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Private tenant - please help!

Hi, I’ve recently started renting a flat (first time renter) before I took the tenancy I asked the landlord if I’d be able to decorate (as the existing paint is old, patchy & flaking) *there’s also a huge problem with condensation which I was unaware of - the walls literally drip with water 😫* … anyway, his response was “feel free to make it your own, I’m sure it will be lovely once is freshened up”. I signed the agreement & the day after I picked up the keys I told him I’d invited a painter around to give me a quote, he turned my painter away at the door & told me he had someone “better” who he “trusted”, he called him & arranged for him to come over. I didn’t get a word in, I never once said what I wanted, he completely took over the conversation & told the painter what he could & couldn’t do. I went along with this, scared to object & I accepted that much however the painter has since called me to say that the landlord has called him & insisted he uses a much more expensive paint (I think it’s due to the condensation problem) taking the cost way above my budget. He said the landlord said it has to be that paint although he told him he could use a cheaper version of what he has requested, the landlord refused & insisted that his builder said only that paint could be used. 
This was never mentioned to me, in fact had I not asked could I decorate the topic of redecoration would never have been brought up. However, he did say - what you see is what you get 😬
In addition to this, in the advertisement for the property & in my tenancy agreement it states that the property is carpeted however they’re stained, threadbare, smelly & desperately need replacing but again, I’ve been too worried to mention it.
What should I do? Is it legal for the landlord to suddenly dictate which paint I have to pay for even though it was never mentioned prior to the tenancy commencing? What can I do without starting off on bad terms with my landlord? I really want to have a good relationship & be a good tenant, I’m desperate for this to work out but these extra costs are impossible as I’m on such a low income, just getting by is a struggle. 
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  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,302
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    It doesn't sound like you could ever be on good terms with him to be honest, sounds like a rogue landlord all the way, have you seen an EPC/gas cert?  I wouldn't be paying for anything to do with this redecoration.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • anselld
    anselld Posts: 8,243
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    It is "normal" for the Landlord to decorate to a reasonable standard at their own expense.
    It is "legal" for anything else to be done by mutual agreement.  Mutual agreement means you don't have to agree to anything but likewise the Landlord doesnt have to do anything unless it is actually unsafe.
  • GrumpyDil
    GrumpyDil Posts: 1,569
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    So the simple answer is if you choose to decorate to your scheme then I'd expect you to pay but if landlord is organising the decorator, colour, paint type etc then that's down to him to pay.

    I certainly would not agree to pay in this case, would make sure i had clearly documented the state of the property at handover and probably plan to move on as soon as I was outside the minimum tenancy term. 
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,125
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    edited 9 November 2023 at 3:06PM
    GrumpyDil said:
    So the simple answer is if you choose to decorate to your scheme then I'd expect you to pay but if landlord is organising the decorator, colour, paint type etc then that's down to him to pay.

    I certainly would not agree to pay in this case, would make sure i had clearly documented the state of the property at handover and probably plan to move on as soon as I was outside the minimum tenancy term. 
    This. Don't be bullied into paying for the landlord decoration over and above what you'd do. Tell him either he pays for his own decorator, or you pay for yours. Just be honest and say you don't have the budget for that.
  • AlexMac
    AlexMac Posts: 2,961
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    Sorry you have a rogue Landlord; as other have said, put your foot down, albeit that you could find him trying to evict you in future?

    I have two rental flats and usually redecorate at reasonable intervals (esp between tenancies) and accept that fixed or fitted flooring (carpets, laminate, tiles...) is my reponsibility to maintain at my expense 

    Meanwhile, condensation, as you probably know, is caused by high levels of humidity precipitating out as moisture on cold surfaces, poor ventilation, lack of heating, drying clothes and boiling open pans of water when cooking... aggravated if walls or windows are poorly insulated.  I assume there aren't leaks from roofs, gutters, or wet soil piled up against outside walls? 

    Look at the helpful advice for private tenants from Shelter, the Housing Charity;

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/damp_and_mould_in_rented_homes?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIx6mC7pa3ggMVktXtCh1-uAWxEAAYASAAEgJJzPD_BwE

    Which suggests you
    • "open windows regularly

    • cover pans when you cook

    • dry clothes outdoors or in a dryer

    • close internal doors when you cook or shower

    • use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom

    • leave a gap between furniture and external walls

    • wipe condensation from window sills each morning"

