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  • Landlord question
  • kaj0103
    Member

    Hi
    I hope everyone is safe and well.
    I have a property where a tenant is about to move out. They have already vacated the property so I have a few questions. If anyone can help me that would be great. Please note that the property is fully managed by an estate agent.
    They have already moved out although their lease is not due to expire for about 5 more days.
    1. Can I gain short notice access to the property given they have moved out or can they refuse me access? I just want access to gain a couple of days cleaning and work etc.
    2. I drove past the other day and there are a lot of rubbish bags, car tyres, other paraphernalia out the front that make it look to me like they are leaving it there for me to get rid of. I Would like to hire a refuse collection company to clear this. Can I pass the cost on to them and it come out of their deposit?
    3. There was a perfectly clean, decent quality carpet in one of the rooms that has black stains (large black circles where some jet black liquid has been spilt, the carpet is a cream colour). I have an email from the estate agent saying they spoke to the tenant who agreed to get the carpet replaced. This hasn’t been done due to covid and the estate agent is now telling me that under the deposit scheme I’ll only get a % back event though all other carpets and the non stained parts of this one are in good condition and clearly have many years left in them. They said this is just how the scheme works. Given the estate agents emailed to say the tenant said she will replace it, is there anything I have on my side to have it fully replaced given the property can’t be let out with it in this state?
    4. Can I refuse to have the property handed back to me by the estate agent with all the rubbish on the property? I.e Is anything their responsibility or are they done the second the checkout day has passed?
    Many thanks and sorry if I’ve asked a bit too much for this forum.
    Cheers.

    TheBrick
    Member

    1. Phone them up and ask them.
    2. Probably yes.
    3. You are allowed reasonable ware and tare. What the tenant said once is irrelevant.
    4. That depends on your contract with your estate agent.

    kaj0103
    Member

    Thanks The Brick.
    Regarding carpet, reasonable wear and tear is a slight foot traffic path on the carpet, slight darkening,etc. These are jet black spillage patches (possibly, motor oil, paint, something else). Very much not reasonable wear and tear. That is why I am puzzled that I may not be able to get it fully covered. She looked into a professional clean and was told there’s no way it’ll come out.
    Cheers.

    5lab
    Member

    They are right about the amount you can claim back. Say a carpet will last 10 years in a rented place, and a tenant trashed it after 5 years. You cam only claim for the loss of 5 years, ie 50% of the cost

    The estate agent can arrange to clear the rubbish at cost, but if you have one why aren’t you asking them these questions rather than on here?

    TheBrick
    Member

    My point on the reasnoble ware tare is that is why you can’t claim for a full price of a replacement carpet.

    kaj0103
    Member

    Hi
    I’m asking on here as the estate agent, after almost 20 years of using them have become quite difficult to talk to now that they have to do something other than collect their 15% a month or find a new tenant. Getting anything out of them feels like pulling teeth so I am just asking for unbiased (hopefully 🙂 ) opinions in the hope that others have some experience in this…. obviously I don’t want people to have had the hassle but if someone has, I’d like to know how it was dealt with.
    I decided not to renew the lease further as the tenant was really not looking after the place (all done before covid… and I said they can stay When it all kicked off but they had found new residence anyway).
    In the whole time I have rented it out this will be the first time I have to call on funds from the deposit due to negligent tenants.
    Thanks.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Subscriber

    Please note that the property is fully managed by an estate agent.

    😁😁😁

    damascus
    Member

    The joys of being a landlord and getting someone to pay the mortgage!

    Just be thankful they haven’t trashed the place and you can rent it out again quickly. I’ve seen some horrendous properties over the years.

    Its only 5 days, if you can’t get hold of the tenants just wait. If you throw something away they will say they were going to come back for it and charge you!

    Use the 5 days to sort the garden out. Accept that you will have to pay for this but if you get the momey back off the tenant then it’s a bonus.

    Get a sign up in the window, saying property available to rent soon, just cleaning. Neighbours will find someone for you before the agents!

