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Tenants should have a schedule of responsibility. Help us compile it please
03/02/2013
11:04 am
Paul Routledge
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I have said for a long time that there should be a written schedule of things that a tenant should do as an attachment to the AST..

A schedule of maintenance at the outset may show a tenant that they have responsibilities and that letting a home is not a cheap alternative to a hotel and the landlord is not the bell boy. A simple to do list would offer a lot of clarity to their responsibilities (I may try and get one written this week if I get time ) but here is an example.. anyone please add to it if you have any ideas and we can compile a new attachment for our members.

A tenant’s responsibilities throughout the tenancy are;

1)    Bleed radiators and maintain boiler pressure (landlord show how to do this when handing over the radiator key).

2)    Keep all paths and areas slip free, clean and clear.

3)    Keep window glass and shuts clean and oiled.

4)    Make sure tiling grout is sealed around showers and baths. (landlord can help you with this)

5)    Keep gutters and drain covers clean and free of debris.

6)    Keep drains clear and free running do not to block sinks with uncooked rice or cooking oil etc:  toilets can get      blocked with excess paper or sanitary towels etc. (It is not a landlords responsibility to unblock your drains). The average cost of a call out to clear drains will be £65.

7)    Make sure all fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm batteries are carrying charge and in working order.

8)    Maintain humidity levels in accordance with recommendations. 

       Here is a good guideline based on outside air tempratures. 

      Outside Temperature Indoor Relative Humidity
      Above 50 °F Not over 50% 
      Above 20 °F Not over 40% 
      Between 10º & 20ºF Not over 35% 
      Between 0º & 10ºF Not over 30% 
      Between -10º & 0ºF Not over 25% 
      Between -20º & --10ºF Not over 20% 
      -20ºF or below Not over 15% 

Humidity outside of the levels above will bring about the growth of black mould. Tenants will be liable for damage created by black mould to their property. 

 9)  (your suggestion here)

As you give me sensible suggestions I will add them to the schedule and we can turn them into an attachment document for the AST.. Lets let our tenants know item by item what is expected of them.

….…………………………………………………………………………

Landlords and Letting Agents still not become a member of Landlordreferencing.co.uk yet? Well we all know Universal Credit is on its way this year and we will not get our rent direct anymore. We need to protect ourselves from taking one another’s bad tenants as they move about. Please tell everyone you know about http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/ free service to protect each other in the future.

Please join me now and don’t take my last bad tenant.

03/02/2013
1:41 pm
@JandCLettings
Guest

Condensation/damp is a big "complaint" normally caused by tenant lifestyle …..

lack of ventilation, drying clothes on radiators, tumble dryers ventilation kits, loft fans turned off.

03/02/2013
2:30 pm
@ConvertLofts
Guest

keep the bathroom mould free

03/02/2013
2:32 pm
@PropLandlords
Guest

really important, keep us posted on developments of this document!!

03/02/2013
3:26 pm
LorettaWight
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i agree with this.  Although some tenants think you have to supply everything.  my tenancy agreements states that they must keep communal area and stairs clean.  So i spoke ot them …totally ignored.  In fact i also contacted all the landlords regarding the condition of the stairway.  NO private landlord answered me and it still only gets done if i am down visiting my tenants.   tenants dont appear to care about communal areas and stairs. yet this is the first impression you get of the flat and neighbourhood. 

one tenant (Only in the flat a couple of days)told me he had been broken into.  He hadnt put both locks on so it was kicked in easily..  told him to change the locks and i will pay or i will myself. told me not to bother.  I got a text the next day saying he was given a council house and was moving at the weekend.  He is working but only 22 years old.  I thought there was a shortage of council houses…apparently not in south ayrshire. He used this to make himself homeless.  Needless to say i was regatrded as a bad landlord!  p.s. was in breach of his AST agreement by not giving notice.  

03/02/2013
3:28 pm
Paul Routledge
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@PropLandlords said
really important, keep us posted on developments of this document!!

Will do as the week goes on we will see more suggestions and compile a fool schedule that members can give to tenants as an appendix to their AST..

03/02/2013
6:07 pm
garysletters@yahoo.co.uk
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16/03/2012
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It says the want is responsible for blocked drains. Yes, if they tip fat down plug holes, but if main drain blocks, due to whatever reason, you won't find any tenant happy to pay to get it rodded. I've had to blocked get drains unblocked As the contractor sent round said it was due to leaves getting into drains. They blocked again a couple of months later and i found a ball down the drain. Who decides who pays….legally? 

