Asking tenant to keep property clean and tidy | Discuss

Welcome to the Property Forum where we can share our knowledge & experiences together to become better at what we do.

 Forum Terms & Conditions


Enlarge/Change font size here

A A A

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —





 

— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Asking tenant to keep property clean and tidy
24/05/2014
7:49 pm
BadLettingAgentReporter
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 16
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Today I visited my let property and found it in a real mess just like it had been involved in a break in and all the drawers and clothes were all over the place, clothes in the stairs and all over the floors etc, however when I asked the tenant to keep it clean and tidy see started saying it’s none of my business and she could live like she wants, is this true? As a landlord am I able to say things like this?

24/05/2014
9:06 pm
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2898
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

BadLettingAgentReporter said
Today I visited my let property and found it in a real mess just like it had been involved in a break in and all the drawers and clothes were all over the place, clothes in the stairs and all over the floors etc, however when I asked the tenant to keep it clean and tidy see started saying it’s none of my business and she could live like she wants, is this true? As a landlord am I able to say things like this?

I’m afraid you have NO right to tell her how to live.

But you need to make her aware of the issues that might occur like pests etc and damage to fixtures and fittings if her ‘lifestyle’ degrades them to the point were they cannot be salvaged.

She would be liable for any damage caused.

 

24/05/2014
9:15 pm
BadLettingAgentReporter
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 16
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

But in the tenancy agreement it clearly says the following:

The tenant must keep the property clean and tidy along with the fixtures and fittings.

So surely does this not apply?

24/05/2014
9:25 pm
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2898
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

BadLettingAgentReporter said
But in the tenancy agreement it clearly says the following:

The tenant must keep the property clean and tidy along with the fixtures and fittings.

So surely does this not apply?

I don’t believe this is an enforceable term.

You were lucky the tenant allowed you in.

They won’t next time!

Whatever you do don’t enter the property without the tenant’s permission UNLESS there is an emergency; like flood or fire etc. Doesn’t matter what the AST states!

Statute law overrides any AST terms!

 

25/05/2014
9:16 am
Paul Routledge
Admin
Forum Posts: 3433
Member Since:
20/05/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Paul,

 

It is quite surprising how many landlords still believe that they can put anything into a tenancy agreement and it is enforceable. Once you hand over the keys to your property and then find out the tenant has a dog, smokes or has wild parties then you cannot get them out in any other way than a section 21 and only then after six months.

Some landlords and agents still think they can automatically get them out on a section 8 and that is simply untrue.

Grounds 1-8 (Mandatory) – the court must make the possession Order

Grounds 9-17 (Discretionary) – the court will make the Order only if it is reasonable to do so.

 I have never heard of a judge ordering an immediate eviction of a tenant on a first time application based on grounds 9-17 (Unless our members know different) and that is why it is imperative to make sure that before a tenant is given the keys a landlord has carried out a lifestyle reference (Only at LRS).

 

As my fiend Vannesa Warwick from Property Tribes says “the best way to prevent getting a bad tenant in your property is to not put one in in the first place” and of course as Mary says in her NLA seminars “ If you really don’t want to take someone else’s bad tenants you don’t have to just Join LRS Free

In the words of Jane Rose “History is dedicated to those who went before us, so that, upon reflection, we can learn from them, without repeating their mistakes, experiencing or inflicting their pain.”  – I simply do not understand why landlords or letting agents who have had a bad a bad tenant in the past or read the horrific stories others have endured still do not join LRS

 

Paul Routledge CEO

Tenant Referencing UK.Com

25/05/2014
2:48 pm
PaulBarrett
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2898
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yeah I agree; it does seem that LL believe that even though they have issued a tenancy that the rental property still belongs to them to with as they wish irrespective of the leaseholder’s wishes.

It does seem that LL fail to understand the simple concept that the property no longer belongs to them for the purposes of occupancy as they have signed an AST.

Possession may only be obtained by relevant court processes.

I must admit it would be useful to have an AST which abides strictly by statute law with supplementary conditions if chosen that are NOT enforceable; but desired by the LL as behaviour he would like the tenant to abide by, but may NOT enforce!!

From reading most AST’s; they are riddled with unenforceable terms; even mine!!

But everyone has them!!

I do believe this Immigration Act problem will just be too much for most LL and they will come to LRS as will LA who will see little point in setting up processes when they can buy it all off the shelf from LRS at such bargain prices and maybe even pass those lower prices onto the LL and tenants.

That would spike silly Ed’s guns!!

And of course coming to LRS they would all gain the advantage of the LRS USP; namely ‘lifestyle referencing’, a winning combination if you ask me!!

