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  • FIRST POST
    • wiggywoo9
    • By wiggywoo9 2nd Dec 17, 8:24 PM
    • 425Posts
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    wiggywoo9
    Landlord wants tenant to fit a kitchen?
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:24 PM
    Landlord wants tenant to fit a kitchen? 2nd Dec 17 at 8:24 PM
    Hi all,

    So I'm currently looking to rent a house. I currently live in a HA flat and want something better for my son. I've found this house in a very nice area, very good schools, lovely garden, accepts pets and children. Bit more expensive than I was hoping to pay but not at the top end yet. And a big plus is long-term let so not upheaval. However! Called the estate agent and she says it's been on the market a while, last tenant was an elderly lady who sadly died. She said the kitchen has no cupboards and pretty bare. The landlord is hoping the new tenant will make it a long-term home but expects them to fit the kitchen in, offering 1 month free rent is they do so. Apparently tenants used to do this in the past.

    OK! So that's a pretty tall order- don't want to lose a good place that otherwise ticks all the boxes- what would you do??
    Up and onwards to the future!

Page 3
    • Forgoodensake
    • By Forgoodensake 3rd Dec 17, 8:04 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Forgoodensake
    We have just bought a cottage which was previously rented out to other people. The landlord offered them 2 months free rent if they fitted a kitchen. They put a very basic budge white kitchen, no frills. Everyone seemed to be happy with this arrangement. You can pick up really cheap, budget kitchens, just stay within the value of the rent. Key is to do your sums first before agreeing.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 3rd Dec 17, 11:57 PM
    • 4,902 Posts
    • 6,867 Thanks
    deannatrois
    Have a close look at your logic. Your son isn't that old. Another year or two to save to buy a permanent home is not going to make much difference to his development. You can still take him to parks.

    It really is worth waiting for a couple of years for a home you can never be moved out of, that you can decorate to your choice.., to know you aren't going to have to move your son out of a school he is happy in because you can't find another rental in the same area. And most of all, to avoid the stress that comes with a S21, paying more admin fees, getting your deposit back long after you've moved if the LL is difficult, having to present a case to get it back. It may not go as badly as that but at this point in time you just don't know how it'll end. You are very unlikely to get your deposit back on the day you move out, however so will need to save that again.

    Please rethink this. You son honestly is not going to notice a couple of years at his age. That is more coming from you., you could use it to make you push hard to save and buy your own place. Not move to a more expensive place that may be more temporary than you think.

    I have said that there will probably be other repair needs you may not even see. Look at the age of the boiler, try the electrics, try the taps and bath/shower. Check for mould as carefully as you can (in my private rental, it wasn't until I removed the tiles I saw they were black underneath, the grout had been redone - turned out there was a leaking water pipe that needed replacing which caused a lot of work excavating it out of the wall and was completely hidden til I started). With your proposed kitchen replacement, when you remove tiles, you often remove plaster.., can you reskim or afford to pay someone to do it? What is the state of the walls in the kitchen? If you want a hob hood is there a way to install ducting? These are all problems I have had to deal with in the past, I promise you.

    If you can, and if you do decide to move to this place (remember buying your own might not be an option then, your rent will be higher, you just won't be able to save anything like you can now) try and negotiate at least two months rent free and a longer contract period (at least 2 years).

    Importantly, do you think you can install a replacement kitchen? I can but I did it slowly and well, my first attempt at tiling was a lesson in how not to do it rather than otherwise. It took a second attempt in another place for me to get it completely right. With the best will in the world, you will need to buy some tools unless you can borrow some.

    IKEA kitchens are not cheap. Measure the kitchen and work out how much it will cost, you will need to know where the water pipes, gas pipe and electricity outlets are. Then take it to IKEA and get a quote. BEFORE you accept the property. Work out how long it will take to install as closely as you can. In my experience it will take longer for a self install than professionals to do it. A very cheap kitchen (sales/second hand) could be worth considering. Travis Perkins seem to do the same units as Wickes but often cheaper than Wickes when a sale is on. Look up reviews of places like Wren etc. There are some places with very bad rep.