 

Also I've had to pay for washing machine leaking water, even though the appliance repair guy blamed it on the tenant using cheap washing powder that didnt dissolve so caused blockages. I was told you can't insist on a tenant using certain quality powder!

 

some "claims" really annoy me.

03/02/2013
6:37 pm
garysletters@yahoo.co.uk
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And what about leaking radiator valves. In my life in my own residences, I've probably only had 2 leaks from radiator valves. I've lost count of how many occur at rental houses.

i dare say tenants are causing these by excessively violent/thoughtless vacuuming. I'm sure they just ram hovers into the pipes, however, its another of those costs we just have to stump up each time, as we are responsible for heating system!

04/02/2013
12:15 am
David Price
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garysletters I would consider myself fortunate to have a tenant who knew what a vacuum cleaner wasConfused

 

In my experience most of the problems arise from condensation or are bathroom or Kitchen related.

A few rather terse suggestions as it is late and I can feel myself tuning into a pumpkin-

  • Keep the bathroom clean, this means that white bathroom suites should be white not black.
  • Use toilet cleaners which are designed for the job
  • Keep bath free of cobwebs (this is not a joke, I have several baths full of cobwebs)
  • Property should be free of noxious odours
  • Keep all kitchen surfaces free from grease and dirt
  • Dispose of rubbish promptly and in the bins provided
  • Keep common areas clear at all times
  • Furniture is to be kept inside at all times
  • You are not permitted to dispose of any of the fittings without the landlords consent
  • If black mould appears on walls, wash them
  • Keep extractor fans clean
  • Wash curtains at least once per year
  • Shampoo carpets at least once per year and immediately before departure
04/02/2013
8:54 am
Jan & David at Knight Property Management
Hertford
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Good idea, Paul. Just a few off the top of my head:

  • Replace blown light bulbs.
  • Test smoke alarms. 
  • Keep gardens tidy.
  • Remove external shoes indoors (we provide a pair of slippers from Ikea in the tenant's welcome bag to encourage this).
  • Provide adequate ventilation to kitchens and bathrooms when in use. 
  • Use a squeegee and tea towel to dry baths and basins after use, to prevent limescale and mould. 

 

We also ask the tenant to sign a 'terms and conditions for tenants' document in addition to the AST, which has no legal validity but allows us to bring to their attention certain things which don't appear in the AST, or aren't clear. The fact that we ask them to sign it means they are more likely to read it, and we can also draw it to their attention later if there's a problem. I've copied and pasted the 'tenant responsibilities' section below (other sections cover things like the holding deposit and proceeding to tenancy, leaving the tenancy before the end of the fixed period, etc). 

 

You are responsible for:

  1. The accuracy of all statements made during the tenancy application process. You warrant that all information you provide to us is correct to the best of your knowledge and belief. In the event that you provide incorrect, false or misleading information to us which causes us to suffer loss, or causes legal proceedings to be taken against us, you agree to reimburse and compensate us for all losses suffered.
  2. Contacting the relevant utility providers prior to moving in, and payment of all utility bills.
  3. Contacting the local authority prior to moving in, and payment of council tax.
  4. Making rental payments on the due date.
  5. Abiding by all the terms of the tenancy agreement.
  6. Treating the property, furniture and fittings with care and respect.
  7. Reporting of any defects, breakages or damage as soon as they occur.
  8. Providing access to the property (having first been given at least 24 hours notice, unless it is an emergency) for the purposes of inspection and repair.
  9. Insuring your own possessions during the tenancy. We recommend that you also obtain insurance to cover the cost of any damage caused to the property by you or any visitors.
  10. In cold weather, maintaining an adequate level of heating to prevent frost or cold weather damage to water systems or subsequent damage caused thereby at any time during the tenancy.
  11. Maintaining an adequate level of heating and ventilation to the property at all times in order to prevent condensation and mould growth.
  12. Minimising water vapour levels in the property when cooking, showering, drying clothes, etc, by opening windows where necessary, and by the proper use of mechanical extract fans (where fitted). Please note that clothes must not be dried over radiators.
  13. Respecting your neighbours’ rights to the quiet enjoyment of their properties.
  14. Not acting in a manner which could cause nuisance to neighbours.
  15. Not allowing other persons aged 18 or over not named on the tenancy agreement to reside at the property.
  16. Using the property for the purpose of residential accommodation only.
  17. Properly securing the property by locking all doors and windows when you are away from the property for any period of time.
  18. Not leaving the property unoccupied for more than 14 days without first informing us or the landlord.
  19. Not parking, repairing or cleaning vehicles on any grass areas around the property.
  20. Not carrying out major vehicle repair on the drive or in the street outside the property.
  21. Paying for any damage or breakages over and above normal wear and tear.
  22. Paying for any cleaning required at the end of your tenancy.
  23. Giving proper written notice of your intention to vacate the property (minimum one month notice period, which must end on the last day of a tenancy period, ie the day before the rent is next due).
  24. Not losing any keys, entry cards or parking permits to the property.

