OpenRent Community

Washing machine

I took on a new tenant a few moths ago, shes genuinely lovely but very demanding 3 - 6 texts a day! From “I don’t know how to work the heating now you have put fancy new thermostats in” To “my washing is taking ages to dry now the weather is cooler”. Her latest concern is the washing machine smells damp and is noisy ( a week later she is yet to supply a whatsapp of the noise). Its her first time living alone.

She has now said she intends to buy a tumble dryer. I am thinking, if I am going to have to have, possibly have the bearings done I should look at removing the washing machine from the agreement. Its not specifically listed in the contract, it is in the inventory and it was in the advert. So my first question is can I remove it prior to renewing a contract?

My second is (as I would like to keep her on side) could I offer, if she agrees to have it retrospectively removed from our deal ( assuming it is in there because it was advertised as such) that I will pay a sum towards a washer dryer that she tops up and therefore chooses what she wants?. I then don’t want any of that cash back so long as she stays for, say the next year. She can take it with her at the end, its hers and I take no responsibility for the appliance if it breaks leaks etc. Its hers.

Much more experienced landlords… Does this make sense? Can I do it? What are the pitfalls? Am I being an idiot? (I know I’m asking for trouble with the last question feel free to tell me I’m an idiot lol) Your thoughts would be genuinely appreciated!

Next time you rent out… Leave no white goods in and supply none, thus you are not liable. Unless you have stitched yourself up by having integrated machines

2 Likes

Hi Colin, Thanks for being quick. Thankfully they are not integrated. I totally agree re next time, But what about now? :slight_smile:

you could get a new machine . The cost of a repair can be half the cost of a new one and may still need other repairs in the future As long as you both agree, you can do anything

You are not obliged to repair white goods under landlords section 11 repairing obligations, but if you advertised the property with a washing machine you may have to keep it functioning under consumer protection legislation and if its mentioned in the inventory you may have a contractual obligation too. I would make a compromise offer as you suggest and see what she says.

Think Colin has answered the washing machine questions but wanted to add that we had one of those types of ‘texting tenants’. I have well over a thousand texts plus emails from her.
The house was fine but she always found something. Think it was a power trip. Because I wanted to help I ended up being insidiously suckered in. (e.g. phoning the council for her every day because of every little thing) Even though they weren’t direct complaints re our house, coupled with her constantly asking for rent reductions, it all added up so we felt we couldn’t raise the rent as initially agreed before AST signed.

When she caused mould to a new bathroom because of failure to heat and ventilate she didn’t send a text then until the whole room was blackened!

She’s proved she’s more than capable of phoning the council herself as when we wanted her out she got annoyed and started reporting me and has turned out to be a real nasty piece of goods when she can’t get her own way.

Hopefully yours will settle down!

my tuppence worth, 2-3 texts a day and “genuinely lovely” don’t sit together. We have applicance insurance on white goods which is really useful as I don’t know what tenants do but they don’t read instruction manuals. You need basic dials/controls from my experience.

I would check she is not overloading the washing machine as this can cause issues. Is she leaving the door open after washing to allow it to dry to prevent damp building up. Does she run a soda crystals through it for example to clean it? A couple of sprays of white vinegar after every few washes and leaving the door open to allow to dry should do the trick. I find tenants do no maintenance as you would with your own applicances and they should.

I personally would not offer to pay for something and they pay more for them to then take it away. I would fix or change the washing machine that is currently there.

Is there adequate space for a tumble dryer? I assume it would be a condenser she wants, if there is space I would suggest she fires away an buys her own and takes it with her when she leaves. Maybe suggest a heated airier less hassle.

Hope that helps.

2 Likes

Thank you Mr T, I must admit I have been wondering… and hoping that things settle down . Fingers crossed. Your experienced view is appreciated and noted … I will toughen up a bit :-)i

Thank you. I will do all the checks. I guess its easy for me to expect her to apply some common sense but we all know common sense is rare…

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

1 Like

Don’t do it Jennifer,let her get on with it herself!
Nothing will ever be enough and you are making a rod for your own back.
I know because I did it!:grin:
The circumstances were almost identical a young lady her first property away from home,and a new inexperienced landlord responding to her every whim!
I was a total eejit! :grin:
My other half used to mock me every time I went running.
The brand new carpet smells!
The over flow keeps running (from another flat upstairs)
The wind is too noisy (during the worst storms to hit the UK this century)
The washing machine is broken(by her bloody trainers).

