Within the private rental sector, tenants appear to be increasingly keen to carry out personalisation/improvement work to their rented properties according to latest reports.
The research suggests that landlords should be more open to the concept of tenants requesting to make improvements to their rented property and that the owners will be the ones to benefit across the course of the long term.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) conducted their study to better understand the recent trend of tenants carrying out DIY work at their own expense. The figures suggest that roughly 73% of private tenants have used their own funds to improve or repair their rented homes and the results show large investments in many instances.
Some 23% of the 2,000 tenants surveyed confirmed they have spent more than £500 on improving their rented accommodation and a clear trend is emerging. Tenants are obviously willing to spend their own income on improving a rented property which can only benefit landlords in the long run.
With an increase of tenants suggesting they would prefer longer tenancy contracts; landlords must consider the long term benefits of allowing tenants to decorate and modify their properties. Refusal to permit tenants to carry out repairs or improvements could result in a greater turnover of tenants and more effort required on the landlord’s part at the conclusion of a tenancy.
Landlords have been known to suffer in the past at the end of short and long term tenancies as some tenants may be willing to improve their rented accommodation but are prevented from doing so by restrictive owners. Thusly; the tenant goes on to feel obliged to leave everything up to the landlord at the tenancy’s culmination; including cleaning and general maintenance amongst other tasks.
The concept of allowing tenants to decorate/improve rented accommodation relies merely on the landlord and the occupier having a good, communicative relationship. If both parties agree that the proposed alteration would be of benefit to the property; then refusal seems foolhardy if the tenant is willing to use their own money to fund the endeavour.
Equally, a thorough inventory must be carried out at the commencement of the tenancy to ensure the amendments are accounted for and reflect positively on the property’s value. Amending the inventory is unwise as lengthy periods can elapse between the arrival of a tenant and their eventual departure date – accounting for everything is vital.
Trends may come and go but tenants who feel comfortable in their own, amended home will be more likely to renew their tenancy and spend extended periods in a particular property. This will benefit landlords who may have experienced a high turnover of tenants or who have been investigating the options available in terms of improvement.
It may seem as though the study is encouraging landlords to take advantage of their tenants but this is not the case. If the tenant is willing to foot the bill, or even share the cost, of improvement then it seems unwise on the landlord’s part to refuse.