Tenant is dirty and careless, do we need to keep doing repairs?

Tenant is dirty and careless, do we need to keep doing repairs?

9:46 AM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago 45

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Hello, My tenant generally pays on time, is cooperative and polite but is incapable of keeping the place up. It has turned in four years from a nice place into a tip, and various fixtures have got broken.

My question is, when the tenant is so careless is there any reason we should fix everything they neglect or mistreat?

We’d love to get rid of them but we need the rental income and first we must also save up to totally refurb the place to let it to anyone else.

We have done repairs to keep the place fit for human habitation, and safe, but why should we chuck away money on someone acting like they were raised in a tent?

Thank you,


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11:24 AM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

It all depends on the costs.
If the costs are fairly moderate say up to £500 a year then its just mainenance money.
But are you being too fussy with keeping it tidy?


11:29 AM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

We have just gone through a similar problem. Immaculate flat handed over. Until recently tenant paid, then stopped. In the 5 or so years it saddened us to have to learn (despite frequent suggestions...) that a hoover and such as oven cleaners were alien beings - and then tenant complained of ill health!
Eventually we went down the legal route.
You have my total sympathy.
Are there Health & Safety issues that could impact other neighbours?

Dennis Forrest

11:53 AM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

If your tenants are good payers and polite and cooperative you could be in a far worse position. Some people are just untidy by nature (remember the TV ad 'looks like you've just been burgled').Why not offer to pay for a cleaner for a few hours each week. Slightly different situation but we recently rented out a 4 bedroomed house for a couple of years before we eventually moved in to it ourselves. We included all gardening in with the monthly rent. When we moved in to the house the garden was fairly tidy and not a jungle.

Reluctant Landlord

12:14 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

Try a different tack - suggest you polite reminder that they have an obligation to treat the place in a 'tenant like manner'. Mention that you are concerned over general housekeeping and the rise in incidents of repairs which may be indicative of tenant inaction which is something you are not responsible for. Suggest that as you see you have a good LL/tenant relationship you would like to understand if there is any assistance you could provide that may help him/her going forward. (it means they have to reply to you)

Rather than get their back up from the offing, if you post it like you are trying to help you may get a genuine response that they are struggling in some way. This is then your in road to turning the situation around.

Best scenario you offer advice and guidance and they take it. Worse case they ignore it then you start ramping it up. If you go for possession then you are stopping the rot going any further as clearly they are not going to change. They might see this as a worry and suddenly change their ways. Cover your back and start with a softly softly approach and you will have to judge it from there.

LL's are sometimes glorified Social workers!

Susan Bradley

12:19 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

This is all part and parcel of being a landlord I am afraid! Some people are simply slobs and do not appear to be able to see dirt. They can live in a place for years and never pour bleach down the toilet or wipe the skirting over with a damp cloth. It is only when you have experienced this that you will look at things other than if they can afford it. Ideally we all want to let to young professionals that are out all day and never cook.

Rich Robson

12:28 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

When you get sick of telling them to clean up, issue a an improvement notice take pictures and get them to sign receipt of it. This will help when it all turns nasty, as it will, or you will backdown.

K Anon

13:41 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

Having been destroyed by a benefit tenant who counter claimed the S8 with a dilapidation claim (poured water down the wall, knocked walls with hammer, yanked bath pull cords, broke the shower, screwdriver in windows, melted the heater controls with a lighter and much more, she was legal aid funded, I can 110% assure you that you absolutely must jump through hoops to keep on top of any repairs. Our tenant repeatedly denied access to all the above yet was in the right to complain repairs were not done.
It was impossible, they are so well protected there really is no sense and reason.

Eventually had to pay her to go, we were almost bankrupted and the deposit protection joke.... £260 for a totally destroyed property. Paint, excrement, destroyed carpets, pets etc..
So yes. You must try unreasonably hard to do repairs or you are in trouble.


13:47 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by K Anon at 20/02/2023 - 13:41
There are some repairs that are fair wear and tear.

There are some repairs that are in fact malicious damage or simply negligence.

The most important thing is that you have a process of documenting both repairs and requests for repairs.

Judith Wordsworth

16:23 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

You may well find that the rental income does not cover your refurbishment and you might be better off getting possession and selling. Just my thought


17:20 PM, 20th February 2023, About A year ago

You have no say over how the tenant chooses to live provided they return the property in the agreed condition, (usually the same as they found it less fair wear and tear).

You must carry out the repairs, but if they are damaging things then you can ask them to pay or take it from the deposit when they leave.

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