All Topics / Help Needed! / experience in negotiating with tennants ?

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  • Profile photo of eilatan28eilatan28
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 44

    Hi all, not sure if i have posted this in the correct section, but hoping for some comments / suggestions on how to approach my situation.

    I am writing this as a tennant. We made the decision to rent out of PPOR and rent elsewhere ourselves in order to be able to better service more investment properties. We really like the area and the house we are renting and would love to stay there long term renting. The trouble is the house is quite old and in desperate need of some love (ie / new carpets/ curtains/ lick of paint.
    We have only been there for 6 months, not 100% sure on whether our landlord plans to keep the property as a long term rental ( i know it was her PPROR prior to a marriage breakup, and she came out of the spilt with the house)

    If she is planning on keeping it as a rental, I would like to propose the following to her:
    That we commit to a long term lease (3 or 5 years) and we fund the replacement of carpet / curtains, and repainting in exchange for a discounted weekly rent for the term of the lease. We pay $450 a week now so was thinking $400 / week would work out fair for what we would spend in renos. We would be happy to continue paying a fair market rent after this original lease had expired.

    My concerns etc are:
    * Has anyone had experience with, or done this before (from a landlords position??)
    * Is it considered rude to try to negotiate something?
    * am i best to use the property manager to assist these negotiations ??
    * She may need some convincing to let us renovate. ( i know i would probably freak and say no if my tennants asked to do it, but i dont have any old run down properties)
    * I would hate to be booted out of the property at the end of that period once we had improved it for her,

    I guess i am looking for a happy medium for both of us. I figure she would get the benefit of getting her investment property renovated and improved while it was tennanted and not loosing an income. Knowing she had a long term secure lease (with good tennants) While we get the live in the area and house we want (in a condition more suitable to us) while having an extra $50 a week to put towards another property. And we get some experience co-ordinating renovations (which is something we havnt dont before but wish to have a go at also.

    if anyone has any tips for me / stories to share of their experiences, it would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks heaps in anticipation
    x natalie

    Profile photo of cuteyoungchiccuteyoungchic
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 66

    No sure that you'd have $50 a week to put towards another property, at the same time as you'd be funding the replacement of carpet / curtains, and repainting for your landlady.
    The landlady may feel she's giving you discounted rent of $50 a week right from week one, while it could take you 3 (or 5) years to fund the chattel replacements.
    If you decided to quit your lease during the lease period, she'll have lost out.    If recently divorced, she may be unlikely to take the chance.
    Is it worth paying $450 for a place with dodgy carpets/curtains & ageing paintwork?      Or is it worth offering to buy it from her maybe? 

    Profile photo of eilatan28eilatan28
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 44

    thanks cuteyoungchic,

    We have the money to do the renos outright, so it would free up another $50 /week. We have considered the 'putting in an offer to buy it ourselves' option, but keep coming back to the same conclusion that it just doesnt make financial sense to have a massive morgage that is not tax deductible. $450 a week is heaps cheaper per week than what we would have to pay in morgage repayments if we bought it. So it makes sense to keep renting, but yes i am frustrated by the 'oldness' of the place. -one of the sacrifices i am happy to make in these early days to get ahead. (Hence why i am looking for an alternative too)

    Your point about the taking 3-5 years top do renos is very valid though thanks. maybe a contract stating repairs would be completed by end of year 1 would be required ??


    Profile photo of angelinsydneyangelinsydney
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 270

    Hi eilatan28,

    My experience is simply this: there is no harm asking. People respond to sincerity. Give her the proposal in writing, saying first what you are prepared to improve HER property. And, in exchange, what you would like to ask of her as a trade-off. $50 rent reduction per week.

    Depending on where she’s at financially, she may find this proposal acceptable.

    One thing you shouldn’t do is second guess the landlord or the other party, whoever they maybe.

    What’s the worse thing that can happen? The worse thing is she’d say, “no.”

    But perhaps, she’s say, “yes.” but you won’t know until you ask.

    Most importantly, she can come back to you with, “That can’t work for me, but this will…” And you HAVE OPENED UP an opportunity for negotiation.

    Darling, ask and it will be given to you. There is a lot of truth to that.


    Profile photo of eilatan28eilatan28
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 44

    thanks angel,
    yes, very true. i will never know if i dont ask.  Im new to this renting thing and just wasnt sure if this was a common practice of tennants ?? i dont want it to come across as being rude, and giving the impression that we think the house needs attention, but at the same time (being a landlord myself) i know repairs / maintence / improvements can add up, so i want to get across the message that we are prepared to care for and look after the place as if it is our own.
    thanks heaps for your time and comments
    xx natalie

    Profile photo of DafnnyDafnny
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 18


    I suggest you make the offer to your landlord via your property manager because if there nothing in writting from either party and it is just a verbal agreement and  nothing is set on stone. :) I have had heard this happed before where the landlord agreed to reduce the rent inorder to allow the tenant to do a few things to the house which were never done.. however because it was all verbaly agreed on nothing could be done.

    In my experience tenants can negotiate changes to the property however everything needs to be in writing otherwise things can backfire.  

    Good luck.

    Warm Regards,

    Profile photo of Jacqui MiddletonJacqui Middleton
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 2,539

    I wonder if your landlady is aware of depreciation schedules (ie once some improvements are done, she can have a quantity surveyor write up a deprectiation schedule so she can enjoy some tax breaks).  Might be worth mentioning it to her… it could be the decider.

    Jacqui Middleton | Middleton Buyers Advocates
    Email Me | Phone Me

    VIC Buyers' Agents for investors, home buyers & SMSFs.

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