Tenant Requests

8 Replies

First, I would like to introduce myself. I've been listening to Biggerpockets podcats for over a year and regularly check out the forums. I haven't had much to add to the forums, but am looking forward to contributing.
Bought my first rental property this past January and the tenants have been great so far. It's a 3/1 single family in Columbus, OH. Recently, they've asked if I could install ceiling fans in one of the bedrooms and in the family room. The bedroom would just be swapping the light fixture for the fan, but the family room would need to be wired. I told them I'm open to helping them out, but may have to split costs, have them install the fans on their own or increase their monthly rental rate.
Just curious, what are suggestions on how to handle this?

I would not allow them to install the fans themselves.  That's fine for them to do in a home they own, but not for a home you own.

If you can't easily absorb the entire cost into your business budget, that's understandable.  I'd offer to split the cost with the tenant.  Just be careful of them choosing a $350 fan -- place a price limit on the fan, and if they choose to exceed that, they pay the extra.

In the end, after they move out the fans will be an extra selling feature for your rental.  That helps you.

How much are they paying in rent? I would probably do neither, but may consider the fan in the bedroom, but not the one in the living room and tell them one in the living room would have to be paid for by them.
Originally posted by @Jon Farling :

... The bedroom would just be swapping the light fixture for the fan, but the family room would need to be wired. ...

 Well, even though you have an existing ceiling light, that doesn't mean you just swap the fan in place of the light fixture. You see, ceiling fans are far heavier than a typical ceiling light fixture, and the rotation of the fan also introduces some higher forces on the mounting than a normal ceiling light fixture. So expect that you will have to install an electric box that is rated for supporting a ceiling fan assuming the existing electric box is attached to a joist; if not attached to a joist then you will also need a ceiling fan brace. 

Now, IIRC, Lowes has some ceiling fans that will plug into a wall receptacle. If you can find one and are willing to accept that look, you might not have to do wiring in the other room. 

Thanks for the responses! I may go with the bedroom and I will need to install a ceiling fan box. 

They pay $950 for rent, and Randy you're right, having them install would be a bad idea. 

Thanks again!

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That was my question: How much do they pay in rent?  
$950/ month evokes a different answer than $500/ month.  At that rate, I don't see how you could loose by having it done now.  If I understand correctly, you have had this rented to a family for $950/ month for 7 months, there year lease may be coming up for consideration in 3-4 months.  This may make the difference between them renewing or looking elsewhere. 
This upgrade (when installed professionally) will just be more valuable for retaining tenants longterm. 
Lastly, they are as cheap as you (2) $70 for the hardware: 


and 2 hours labor top for electrician to install. It may save/ make you money in the long run.  

Edit to above post:  This sentence "Lastly, they are as cheap as you (2) $70 for the hardware:" 

Should have read: they are as cheap as you want to go, and get more expensive: 
NOT they are as cheap as you …I certainly did not mean like it was written.  

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