 

04/02/2013
11:10 am
David Price
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Jan & David

Point 2 in your list; I believe that it is the Landlords responsibility to inform the water company of the new tenant or face being responsible for any unpaid bills.  I always inform all the utility companies and the local council by sending a copy of the tenancy agreement by email to named contacts, very easy and quick and there is a record of the email being sent.

Point 23 is a statement of the law but in some 20 years and 2000 tenancy agreements I have never had a tenant give proper notice.  The best I have achieved is a random four weeks, most do a runner the day before the bailiff arrives.

04/02/2013
1:27 pm
Jan & David at Knight Property Management
Hertford
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Re: point 2 – We do in fact contact the local authority and utility providers on the tenant's behalf, it's just something we like to put in there to make them aware that it needs to be done, but maybe we should take it out. 

Re: point 23 – We don't think it hurts to reiterate this point, but again, maybe we could take it out. So far (touch wood) all our tenants have served notice properly, after discussing it with us first, but I guess it's only a matter of time…

04/02/2013
1:42 pm
David Price
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Was not being critical and certainly would not advocate leaving out point 2, or any others for that matter.

 

By commenting on point 23 I was trying to indicate that tenants do not think they have to conform to the law, it is only there for landlords.  When did Shelter last criticise a tenant for not giving proper notice?  But we are straying far from Paul's initial suggestion which for our own protection we must all embrace.

 

In addition to all the other points mentioned I have a full page declaration that the prospective tenant has to sign to the effect that they have no involvement with drugs of any kind.  I regret that this is a waste of ink as the problem tenants always lie and there is no meed for the decent tenants to sign.

 

04/02/2013
1:48 pm
@AnneDean10
Guest

.. Condensation/damp is a big "complaint" normally caused by tenant lifestyle ..Agree?

Yes – all too often

04/02/2013
1:58 pm
Mary Latham
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17/05/2012
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I use my Inventory to make clear what I expect from my tenants.

I note the condition of each item

I note that the Manufacturers In Use and Safety Instructions are provided for each item and should be followed

 

If you read the Manufacturers IUS you will see that cleaning and prevention of damage is included, they go through a lot of time, legal advice and money to produce these documents to cover their backs and landlord should use them to cover ours.  A Judge would never argue with a landlord who said that the tenant did not follow the Manufacturers Guidance where there is always room for doubt if a landlord writes his own.  The other thing is that most of these instructions come in several languages and this leaves less room for misundestanding.

I take it as a given that tenants do not open windows or clean tiles.  I fit humidity controlled extractors in the bathrooms and kitchens and trickle vents in all the windows.  If a property has an EPC of D or above it will have well insulated walls and this will help to prevent condensation which causes the mould.  I have well sealed PVC cladding on my bathroom ceilings, I never need to paint them and they are easy to clean.  The fact that the surface is warm prevents condensation.  The cost is peanuts and only needs to be done once.

I accept that people never take care of things that they have not worked hard to pay for in the same way that they do their own belongings and having realistic expectations saves me a lot of heartache.

I know this will not be a popular management style but I expect the worse and take every precaution to limit the damage, after 41 years of letting I find that this is better than trying to change the lifestyle of my tenants

 

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

 

 

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets
04/02/2013
2:32 pm
Jan & David at Knight Property Management
Hertford
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No worries, David, did not take it as criticism, was just thinking that we should take on board your thoughts.  I agree that decent tenants don't need to sign it anyway!

04/02/2013
6:00 pm
Paul Routledge
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Forum Posts: 2758
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Mary Latham said
I use my Inventory to make clear what I expect from my tenants.

