Can I charge my tenant for redecorating after 5-6 years occupation?

  1. This is my recent response about a query about a house left in poor condition after six years occupation. I thought I should share it.
  2. Depending on whether a house is knowingly let to smokers or non smokers determines any betterment value of redecoration costs.,  
  3. Decoration is unlikely a legal requirement unless failure constitutes a health hazard.
  4. Any claim for painting decoration at the end of a tenancy would be subject to a betterment calculation.
  5. After 5 years for a smoking tenant and 7 years for a nonsmoking tenant no claim for redecoration is likely to be enforced by the courts.  
  6. In view of the timescale involved after 5-6 years the maximum claim is unlikely to exceed 1/7th of the redecoration costs.  
  7. In any event, some allowance must be made for wear and tear and this would obliterate any claim in my opinion.
  8. My view in any event is that a pragmatic approach should be adopted.  
  9. I would agree with comments that this is a good innings for a tenancy
  10. Personally I would rub my hands together and thank the agent!  
  11. The wallpaper is described as "peeling off" not "ripped off."  This is not likely to be the fault of the tenant - more likely the quality of the adhesive or the impact of moisture.  The limitation act would prohibit suing the decorator after 6 years in any event.  
  12. The inspections conducted biannually would not necessarily reveal what would be the gradual deterioration over so many years.  So to be fair to the letting agent, they would not have seen the stark contrast that the landlord saw in the absence of attending between start and end of occupancy.  However, the condition should have been reported 'as seen' anyway.
  13. In today's market when we hear of horror stories of 'tenants from hell' your tenant can rent my houses anyday - I would frankly expect to spend money much more frequently than every 5-6 years.  
  14. This is not to say that the worst tenants should set the benchmark, but most landlords if advised in 2013 that they would have to perform work to their properties in say 2020, as in this example, would likely ask incredulously, "Really?!"   They would then proceed to accept the gift horse without checking its mouth.  
  15. Landlords have a reputation in some circles for making unfair deductions from deposits.  
  16. I would not advise any reductions in this instance in respect of redecoration.  
  17. The deposit protection scheme introduced on 6 April 2007 possibly postdates the tenancy commencement date.  
  18. Even with a perfect inventory and a professionally cleaned house at the outset any adjudicators would struggle to deduct anything!
  19. Sorry to disappoint the landlord, my advice is to thank the tenant and the agent for the tenancy longevity and steady rental income to date and to ask the agent to repeat history leaving the landlord to enjoy an uninterrupted tenancy until say 2020.