    And ask yourself again. Is this really worth it for a temporary place to stay? Because I am afraid private rental properties in England are relatively temporary. Even a two year contract wouldn't convince me it was worth putting a kitchen that at the cheapest is going to cost around £1k to put in (unless its a rabbit hutch). Remember taps/sinks etc cost extra (I have bought them from Lidl/Aldi and ebay, they don't last forever but much more affordable). The cheapest laminate tops cost over £40.., probably more from IKEA and IKEA don't do traditional kitchen cupboard sizes so you can't mix and match with other suppliers as easily (one way to cut costs).
    Last edited by deannatrois; 04-12-2017 at 4:30 AM.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 4th Dec 17, 12:31 AM
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    silverwhistle
    I have a slightly different perspective to this as I rented a flat in Italy where having a fitted kitchen is unusual. There are even companies who advertise moving your kitchen for you if you move.

    I ended up fitting stainless steel free standing units from IKEA and wall units I installed myself. BUT the big difference is that contracts are for 4 (+4) years. Landlords are hence very suspicious as tenants are difficult to get out. In the end I stayed for 7 years (and even moved in to a better flat) all without a rent increase: good tenants are valued.

    I left the kitchen and some bedroom fittings when I moved back to the UK, which meant she could rent out to students before she eventually sold.

    I'd go with G.M.s advice to get a longer contract if this is a choice you want to make.
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 4th Dec 17, 10:54 AM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 4,051 Thanks
    westernpromise
    If you have a HA flat think very very carefully about giving up your security for the hazards of private renting.

    Itís not at all normal or acceptable for a landlord to expect a tenant to fit a kitchen (unless perhaps sheís going to give you a 15 year tenancy to guarantee youíll get the use of it, but I donít see that happening) but other landlords wonít treat you much better.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Interestingly this is how the market works in Germany. Tenancies are longer but the flats are not just unfurnished but basically unfitted. If you want a kitchen or bathroom you fit one yourself.

    I wouldn't go for it here because you could be given notice at any time and lose the kitchen. The only circumstance in which I'd agree is if the cost of the kitchen were in lieu of and less than a security deposit. But on balance, find somewhere else.
    The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. -
    George Orwell, Nineteen-Eighty-Four
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 4th Dec 17, 10:57 AM
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    westernpromise
    What else would the landlord want you to replace during your tenancy? The boiler? All the carpets? The roof? Sounds like you're opening yourself up to a huge amount of future hassle with a landlord that can and will say "if you don't replace xyz yourself then I'll issue a section 21".
    Originally posted by VintageHistorian
    I once looked at renting a flat that was owned by a local private school. Nice place but they wanted the tenant to pay the maintenance! Well, they would, wouldn't they? But the whole point of renting is that when something needs doing you pick up the phone and the landlord does it. We passed.
    The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. -
    George Orwell, Nineteen-Eighty-Four
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 4th Dec 17, 11:03 AM
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    westernpromise
    True but have you ever heard of a modern landlord giving out a 3 year tenancy?

    They probably still happen but I expect are very rare.
    Originally posted by Chrysalis
    Would you be prepared to pay more for one than for an AST? If not, you now know why they're rare.
    The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. -
    George Orwell, Nineteen-Eighty-Four
    • G_M
    • By G_M 4th Dec 17, 12:01 PM
    • 42,243 Posts
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    G_M
    Originally Posted by Chrysalis
    True but have you ever heard of a modern landlord giving out a 3 year tenancy?

    They probably still happen but I expect are very rare.
    Would you be prepared to pay more for one than for an AST? If not, you now know why they're rare.
    Originally posted by westernpromise
    Since when is a 3 year AST not an AST?
    westernpromise: I wouldn't go for it here because you could be given notice at any time and lose the kitchen.
    I do wish people would stop repeating this rubbish. Notice cannot be served in the 1st 4 months and cannot expire until the fixed term ends (subject to break clause blah blah).
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 4th Dec 17, 12:06 PM
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    • 667 Thanks
    saajan_12
    The security of tenure is a key factor of private renting, as it is an upheaval & cost to move, new lettings fees etc. A good LL would want to keep a good tenant so its unlikely to be every 6m/year but it can happen eg if the LL's plans change.

    However if you're comparing two private rentals, don't forget how much you're being 'paid' to fit the kitchen through free rent. Calculate
    --> how much is first month's free rent
    --> minus cost of fitting (materials, labour cost, expenses for temporary facilities while you don't have a kitchen)
    --> = Net £ cost to you.

    Your investment is the net of the kitchen expenses - free rent. Decide whether this plus having to live through the work is worth having the kitchen of your choice for enough time, and try to agree a long enough fixed term so you can benefit from your investment. However if the free rent covers your fitting costs, then you haven't really paid for it so being able to enjoy it for longer becomes less relevant.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 4th Dec 17, 12:08 PM
    • 8,606 Posts
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    teddysmum
    When my younger son needed to spread his wings, he excitedly asked me to go on a viewing with him. The fact that the landlord, a relative of someone he did pc repairs for, had offered a month rent free rent, if my son did the house up a little ,made be suspicious.


