Q. I am a first time Landlord and my new tenant moved in last week. However since he has moved in I am having constant emails requesting repairs, asking for items to be provided that I don’t think I should have to provide or should be included. The problem is having not done this before I am not really sure where to draw the line, am I meant to give him everything he requests or do you have a few pointers that I can have as a rough idea of general expectations as a landlord?
A. As a rough guide I always advise my potential Landlords that if you are offering a furnished flat the tenant should be able to turn up with just a suitcase, unpack and be able to live. So in general everything they would need to go about their day to day life within reason. However furnished properties do vary and certainly when a tenant views and is thinking of making an offer, during the viewing if he spots anything that appears to be missing this should be requested upfront prior to having an offer accepted, this in turn gives you as the Landlord to agree to provide the item or reject the request. Of course within reason sometimes a tenant will move in and discover for instance that the iron is broken or there is no kettle. Items such as these are regarded as essential and would normally be provided. However if the tenant is requesting things such as a tumble dryer for drying their clothes when he knew full well that the machine provided was a washing machine only then this would be considered an unreasonable request, a washing machine or washer dryer (as some properties have these fitted as standard) must be considered as essential items, but if the tenant requests a regular washing machine to be replaced with a washer dryer when it is still perfectly functional or a separate tumble dryer then this would be deemed unreasonable. Tenant’s expectations need to be managed and as long as they continue to ask and you provide the list will be never ending. Be diplomatic but firm at the same time and let them know that their request is outside of what is deemed as a reasonable provision. And I always find saying that although you cannot provide this as part of the tenancy you are more than happy for them to purchase the item themselves if they so wish, that way you are saying its ok for them to have the item for their use during their stay but it’s just you are not prepared to pay for it. Most tenants are not nearly as demanding so don’t let this put you off being a Landlord, you just need to toughen up a little that’s all and most of all remember this is an investment, every penny spent will eat into your profit so it’s important that all unnecessary spending is capped.