    Sometimes you just have to take a hit and be thankful it could be worse! The time and effort it would take to get a tenant to pay for a carpet isn’t worth the hassle. Again, be grateful you will get something towards a new carpet rather than 2 fingers.

    If this isn’t something you can stomach then is being a landlord for you? If not, sell it.

    I know a lot of landlords that would gladly swop tenants! Some people are really disgusting. Yours doesn’t sound too bad!

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    Surely if it’s fully managed they will have do e an inventory, usually with photos…..

    I don’t bother with the agent anymore apart from tenant finder service, sort everything myself after that. But i’m lucky as I have really good tenants, who I know as our kids used to go to same school.

    kaj0103
    Member

    Hi Damascus.
    I agree, I am very lucky compared to some. I used to own the house with my brother but when my wife and I met, etc we were lucky enough to qualify for enough mortgage to have both places. I also have very little pension…. others are lucky enough to have this in place with an employer. Not sure why people have a dig at someone being a landlord these days. I don’t moan at people who have 30 or 70 or final salary pensions. Lucky gits! 😉
    The tenants (well, mum and son there, son is a pig) have been quite poor living and cleanliness wise but thankfully actual property damage is minimal. Bathroom fan, some garden bits, painting (grease all over walls from hands from working on cars in the drive way, a set of blinds, carpet, not sure what else yet. Not the end of the world. I am fine with accepting the issues, just looking for real world advice like I said. In the past I’ve let things here and there slide but there’s about 700 – 1k worth of replacement needed ( that I know of atm!) plus painting and gardening that is outside of normal wear and tear, the waste removal, etc. I just don’t plan on letting it all slide because there a fair bit added up, that’s all. A place is supposed to be immediately rentable ( within reason) when a tenant moves out and it always has been until now.
    Cheers

    kaj0103
    Member

    @ads678. I was considering that, probably just nice having a fallback and the estate agents guarantee rent out of their own pocket rather than having to claim so it just suits. I do do most of the other stuff myself though and the tenants always call me to resolve issues.
    I need a halfway house really.

    The Pilot
    Member

    I feel for you, OP. Not the worst by a long way but they still sound like pretty rubbish tenants to me.
    I’d try asking on a landlord website – Property Tribes is one that springs to mind. There’s plenty if you search on Google. Not quite sure where you stand but you can almost certainly charge the tenants for clearing the rubbish and get at least something back for the carpet.
    The agent will just try to do the least work possible and will want to refund the whole amount or at least most of it to the tenant as that is the least work for them. If you insist the deposit is used to pay for certain things, it might end up going to dispute resolution but it won’t effect you. Just admin for the agent.
    If you want to keep letting your property, I’d join a landlord association and manage if yourself. Just get an agent to find you tenants. As you have already realised, agents are good at only one thing – taking money off people (landlords and tenants alike).
    Good luck.
    Just read your later posts. Most agents will do part managed, sounds like that is what they were doing anyway. Were you paying 15% for that? Sounds a lot. Also, have you looked at landlord insurance? You can get rent guarantee that way. And you’re insured for damage to your property obviously. In this case though, I would not be letting the agent refund the whole deposit, it sounds like they have left it in a mess. Last thing, if you do use an agent again, insist on keeping the deposit yourself. You either protect if by paying or you forward the money to the Deposit Protection Scheme. It’s not a hassle, doesn’t take long. Then when tenants move out, you deal with them (they are pretty good) rather than the agent.

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    I find it incredible that people like the OP can get themselves into a position of significant legal responsibility and financial exposure without seemingly having much of a clue about the rules and risks.

    Having been on the other side of this (a landlord who did nothing but take money for 6 years then trying to keep all our deposit to decorate – small claims gave us everything) the key thing is a detailed inventory and clear contractual obligation on leaving terms.

    damascus
    Member

    The joys of being a landlord and getting someone to pay the mortgage!

