Disputes between landlords and tenants are usually quite stressful for both parties. We find that the top reasons for such disagreements are property damage, garden maintenance and property maintenance.
So what would we recommend as resolutions for such disputes?
Ideally you wouldn’t want them to happen in the first place.
Tenants naturally wish to hang paintings and mirrors on walls or decide to put up shelves. In such instances the landlord should advise the tenant that if any damage does take place that they should have it fixed at the end of their tenancy. Otherwise it will be deducted from their deposit.
Tenants can use alternative fixings for wall-hangings like Command’s refill stripes, these are sticky fixtures that don’t damage paint and can hold up several kilos of weight.
It also helps having a thorough check-in and check-out completed by an inventory company to avoid any disputes over whether something was damaged before the tenants moved in.
The garden is another reason why disagreements can occur. Many tenants aren’t gardeners so it can beneficial to arrange having a regular gardener who is then included into the rent price. A gardener that maintains the garden periodically can be very beneficial keeping your garden from becoming overgrown and keeping your tenants happy.
If you agree for the tenants to do the gardening you should make sure they have the correct tools for the job such as a lawnmower if the property has a turfed garden. If the landlord wishes to go down this route (as many do) remember that the landlord’s standards may differ from the tenant’s and if they’ve been making a reasonable effort, even if it’s not up to landlords standards they have not done anything wrong!
Having a well maintained property is a tenant’s right and a landlord’s duty. When a problem occurs, such as a boiler breakdown, or issues with damp (which can cause damage to health) they must be resolved.
To avoid disputes we would recommend landlords to deal with issues promptly and make sure they have properly qualified contractors for the relevant job. This is where it can be advantageous to have your property managed by an Estate Agent as they will have list of verified contractors which they can use for the various maintenance issues that occur.
Most disputes can be resolved between the tenant and the landlord directly with a simple honest conversation. Our industry knowledge has shown us that being direct and honest is the best policy.
Remember every little helps in making the landlords and tenants life easier!