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Does my landlord have the right to ask us to move things?

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408 views 1 replies latest reply: 05 August 2015
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Tenant

Morning Everyone,

I’ll try to cut a long story short with this one. We have been living in our privately rented 2 bed house for 6 months now. First inspection with the LA after 3 months went fine, no issues. Just over a week ago we had another inspection, this time the LL wanted to come along to meet us, which is fair enough, we had no problems with this.

When she visited with the LA she expressed no issues with anything in the house, and we were discussing the potential of putting laminate down in the living room (which we have offered to pay for) and a few other things, which she seemed more than happy with. 

Now little over a week later we have received an email from the LA on behalf of the LL with what i would consider some unreasonable requests. We have a condenser dryer in the downstairs cupboard (its easily big enough for it with plenty of room around it). When she visited i explained to her that we always leave the cupboard door open when the dryer is running and leave a nearby window open to ensure its properly ventilated (even though a condenser dryer produces very little moisture, its mainly just heat). She has asked us to relocate this to the garage as she believes it is a heatlh and safety risk being in the house and the garage is far easier to vent. Whilst i agree that the garage is far easier to vent by simply opening the door, it then means that the contents of the garage are not only exposed to the elements, but also exposed to potential theft. With the door closed, the garage would not be vented, and as she seems to think it produces a lot of moisture, this will obviously damage the items in the garage.

Secondly, we have a small snake and a turtle each living in glass homes. The snake lives in something no bigger than a small coffee table and is kept in one bedroom, whilst the turtle is in a larger fish tank kept in the other bedroom. For some reason she has asked us to move one of them downstairs. She has not given any reason for this at all and i cannot see any gain to be had from moving either downstairs. For one, it will reduce the living space downstairs and would require us to move/dispose of a piece of furniture to make room (as both need an electrical socket).

And last but not least, she has complained about the fact that i have begun to paint the garden fence (in a similar colour to what it was previously painted, clearly years ago) which i have paid for myself. When she visited the property she raised no issues with this whatsoever and was even discussing painting the front fence with me. We have been told be the LA that we have to ask permission to do quite literally anything to the property, even though on at least 2 occassions before we have been told that “anything that improves the property without dramatically changing it” is fine to do. I understood this to mean that painting the fence would be perfectly fine as it is a general maintenance job that needed doing.

What i would really like to know before i reply to the LA and LL, is what right does the LL have to request that we move items such as the tumble dryer and one of the reptiles?

And does the LL really have the right to complain about something as small as painting a fence when really, this should have been done by her or a contractor (at a much higher cost!) anyway?

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Administrator

Hi Ben

Essentially, the rights here are that you have a right to occupy and use the property and the landlord has the right to have it returned in at least the same state in which it was rented to you (other than normal wear and tear during that time). It’s always a good idea to get everything in writing as landlords aren’t your friends and things can change very quickly in terms of tenant-landlord relations. If you’ve got written proof that you’re allowed to paint the fence/have pets/put down flooring then there’s very little a landlord can do to object. 

In terms of moving the pet – no, unless there’s a specific reason that impacts on the landlord’s property or the neighbours she can’t start trying to control what you do while in there. Maybe just say you’re leaving it where it is unless she can share a justifiable reason why it should be moved. Be wary though if you don’t have written permission for the pets as she could use this to demand you get rid of them.

In terms of the tumble dryer, I’m assuming it’s yours not the landlord’s? If there are genuine health and safety issues then you might need to move it – it could be worth getting a professional opinion on the safety of it in its current position just to remove any doubt. Essentially, the landlord is trying to avoid being held responsible should there be an accident that results in damage/injury.

It mostly depends on your tenancy as to what the landlord can complain about – if it states that you need to get permission for any changes then that’s what you need to do. The trouble is that what improves a property and what doesn’t can be quite subjective so it’s always better to just get written agreement first.

Hope that helps.

Alex

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