 

25/05/2014
3:00 pm
Mary Latham
Member
Suporter
Forum Posts: 2194
Member Since:
17/05/2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You can get a pack of 5 printed ASTs that are supported by NLA for £7 here http://www.landlords.org.uk/sh…..agreements

NLA members can create these at no cost online in their member accounts area

AST’s can be bought anywhere on and off line but will the suppliers be there to support the landlord if things go wrong and the AST lets them down?  The NLA Advice line is open to all members and will always provide that support. The documents are constantly updated to ensure that they are fully compliant with legislation and regulation

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

25/05/2014
10:05 pm
Guest
Guests

I always find it so sad sometimes the fact that most landlords think they can put what they want into a tenancy agreement.  During my letting agent days I used to have to deal personally with a particular landlord, who whenever his property came up for relet on our managed portfolio wanted to renegotiate the terms of his tenancy agreement.  He used to try and insist that his tenants always read the instruction manuals, oiled his solid wood work kitchen surfaces to a regular timescale, cut his half acre border to a regular timetable and trimmed his topiary for him.  I just used to sit and have a cup of tea with him, let him go through his latest changes and quietly tell him he could say what he wished, he would probably never enforce it.  I managed his property from 1998 to earlier on this year, when he sold it.  So went through this procedure many times.   I personally think he enjoyed doing it, as he used to  also call me up every time he had an inspection visit to go through it with me, even though I didnt do the visits myself.  Bless.

 

26/05/2014
8:47 am
David Price
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1695
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cathy, surely Warren v Keen (1956) requires such actions as regularly oiling the work surface?

Denning L.J. said:

‘Apart from express contract, a tenant owes no duty to the landlord to keep the premises in repair. The only duty of the tenant is to use the premises in a husbandlike, or what is the same thing, a tenantlike manner … But what does “to use the premises in a tenantlike manner” mean? It can, I think, best be shown by some illustrations. The tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, when necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see that his family and guests do not damage it: and if they do, he must repair it. But apart from such things, if the house falls into disrepair through fair wear and tear or lapse of time, or for any reason not caused by him, then the tenant is not liable to repair it.’

26/05/2014
10:39 am
lister14
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
06/11/2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

David Price said
Cathy, surely Warren v Keen (1956) requires such actions as regularly oiling the work surface?

Denning L.J. said:

‘Apart from express contract, a tenant owes no duty to the landlord to keep the premises in repair. The only duty of the tenant is to use the premises in a husbandlike, or what is the same thing, a tenantlike manner … But what does “to use the premises in a tenantlike manner” mean? It can, I think, best be shown by some illustrations. The tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, when necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see that his family and guests do not damage it: and if they do, he must repair it. But apart from such things, if the house falls into disrepair through fair wear and tear or lapse of time, or for any reason not caused by him, then the tenant is not liable to repair it.’

The tenancy agreement is set down in law. but the extras are a contract between two parties and as such is covered by contract law.

If this is the case then the tenant must comply with the contract side of the agreement or have I got it totally wrong?

 

 

27/05/2014
8:25 am
Guest
Guests

David, you are correct, and yes, I am well aware of Warren V Keane, its a very handy little thing to throw at tenants ……  However, in reality how many tenants will actually do this?  

Lister – you are correct, but having fallen foul of the Unfair Contract Terms Act once or twice in my career, I always tended to be very, very cautious as to what I put into ASTs.

27/05/2014
9:49 am
David Price
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1695
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cathy, you and I are well aware that being correct does not mean you win.  Tenants will do what they like in a property notwithstanding anything in the contract or anything which Lord Denning may have said.

Lord Denning was a judge who tempered the law with common sense, a judge for whom I have the greatest respect.  It is a pity he did not preside over the Superstrike case.

Cathy please elucidate your experiences with unfair contract terms.

27/05/2014
5:53 pm
Guest
Guests

David, correct as ever.  

Unfair Contract Terms – now most of my err, experiences tend to concern the species known as ‘Relocation Agents’, ie those who find properties for sale or for rent on behalf of their client.  I used to do quite a bit with a very big relocator, who I do not intend to name on here.  I lost count of the amount of times we let properties to them, and every time we went through a relocation with them, they demanded that we practically re-wrote the tenancy.  Most of the time it concerned issues like us carrying out property visits to a regular schedule.  One officious individual told me it was a breach of their human rights and contravened the UCT Act.  Most of the time the tenancy, was re-written to suit the particular company – and it was what I could only call a fight to ensure that your client landlord got adequate protection.

The most vehement objections we normally found came from the clause that was inserted that ensured that if the property was sold to a tenant that we had the right to charge a fee to the landlord.  I had a few try to say it was an unfair contract term and demanded we take it out of the contract.  Invariably we didnt.

My nastiest experience though has been from a tenant.  One of my staff let a property to a gentleman who failed his references.  Unbeknown to us as well he had tried to harrass the landlord to let him have the property anyway, so it was a bit of a double whammy.  We had to advise him that he wasnt getting a refund of his fees as per our t and cs.

