Has your tenant asked to make changes to your property?


Occasionally a tenant feels there may be some fixtures or fittings that would make their home more comfortable, enjoyable or safe for them to live in.

It might be repainting, screens on windows, new curtains or even air-conditioning.

Firstly, legislation states that the tenant cannot make any alterations, add any fixtures or make any additions to the property without the landlords written permission.

If the tenant requests to make alterations at their own expense and you feel that the request is reasonable, make sure your consent is detailed and in writing. Also add that a condition of the approval is for the tenant to restore the premises to its original condition when they vacate (unless you like it so much you want it to stay).

If you feel that it is not only reasonable but something that would add value to the property, consider doing it yourself. This way you have total control over the tradesperson, quality of work and materials.

When the tenant vacates, they are entitled to remove and take with them any item they have paid for, and they are obligated to return the property back to its original condition. Of course, if the item was paid for by you, they cannot remove it without your consent.

Now it’s important to understand that you may not unreasonably refuse consent if the change is of a minor nature.

So what is considered minor? Examples of works of a minor nature include:

  • Installing extra security devices
  • Installing a phone line
  • Connecting broadband internet or cable television
  • Some picture hooks
  • Hand rails for the elderly

What would constitute a reasonable refusal?

  • Structural changes
  • Changes not easily repaired or made good on vacating
  • Changes not consistent with the nature of the property
  • Changes prohibited under law
  • Painting

Unless the tenant is a professional painter or handyman would you take the risk in allowing them to paint your property?

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