    Good luck
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,458
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    Hi, I’ve recently started renting a flat (first time renter) before I took the tenancy I asked the landlord if I’d be able to decorate (as the existing paint is old, patchy & flaking) *there’s also a huge problem with condensation which I was unaware of - the walls literally drip with water 😫* … anyway, his response was “feel free to make it your own, I’m sure it will be lovely once is freshened up”. I signed the agreement & the day after I picked up the keys I told him I’d invited a painter around to give me a quote, he turned my painter away at the door & told me he had someone “better” who he “trusted”, he called him & arranged for him to come over. I didn’t get a word in, I never once said what I wanted, he completely took over the conversation & told the painter what he could & couldn’t do. I went along with this, scared to object & I accepted that much however the painter has since called me to say that the landlord has called him & insisted he uses a much more expensive paint (I think it’s due to the condensation problem) taking the cost way above my budget. He said the landlord said it has to be that paint although he told him he could use a cheaper version of what he has requested, the landlord refused & insisted that his builder said only that paint could be used. 
    This was never mentioned to me, in fact had I not asked could I decorate the topic of redecoration would never have been brought up. However, he did say - what you see is what you get 😬
    In addition to this, in the advertisement for the property & in my tenancy agreement it states that the property is carpeted however they’re stained, threadbare, smelly & desperately need replacing but again, I’ve been too worried to mention it.
    What should I do? Is it legal for the landlord to suddenly dictate which paint I have to pay for even though it was never mentioned prior to the tenancy commencing? What can I do without starting off on bad terms with my landlord? I really want to have a good relationship & be a good tenant, I’m desperate for this to work out but these extra costs are impossible as I’m on such a low income, just getting by is a struggle. 
    It sounds like the LL is a bit lacking in knowledge on your rights.
    The first question I ask from reading that post is why the LL was at the property after you had taken possession?

    I would not pay anything towards decorating or carpeting this property.
    Was all the condition of everything correctly noted on the inventory?

    You can only have a good relationship if there is a good LL as well as good tenant.
  • PRAISETHESUN
    PRAISETHESUN Posts: 3,643
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    edited 9 November 2023 at 3:23PM
    If your LL is dictating the decoration requirements then I'd be expecting them to foot the bill. Additionally, why are they in your property in the first place? Change the locks and stop giving them permission to enter your home.

    Make sure you take a detailed inventory of the condition of the property, and provide a copy of this to your LL to avoid any disputes later. Also make sure that any "agreements" over your decoration are in writing, and that you explicitly get them to state who is responsible for costs. In particular, get them to state in writing whether or not there is a requirement to "re-redecorate" and return the property back to the state it is currently in (ie. before decoration) at the end of the tenancy.






  • deannagone
    deannagone Posts: 1,033
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    Take photos of every sign of disrepair /dirt/stains/ problems in the property.  Keep them on your phone and your computer just in case one gets lost and the LL tries to claim through your deposit for repairs of problems that were already there when you moved in.

    If things don't improve, aim to move out when your tenancy ends.  

    A lot of times, condensation will be blamed on 'tenant lifestyle'.  However, I can evidence that when I moved into a property and experienced damp/mould I was using exactly the same white goods/lifestyle that had caused no problems in other properties.  When I put insulating wallpaper on walls that were cold and damp (in spite of keeping windows open and using a large dehumidifier), the problem disappeared although the problem was blamed on tenant lifestyle. 

    I wouldn't advise doing this in a private rental property however, without having an idea what is causing the condensation that you won't be living in for too long.  I am just arguing against the tenant lifestyle causes that are often quoted as causing condensation.  To my mind, properties that are designed for humans to live in should be able to cope with humans breathing and living in them without damp and condensation.
  • Mr.Generous
    Mr.Generous Posts: 3,281
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    I wouldn't advise doing this in a private rental property however, without having an idea what is causing the condensation that you won't be living in for too long.  I am just arguing against the tenant lifestyle causes that are often quoted as causing condensation.  To my mind, properties that are designed for humans to live in should be able to cope with humans breathing and living in them without damp and condensation.
    You make an excellent point, I'm going to prohibit breathing heavily by tenants in my next tenancy agreement. :smiley:

  • ripplyuk
    ripplyuk Posts: 2,885
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    I wouldn't advise doing this in a private rental property however, without having an idea what is causing the condensation that you won't be living in for too long.  I am just arguing against the tenant lifestyle causes that are often quoted as causing condensation.  To my mind, properties that are designed for humans to live in should be able to cope with humans breathing and living in them without damp and condensation.
    You make an excellent point, I'm going to prohibit breathing heavily by tenants in my next tenancy agreement. :smiley:

    That’s actually the excuse my previous landlord gave for the severe damp in the property. He said I was ‘breathing all night’ 🙄
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