Dealing with demanding tenants

Q.  New tenants moved into my rental apartment twelve months ago and they have been happy so far with everything which has prompted them to renew the contract. However, following the renewal they asked for a few new additions to the property including some new window dressings in the bedroom as well as attending to some other minor maintenance issues they had never mentioned before. Which I readily agreed to, and my contractors are in the process of sorting out. However, it now seems that me agreeing to these couple of things has bought out the absolute worst in them and they are now demanding all sorts of things that I would deem unreasonable. I am all for keeping them happy, but this is getting ridiculous, where can I draw the line between what I am contractually bound to do as a landlord and them being just plain demanding?

A.  It sounds to me that you have been more than generous and so accommodating with their requests that they literally don’t know where to stop now. Given they have already lived there for twelve months and agreed a renewal it sounds like they can’t have been that unhappy with anything? In my experience a tenant would never renew if he wasn’t already content, he would just move on and spend his money elsewhere. I find it admirable that you have been such an obliging landlord, but you definitely need to look at their requests and start to push back on anything that you consider not to be a requirement. Of course, you are responsible as well as liable as a landlord to keep the home in a good state of repair and make sure that all their appliances are working and that if they have any hot water or heating issues these are treated with the utmost urgency. But if they are making unreasonable requests you are perfectly within your rights to just say no. I do believe some tenants that start to act like this believe that they are doing you the favour renting your apartment and hence start to take advantage of your good nature. My advice to you now is get the pre-agreed things carried out but anything from now onwards needs to be carefully considered and indeed pushed back on if deemed superficial, after all what’s the worst that can happen? They will serve notice if they are that unhappy that you are not pandering to their every whim, leaving you to find new less demanding tenants.

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