The AIIC draw the conclusion that an increasing percentage of tenants are wanting and willing to spend time and money making their home their own and that landlords who allow this within reason could also benefit.

Chair of the AIIC, Patricia Barber, said “It’s clear that tenants are increasingly willing to spend their own money on improving their rental property and this is certainly something landlords should think about.

“We’re seeing more long term tenants and they’re clearly committed to living in a higher standard of property.

“Landlords who cautiously allow tenants to put their own stamp on a property could benefit from a lower turnover of tenants and an improved and well maintained property at the end of the contract.”

“If rental properties are noticeably changing over the course of a tenancy, it’s vitally important that there is an inventory which comprehensively details the condition and contents of the property at the start of the tenancy. This way any fair deposit deductions can be made by the landlord and the chances of a deposit dispute are minimised.”

There are several key considerations for Landlords here:

  • Having the condition and inventory of the property well documented at the start of the tenancy and then documenting the requested and agreed improvements by the tenant in an effort to avoid later deposit disputes.
  • How do you agree the standard and quality of any potential DIY work?
  • What if the work agreed to causes damage such as electrical fire or burst water pipes?
  • There is no accounting for taste and how easy will it be to re-let a property after personalisation?

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Jamie M

11:38 AM, 24th March 2017, About 7 years ago

This is news???

Patricia perhaps you should make sure your agents do their job, we are well versed at dealing with tenants re this

I have an issue with your organisation as one of your people did and inventory for us (allegedly) on Jan 26th and despite some 50+ phone calls plus going to his house he is still making excuses for it not being delivered to us and is still making promises of delivery AND today threatened my wife if we came to their home again in search of this inventory. The tenants moved in 3 days after he visited to do the inventory and they are also fed up with what's going on. We stupidly paid him at his request up front as he insisted this was the only way he did business.

perhaps you'd like to contact me

Rob Crawford

15:21 PM, 26th March 2017, About 7 years ago

I don't feel inventory clerks are in a position to make these recommendations. The "considerations" listed are exactly the reason why tenants should not be given permission to decorate unless you are willing to take on those risks.

Darlington Landlord

18:09 PM, 26th March 2017, About 7 years ago

Unfortunately most tenants DIY changes with amateurish standards. Understandably when you consider this may be the first time they have tried to decorate or anything more major and are doing it on the cheap. In my experience the landlord is then left with the cost of rectifying their "improvements" after they leave - for example even if they redecorate to the original colours your are left with runs and a poor finish. As for putting up shelves and bathroom fittings most don't have a clue about the proper fixings (and don't ask first) and then you have a hole to deal with. They are very unlikely to get professional trades to do the work, if they did I would be happy to allow changes

Jonathan Clarke

10:00 AM, 28th March 2017, About 7 years ago

I in 90% of cases let my tenants decorate and improve.
I interview and select tenants often on their ability to do this.
We interview our maintenance people don`t we to ensure they are good at what they do. We interview our tenants to ensure they can and will pay the rent
I just often combine the two interviews into one . The benefits are multiple

As a result - Many have added value to my house at their own expense. Sometimes we split the costs. I`ve had kitchens bathrooms replastering re carpeting redecorating etc all done at no cost to me .

This is because they want their house to be a home and to stay longer and make their environment better. I upgrade them as their families grow. And they repeat the exercise. I cant remember the last inventory I did. They add value and then I`d re value and release equity to buy another.

The key is in the interview. Get tenants in who have a professional trade or have a close network of people in the trade. Its not for everyone of course. It depends what market you operate in.

It can though streamline your business and they are also on hand to help out on other properties. Your own personal ad hoc workforce on tap. Ive saved £1000.s and £1000`s by incorporating this into my investment model . I`ve sometimes added 10K in value on a property at no cost to me . Many LL`s do not employ this strategy. I think they miss a trick

The key is in the initial interview and tenant selection.
Spend extra time on it.
You will then reap the dividends of that extra time spent multi fold in the years ahead

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