I received a call from a tenant the other day; he had moved into a property with his partner and had sent the landlord a long list of issues on day one. The landlord kept his response simple, “Sorry, sold as seen” and as far as he was concerned that was it. The tenants subsequently sent me the list and asked for my advice on their position. Here’s the list:

  1. Lounge walls have lots of scuff marks and needs an immediate re-paint
  2. Chest of drawers in second bedroom not opening smoothly and needs repairing
  3. Mould in sealant around the bath needs replacing
  4. Cushions on the sofa are very flat and uncomfortable
  5. Only 3 dining room chairs at the table which should have 4
  6. Lock on the master bedroom door doesn’t work

I can see the landlords point;the tenant saw the house online, viewed the property with the estate agents and wanted it as it was. Yes there are a couple of understandable points within the tenants list, but I imagine on reading it the landlord had the sudden realisation he had some rather pedantic tenants on his hands for the next year! Then I thought are these tenants pedantic or are they just house proud? They have gone through the flat and are not happy about scuff marked walls and mould around the edge of their bath.

I once had two male tenants,professional sharers just out of uniin one of my flats. At the first maintenance inspection three months in they had not even unpacked their moving boxes and it was pretty evident they didn’t clean the bathroom or kitchen either. At the end of the tenancy the mould on the shower and bath seals was almost coming alive!

What I am saying is, is it so bad that you have picky tenants? Are they just trying to make a home for themselves? Surely landlords can be safer in the knowledge that they are taking pride in looking after your investment property as if it was their own rather than using and abusing it leaving you a royal mess to deal with before you can find tenants when they vacate.

As a landlord it’s worth being reasonable when it comes to these kind of demands, maybe give in a little at the start, a couple of hundred pounds on a handy man putting a few things right to get off on the right foot could well be a good investment. Let’s be honest it’s your property and furniture you are improving and tenants who complain about things like scuff marks will probably look after their newly painted walls leaving them in a good state of repair for the next tenants. But be firm and set out exactly what needs doing and what they can expect from you with regards to maintenance in the future, taking this approach should avoid to do lists every month or so!

At the end of the day if your tenants are happy in their rental home they will treat your property with care and respect, they are also far more likely to want to extend their contract if they are happy and along with rental payments being made on time that’s all you want as a landlord isn’t it?

We know that you can’t rely on the luck of having caring tenants when it comes to your flat: take a look at our national property check services.