Just like a friend you haven’t seen for a long time, your rental property will look older when you get it back at the end of a tenancy, and the difference can be jarring if you haven’t visited for a while.
Regardless of whether they’re owned or rented, all homes age, but when you see yours all the time, it’s easy to miss and live with the gradual wear and tear that’s part of daily life.
While most tenants return their property in an excellent state, some are less considerate, and accidents also happen, so it’s a smart move to arm yourself with answers to questions like:
It’s all covered in this week’s blog so you can boost your knowledge, protect your property and make a successful claim in the event of a dispute.
If we were to sum up what counts as damage in one sentence, it would be: “deliberate or accidental negligence towards your property by your tenant or their visitors.”
Although we can’t cover every possible eventuality in this article, here are some pointers on what would usually count as damage (assuming they’re covered in the tenancy agreement).
Tenants are never responsible for damage by neighbouring homes, extreme weather, intruders, vandals or landlord negligence, so it’s wise to protect yourself with adequate insurance.
Even with the most wonderful tenant’s best intentions, it’s impossible to return a property in exactly the same condition as it was at check-in, particularly if a tenancy lasts for years.
Of course, this does leave room for grey areas, but here are some typical examples of wear and tear for landlords to accept as part of daily life.
Finally, cleaning is an entirely separate subject to wear and tear, and tenants should always return your property as clean as they received it (assuming the tenancy agreement says so).
The happiest landlords are those who have the least hassle from either regular maintenance calls about things breaking down, or dealing with damages after tenants move out.
So it’s wise to take a few precautionary measures before a tenancy starts, and you can make your property a more durable place to live when you:
Remember: tenants are liable for damages and breakages, whether accidental or deliberate, but if you supply fittings that aren’t quite up to the job, the cost of repairs will all be yours.
To make a successful claim against your tenants for damages, you need to meet specific criteria to show that you’ve suffered a loss and have the right to reimbursement, including:
Bear in mind that your claim can be rejected if you request an amount that benefits you more than if the damage had never happened - tenants are only liable for what they broke; not for the cost of upgrades.
Before you start a claim, remember that recovering costs is not about blaming or shaming, and how you communicate with your tenants can be the difference between a swift resolution and a lengthy conflict.
However, if you can’t resolve things amicably after 30 days of the tenancy ending, these are the steps to making a claim.
Remember: the tenant’s deposit remains their money until an agreement or judgment is made, and it’s illegal to hold on to any more than the amount of your claim.
If you own a rental home in the Wilton & Salisbury area and you’d like a simple check that your tenancy agreement covers you properly, we’re here to help.
Call us on 01722 580059 or email us at email@example.com for a chat with one of our expert team.
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