So Jennifer take a deep breath and just say NO!:wink:

3 Likes

Gosh. This rings true for me too! I’ll never rent to a young person again (23). The amount of complaints I received over the past 9 mths from new tenants - including the washing machine smelling (they admitted they only do cold washes) to recordings of how loud the fridge is to locking themselves out twice. They have thankfully left after angling for lower rent & mildly ‘threatening’ they’d have to move out to their parents which they thought we’d rather get lower rent than none. I’d rather have the place empty than continue with their constant messages which caused me great anxiety. Lessons learnt. Don’t be too friendly! I got suckered in too… this pair were passive aggressive manipulative pains.

3 Likes

The wind is too noisy?! :joy:

1 Like

Much said already. Reiteration if I may.

Colin 3 nailed it as did Federico2. She sounds a pain. It’s you that sounds lovely.
Stop that, immediately!

You need to manage this high-maintenance character by ‘underplaying;’ … s l o w I n g everything down. In the first instance, respond yourself from now on by email only and ask that all tenancy/property related issues are by email only… ‘This, for clarity.’
Respond with a purposeful delay i.e. at end of day or following day, rather than jumping at every communication. Do not answer after 6PM. Unless urgent, obviously.
In anticipation that you will then receive phone calls, set your phone now so that from her number they will go direct to voicemail.
‘Blocked’ calls still go to voicemail.

If she does then suddenly make calls because you are not now running around like a blue-armed fly in the more usual immediate-response-mode, she will have rather beautifully evidenced that she is one provocative, insistent little madam who needs educating ‘how to be!’
Take control without angry words having to be spoken. Firm. Fair. You are the boss. She is a tenant who is borrowing your house. When she’s gone…it’s you and your house!

My advice is principally about establishing and maintaining ground rules. TV’s ‘Supernanny’ did it with spoilt children… having educated the grown ups in the room firstly, I always noted!

You are NOT a lap dog on-call for anyone!

For future tenants consider:

  1. No white goods (cooker only)

  2. Contract to state tenancy related comms by email only. (and, irrespective, your response will always be via email.)

You should visit the property to assess the smell and noise of the washing machine for yourself. Take someone with you as a witness. Advise, out of courtesy, that you will be bringing someone with you to also take a look.

Frankly, if it’s noisy but not clanking with e.g. an obvious problem such as the bearings you mentioned, that is not an issue per se. Washing machines are noisy, certainly on spin!
Tough!
Lucky she’s got one. Most tenants buy & maintain their own.
It either needs fixing or it doesn’t.
You and your friend can discuss that after your visit or there and then if it is so obvious.

The washing machine is highly unlikely to smell if maintained by the operator. That is, then, user error. When you visit, take 2 dishwasher tablets, dissolve them fully in hot water and then throw in the machine detergent dispenser on a short, hot cycle (60 degrees min) as you assess the machine.
That is a cheap and perfectly adequate ‘service wash.’ (Calgon etc is an exhorbitent waste of money as are dishwasher cleaners but that’s a detail.)
Advise, she should do this herself at least once every three months to reduce limescale build up and grunge from undisolved detergent. Liquid detergent is cleaner than powder. Propping the door open briefly after a wash may well also help.
These are common sense things. She needs telling. But just the once! Log it all in an email post-visit. FOR CLARITY!

You could remove the supply of a washing machine as new terms in any further fixed term contract.
In practice and in this case, I don’t think that will be well received and, since it was in the inventory and advertised, my best guess is ‘Jo Public’, would think that rather unfair. (I always try to think what ‘the bod in the street might say.’)

Once you get shot of her, get shot of the machine… for good!

However, you may consider other options are worth a bash. My own approach would be as below, not least in view of the manner of this tenant as you describe her. And, I suppose, my experience over yours. I am mindful of that.
But, once a pain, always a pain.
Sometimes -only sometimes- one can see it coming.

