Dishwashers, heating and credit checks ...
Question from Jan updated on 8th December 2012:
I need some advice on three issues. My properties have dishwashers, although I would prefer they didn't as I am told they cause heartache when tenants abuse them. Can I state that if the dishwashers break down they will be removed rather than repaired or replaced? Also, can I insist that no mobile gas heaters are used in the property? There are compliant fires, panel heaters, HDV systems and even heat pumps so I feel they should not be used as they cause condensation and are a fire risk. Finally, how do I gain access to credit information on prospective tenants?
Our expert Ron Hoy Fong responded:
Yes, you are correct that dishwashers will be a pain. My experience of is that tenants will abuse them and therefore a dishwasher will often breakdown. You can either unplug the power at the back or turn off the water taps into them and then advise the new tenants that they are not to be use because they are not in working order and therefore are not part of the agreement. If the tenant then insists that they want one with the tenancy then just add a premium on top of the rent. Alternatively, remove it altogether and install a cupboard or create a storage area into the space.
Yes, you can write it into the rental agreement that no mobile heaters are to be used. I don't even allow open fire places in my properties because of the fire risk of some older chimneys, I have them all blocked out. However, if this is a "number one" concern to you then you may want to consider installing a heat pump and/or insulation. Remember that if the property is too cold and incurring high electrical bills that you may end up with a high turnover of tenants and increased loss of rents through vacancies. Permission to access credit information of a person must be approved by the respective person concerned. You can get the permission through incorporating it into your tenancy applications when they apply to rent your properties. You can then register with companies like Veda Advantage, Tenancy Information Services and others to do the searches.
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