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Forums » Landlord & Rental Property Questions » What kind of agreement you have with your tenants? They do repairs or help with repairs?

What kind of agreement you have with your tenants? They do repairs or help with repairs?

19 posts by 17 users

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· Lilburn, Georgia


I'm wondering what kind of agreements people have with their tenants?

They do all repairs

They pay half of the repairs

You pay for all repairs

I'm wondering because if you pay for everything they might misuse it. Can we put in the lease that they should take care of all repairs?

Thanks



Real Estate Investor · Rockford, Illinois


Hello Shaneel... I pay for all repairs. If tenets have a repair they think they need, I go look at it. If its a legit needful repair I take care of it, if its not I don't. Every request a tenet makes does not have to be granted..



Real Estate Investor · Rockford, Illinois


Sorry TENANTS....LOL




One owner of multiple properties we manage had us draft a lease addendum that required the tenants to pay repairs that were under a $100.00

Guess what happened? All the repairs were magically over $100.00.

My point is that if you make a rule for a tenant, then you must really think it through. Tenants are clever getting around the rules. A consideration is quality of work. If a tenant makes a repair will it be safe and high quality repair? Some repairs require a skilled trade trade such as HVAC and electrical. Check your state real estate commission to see if you could include it in the lease.

Remember that just because you put it in the lease agreement does not mean that they will comply.

Good luck.



Real Estate Investor · Boston, Massachusetts


I think it depends on the tenants. If these are lower income tenants (say rent is < 1000) then I wouldn't put it into the lease, since they simply won't fix anyting. If its a higher end property (rent is > 2000) I would be more apt to put it in.. but perhaps $50 threshold vs. $100. On flip side i know folks who say rent > 2000, they are happy to fix anything to keep tenants happy. I think there is no right answer, except i wouldn't include it for lower income tenants.



Real Estate Investor · Sacramento, California


I prefer to pay professionals to do the job correctly. Tenants cut corners.



· Winslow, Maine


Yeah the very mechanics of such agreements would often result in shoddy work or work not done. Having a tenant to work strikes me as a very "personality centered" thing. in ohter words, it work work fantastic with certain tenants, not so well with others. I do have such an agreement in my single family home that is under a lease option that they pay the first $50 of any repair in any month. I've had to enforce it 3 times in two years and it is nice with a SFR to get a little bonus like that once in a while.



Rehabber · Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina


One of your responsibilities as a landlord is to provide a safe and functional living environment for your tenants. Part of this involves making repairs when necessary. I agree that tenants are unlikely to make quality repairs, and I don't think most would agree to this type of clause. If they cause damage intentionally or due to negligence, you can deduct the cost from their security deposit at move-out.



Real Estate Investor · Michigan


One of my friends charges the tenant the first $50 of any repair. We have argued over the years as to whether this is a good idea. I think it's a bad idea because I want stuff fixed right and fixed early.

He recently had a tenant move. Upon move out, it was discovered that the toilet upstairs had a small leak. It did a whole bunch of drywall damage to the floor beneath. The tenant didn't call him because they didn't want to pay $50.

I've found that some of these people are so lazy they have three lightbulbs in the whole house and the smoke detectors are chirping. I don't want them to be in charge of repairs.



Rehabber · Lexington, Kentucky


Originally posted by Rob K:
One of my friends charges the tenant the first $50 of any repair. We have argued over the years as to whether this is a good idea. I think it's a bad idea because I want stuff fixed right and fixed early.

He recently had a tenant move. Upon move out, it was discovered that the toilet upstairs had a small leak. It did a whole bunch of drywall damage to the floor beneath. The tenant didn't call him because they didn't want to pay $50.

I've found that some of these people are so lazy they have three lightbulbs in the whole house and the smoke detectors are chirping. I don't want them to be in charge of repairs.

I agree with you Rob, why risk thousands of dollars to get $50 from your tenants? Sure, they might be less likely to call you about silly things that they can easily do themselves, but as you pointed out, they will also be less likely to call you when there are real problems that should be addressed. I cannot really imagine any scenario in which you would come out ahead over the long haul by going that route.


Small_kvJames Vermillion, K&V Investing
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 859-684-2511
Website: http://www.kandvinvesting.com
Invested in the Bluegrass!