Here is option 2.
I would say, face to face but also, in summary, by email same day, ‘My new contracts don’t offer white goods anymore because they are so much hassle,l to a landlord frankly and so, if you would wish to discuss with me staying on in a new fixed contract, you would need to buy your own white goods I’m afraid. The existing kit will be removed at end of tenancy.’
‘Wish to discuss…’ implies it’s not a given and maybe puts across the salient point that you pull the strings as to any continued tenancy.
ALL BY EMAIL. FOR CLARITY.

If nothing else, she may whinge less about non-issues. The Ways and Means Act?

A middle ground third option albeit slightly more involved (and only having first stated option 2) would be to advise you will be selling the white goods at end of term. She can purchase herself if she wishes -sold as seen- but it would be very much wiser for her to suggest this than you. I would not broach the subject at all.
She won’t suggest buying if she genuinely thinks there is a fault. Now will she?!
Her call!
After all, it would save her paying for plumbing in. She would thereafter assume responsibility for them at that point, of course and must remove them at end of tenancy. All must be unambiguously mutually agreed in writing. Including it being her suggestion and request to buy, sold as seen.

The multiple texting has to stop immediately. In your case, that should be your very last text to her… Consider this:
‘I’ll get back to you via email when I get a moment. Tenancy issues are better by email anyway, please. Thank you.’
Then email her next day… when you have that moment.
S l o w l y does it… you’re the boss…
I do think this manic, inconsiderate, demanding texting lark is the very first issue that you need to address, actually.

Ps. And challenge her! Where is the WhatsApp of the noisy machine she wanted you to hear?
Wait for it so she actually has to put herself out a little also… if you don’t get it, don’t arrange a visit.
Once it’s in… go visit anyway!
A WhatsApp video will tell you nothing useful about noise levels.
Stay fair, be firm, get your control back!

You will be fine.
We are all here for you.

Peter

Bonne chance

3 Likes

I don’t know about Jennifer but this is so helpful and a relief to hear others have been the victims of the Texting Tenant Syndrome.
All those adjectives are so spot on. OMG.
Ours was middle aged but yes, a high maintenance, passive aggressive, manipulative, pampered princess who is going beserk now she’s been evicted and I am disputing the damage and not giving in to her control anymore. I found it very anxiety producing too and still am. Ours used to do exactly the same with the requests for rent reductions. She had a fly in the kitchen on the hottest day of the year at a weekend. Had to call pest control who was on holiday abroad who had to organise employee deployment. His verdict was, unsurprisingly, ‘its the heat’!

2 Likes

Everyone, thank you so much for your responses and help! Useful really would be an understatement. Loads of brilliant empowering ideas. You’re stars :smiley:

1 Like

colin3 is correct as usual. just say the wash m/c was not on the inventory and was left by a previous tenant. you should offer to remove it foc though and thought it was made clear at the time. if its on the inventory you need to respect it. keep your message clear and simple be polite but firm and dont get into it. you dont have to reply to every text but do transpose them to keep a record

1 Like

Don’t get sucked in… ‘really lovely’ and ‘3 texts a day’ are contradiction in the rental world - what are you, her mother? Had one who started off just like that and before long the texts had escalated to 120 in one month with 80 replies from me then she later had the audacity to say I was uncommunicative!!! Nahhh… keep it professional, you are not friends - its business.
Colin3 had also advised me no white goods which at the time seemed a little alien but hey girl, it works.

1 Like

You can look after a tenant too much. If they buy a machine I will plumb it in for them .but it has to be their responsibility. PS I do not wipe their nose for them

1 Like

All the above but…

Tumble dryers can be a fire hazard if not looked after properly. Washer-dryers particularly. Looking after stuff + young + Tennant, not a great mix.

I suggest saying no to a tumble dryer. Your insurance loss adjusters may not cover fire if you allow tenant to purchase one without your ensuring safe location and (ongoing) maintenance - ie fluff removal.

1 Like

If you are not satisfied with a tenants let them go. But mins keep me as a hostage for money and this horrible place with junkies people live in the house, with not repear gas, electriciter and it’s a long list of these. If one day i will die in this property at list i made an official complaint.
It’s a strange system to tight someone with a contract for one year. If i like i will stay otherwise i prefer to move don’t want to suffer and pay but not here. You MUST suffere enough for a landlord wealthy