Making A House A Home 1st Apr 2017

Recent research by Plentific found that tenants are increasingly keen to personalise and improve their rental properties and landlords should facilitate this trend. This argument is supported by The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.

The research found that 73% of tenants have carried out DIY jobs at their own expense. According to the research, which included a survey of over 2,000 renters, 23% of participants said they have spent over £500 on home improvements in their rental property.

Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC, stated "We're seeing more long-term tenants and they're clearly committed to living in a higher standard of property. Landlords who cautiously allow tenants to put their own stamp on a property could benefit from a lower turnover of tenants and an improved and well-maintained property at the end of the contract."

However communication between tenants and landlords is key. Tenants must consult their landlord before making any changes to the property. As long as landlords are in agreement with improvements, all parties could benefit in the long term. It is well known that tenants are more likely to stay in a rental property for longer if they feel it is their home. These improvements differ from to day to day repairs – which must be attended to by landlords quickly and efficiently.

Whilst The Key Place would urge landlords to give due consideration to improvements, it is important to ensure tenants are capable of doing the job they are proposing. If workmanship is in question it would be far better to employ a professional. With this in mind, we can never understate the importance of inventories. It is vital that there is evidence documenting the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. If home improvements do go wrong, it may then possible for landlords to retain money from the deposit scheme at the end of the tenancy.

As Scotland continues to become a nation of renters, it is worth remembering that at the end of the day, the only thing better than a good tenant is a good long-term tenant, and if you have a good long-term tenant who pays their rent and looks after the property, then you want to do everything you can to keep them.