I note the condition of each item

I note that the Manufacturers In Use and Safety Instructions are provided for each item and should be followed

 

If you read the Manufacturers IUS you will see that cleaning and prevention of damage is included, they go through a lot of time, legal advice and money to produce these documents to cover their backs and landlord should use them to cover ours.  A Judge would never argue with a landlord who said that the tenant did not follow the Manufacturers Guidance where there is always room for doubt if a landlord writes his own.  The other thing is that most of these instructions come in several languages and this leaves less room for misundestanding.

I take it as a given that tenants do not open windows or clean tiles.  I fit humidity controlled extractors in the bathrooms and kitchens and trickle vents in all the windows.  If a property has an EPC of D or above it will have well insulated walls and this will help to prevent condensation which causes the mould.  I have well sealed PVC cladding on my bathroom ceilings, I never need to paint them and they are easy to clean.  The fact that the surface is warm prevents condensation.  The cost is peanuts and only needs to be done once.

I accept that people never take care of things that they have not worked hard to pay for in the same way that they do their own belongings and having realistic expectations saves me a lot of heartache.

I know this will not be a popular management style but I expect the worse and take every precaution to limit the damage, after 41 years of letting I find that this is better than trying to change the lifestyle of my tenants

 

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

 

 

I agree Mary,  an inventory is a great way of showing what the property is like and what you expect it to be on vacation, but I can’t help thinking that we could produce a  quick reference guide for those who need retraining every few weeks.

What may sound obvious to us old hands but will not be obvious to all and certainly not to some of my tenants who can’t remember what they ate for breakfast. Maybe we should make it like a card and title it

A GOOD TENANTS GUIDE TO MAINTAINING YOUR NEW HOME….

 

………………………………………………………………………

Landlords and Letting Agents still not become a member of Landlordreferencing.co.uk yet? Well we all know Universal Credit is on its way this year and we will not get our rent direct anymore. We need to protect ourselves from taking one another’s bad tenants as they move about. Please tell everyone you know about http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/ free service to protect each other in the future.

Please join me now and don’t take my last bad tenant.

04/02/2013
6:05 pm
Not green around the
Guest

 

 

How about a law that says that all tenant should go on a 'Good Housekeeping' and 'Common Sense'  course before they are allowed to rent. Laughie.  if you haven't got the certificate you cannot have the house. 

I think the reason they do not do these things is because they have never been taught , look at children that throw their sweet papers on the pavement 

When the government was the main housing provider in the 1950's ? – tenants took pride in their houses until a certain year, cannot remember when.   The councils relaxed their criteria and did not bother anymore. The rent collector used to report back to the council if a home was being abused or neglected. This has led to a gradually erosion of standards which is being passed onto the private landlord 

04/02/2013
6:41 pm
Paul Routledge
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Forum Posts: 2758
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20/05/2011
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Not green around the said
 

 

How about a law that says that all tenant should go on a 'Good Housekeeping' and 'Common Sense'  course before they are allowed to rent. Laughie.  if you haven't got the certificate you cannot have the house. 

I think the reason they do not do these things is because they have never been taught , look at children that throw their sweet papers on the pavement 

When the government was the main housing provider in the 1950's ? – tenants took pride in their houses until a certain year, cannot remember when.   The councils relaxed their criteria and did not bother anymore. The rent collector used to report back to the council if a home was being abused or neglected. This has led to a gradually erosion of standards which is being passed onto the private landlord 

I agree, we have stopped teaching our children the basics of good housekeeping and DIY and have become more like the Americans in a throwaway society. Our children role out of University with a degree they can never use and without one ounce of logic or common sense and then wonder why they can’t put a light bulb in.

We should have good housekeeping courses, basic DIY courses and money management courses as standard in all of our schools.

………………………………………………………………………

Landlords and Letting Agents still not become a member of Landlordreferencing.co.uk yet? Well we all know Universal Credit is on its way this year and we will not get our rent direct anymore. We need to protect ourselves from taking one another’s bad tenants as they move about. Please tell everyone you know about http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/ free service to protect each other in the future.

Please join me now and don’t take my last bad tenant.

04/02/2013
6:54 pm
Silverfox 4
Guest

Huh???? We All know low temp powders cause problems with machine – tell tenant to flush thro with EMPTY boil wash once a month or so to clear scum and residue – and also use wash machine cleaner (with suppliers listed! so no excuse) regularly.

Ditto dishwashers.

jan and david are being VERY naiave – ANY landlord should personally contact all utilities with readings and name of new tenant moving responsibility to tenant – do they honestly think the tenant will do it???? get a grip!!

etc etc.

I can't go on = this is too basic and too stupid for words.

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