LL responsibility or not? Requests for curtains/blinds

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by phoenix555, 14th Mar, 2018.

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  1. phoenix555

    phoenix555 Active Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hello! I'm new to being a landlord, having inherited a 2br townhouse in Brisbane, from my dad. I will eventually sell it it, but not until my mum has gone (sentimental reasons for her). I've been googling what are my responsibilities to ensure I'm being a good LL.

    A new tenant has just moved in, and has made these requests/'demands':

    1. Request - A gas stove - there is currently an electric one, which I was thinking of replacing as it's quite old and the spill bowls are rusting on the edges. I don't want to get gas put in and worry about bottles etc - I don't see gas bottles with any of the othe townhouses in the complex - it seems like a pretty major request.

    2. Request - Put white pebbles in the front courtyard. Currently old pebbles, brick border and no vegetation in the garden beds. It was left in a dead and weedy state by the last tenants, when I took over. I'm planning to make it all stamped concrete with smaller raised garden beds so it's neater, cleaner and less maintenance. I will move forward my plan for this.

    3. Demand - Toilet roll holder and towel rail not sturdy enough. Well... they were brand new four years ago and whilst they're not top of the range, I did check them when I went around for an inspection (no tenants for 2.5 months) and I didn't feel the was anything wrong. Do you just change that sort of stuff when they ask, or get a handyman to see if they can be 'tightened up'?

    4. Demand - New curtains or blinds in the living room. This is actually the request that concerns me the most, as I couldn't find a definitive answer. Is this my responsibility? What if I put in curtains and they don't like my choice? What if they want blinds and their 5yo kid wrecks them? It seems like something that they should choose/pay for and take when they go. Or is this absolutely my responsibility to provide/replace? There's currently some ratty bamboo blinds from the last tenant.

    Many thanks for your advice and guidance for a newbie!
     
  2. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    1. Stove - no need or requirement to put in gas or even replace the existing stove just because of a bit of rust as long as it works and can be kept clean. If you do decide to replace get electric.

    2. OK - but no requirement.

    3. Are they screwed into a stud or just the plaster? If they are loose, it is worth fixing them. But I would check myself.

    4. You should replace the ratty bamboo blinds as they will ben'see through' at night with a light on. Up to you what colour or style and if curtains or blinds. Property Mamagers often recommend blinds, but you need to ensure the chains are secured to avoid a choking hazard. Same with curtains with a cord. Not difficult, just has to be done.
     
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  3. KayTea

    KayTea Well-Known Member

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    Above all, remember that when the tenant agreed that they wanted your place, signed the lease and moved in, the 'features' that they want you to improve were actually in their current state - that is, they haven't broken since; it's just that the tenant has decided they don't like them. They were happy to sign the lease based on what's in place, and if everything is working/safe, you don't have to meet any of the new tenant's demands,

    1. If you need to replace it, it is your choice what you put in. I'd stick with something similar to what's there (getting a gas line plumbed in could end up being pretty expensive, on top of the cost of the new oven).

    2. and 3. don't even warrant a mention.....

    4. This could be worth doing. Some form of heat/light blocking curtains are good - they can keep heating and cooling bills down, and are less likely to fade. If you go with a very neutral tone, without much of a pattern, that matches the carpet/wall colours, you should be pretty safe. Spotlight and IKEA tend to sell stuff like this pretty cheap, and it's easy to install.
     
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  4. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    1. Replace with an electric stove when necessary. Needless expense to install gas lines. Tenant rented with electric stove.

    2. No. Does not fit in with your plans.

    3. Check. If not securely fastened, repair fitting of existing items.

    4. Replace ratty old see-through bamboo blinds with blinds or curtains of your choice.

    Tenant does not get to choose fittings. As you intend to sell, choose neutral colours that will suit most buyers.
    Marg
     
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  5. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    It may pay you to engage a PM if you are not sure of your obligations and responsibilities as a landlord.
    Marg
     
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  6. Kassy

    Kassy Well-Known Member

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    Agree with @Marg4000.

    As for their requests, I’d say no to everything if they recently moved in as they knew what they were getting into when they signed, the property is ‘as is’.

    If you are worried about the state of the property, definitely get a PM and get them to do a maintenance walk through and recommend what really needs to be fixed.

    Kassy
     
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  7. phoenix555

    phoenix555 Active Member

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    Is a PM the same as the real estate rentals agent that is their first point of contact? If so, I have one of them, but so far I'm not very impressed (but then I'm new to all this). Lack of communication is one thing I've found so far. When my dad was alive he found out that the tenant had a small dog (not permitted) which chewed the door jams, stair balustrading etc, but the agent said they hadn't noticed and had already returned the bond.
     
  8. phoenix555

    phoenix555 Active Member

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    Thank you everyone for your clarification! I appreciate your time and thoughts.
     
  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd agree with the others.

    Fix the toilet roll and towel holder if they are loose.

    I'd say no to the gas, and a little rust doesn't stop what is there from working. Replace only if really necessary and then with electric. Perhaps move to an induction as I believe these heat up much faster.

    Do what you plan to do with the courtyard. It is not up to them to decide what they want.

    Rather than be seen as just being obstinate, you could buy some curtains. This won't cost much, will make them feel they are being heard, and for sure will look better than tatty bamboo blinds.
     
  10. Eric Wu

    Eric Wu Well-Known Member

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    hi @phoenix555 , welcome to PC and welcome to the world of landlord. not easy ;)

    sounds like you have a PM, but may not be competent or doing their job properly.

    are the tenants paying above the market rent, or just so so rent?