About a week later we had a letter from a local CAB office, advising us that our terms of business were unfair and a breach of the Unfair Contract Terms Act. It did not help that this tenant was also a Pakistani gentleman, who tried to accuse my company of racism as well because of this fact.  It did take some rather hard letters going back and forth and eventually when we wrote back and told the CAB that the gentleman had repeatedly knocked on the landlord’s door to demand that she took him as a tenant, while the landlords’s husband was on his deathbed inside of the property, plus this gentleman had also waited outside of her door and jumped on her and her son to demand that he had the property, that he backed off, as did the CAB.  Yes, this man is now registered with LRS.

As I have said before, I will put anything a landlord demands into a contract – but if it cant be enforced, you must be aware that you were advised of this fact.

28/05/2014
12:57 pm
LyndonBaker
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1805
Member Since:
11/10/2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cathy, I empathise with the first part of your post. I sometimes think relocation agents do this to justify their charges. We had one that insisted that their agent did the inventory. That person was not a member of the AIIC or any other Inventory professional body, unlike our Independent Inventory Clerk. A vigorous email exchange culminated in a final email from us advising that to protect our client landlord’s interest their “agent” could attend, but our AIIC member would prepare the inventory, agree it with the tenant and only the AIIC Inventory would be used on the check out or their tenant could walk. Their guy turned up, stood watching and generally was as useful as a chocolate teapot! Laugh

28/05/2014
11:48 pm
Amy
Guest
Guests

BadLettingAgentReporter said
Today I visited my let property and found it in a real mess just like it had been involved in a break in and all the drawers and clothes were all over the place, clothes in the stairs and all over the floors etc, however when I asked the tenant to keep it clean and tidy see started saying it’s none of my business and she could live like she wants, is this true? As a landlord am I able to say things like this?

Re: tenants keeping a house clean

This can affect all LL. In a  HMO if a tenant moves in and causes havoc in a house.  There is no way of getting rid of them because they have a 6 month fixed term AST and as far as i know you can only get them out for rent arrears .

I have heard of cases like these where the mucky tenant has settled himself ( A credit check will not show this up) in very contentedly and everyone else has moved out thereby nearly bankrupting the LL

Has anyone ever been able to get a tenant who pays their rent evicted because of muck?

You have seen the state of some council houses with life time tenants in them

29/05/2014
9:21 am
alexJ
Guest
Guests

David Price said
Cathy, surely Warren v Keen (1956) requires such actions as regularly oiling the work surface?

Denning L.J. said:

‘Apart from express contract, a tenant owes no duty to the landlord to keep the premises in repair. The only duty of the tenant is to use the premises in a husbandlike, or what is the same thing, a tenantlike manner … But what does “to use the premises in a tenantlike manner” mean? It can, I think, best be shown by some illustrations. The tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, when necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see that his family and guests do not damage it: and if they do, he must repair it. But apart from such things, if the house falls into disrepair through fair wear and tear or lapse of time, or for any reason not caused by him, then the tenant is not liable to repair it.’

 

I should imagine LL hate cleaning up after chain smoking tenants

The smell of the smoke has to be eliminated because it would put off non smoking tenants

I know that prisoners are bound by jail laws etc

We have laws in place but sometimes those in charge have to show common sense

Many many years before ‘No smoking’ in public places became law.

I was summoned through my job to attend a meeting of office workers in the area

I was 8 months pregnant at the time and when i walked into the room it was just a hazy fuzz

I do not smoke

I spoke to the person in charge and said that i could not stay in the room with everyone smoking,  for obvious reasons.

I was told that under no circumstances was i to leave.

I left. Nothing happened.

At the next meeting a voluntary ban was put on smoking for the health of others who did not smoke

 

 

 

 

04/11/2018
1:57 pm
Patricia
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 1030
Member Since:
12/06/2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

A self contained property being filthy is different from a shared house. 

The same un-enforceable terms apply to both . The difference is :

The self contained tenant will only poison his own household.

A HMO tenant can poison strangers who live with them if the house is not kept clean. 

Who’s fault would that be if the landlord has a weekly cleaner but a tenant puts the other tenants in hospital with e coli etc. 

This is why there should be a common sense politician in charge of terms and conditions in the PRS sector and the terms and conditions  should be enforceable. Unfortunately we haven’t got any common sense politicians . We never will have while they spend most of their time stabbing each other in the back in order to climb the success ladder. 

15/11/2018
5:21 pm
Spotted
Guest
Guests
Awaiting Moderation

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 755

Currently Online:
26 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

PaulBarrett: 2898

Mary Latham: 2194

LyndonBaker: 1805

David Price: 1695

Patricia: 1030

DATA CONTROL: 979

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2606

Members: 6679

Moderators: 5

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 3

Topics: 4625

Posts: 31434

Newest Members:

hayleyd, maxim123, user101, deepakdamania, shaon, nyitrai

Moderators: News @ Tenant Referencing: 1636, laura: 15, Chloe: 107, lucybarr: 0, jaswhite: 20

Administrators: Paul Routledge: 3433