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Agony Agent is here to help!

9th December 2017

Q:  Would lowering the rent, in exchange for tenants decorating, be a good idea?

A:  Great question.  A little while ago we had viewings for a property that was due to become available.  The property was not in a great condition and a few people had pointed that out to me.  It wasn’t falling apart, it was just very dated, as the last tenant had been in the property for a number of years.  As I was showing one company around the house, they said they liked the property, but were hesitant to commit because of the outdated style.  They mentioned the stained kitchen, the dull walls and the horrid carpet located in the master bedroom.  These were all features which I knew were dragging the property down.  Knowing the work needed to be done, and knowing that ignoring the work would result in a struggle to attract tenants, I proposed that the landlord buy the paint, according to the tenant’s choice (as long as they’re neutral colours), and if the tenants agree then they do the labour.  In return for their hard work, the landlord would lower the rent by £30 per month.  That’s £360 the tenant would be saving annually.  They were happy with the idea, as I’m sure a lot of other landlords/tenants would be.

Advantages for the landlord

  • No need to get decorators in to do the work, which would cost a lot more than reducing rent by £30 per month.
  • Also, getting decorators in would mean having to keep the property empty for at least another week, which would cost even more money. By doing it this way, tenants move in straight away, and decorating can begin when they’re ready.

Advantages for the tenant

  • They’ll save money
  • They’ll live in a freshly decorated property
  • They’ll get to provide input on the decoration style, so they’ll live in a property they’ll get to enjoy more

Rules

There were a few rules that needed to be agreed:

  • Work had to be completed to a high standard. If not, the work would need to be redone at the tenant’s expense (within reason)
  • We provided a strict definition of “high quality” and would be inspecting at every step, so there’s no confusion
  • There was a set budget

As it currently stands, the works have been done to a very high standard, and it will only cost the landlord £360 plus paint.  Seeing as this is a two bedroom apartment, I think the landlord got a great deal on this.  The company actually asked me if we had any more properties in that location that they could get a similar deal with…

I’d be interested to know if any landlord or tenant have ever had an offer like this, or even agreed something like this.  Do get in touch and let me know.

Richard Bond

Lettings Manager

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