should I release them from the lease or something else?

We have a tenant in a regional town. Ex houso so a bit old but in good nick. We have newish tenants - a 70year old lady and her intellectually disabled adult child. when the PM recommended them to us we were cautious that maybe they'd need modifications to the house and we didn't want to be responsible for that. PM said that's fine they don't need anything changed/added.

2 weeks later the old lady calls the PM saying she's fallen down the back steps and wants a hand rail on one side of the stairs. There is already a rail down the other side but she says it's on the wrong side. We tell the PM that the lady is free to call the homecare people and if they want to install another rail that's fine but we are not paying. Now we get another call saying she's fallen twice more in the past few weeks and needs the rail. The PM said "so you are saying under no circumstances will you pay for the rail". Sounds scripted to me and am worried that she's threatening some sort of action for her falls.

Any suggestions? Are we best to tell them if they're not happy with the place to exit the lease without penalty? What is the position for her asking for things she deems essential after originally saying she doesn't need any changes/modifications? I expect this is one of a few things she would want changed so concerned it will snowball. Not sure whether to panic or just let things ride and hope she doesn't keep contacting the PM about it.
 
What if that old lady was your mother :confused:
Surely there is some way you can see it in your heart to fit another handrail,at least get a couple of quotes and look at the idea ?:rolleyes:

(I know, I'm a softie :D)
 
This would concern me, not because I'm a cold hearted b!tch but because of where it could lead. What about when she then falls in the bathroom, will that then need to be fitted out? When she can't walk up stairs, will she want a ramp? I see the potential for the costs to keep going if you give into this request (assuming there is no way legally you have to provide this rail).

Then if you do install this rail, will it have to be to certain standards and another thing to monitor? What if a screw comes loose and she falls, can you be found to be negligent?

She inspected this property and accepted it as is. I do have sympathy for the woman, being of that age and looking after her son, very sad, but I'd be suggesting she seek some sort of home care assistance. Surely there are places she can receive assistance for this? If she can't receive assistance then I personally would be saying that perhaps the property is no longer suitable for her and she can leave without penalty, as I do feel for her.
 
how much longer is the lease? is it about to terminate? if so, then you can just not renew it. you can ask your PM to explain to the tenants that you would like them to stay on. but unfortunately you do not have the financial resources to provide further equipment or modifications to the property to accommodate them, and given she has had a fall already you believe it would be in their best interest to go somewhere else.
 
They've only been in for 2 months and have a 6 month lease.

I spoke to the PM today and he said he's sent them a letter advising that they contact Westcare for a consultation for improving the safety of the place.

the PM is surprised that the lady has fallen down the stairs a few times as she came across in the application as being very fit for her age. She apparently earns $140 a week doing letterbox drops. that would be a lot of walking wouldn't it?

Biggles, that is my concern that it may continue for the duration of their tenancy to ask for upgrades/changes.

If it were my mum and she had mobility issues, I would've been concerned at her moving in to a house that has more than a few steps at the front and back of the house. Guess she was just thinking of low cost rent at the time, not the practicalities of living there.

Thanks for your comments.
 
4 falls in a short period of time... she probably has underlying medical conditions that need reviewing?? balance issues, vision etc, etc? does she report injuries? numerous possibilities that may include medication side effects, alcohol or even being pushed??

it may not be just the home environment, hand rails etc that are the issue.

it does sound as if the property is not a good fit for her, or you.

i would not be offering a lease renewal. no reasons need be given.

better that she finds a property that better suits her needs.

good luck.
 
when the PM recommended them to us we were cautious that maybe they'd need modifications to the house and we didn't want to be responsible for that.

That was your finely tuned gut instinct screaming out to you....listen next time around.


PM said that's fine they don't need anything changed/added.

So you failed to legally bind her / him to their word when they said that to you ??


Any suggestions?

You broke just about every measure I employ when it comes to selecting Tenants.

You'll either have to a) wise up, or b) pay up. Make a choice.
 
Unfortunately statistically she is going to fall again and keep falling. Be prepared that she may need more rails (in bathroom, toilet etc...) in the future.

If her income is from letterbox drops, her loss of mobility will affect this, which in turn will affect your rent.

Its a difficult situation. I personally would help her out and install the back step rails. However, does she even need to use them? maybe get her to avoid them and use another route to get to the backyard. Would also strongly suggest to her via the RE agent to find a more suitable place (ie. no steps), for safety reasons. maybe the RE agent could even suggest other places he has to rent? If she finds someplace else suitable prior to the lease up, then obviously let her go unpenalised.
 
