Historically, the end-of-tenancy causes the most disputes between a property landlord and tenant. While a number of damages can be easy to identify, more often than not, blame-placing can occur – and a large part of “who is responsible for what damage” is based on nothing more than opinion.
This can make the entire situation very sticky.
Regardless of all the above, nearly all the end-of-tenancy refurbishments and cleaning fall upon the shoulders of the landlord. This means, if you were unlucky enough to have a bad tenant who didn’t look after your property, it is still your responsibility to ensure the property returns back to its original condition, for new tenants.
This can become eye-wateringly expensive, and stressful, and create a lot of resentment between both parties – only for a landlord to go and do it all over again with another tenant!
Stay with us as we explore the pain of end-of-tenancy refurbishments, and what you can do to avoid them completely.
Legal Rights and Responsibilities During Tenancy Agreements
There is always a risk involved when you’re renting your property out to tenants, who despite the number of background checks that you do, are practically strangers.
In an ideal world, you would expect your tenants to keep your property in pristine condition; unfortunately, a number of them are aware that the maintenance of their homes is not entirely their responsibility. And if something does get damaged, it is up to you as the landlord, to fork out the cash at the end of their tenancy.
Across the UK, USA, and Dubai there is currently no legal obligation upon tenants to keep their rented properties clean and in “adequate” condition. Landlords can visit the property on a scheduled basis (only with the tenant’s permission) and suggest clean-ups and better care, but the tenants are in no way obligated to listen, by law.
This is sadly unsurprising, given how the rental market heavily favours tenants and has a reputation for painting the landlords as “the bad guys”. In fact, the only time a landlord can legally intervene and ask a tenant to get involved with the repair of a property is if the tenant has broken the law in some way, or created an unsafe environment.
This leaves a massive (and costly) grey area in between.
“According to a survey by MeetMyAgent.co.uk a staggering 41% of landlords claimed that at least on one occasion a tenant has left a property in such a bad condition, that it has required complete refurbishment in order to be let out again”.
Throughout our years of experience, we’ve witnessed on many occasions, properties that have been left in catastrophic conditions by tenants that have needed a full overhaul. The images in this article provide just a small snapshot of the aesthetic damage bad tenants can create – let alone the mental and emotional trauma for property owners.
Another point that works against landlords, is that you are not able to make a claim in relation to
“fair wear and tear” of your property or its contents, over the period of the tenancy. However, if a tenant leaves your property in poor condition, you have the right to ask them to contribute towards repair costs, while outlining (very specifically) the reasons why.
Landlords may also keep all or part of the tenant’s deposit monies to cover costs of damage and necessary refurbishment – however, this again, needs to be backed up with evidence as the majority of tenants are likely to dispute this.
If a tenant does dispute your decision regarding their deposit monies, you will need to go through the relevant deposit scheme’s dispute resolution process (which will vary from country to country) and come to a suitable arrangement. Unfortunately, in most cases, the deposit alone will not cover major property damage and refurbishment costs – so, you will probably need to dip into your own pocket either way.
Even the “Regular” Refurbishments Can Burn a Hole in Your Pocket
Of course, not all tenants are bad. And you might be thinking if you’re reading this blog, that you don’t need to worry about any extreme property damage or end-of-tenancy refurbishments because you have vetted your tenants correctly.
While it certainly helps to have reliable and cooperative tenants, remember that wear and tear are likely to occur with even the most well-behaved tenants, and end-of-tenancy refurbs are simply part and parcel of the landlord business, if you’re going at it alone.
In every case, bathrooms and kitchens will need a thorough deep clean (and possibly a renovation) before a new tenant is invited into the home. You will also need to factor in things like new furniture if the old furniture has been scuffed – as well as the manual labour costs of repainting, re-tiling, etc.
Generally speaking, you could easily be parting with thousands per every end-of-tenancy refurbishment, and not getting paid rent in the process.
What if This End-of-Tenancy Hassle Didn’t Have to be Your Responsibility?
It might sound too good to be true. But there is a way of escaping from the stress and extortionate cost of end-of-tenancy refurbishments as a property landlord.
One of the biggest ways we help landlords when they rent their property to us, is by stepping in to do all the work – that they normally hate. This includes property maintenance (including property damage and keeping up with property interiors) and eliminating the hassle of tenant turnover periods.
As part of our Guaranteed Rent model, you will be promised fixed rent on your property for 8 years, minus any void periods. We manage the process from beginning to end, meaning that we will find the right tenants for you, and take care of all refurbishments, renovations, cleaning costs, and general maintenance from our side.
Imagine the positive impact this would have on your bank balance, emotional wellbeing, and general time-keeping. Far too many landlords are being crippled by these end-of-tenancy refurbishments; when this no longer has to be “the norm” for our industry.
Get in touch with a member of our friendly team today to find out how you can rent your property to Luke Stays for Guaranteed Rent or Short-Term Rental Management and rid yourself of the pain of refurbishments.