Should we be offering our tenants a rent reduction?

Should we be offering our tenants a rent reduction?

0:01 AM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago 11

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Hello, we have a student let. After some leaks last winter we have decided to replace the roof and install room-in-roof insulation. We were unable to do the work in a void period as we’d signed up the tenants before the leaks started. The builders can do the work from the outside and have advised it’s fine for the tenants to live there while they do it.

However, they have just warned us that it will be noisy and builders tend to start work bright and early when the tenants may be asleep. The work itself should take two weeks but may be a bit stop-start as they have to find times when it’s unlikely to rain. It’s a new tenancy and some of the students will not be living there until after the work is complete anyway as they’ve gone away for the summer.

Should we be offering a rent reduction for those who have rooms on the top floor during the work, or can we suggest they sleep in an empty downstairs room if there’s one available? We’d like to be fair but the roof is costing a great deal and obviously, we don’t want to be losing income unless really necessary – opinions greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Caroline


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Comments

Barbaracus

6:16 AM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

If the work is not effecting their ability to live in the property then there is no need to offer a rent reduction.

Grumpy Doug

7:08 AM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

If you do that, you need to then figure out how much? And you set a precedent.
I find students appreciate beer/wine.

Graham Bowcock

10:01 AM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

There's no right or wrong answer, it will really depend on the disposition of the tenants and the extent of the works.
The best thing is to sit down with the tenants and keep them informed; they will appreciate it. Be prepared to offer something to the tenants. It will probably be more of a gesture than being very costly; if you are inconveniencing the tenants don't get too wound up about maintaining your income - these thigns are part of running a business.

Simon M

12:44 PM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

Discuss with your tenants as adults. You have a duty to make repairs, they have a right to "quiet enjoyment".

Building work tends to reverberate through the house. Sleeping-in and studying would be difficult. Best would be to schedule the work over the Summer when some or all may be elsewhere - apart from alcohol, if they'll be resident at the time, you might offer to pay for their inconvenience to study on campus or in a library.

On the plus side, you can explain the improvements will save on their heating costs through the winter - particularly given the price of gas.

I'd expect to monitor the builder during the work - in my experience they rarely work exactly as agreed.

Reluctant Landlord

12:59 PM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

Nope - just explain your predicament and the fact that you will be trying your best to mitigate disruption, but the work needs doing as priority. Keep the conversation open and honest but explain you are at the behest of weather and contractors ultimately just as they would be if it were their own property. If they contact you while the work is going on about noise etc then you can address that at the time. Once completed you could then go round and say hello and offer a bottle of wine or something to say thanks for their patience. Do this before or during and you have the potential of being possibly taken for a ride and being seen as an easy touch.

David

15:07 PM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

If the students are joint tenants, then they're renting the whole property and you don't have an automatic right to do the work, so in that case you should negotiate.

If they're room only tenants then you would have access for the works, but they should not impinge on the tenants enjoyment of the property, so in that case you should negotiate.

DAMIEN RAFFERTY

21:15 PM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

Do you have a smart TV in the property ?
Do you pay for a TV licence ?
Maybe offer to pay for the TV licence !
Maybe offer to pay for Netflix or Disney for the 12 months they are in the property
Try and make sure any tenant is kept downstairs during the summer.

Caroline Wilson

21:45 PM, 11th July 2023, About 8 months ago

Many thanks all - very useful to see what you think and some good advice here. We tend to agree that good communication is key and our tenants thankfully do understand the work needs to be done. But we'll bear in mind that we may need to compromise and we'll certainly make a gesture of thanks when it's finished. So far so good!

Christopher Lee

5:31 AM, 14th July 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Caroline Wilson at 11/07/2023 - 21:45
I'd definitely be offering them some money back. A new roof, even only affecting the outside, is very disruptive.and you'll be amazed at how much dirt will be created internally. It'll be noisy as well and impact their quiet enjoyment. Half rent for the duration?

LIZZY7

14:19 PM, 15th July 2023, About 8 months ago

I would email them and let them know timescale and noise issues. Then see if they come back with any demands? I warned my tenants their flat was going to be sold and there would be viewings and straight away they asked for £250pcm rent deduction, which I agreed to to keep them happy. However, I was a bit peeved as they never bothered to make their beds or tidy up a little, even for the photographer! These were adult workers, but your students must be a first time they are living away from home... you don't want their parents getting on to you so best throw in a bonus

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