Is it worth the hassle of trying to get tenant to pay?

by Readers Question

2 months ago

Is it worth the hassle of trying to get tenant to pay?

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Is it worth the hassle of trying to get tenant to pay?

Recently we have had 3 cases where workmen have been sent out due to problems reported by tenants.

The first was a tenant saying there was a problem with a TV aerial, the second a leak from a washing machine and the third an oven not reaching temperature.

The reports received by the workmen were that the tenant needed to tune their TV in to the transmitter and there was no aerial fault, the washer leak was due to a tear in the door seal from a trapped piece of clothing not fully loaded into the machine and there was no fault with the oven and it was reaching temperature.

In each case an invoice for the call out has been received from the workmen.

Is it reasonable to expect the tenant to pay these invoices?

Given that the tenants will probably not want to pay them is it worth the hassle of trying to get them to pay?

Many thanks

Susan



Comments

AA

2 months ago

Take it off their deposit when they leave. Even the half witted adjudication system has to be on your side on this occasion. Don't rock the boat DURING the tenancy.

Windsor Woman

2 months ago

Whilst I can understand your frustration, the danger of trying to enforce repayment is that the tenants may be reluctant to report any problems in the future because of the likelihood of having to pay – the unintended consequence of which is that failure to report a problem - especially where water/gas/electricity are concerned – could lead to a worse and more expensive repair being required.
Another reason is that tenants, especially younger ones, lack experience and practical skills to sort out many problems. Many tenants also have a tenant mindset, which is that “it’s the landlord’s responsibility”.
I always encourage my tenants to report problems quickly. Some costs you may just have to absorb, some I seek reimbursement from the deposit at the end of the tenancy if appropriate.

Yvette Newbury

2 months ago

You may not want to assume they will not pay them. You should be able to prove that the request is reasonable and justify why you believe they are due to pay it - but you will need to do that at the end of the tenancy anyway if you want to make a deposit deduction. I have never found a problem with request for such payments during the tenancy, but then I would only ever make a charge if it was reasonable and I could identify why it should be charged to the tenant.

David Price

2 months ago

The long term solution is to not supply any white goods or furniture. I changed from fully equipped to nothing at all, no furniture, no white goods, no portable electrical appliances eg kettle, toaster etc and no cooker when the tax allowance was withdrawn. I still charge the same rent and still have tenants queuing for the property.
Magnanimously I still leave the kitchen sink!

Simon Williams

2 months ago

In these situations, I generally don't bother provided they are otherwise good tenants paying their rent on time. However, I would point out to the tenant, as Lord Denning famously said in Warren v Keen (1954), that they must treat a property in a "tenant-like manner" which means taking due care of things and attending themselves to the little things around the property. This case is actually quite useful because it counters the misconception that the tenant is under absolutely no obligation to do anything other than avoid trashing the place.
I might also point out, in a friendly way, that an increase in landlords costs could, in time, lead to an increase in rents - not to mention a possible deposit deduction.

I also concur with David Price's view - the less you supply in a tenancy, the less there is to go wrong.

Rod

2 months ago

If they are paying the rent, 'count your blessings'. I shouldn't say this but 'drag your feet a little', it doesn't pay to jump to quickly, you're not staff.

Martin Crossley

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 08/06/2018 - 11:26
Taps and a plug????

rita chawla

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 08/06/2018 - 11:26
What David said is interesting. I'm considering doing that in the long term. Would it be right to assume that tenancy is more suitable for family houses and not studios? Thanks Rita

David Lawrenson

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 08/06/2018 - 11:26
I think that comment is bang on the money.
We still provide the white goods though at our properties - and that is all.
The only thing I would add is that when one does a thorough credit and reference check, and with experience, one sort of "gets an idea" about which applicants are competent about the basics of looking after a home and which haven't got a clue.
And then avoid the potentially clueless.
For some reason, the three sets of Polish and Lithuanian tenants seems to be utterly practical, look after our places immaculately, one of them shocking our gas safe chap with their brilliant lagging of a condensate pipe.
Not saying Brits cannot do the same, some can and have been great tenants!, but I have had a few clueless, incompetent ones.
A lot is to do with how practical their day jobs are!
David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com

Private Rented Sector Consulting. Advice for landlords and investors in residential property
Author of the UK’s highest selling property book.

Alison King

2 months ago

I agree with Simon Williams. I do consider myself to be providing a service for which tenants pay. The reason some people rent is because they struggle to cope with things other people find simple and some are much more capable than others so it balances out overall. So far when I have treated tenants kindly and absorbed minor costs they've generally responded in kind, like being patient when suppliers have delivered the wrong goods or been unable to respond to a service call quickly.

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