VIC How to decline tenant request for mobility and grab handles

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Jasmine, 1st Jan, 2019.

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  1. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    I have a current request from an elderly couple for the installation of mobility and grab handles in both an ensuite and main bathroom. The couple are on a month-to-month contract after rolling over from a 12 month contract. There would be no costs to me (the owner) or the tenants for the installation (would be covered from a government agency). How do I politely decline the request?

    Obviously they are pre-sighting that the works would "add" value to the property. However, I strongly disagree. Drilling holes in tiled walls compromises the water proofing membrane (yes, the bathroom walls are fully tiled with 2 coats of water proofing membrane). They look u.g.l.y and detract form the bathroom aesthetics. To me, they "add" value in the same way that dumping a block of aluminium on the property adds value. That is, the property should technically "go up in value" by the value of the block of aluminium. But, let's be real, the majority of future renters or buyers are turned off when they see grab rails as they conjure up negative connotations. Furthermore, any future purchaser needing grab rails could easily install them (also at zero or near zero cost).
     
  2. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    What about suction grab rails?
     
  3. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    Hummm... Tiles are porcelain, and not "smooth" enough.
     
  4. marmot

    marmot Well-Known Member

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    I fitted a grab rail a few years back in our short term rental, it was more about common sense and due to the layout of the bathroom
     
  5. Islay

    Islay Well-Known Member

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    Grab rails for the elderly and others have to be able to hold their body weight if they fall. They are attached to internal studs behind the tiles. Towel rails etc are not suitable as they may pull out from the wall if a person grabs at them when they are falling. Not sure how you will be able to deny them but understand why you might not want them fitted
     
  6. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Do you need a reason? Just say no. Why did you let them go on month to month?
     
  7. Islay

    Islay Well-Known Member

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    would saying no make you liable if they have a fall? If the installation of the rails is being paid for under a government package then they have been recommended by a occupational therapist as being a necessity.
     
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  8. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

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  9. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what the issue is for "letting" them go on a month-to-month? I only noted this as it works in my favour.
     
  10. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Jasmine - Say 'no', they leave - it'll cost a few weeks vacancy. Say 'yes' (on condition of new lease and make good provisions).

    Seriously though, you are probably not in position to deny the request (same as installation of picture hooks, minor works etc by the tenant etc) .
     
  11. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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  12. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

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    You ask them to leave. They refuse. It ends up at the Tribunal. They might even find a Lawyer doing some pro bono work to represent them. How do you think that will end up?
     
  13. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    As the property was a former PPR, there is no mortgage. I have no concern about missing a few months rent.
     
  14. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? Ok. Me issuing a notice to vacate.
     
  15. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    I feel that this thread is quickly getting derailed and is not addressing the question. I have thought through various options - some yes, some no, going to VCAT against Erin Brockovich, falls and liability. This is/was not open to debate.
     
  16. Propertunity

    Propertunity Exclusive Real Estate Buyers Agent Business Member

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    I have personal experience with this. I had a tenant with a child in a wheelchair. They made a similar request with a government agency picking up the tab.

    I tried, but failed, to have the government agency agree to restore the property to original condition once the tenancy concluded. The works involved grab rails and removing the shower screen and replacing with a shower curtain and custom ramp.

    I could have said no but agreed. The tenancy recently ended and I had to get the shower screen reinstalled (they stored it in the laundry). I easily removed the ramp. I left the grab rails (in case I had an elderly tenant in the future).

    Looking back I think allowing it actually gave me a longer term tenant with therefore less vacancy. The cost of restoration was about 1 week’s worth of rent. I had no plans to sell anytime soon and when I do, I’ll likely do a bathroom & kitchen reno anyway, so it’ll be fixed then.

    But at the end of the day, please yourself. If you say no, you’re probably going to have the tenant give notice and you’ll have to find yourself another tenant and potentially have some vacancy in the changeover.

    You can give your reasons regarding your concerns about damaging waterproofing and future tenants not finding the property attractive. I don’t think you’d have any issues, apart from a disappointed tenant.
     
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  17. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure what this post is saying? Or what is/was not open to debate?

    I believe the answers do address potential issues you may face. If you are simply asking how to say no, then just say no and explain why.

    They will either take it further, will accept it, or will leave.
     
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  18. Jasmine

    Jasmine Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for the considered reply and insight.
     
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  19. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    OK. You asked how to politely decline the request for grab rails. My response is just say no politely. Here is a script:

    ‘I have considered your request for grab rails. Unfortunately, they can’t be installed because it would damage the waterproofing in the bathroom.


    You are welcome to use suction grab rails - though the tiles may be too rough for them to stick.’
     
    Last edited: 2nd Jan, 2019
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  20. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You can buy those stainless steel pre fab grab rails O/S made very cheaply ,and as long as they match the stud behind the wall they will set into any wall,cost wise i'm not sure..

    Or as this is like any business it's up to you ,but as they asked for this set-up one is always better to look at what would happen if they become a litigious tenant and fell over and litigation and proceedings were started against a debt free property ..