New kitchen nightmare?

by Readers Question

16:15 PM, 20th September 2020
About a month ago

New kitchen nightmare?

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New kitchen nightmare?

So finally after Covid-19 eased off, we got round to start the kitchen which was planned before. The contracted company couldn’t do all the work and agreed to be flexible with me finding a new builder for them to then fit the kitchen once the builder has done all preparation work.

The issues I faced to get to this point were countless with tenants hindering every step of the way. I even had contractors stating we don’t want to do the job because the tenants are going to too difficult after they visit to look for what needs doing.

Now tenants refusing to have the free-standing gas cooker I have chosen. They already got their say in the planning of the kitchen by being demanding.

On one hand, I really feel enough is enough from tenants. And the other hand, they are worth having, because they never miss rent payments

It has come up again that they are pulling out all tools on me and threatening to leave. Also informed me today that they have reported me to the local authority for not fulfilling my duty as a landlord.

I just can’t please them no matter what I try to do, something is always wrong. Apparently, the cooker is for a “single person” what I bought for them. They want a cooker with a bigger oven which I can’t fit in the place, but they can’t believe me and wanted a built-in cooker they chose.

Any thoughts on this so demanding and rudely behaving tenants who are causing me stress now.

Angie


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Comments

Paul Shears

19:39 PM, 20th September 2020
About a month ago

Some people just have their good nature abused.
I would just stop investing in the property until the tenants leave naturally.
If they do not value a new kitchen, then why bother with them?

WP

7:09 AM, 21st September 2020
About a month ago

tell them you have given them what is legally required and that you are doing no more. Suggest that if this is not suitable reiterate the TA and state they can give notice at any time. Get that in writing so if anything happens you cover yourself. Cheeky buggers!

Darren Peters

8:29 AM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

What exactly have they reported you to the local authority for?

Do you need to do anything with the kitchen for them I.e. does the old one work, is it safe?

I think the ideal situation for you is that they leave thinking leaving gets one over on you. Then you can do the kitchen to your design and find more reasonable tenants to enjoy your nice new kitchen.

Assuming everything is safe and the report to L.A. is spurious you can let them know that you've reviewed your budget because Covid and won't do anything with the kitchen for the foreseeable future.

123Landlord

11:08 AM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Hello Angie,

This sounds stressful.

Where are you now with the kitchen? Is it just the cooker outstanding? It seems to me you need to finish the kitchen but I'd suggest it's for you to decide what 'finished' looks like rather than your tenants. If you don't think you can negotiate with them anymore, write a list of the minimum you need to do to finish it, tell them what you're going to do, and then do it. I understand you want to maintain the tenancy, which is sensible, I agree you should do what you can to keep tenants happy, but if you can't do any more, it's their call. As other posters have said - just let them leave. At least you'll have a new kitchen to entice your next tenants with.

Your tenants do have to allow you to carry out work. If they are preventing you from doing that, they're in the wrong. If you've bought the oven you could deliver it, tell them it's there for their use and they can decide when they'd like it installed. It's good practice to have everything in writing, even if it's just a text, and even better practice to have a tenancy agreement that says a text counts as 'in writing'.

A new kitchen sounds like an improvement to me and you're not legally required to improve the property. However you are required make it weatherproof, provide sanitation and heating, all of which may be affected by a new kitchen. If there's anything you'd class as a basic requirement outstanding, get it done as soon as you can. If the LA enforcement officer does visit s/he will probably think your house is a palace compared with what they normally see! If they do find a problem just do what they ask you to. You're not trying to evict the tenant so it won't impact that.

I'm sure this is no help now, but for me a new kitchen would mean either I'd ask the tenants to leave (i.e. an eviction) or wait for them to leave naturally and do the work between tenancies. It's just too much hassle to do this much work with tenants in situ - your contractor won't want to do it and will charge you more money, if something goes wrong your tenants won't be happy, and most of all I just don't think it's something a tenant should have to put up with. If it had to be done (eviction) or tenants asked for it to be done, I'd explain that although they may think they could live with a kitchen installation, it would be too disruptive to normal life, so either they leave or it doesn't get done.

Also, I'd try and do other work at the same time (e.g a new boiler) to make it more cost effective in terms of the cost of work, the cost of the property being empty, and the higher rent I'd assume I could charge (but I appreciate this may not always be possible to plan work this way). I'd also be very unlikely to employ 2 contractors to replace a kitchen - in my experience there's always a 'gap' between contractors, and between professionals and contractors, where I end up losing out.

Anyway - best of luck.

Helen

Paul Shears

12:23 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

I had some tenants who readily agreed to my offer of a new £9,500 bathroom. A lot of time was spent on planning this by several people. Then the worst tenant that I have ever had objected, saw no benefit to her and asked for a free month's rent for the inconvenience I pointed out, as I had already done previously, that it was an offer and not a request. The whole project was cancelled and I invested the money elsewhere.

123Landlord

13:10 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Wow - I'd like a £9.5K bathroom!

Paul Shears

13:36 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by 123Landlord at 22/09/2020 - 13:10Sorry but the cash is tied up at the moment. 🙂
Seriusly though, I really could not make this up. And to think that these people actually have employment!

Paul Shears

13:39 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

My last tenant accused me of being a penny pincher who does everything on the cheap. She was maxed out in debt as any of my tenants have been over the years. They buy cars that I cannot afford......


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