    However,neither of us was prepared for what we saw.It was a an Edwardian two up two down terrace, so we expected it to be like my parents' former home ,in the next street, but it was in a terrible state.


    The door between the front and backroom, plus those on both bedrooms,had been torn off. The living roomwalls were daubed with various sample colours and the kitchen units (most with doors hanging off) had similar decoration, as had the sink.The bedrooms had all four walls each badly painted in a different bright colour
    ,but the worst was the bathroom, which someone had painted completely (bath included) in matt black, but with lots of patches showing underlying colours.


    My son,of course refused getting what originally looked like a good house(turned out to have serious problems, so he left early) in the next street. This meant that he often passed the original house which within a few months was occupied and looked quite decent, so we wondered whether someone had been stupid enough to take the offer or the landlord was just trying it on because of my son's youth.
    Last edited by teddysmum; 04-12-2017 at 12:11 PM.
    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 4th Dec 17, 12:53 PM
    • 1,041 Posts
    • 1,026 Thanks
    gingercordial
    True but have you ever heard of a modern landlord giving out a 3 year tenancy?

    They probably still happen but I expect are very rare.

    I have been with my landlord for over 10 years, and he even started reducing my tenancy agreements from 12 to 10 months.

    My landlord is unusual tho, he is in the business as a proper business (biggest landlord in my city) and actually runs his own agency, so doesnt source to a third party LA as well. I feel I could be here for life as long as I keep up rent payments which for the private sector is very unusual, but of course I am always vulnerable to my landlord deciding to sell up or something else to evict me.
    Originally posted by Chrysalis
    We were offered a three year tenancy when we moved last year. We decided on two in the end in case we didn't like the place (but, after moving twice in two years before that, definitely did want longer than one). The letting agent was actually pushing us to take three years, I suspect because having seen their schedule of charges to landlords for fully managed lets their fee is split as a % per month and a % of the rent for the whole duration of the contract upfront on signing. I also suspect the (overseas) landlord would not have been told this had been a choice at all!
    • Chrysalis
    • By Chrysalis 5th Dec 17, 6:00 AM
    • 2,069 Posts
    • 950 Thanks
    Chrysalis
    Would you be prepared to pay more for one than for an AST? If not, you now know why they're rare.
    Originally posted by westernpromise
    I thought about your question, and the only reason I can think of you asking the question is that you think landlords have an expectation to raise the rent on an annual basis, which becomes harder on a 3 year agreement.

    Still a 3 year agreement could have something like.

    "Rent will be increased to match CPI on an annual basis" which allows for rent increases "during" the tenancy.

    Remember a long tenancy also gives landlord security as they have much lower risk of a empty rentless property.

    Would I pay extra? If the property was in good condition and I really liked it I would likely pay a premium for security yes. However if there was a premium from the offset I would also be more resistant to rent increases during the 3 years.

    Bear in mind three year tenancies would cause big problems for LA's they make the most profit with tenant turnover, so its in their interests to promote short agreements to landlords, LA's really are a horrible drain on the system and need got rid off to be honest.
    Last edited by Chrysalis; 05-12-2017 at 6:03 AM.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 5th Dec 17, 6:19 AM
    • 16,116 Posts
    • 40,010 Thanks
    FBaby
    What exactly is required? Just cupboards or more? What you need to do is have a clear arrangement with the LL, definitely all in writing, by which you are both clear what you are agreeing to.

    If you really want this house, then buy unfitted kitchen furniture that you can take with you if/when you move.
    If the LL is agreeing to one month free rental, that might be on the expectation that the furniture stays even if OP leaves (through their choice or not).

    What I would do is ask to speak with the LL and agree on what needs replacing and the costs. Then agree what is yours and what remains with the house and agree a reduction of rent that equals the cost of what would remain in the house + an element of labour cost.

    Have it all signed and included in the lease which indeed should be negotiated to be longer than 6 months, but be careful with a 3 year one, you never know what can happen during that time when you might be the one wanting to move out sooner.
    • PersianCatLady
    • By PersianCatLady 5th Dec 17, 1:34 PM
    • 346 Posts
    • 327 Thanks
    PersianCatLady
    I can't believe that you are considering giving up your HA tenancy for an AST.

    Also considering that the LL is an old lady, what happens when she dies??
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