There is already a rail down the other side but she says it's on the wrong side.

How is a rail on the wrong side? did she injure herself in the fall, thus not being able to grab the rail with one hand? If you're going down with the rail on one side, then when you go up, the rail is on the opposite side. Is there something wrong with one arm/leg.
 
So you failed to legally bind her / him to their word when they said that to you ??

I would think that a tenant signing a lease is accepting the house "as is". If she had asked for modifications prior to signing the lease, the landlord has the chance to decide not to accept this tenant.

Anything above what is stated in the lease could be agreed by the landlord, or not, but I don't believe there is an onus on the landlord to change anything.

That is not to say I would not add a rail, but that is up to the landlord.
 
On the basis that they have signed a lease and an entry condition report, they have nothing written saying the landlord will add "whatever".
 
I smell something a little brown.

First she says that she is so fit that she can do letterbox deliveries (which pay a pittance) to the tune of $140pw. She would have to do many, many hours to earn this amount. Next, she has had 3-4 falls in only two months, needing a handrail to get in and out of the house.

I'm sorry, but if her mobility is that bad, there is no way she could be doing letterbox deliveries. Something is amiss.

Maybe her adult son has been pushing her down the stairs. Maybe she just sees "rich" landlord and thinks you will be a soft touch. Whatever it is, I fear that the longer this tenant stays, the more stuff they will want you to do. I would get rid of them as soon as possible.
 
Why not pay for the handrail (can't be much surely) but put your agreement to pay IN WRITING along with something saying she has rented the property as is, and if it turns out that it is unsuitable we can consider an early termination of the lease.

ie We'll pay this time but if you keep asking for stuff then the house isn't suitable so go and live somewhere that is.
 
Last edited:
There are some govt funding options for people who need home modifications for fall protection etc, so they should look there first. BUT, the mods are generally not done in the most attractive way...... so you need to consider how it will affect the value of your house afterwards.
Pen
 
i still say 4 falls reported in a short time suggests a problem with this tenants health status. it is good the lease is only 6 mths. the property is not a good fit for her, not suitable for her needs.

if you are happy to have an ocupational therapist come out to assess the tenant and your property to fit the appropriate aids for her needs, all well and good.

if not let the tenancy lapse when due.
 
I must admit I am amazed by how many people would install a handrail for her! Keep in mind that there is already one there, she just chooses not to use it!

I would be making clear to the tenant (and the pm) that there IS a perfectly good handrail in place to use, and that if she CHOOSES not to use it, then that is her choice. If she wishes to install a handrail at her own cost, she may ask permission to do so provided that it is done correctly with the appropriate tradesperson. She may source another to arrange this for her (ie, one of these home hospice groups), however they should still be informing you and keeping you up to date prior to any work being commernced. And that if she feels that the house is no longer suitable for her given her (obviously) deteriating condition, then you will be happy to allow her out of the lease with or without the appropriate fees and notice (depending on whether you feel like being nice or not) as soon as she is able to source a new property.

This tenant definitely comes across as if she is trying it on. Call her bluff. Make sure you (and your pm) document all this correspondence with her (diarise it) including the fact that she said she didn't need any modifications prior to moving in, in case she tries to take this to tribunnal, claiming you said you would do all this work but haven't fullfilled your promise (she wouldn't be the first).

Off the record, I would be very surprised if, in reality, she had more then one fall (if that).
 
Beachgurl

Why don't instead of putting in a additional handrail, why don't you just move the stairs to the other side or better still see if you can get someone round there to hold her hand every time she needs to go up and down them. She could be exhausted from that letterbox drop, see if you could drop by a scooter so her legs aren't as tired.

Hope she doesn't fall when the door slams behind her when you ask her to leave from saying no to every rediculous request, before she moves into the 3rd story of an apartment block.

She signed the lease on what she saw, if she puts no clauses in, bad luck, if she put in her clauses would you have done them or allowed her to add them

Jezza
 
Why don't instead of putting in an additional handrail, why don't you just move the stairs to the other side

Excellent suggestion....good karma to you jezza


or better still see if you can get someone round there to hold her hand every time she needs to go up and down them.

Even better suggestion jezza....blissful karma to you


She could be exhausted from that letterbox drop, see if you could drop by a scooter so her legs aren't as tired.

Whoops, hold the phone.....now you're just takin' the ****, bad karma, bad karma jezza. Naughty boy !!! :D
 
Top