    This wasn’t having a go! It can be a tough job being a landlord and not always profitable. I’ve seen people’s health deteriorate over tenants. It’s not the sweet deal a lot of people think it is!

    What does an agent do that you can’t?

    10 or 15% for finding and vetting a tenant? Or a large one off fee? 3 monthly check ups and photos taken and a list of jobs required?

    And what happens when their vetting is rubbish and your tenant is terrible? Nothing? They still get paid. So, do you think they really vet when they have nothing to lose? And theres no come back on them?

    Put a sign up in the window, make it obvious you are cleaning the property ready to remarket the property. People will realise you are a decent landlord and recommend your property to friends and family.

    Word of mouth gets you decent tenants because if you live in the area you won’t want scum bags living next door. It’s important to know who has referred them and wants them to live close by! If they are decent people then the chances are the tenants will be. If they are dirty people who trash their house and have 5 cars being repaired on the drive then keep looking!

    Ask them for details of where they have lived before. Speak to their previous landlords. No one ever does this.

    If you got a call from a new landlord asking if you would rent your house to Mr x or Mrs y would you be honest? I would.

    Also, If they’ve rented before ask to look at their bank statements to show they’ve paid their rent. They don’t have to show you but if they have nothing to hide and they want your property they probably will. This is all an agency does. They also do a credit search but again you can ask the customer to do this if you think it makes a difference?

    And also, don’t fear benefits! My experience is people on benefits stay in rented accommodation for longer than workers not on benefits. A long term tenant that looks after your property is worth a lot and having rent guaranteed by the government is probably safer at the moment than someone working not on benefits.

    Just make sure you keep on top of the tenancy. Visit the address regularly to inspect it, keep a good relationship with your tenants. And fix any issues early. Keep the rent book upto date, keep renewing the tenancy, don’t just let it roll on!

    The amount of times landlord have complained to me after having a tenant for years and when I ask when was the last time you visited and spoke to the tenant they say when they moved in! They get upset when I tell them it’s their own fault and they only have them selves to blame.

    Good luck

    Marin
    Member

    If they have moved out and told you this enter the property bag up all their stuff and leave in the room nearest the door ready to bin on the day after tenancy expires. Contact tenants and advise them if they don’t remove all their crap before tenancy expires you will charge them to do this. If the rents all been paid up I wouldn’t be too bothered about the carpet. It’s a pain but thats life. Agency’s are rubbish, if you do use one in the future do your own inspections to make sure they are done and although you are evil as you are a landlord you can build up a decent relationship with tenants that will be beneficial to you both.

    kaj0103
    Member

    @csb I don’t get to keep their deposit. The tenant has more rights than me. I have also replaced a boiler, repaired the roof, offered alternate accommodation when the boiler was being replaced even though it was only a 2 day job and quite unintrusive besides the hot water being off. There was still running water. I have provided window cleaners although their responsibility. House was freshly painted when they moved in and although they aren’t supposed to work on vehicles at the property there was a full sized motocross motorbike being stored and worked on in the kitchen. There are black hand marks over most and walls, there is some sort of black oil spilt all over the carpet. We’ve attended to every need of the tenant promptly and of the several we’ve had this is the first bad one. I roughly know my rights but given I’ve never had to think about them at length before I’m asking around for experience of others. Sorry you’ve been on the other side of this but it’s not always the landlord. Don’t assume that my tenants are in the same boat as you were please. Sorry if this has struck a chord with you but we have done our best to make sure that our tenants are well looked after. Have allowed pets, decorating, responded to any issues immediately and not been tight about it. I’ve been a happy tenant before and feel I have learnt from the good example my landlords set.

    kaj0103
    Member

    Cheers Damascus. Really useful info and my reply was a bit tongue in cheek as I know your comment was.
    Your advice is really good and at least managing it myself is probably the best idea. We have a full inventory by the estate agents which is quite detailed so it will help.
    I agree about regular visits. I don’t think the estate agents were doing this enough but on the same hand I didn’t chase them as I assumed I would hear about bad news. They do just want the money though!

