Property Assistant UK



Do you feel you've got high-maintenance or needy tenants? Well, you're not alone!

We get so many calls from landlords tearing their hair out over constant requests to fix simple maintenance issues that their tenants are responsible for managing.

Fortunately, there's plenty you can do to help your tenant be more self-sufficient, and this week's blog is packed with tips on:

  • Understanding what makes tenants needy

  • Clarifying your tenant’s responsibilities

  • Encouraging genuine repair requests

  • Formalising the reporting process

  • Creating a troubleshooting guide

Once we’re done, you'll have all you need to turn your tenants into champions of domestic chores, and give yourself a welcome break!



Tenants don't usually plan to be incapable or a nuisance, but just like in the workplace, leaving someone to fend for themselves without any training rarely brings out their best.

So when tenants get in touch over the simplest things, it's usually down to one or more of these reasons:

  • Many have never owned their own home and have been living with parents or in heavily managed accommodation like an HMO or student halls where everything is done for them.

  • They're frightened that fixing things themselves might go wrong, resulting in trouble with the landlord and a hefty bill. 

  • Not enough detail or instructions were given at the start of the tenancy over how things work or where to find the information they're looking for.

Very often, when we take over the management of a property, we find that more could have been done to empower and guide the tenants, which is actually good news because it means a solution is at hand!


Lettings law requires tenants to act in “a tenant-like manner”, but the phrase is so open to interpretation that your best bet is to be ultra clear about your tenant's responsibilities in the rental contract.

Prevention is better than cure, and awareness is often the most effective measure, so check that the tenancy agreement makes tenants responsible for issues like:

  • Blocked drains from fat, coffee grounds, and other foodstuffs being poured down the sink.

  • Mould caused by putting clothes on radiators, poor placement of bathroom products around bath and basin sealant, and failing to ventilate during and after showering and cooking.

  • Food spoils, water leaks, and broken freezer drawers from a build up of ice caused by not defrosting the fridge.

As well as putting all these points in writing, be sure to actively draw your tenant’s attention to them so they don’t just initial a page without reading it through.



“I'm considering sending my tenants a video on how to get dressed in the morning”, is what one landlord said to us recently after receiving one too many helpless calls.

The good news is that you can turn your tenant’s first thoughts and actions into fixing those two-minute jobs themselves when you formalise the reporting process by:

  • Removing the phone from the equation: calls are immediate interruptions to your day and can knock you off focus in a way that message notifications don't.

  • Getting your tenants to WhatsApp or email you with details of what the problem is and whether it's ongoing, causing damage, or affecting another property.

  • Referring them back to the tenancy agreement for any requests that fall within their responsibilities, along with the cost to them of getting a contractor in.

Of course, the most effective filter is to remove all direct contact with your tenant by using a managing agent. If you'd like to discover how peaceful life can be, call us on 0118 304 5877 for a friendly chat.


It's one thing to minimise unnecessary maintenance requests, but you should absolutely encourage your tenant to call about the big stuff and show that you care.

Ironically, many tenants stay silent on things that matter because they're frightened of being a nuisance, so be clear with them that you want to know immediately about issues like:

  • Broken down appliances that require a qualified engineer to fix them, like the oven, hob, washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, boiler, heater, shower, etc.

  • Damage to your property from severe weather conditions, such as a leaking roof, broken gutter, fallen fence, and anything else they notice about the structure.

  • Breakages and damages by your tenant or their visitors so you can work out whether to make repairs now or at the end of the tenancy, and whether to hold from the security deposit.

It's a fact of life that things go wrong sometimes, from accidents to acts of God, and it’s a sense of mutual responsibility around reporting and repairing that consistently gets the best result for everyone.



If you’ve ever booked a stay on Airbnb, you'll have noticed that the best ones have a home handbook because hosts know only too well that tourists will otherwise constantly ask for help.

It's much the same for tenants, so it makes sense to give them lots of information when they move in, including:

  • Emergency and out-of-hours numbers to call in case of a gas smell, water deluge, or loss of electricity.

  • The make, model number and manual for every kitchen appliance, including the boiler, heaters, washing machine, dishwasher, fridge and cooker.

  • The location of the water stopcock, gas shut-off valve and electricity trip switches (which should also have clear room labelling).

  • YouTube guides on repressurising a boiler, fixing a toilet cistern stuck on flush, and replacing a washer in a screw-off shower head. 

  • The website link for the local authority page on collection dates and policies for refuse, recycling and organic waste.

Ultimately, a home where everything works as it should, with repairs done properly and clear instructions for easy DIY fixes, will create independently-minded and capable tenants.

Do you have needy tenants? 

Well, you don't have to deal with them all alone! 

If you’re a landlord and you'd like to free yourself completely with a professional helping hand, call us on 0118 304 5877 or message us at for a chat with one of our team.