What can I do about tenants who want to replace my furniture?
Your property queries answered
If the furniture was new when the tenancy commenced then I would insist on it remaining in situ.
Q. I’m a landlord of a rented apartment in Dublin and my tenants, who I have left to their own devices for the last two years, have asked me to take back my furniture. I went there recently to fix something and noticed the curtains had changed. They did look well and, when I questioned it, they said that the other curtains had stains that couldn’t be removed. They said it was from the condensation from the window and that they had to throw them out. I accepted that, but now they want to decorate the place themselves with their own furniture so that it feels more like their own home. I appreciate why they would want that but I don’t have the storage space for my furniture and would need to rent a storage container.
What are my rights in this instance? They signed a one-year lease and since that expired, I didn’t ask them to re-sign one. Does this have any impact on me telling them no, they can’t remove my furniture?
A. Your tenants are in a Part 4 Lease under the 2004 Tenancies Act and the same terms and conditions of the original agreement exist provided they comply with the Act. You rented your tenants a furnished property and without your permission they removed curtains. Accordingly your tenants either leave the curtains they replaced or they leave a set of comparable curtains they removed. They are obliged to contact you before removing any item that you provided at the commencement of the tenancy. That is the legal position.
Notwithstanding the above, tenancies are essentially a partnership where there has to be a bit of give and take. If the furniture has seen better days and you are likely to replace it in the next two or three years then I would be inclined to throw out the furniture and replace it when the current tenants leave.
Alternatively if the furniture was new when the tenancy commenced then I would insist on it remaining in situ. It would be nonsensical to pay for storage for good furniture to facilitate the tenants’ tastes. One very positive aspect is that your compliant tenants (curtains accepted) would appear to intend to stay for some period of time and ultimately that should be the desired result for any landlord.
Kersten Mehl is a chartered residential agency surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie