Q. Every time I have a tenant change at my rental investment property it seems that the new tenants want something added or removed in terms of furniture and large expensive essentials. Quite frankly I am sick of taking stuff out and then bringing it back when they vacate, do you really think it’s necessary to pander to every tenant’s whim or should I dig my heals in in the future?
A. Unfortunately the scenario you describe is all too common in the wonderful world of rentals, it comes with the territory of being a landlord I’m afraid. You do have the option to say no of course but at what price? Sometimes although this may be frustrating its really not worth letting great professional tenants go for the sake of providing a coffee table for instance. On the grander scheme of things, you will cover the costs of any extras in the first month’s rent. Flexibility really is the most important attribute any landlord can have if you want to avoid having void periods on your investments. Let’s be honest here, one or two months of no rent coming in versus removing or adding furniture doesn’t really stack up. I am of the opinion that when a tenant makes an offer and comes to the table with various requests that you don’t have to agree to all their demands but at least contemplate some of them to secure the tenancy, that way they feel happy that you have at least considered some of their needs, it starts the tenancy off on a good footing and secures you a tenant at the same time. Tenants come from all walks of life, some of them turn up in the UK with a suitcase and need a turn key service and others have just sold their home and want to bring valuable pieces of furniture with them even though they want a furnished property rather than an unfurnished as they don’t have everything. For the most part if your investment is kept in good condition and has good quality furnishings and appliances and ticks all the boxes for a perspective tenant, they also can be a little flexible in terms of their demands for extra’s or removal of certain items if the place is nice enough to fall in love with. My advice is not to get too concerned with these small things, see the investment for what it is – a working machine so get it making money for you. Another solution if they want furniture removed that you really don’t want to throw out is agree but build in an extra cost in the rent to cover the cost of a storage unit. I have successfully negotiated this for several landlords and this can work quite well to keep everyone happy.