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tenant dilema

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cris r | 08:22 Tue 11th Aug 2009 | Law
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Any ideas please We rented our home out last year as we could not sell due to the recession. We are not expert land lords but we did everything in accordance with the law. The tenants have been there seven months now and have made no effort to maintain the garden which is all block paviours. The shrubs and hedges are overgrown and they have allowed oil to leak over the pavious. She has said she is very sorry and she did try to get a gardener in, as she has two small chlidren she was wary of strangers. The estimates we have had include useing a power wash to remove all the weeds and cut the hedges and shrubs, and this is very expensive I dont want to give her a fright do you think I am doing the right thing it has to be done. I always kept on top of it so it was heart breaking when I saw it and my husband was livid. We did not have any estate agents coming around to do checks maybe on hind sight we should. Im looking for a fair way to handle the situation. She has assured us the house will be left as she found it.

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Just ask her nicely if she can sort it out. It's not like she's knocking walls down.

Did she give you a deposit?

If so, use that money to clean the oil off after she leaves.
And make sure you keep receipts.
Assurances are just words. Increase the rent & hire a gardener.

Agents just take commission to collect rent - soon as there's problems they leave landlords to sort it.
i rent a property with my hubby and 2 small children,our land lord leaves us alone he does not come round looking at the property ,thank goodness and when we move we will have the house looking the same as it was when we moved in and the garden.if i didnt i would expect to lose the deposit. If my landlord did pay a visit and saw our garden he probably wouldnt like it but my hubby is a gardener and does everyone elses but ours.I expect the mum spends her time with her children as she should be like i do,As long as the neighbours cant see the mess and when she leaves it is spick and span as a tenant thats how i would feel ,no i wouldnt accept a bill for a gardner ,my money is spent on my children.
It's what the garden looks like when they leave that matters, not during the tenancy. During the tenancy, you actually have no say in how the place is kept - despite what it may say in the tenancy agreement.

Was a full inventory done and signed at the start, including the state of the garden? If not, then you wont be able to deduct anything for repairs. Likewise if you haven't protected their deposit in a Scheme.

Remember, it's their home now not yours.
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Thanks for all your quick responses. Yes hanna I understand what you are saying. we left are tenants alone, as there last land lord sounded very bad. She is in the process of taking him to court. But I think we have been fair. When she phones my husband goes round there doing the jobs that she asks. (not many I agree ) And she has admitted she does not know how to garden although pulling weeds that are three foot high is not gardening. It does say in her agreement gardens should be maintained the house is on a very nice road and all can see how run down the garden is . I am going to call around today My husband and I are going to offer to do the garden ourselves at the weekend ( we both work ) if she can get the paviours sorted. I looked after the garden had a part time job and reared my two children with no problems. But as keep telling myself we are all different.
you sound like you are good landlords ,our landlords dont seem to bother with his property i have phoned him up on many occassions about rotting window sills they are so bad there is a gaping hole there allowing pleanty of fresh air!!he says its on the list.but if i knew the landlord was coming round i would make sure the house and garden was up together.I have friends that rent and there attitude is its only rented so they dont care,my attitude isnt like that i treat this house as if it was our own.good luck.
My tenants left owing �1k rent, CH pipes damaged, window-cills removed, laminate gouged, carpets fouled, garden neglected & full of rubbish.

All contact for monies due are responded with "Take us to Court"!
Most tenancy agreements (well all 10 i've ever had!) have clauses in that state the tenant must keep the proprty in good order. They also usually allow for a periodic inspection by the landlord. The period between inspection varies. one of mine said every 3 months, another said every 6 months. Fortunately none of my landlords have seen fit to take up their rights on this, but then, i keep my places as i found them.
If your tenancy agreement with your tenant allows for it, then you could agree a visiting schedule giving her plenty of notice you are coming.
Whilst you cant force her hand into keeping the place up, it is better you know in advance if things are sliding further, so you can try and resolve it sooner. The "leave them and fix it when they move out" point of view may be true, but some damage needs catching before this, and you dont want it to require more than can be paid for with the deposit, when they have done a runner!
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Yes thanks kira I think our problem is we are not really true landlords. When we first met them we did explain our circumstances and why we we were renting the house out, we explained that it had been our family home and we had put a lot of pride and effort into it both inside and out. Dont get me wrong I know we are not all house proud and we did expect a few problems. As I say she seems remorseful( or she is a good actress ) which as my husband says now makes us feel guilty. So we are now going to go round and do the garden for her or for ourselves for pease of mind really. I have not heard from her husband he is keeping a low profile ha thanks again for the responses
You should always make sure you collect as much information from a tenant prior to them moving in, this your only real chance to find out everything as once they are in their attitudes change. Make sure you have everything from their parents address to as many previous addresses as you can, this will all help if they do a runner. We use http://www.findermonkey.co.uk for this service. We used to do it ourselves using 123people.co.uk and 192.com.

Most of our tenants are good but you need to make sure you have the tools in place should something go wrong.

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