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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


Damage caused by tenants


Damage caused by tenants

Have you ever seen a tenant completely ruin a property? A worrying question most landlords have initially.

Reassuringly, at Finders Keepers we cannot remember a single case in 45 years of a tenant completely wrecking a rental property.

Damage, however, does happen. Normally it is accidental and not malicious, but there isn’t really much point in arguing about the cause: our job is to make sure that the damage is put right.

Damage during a tenancy

When we are managing a property, we carry out two or three inspections each year, depending on the service. This is not an audit of the inventory, but if we see damage to the property or its contents, we will tackle it and resolve the matter. If that forces an unpleasant issue into the open, that is good – it is better to address problems early than leave them to the Check Out.

We try to establish good relationships with our tenants so that they tell us if they damage something.

Damage at the end of a tenancy

Often damage does not come to light until the end of a tenancy. This is for two main reasons:

The tenant has not reported it. One person’s major damage can be another person’s minor irritation.

It is only at the end of a tenancy that a thorough audit of the Inventory is carried out.

The Inventory is critical: we compare the state of the property and items at the check-out to what is described in the Inventory and reconcile the differences.

Damage is usually minor. We see things such as broken glasses, faulty door handles, chips to plaster and broken shelves. More problematical are stains to carpets, marks on walls, dead or dying plants in the garden or bare patches on the lawn, and damage to kitchen worktops. None of these constitute ‘wrecking’ the place.

What we do come across, though – once or twice a year – is a landlord who is dissatisfied with what we professionally consider to be fair wear and tear. In such cases, extensive correspondence and numerous meetings lead to a mutually satisfying conclusion. All part of the job!

This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our book: Landlord Intelligence.