Letter to tackle persistent and unreasonable maintenance requests?

Letter to tackle persistent and unreasonable maintenance requests?

16:10 PM, 19th May 2021, About 2 months ago 24

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Hi, I have tenants that, for almost a year, are constantly requesting amendments be made to my property in Wales. For example, I had the property painted and decorated just before they moved in at a cost of £3000. They moved in, and the next day sent me a repair list of 38 items, one being the property was in need of full redecoration throughout. Another example is they want 3 hinges putting on the patio doors as they feel 2 are inadequate. And so it goes on.

I am more than happy to pay for necessary repairs, but this has become a constant and is distressing. I realise my only option may be eviction (as an aside there no other properties for rent currently in the area that they can afford so can’t see them leaving of their own free will), but given how arduous eviction is, I want to try a letter firstly in the hope they will see reason.

However, I just want to be sure that legally I am not compromising myself in any way. So here’s the letter in rough draft

Dear…

I understand, given your repeated requests for amendments to the property, that you are finding xxxx Road unsuitable for your needs. I am really sorry to hear this, as I always pride myself on being a responsible and caring landlord, and want nothing more than for xxxx Road to be your home, and not just a house. Unfortunately, I am finding myself unable to constantly financially meet with your expectations.

When you expressed an interest in the property you raised no requests for improvements, and accordingly none were agreed as part of the contractual arrangements. Obviously I am happy to carry out all necessary repairs, but I feel the improvements being requested are excessive and unreasonable. Please therefore can you bear in mind the foregoing before making future requests.

Your cooperation with this would be much appreciated.

Is that OK?

Lorraine



Comments

by Gromit

11:05 AM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Sounds like you've some 'entitled' tenants.

Improvements=>better quality property=>higher rent.

This nees to be pointed out to them.

by Beaver

11:07 AM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

May I ask - was there an inventory check when the tenants first moved in, and did the tenants sign it?

by terry sullivan

11:17 AM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

ttfo asap

by Paul Shears

12:15 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 20/05/2021 - 11:17
Sadly you may be right. I have had the same thoughts myself in the past.
🙂

by reader

12:19 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Dear Lorraine,

Make sure you your legal requirements are in place then make a business decision on if to move them on before S21 is abolished.

These tenants are going to turn into non payment by claiming disrepair or calling for the council to inspect your property.

Sounds like too much trouble when you have been so generous to them. They will not be so kind to you.

by Simon M

12:23 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 20/05/2021 - 09:50
Ian has hit the nail on the head. Your tenants took the property in its condition at the date they moved in - and I hope they signed a thorough inventory. You must do repairs but changes beyond that are a matter of goodwill. The tone of the letter is wrong and will encourage more requests.
When you first start turning down their frivilous requests they're likely to kick up and will test your resolve.
To counter this reset expectations. I consider a sharp rent increase, accompanied with a letter explaining it's to reflect the improved condition of the property in the last 12 months. Wait until they respond - outraged - then list all the most expensive improvements they demanded. They'll come to their senses or leave.

by Joe Armstrong

13:27 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Get a good agent in. That'll square 'em back. Offset the cost of the agent with the saving you'll make on the tenants ridiculous whims.

by Deborah Clare

14:05 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

I have a very similar issue with one of my tenants. He was homeless and I gave him the chance to rent the house when he couldn't get anywhere else due to bad credit. He was so very grateful for a month, then the nit picking started. In the last few months there have been regular requests for repairs that usually get sent to me on a Friday or Saturday evening at around 8pm and are expected to be dealt with immediately. These have included replacing batteries in the heating thermostat and asking for a new door because the locking mechanism is stiff causing a hazard in the event of a fire (it isn't). I've been told that the property 'needs' decorating throughout, new flooring, a new bathroom and kitchen and new doors and windows (some of which are only 5 years old). I am now considering selling the property and served a S21 giving 6 months notice. The tenant got stroppy, paid last months rent late and then got a mate of his to offer £30,000 less than the asking price after telling me of all it's 'faults' including subsidence! I politely explained to the tenant and his friend that there are 'needs' and 'wants' which are two different things. A couple of weeks later, the stroppy tenant phoned to apologise after trying every agency in the area and failing to be accepted as a prospective tenant. Suddenly he says my semi derelict hovel is a lovely house and he loves living there as it doesn't need anything else doing and I can just sit back and collect the rent without paying out for any more repairs in the future! We will see.

by Deborah Clare

14:12 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 20/05/2021 - 08:09
I have two very good tenants, one who has been with me for 8 years. They report genuine faults and do not expect miracles when arranging for repairs to be carried out. Then there are others, who as you say, expect instant attention from myself and from tradesmen. I don't know if it's an age thing, with the younger 'student' generation expecting too much. One of my best tenants is a young lady who is only 20 years old. It may just come down to their personality and upbringing.

I always treat tenants with fairness and respect and expect it back. Sadly, this isn't always the case.

by Paul Shears

14:30 PM, 20th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Deborah Clare at 20/05/2021 - 14:12
Agreed.


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