    kaj0103
    Member

    Thanks Marin
    Have always tried to build up a relationship with the tenant even if the property is “fully managed”. That’s why when they move in I tell them to call me with any issues if they like and if they want something sorted quicker to definitely call me. We then share any texts or emails or subjects of conversations with the estate agents. They are pointless in my case and as suggested by another poster in the thread I will join the landlord association and get more involved. There have been hiccups along the way over the years but like I said before, this is the first time it’s been more than a slight problem and that the agents have been tested. It’s partially my fault for not scrutinising them more often and the agent I personally have to deal with is just plain rude and gives an air of entitlement about her like she’s doing me a favour. Anyone would think she pays me for a service.

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    @kaj0103 you sound like a good person, but as a landlord you sound naive and are learning the hard way that on both sides of tenancies you need to either be lucky, or absolutely businesslike if you’re not to be shafted.

    Historically it was tenants who were commonly disadvantaged, so it’s right imho that that is being addressed.

    Sounds to me like its the agent you have a case against, not the tenant!

    Marin
    Member

    I know it’s no help but one of my tenants has 2 dogs that have scratched the carpets to death. Apart from that they are no problem and are long term. If they moved out next week I wouldn’t worry about the carpet. Its easily replaced. It’s rough with the smooth. The tenants before left the house in a mess and I redecorated from top to bottom and returned deposit in full, after I’d called them to come and get all the crap they left behind. It’s a long term game with property I’d say and some issues are not worth fighting or loosing sleep over. Good luck with the next one’s.

    kaj0103
    Member

    @marin you sound more reasonable than most. We did have a lady with a couple of cats and they trashed the curtains. Again, she was good all the rest of the time and kept the place clean and tidy. Didn’t bother asking her for anything either. It is a long term game I know.
    @csb you are probably right. I’m not quite as naive as you may think but probably more so than I thought! 😜

    poolman
    Member

    My tenant find only service cost me 13% of annualised rent this year. The tenant fee ban put all costs onto landlord.

    I haven’t done the economics but I reckon anyone with higher than 50% ltv is losing money. Assuming you intend to repay the capital in a reasonable period.

    Long term landlords are ok as it’s a return of cash on cash, but any recent purchases are vulnerable.

    Good and bad landlords, good and bad tenants.

    The Pilot
    Member

    I don’t get to keep their deposit. The tenant has more rights than me.

    This is not true. You can keep their deposit and pay to insure it. Also, tenants do have more rights these days, which is by and large a good thing, but you still have plenty of rights. You just need to learn more about them. Much as you’ve had good advice on here, a landlord association/forum could really help you out.
    I agree that the agents do seem to have been at fault but they often are. I still say the tenants sounds pretty ropey but you can’t be surprised that there were oil stains on the walls and carpet if you turned a blind eye to a motorbike being kept in a kitchen.
    You can’t claim Brownie points for fulfilling your legal obligations (boiler) or maintaining your property either (roof)!
    I’d still try to get some money from the deposit for the damage though. The agent can’t refund the deposit until you say so, so just keep saying no until you get to a figure you are happy with. No need to lose any sleep over it. It’s the agents who are going to have to negotiate with the tenants and it sounds like it’s time they did something for their money.

    As for tenants allowing pets to do damage, well that pees me off. I had to rent with my little dog. It was a nightmare to find somewhere that would accept us. When we left I got my full deposit back because I made sure the place was left so that the landlord could rent it again without doing anything to it. If she had caused any damage, I would have offered to pay.

    Anyhow, good luck with your next lot. And if you do self manage you’ll likely wonder what the hell you paid all that money to the agent for. You’ll also never haver to deal with an agent again until you need new tenants which frankly is marvellous! I manage my own property now, having previously used an agent, and both the tenants and I are much happier doing it this way.

    kaj0103
    Member

    Thanks @the-pilot. I responded to you with someone else’s name but cheers, really detailed and useful. Thank you!

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