Paint, wallpaper and carpets – the cost of being a landlord

As a landlord, one of the things I often have to do is have a property decorated for tenants. It’s one of those necessary expenses that I’d rather not fork out for, but alas has to be done.

sarah beenyBeing a fan of the Been (Sarah Beeny) I also know that when you have a house decorated for tenants you don’t go and spend ludicrous amounts of money having it decorated to your own exacting standards. While yes, I might like the best furniture, expensive wallpaper, feature walls and plush carpets – when it’s for rental purposes a simple cheap carpet and some magnolia painted walls will suffice – which is just what I had done the last time I had a house decorated for rental (yet it still cost a few quid mind, as even cheap decorators know how to charge).

The carpets were a particular bone of contention too, as when I first let out a property at the start of 2007 I had new carpets installed for the tenants, and when they moved out (some 18 months or so later) the carpets were knackered and I needed to fit new ones again. The letting agent did try to have them cleaned, but this wasn’t working as they were in too much of a dreary state.

Thus a valuable lesson was learned about installing cheap carpets in the first place.

I remember too from my visits to Leeds University that carpets in student accommodation were fairly cheap. One of the students on a particular level in one of the halls had placed a hot saucepan down in the hallway, outside the kitchen, scorching the carpet. As nobody had owned up to this, every student on the level was threatened with being charged for the repair. The mark was burned into the carpet too, so it couldn’t be dealt with by carpet cleaning. Leeds University had the right idea (albeit unfair for students) in the way it makes tenants pay for repairs or replacements and, because it has deposits from all of the students, it can deduct the costs of repairs without worrying that they could come to more than they’re holding.

Perhaps I should look at properties near universities in future?

Darren Jamieson

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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