· Zephyrhills, Florida


I just drafted a lease and put down in my lease items which tenant will be responsible for maintaining/fixing and items that landlord will be responsible for fixing. Out of the items that tenant will be responsible, the landlord takes care of it if it is more than $50. The idea is to take care of the property (and tenant) but not be bothered to change a light bulb :-) .



Real Estate Investor · Central, Ohio


I only had one guy that did what he said he could do. He was a flooring guy. He replaced the flooring in his unit perfectly. So I started to use him for other units of mine and have pasted his name along to other investors I know.



Real Estate Investor · ..., Michigan


my tenants do not touch ANYTHING. that's what i told them.

the set screw on the deadbolt came off, i change it. they need a pull chain for the attic light? i install one. they have a broken cover on the outlet, i put a new one. they have a toilet bolt leaking, I installed a new toilet (tried to fix that toilet 3 times).

get the idea? they are not in the business of fixing things. they are in the business of paying me. that's what i want. leave the fixing to me.



Real Estate Investor · Northern, California


I handle all the repairs because I want to make sure it's done right. If it's something that just wore out or wasn't the tenant's fault, then I'll pay for it. If it's something the tenant broke due to their own negligence, they're going to be billed for it.

I've heard of landlords who make the tenant responsible for all repairs under a certain amount ($100-$250), but I've never understood this. I would think it would just result in deferred maintenance and/or repairs not even being done due to the tenant not wanting to pay for them.

Imagine a small water leak from a shutoff underneath the sink. Certainly, this would be well under a hundred dollar repair. Now imagine the tenant not fixing it due to lack of knowledge and/or money. That small/inexpensive leak could turn into a huge problem with water damage. Why risk it?

Plus I wouldn't want the tenant doing the repairs anyway because I don't know if they know what they're doing, and they'll likely try and do it as cheaply as possible and not worry so much about the quality of the work.




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· Tucson, Arizona


In my lease: "Do not paint or repair anything without my permission." I'm even kind of reluctant to let the tenant fix the cooler and close it for winter. (Did he drain the water?)

Since I sometimes had to pay for the water, I told them to immediately report leaks/drips, I fined them $50 once for not telling me the toilet valve was not shutting off. College kids . . . how stupid they were, "didn't you know that sound was water gushing"?




Never let tenants do any repairs themselves. Ever. 99.9999% percent of the time they'll screw up the repair.

If you have tenants pay for repairs under $100, they either will:
1) try to fix it themselves (and cost you more later with a bad repair)

2) not tell you about the repair, thus costing you more later
(a tiny $20 toilet repair could turn into a pricey repair for you)

3) they'll only tell you about the repair after it's been broken a while and now is an urgent need. Example: the hot water heater has been leaking a little for months, but they didn't tell you since they didn't want to pay... now it's GUSHING water... your hard wood floor/carpet is ruined... and the water heater has to be replaced altogether. Or, there was a small ceiling leak from a shower or toilet. Tenant didn't want to pay before so they didn't tell you. Now there is a huge leak, and you have more than a patch job to do... plus, potentially, mold in the drywall.

Even if you don't make tenants pay for repairs, they still might not call you. A repair means they are inconvenienced with maintenance people (and you) in their home. And, they don't like that. So, they might just live with the dripping sinks, leaky toilet, leaky ceiling, and more.

Tenants are lazy. My roommates are lazy, and I live here. It's a pain to get them to even replace a light bulb. You think they would pay for a repair? Never.




Originally posted by Raquel Baranow:
In my lease: "Do not paint or repair anything without my permission."

I strictly forbid them from any self-repairs or permanent modifications to the property too in my lease. No wall paint, no satellite receivers, no installation of appliances, no storage sheds, no building of structure (some seriously want to build their own pergola), no swimming pools, no hot tubs, no electrical modifications, carpet, etc. They are instructed to tell me promptly of repairs.



Wholesaler · Baltimore, Maryland


As @Chris Calabrese mentioned it is the landlords responsibility to provide safe housing. In many states it is the law that the landlord has to do repairs to meet whatever standard the state has set. The fact your lease says they must do it does not mean they are bound by the lease if it is contrary to the law.


Small_crab1_copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC
Website: http://baltimorerealestateinvestingblog.com/
http://baltimorerealestateinvestingblog.com/




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