What do you supply tenants?

35 Replies

Just wondering what everyone supplys tenants. For example, I give my tenants bug spray, instead of paying a professional to come out and spray. Does anyone supply weed killer or fertilizer? Heater and AC filters? Water filters?

When they move in I may have a few sundries like soap for the dishwasher, a sponge at the sink and some dishsoap, some TP, some papertowels. Stove cleaner (glass cooktop) and some HE laundry detergent- these last two mostly because I don't want them to decide to use what they have.... All the light bulbs are working and we may leave a few in the closet. bulbs should all be working when they go too. A snow shovel for our student tenants. Sometimes salt for the driveway. Other then that they are on their own.

The only thing I supply them with are AC filters because I really want them to change them. I hate having tenants run the air with a packed filter or even worse no filter. I've had people run an AC system for months with no filter and completely destroy the air handler. We buy the basic ones in a 3 pack from HD/Lowes for ~$7/3 pack, if they want fancy filters they can buy those themselves.

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FIre extinguishers we do too but I don't even think about them. I have to tell you even if you have someone working on an apartment leave them a plunger.... I had some workmen in an apartment and they so stopped up the toilet.....

I try to not leave anything, because when they leave they better not leave anything, not even a hanger.
We do quarterly inspections and change the furnace filter during that inspection.
I like the idea of the shovel, ice melt, plunger, but my experience has been if you leave them a few gifts they will leave you a few more.

Originally posted by @Patrick L. :
The only thing I supply them with are AC filters because I really want them to change them. I hate having tenants run the air with a packed filter or even worse no filter. I've had people run an AC system for months with no filter and completely destroy the air handler. We buy the basic ones in a 3 pack from HD/Lowes for ~$7/3 pack, if they want fancy filters they can buy those themselves.

You can lead a horse to water.... I usually just have inspections frequently enough to ensure that they're being changed regularly.

I used to supply fire extinguishers until I was warned by a lawyer not to. If the tenant reaches for the fire extinguisher you supplied and it does not work for any reason (including it losing its charge because they kept it too long) and they suffer a loss or injury they can sue you for supplying faulty equipment. What a Country.

Unfortunately @Jeff Rabinowitz has touched on a subject that I found out the hard way a few years back. A tenant started a grease fire in the kitchen. They poured water on it to put it out. Now if you know a grease fire, water doesn't stop it, it spreads it.

So then they grabbed the landlord supplied fire extinguisher and somehow, they did not use it properly. Of course they were burned and some damage done in the kitchen. I had to do the repairs and of course, billed the tenant for it. The tenant counter claimed that no damage would have be done if a working extinguisher was in place.

While the judge did find that the damage was still caused by the tenant for starting a fire on the stove when cooking. I was fined for the extinguisher. The judge actually told both my attorney and myself, that we would be better not providing that stuff.

I can only imagine the liability caused if you left behind bug spray and a tenant's children got into it.


Yes, Great Country we live in right?

You can supply filters, but that does not mean the tenants will change them.

I recommend changing filters during inspections or other maintenence visits.

Originally posted by @Colleen F. :
A snow shovel for our student tenants. Sometimes salt for the driveway. Other then that they are on their own.

Colleen:

One of our student tenants called last week as it seems one of two shovels we left them at the beginning of winter had "disappeared". When I stopped to drop off new shovels, I decided to widen the walkway to the front door ... guess what I found buried in the snow :-) We reaffirmed with the {student} tenants that snow shovels are best stored vertical if you ever plan to use them again.

All:

We provide all our tenants with a "Welcome package" which includes small plastic caddy filled with cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, along with a toilet brush and plunger. The package also contains coupons for local community businesses.

Those tenants in SFHs we also leave a snow shovel and bucket of de-icer (we no longer use NaCl). We use to leave furnace filters as well, but have moved to having our own people go in every 3-months and change the filters ... it gives us another opportunity to inspect the property.

Our student tenants also receive a "Take me home" card which they can use with one of the local taxi companies to get a lift back to their house. In its original form, it was only intended for the first {party} month of the school year to ensure our tenants always had a way home if they had been out clubbing. It proved so popular, that it has become a permanent fixture.

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Originally posted by @Richard C. :
Toilet plungers. You're insane if you don't leave them toilet plungers.
Also fire extinguishers.

Richard:

Legally, and to appease our insurance provider, we must have fire extinguishers installed.

Originally posted by @Jeff Rabinowitz :
I used to supply fire extinguishers until I was warned by a lawyer not to. If the tenant reaches for the fire extinguisher you supplied and it does not work for any reason (including it losing its charge because they kept it too long) and they suffer a loss or injury they can sue you for supplying faulty equipment. What a Country.

Jeff,

Is this in an SFH?

Here in our multiunits, we must supply fire extinguishers and the fire department inspects them on a pseudo-regular business {use to be annually, but that's no longer the case}.

@Ryan Steele that is messed up about the tenant countersuit. In my 5 unit rental it is required to have fire extinguishers and a fire alarm and quarterly inspections. RI is intolerant of lack of fire safety after the station night club fire and has passed a number of fire safety ordinances since that time. For student rentals I always have fire extinguishers to protect them from their own stupidity and because if something happened I would want to think I did everything I could. They did set the couch on fire last year .. That being said the courts are ridiculous and I am guessing one day someone will sue me. Maybe I just skip leaving the bug spray and drain cleaner..

Originally posted by @Roy N. :
Jeff,

Is this in an SFH?

Here in our multiunits, we must supply fire extinguishers and the fire department inspects them on a pseudo-regular business {use to be annually, but that's no longer the case}.

Yes, my rentals are SF homes.

In commercial, 5 or more units, the code in some areas I work is for fire extinguishers. One municipality requires both hard wired and battery operated CO and Smoke detectors in every dwelling be it SFH or Multi.

This is why it is best to work with people that know the local markets. Finding out when it is to late and you are liable is not fun! I have seen it ruin many a good landlord. With that being said, I have purchased properties from frustrated landlords

You don't go buy disposable fire extinguishers at Walmart or something. You sign a contract with a fire protection company. Every six months the come in, test the detectors, and swap out/recharge the extinguishers. Besides not having to think about it yourself, you put them and their insurance on the hook for any liability.

Unfortunately, you can get smacked very hard if you supply more than what is required and anything goes wrong. I had several tenants (young women) ask me if it was alright for them to install burglar alarms. My first inclination was to supply them myself but can you imagine my potential liability if the alarm company failed to respond and there was a break in and robbery...or worse? I decided to allow them to install the equipment but they had to choose the company, enter into their own agreement with them and pay the bill.

Always remember that your tenants and their lawyers think you are the one with the deep pockets. The City may also.

@Jeff Rabinowitz preach my friend. Preach! You may think you are being nice people, but unfortunately all it takes is one bad apple to ruin the bunch.

We are, after all, living in a society that the first instruction on a folding baby stroller is "Remove Baby". Need we say more about how people place blame on others before themselves?

Originally posted by @Ryan Steele:

We are, after all, living in a society that the first instruction on a folding baby stroller is "Remove Baby". Need we say more about how people place blame on others before themselves?

Ryan:

Only in the U.S.A. ;-)

Many years ago, I brought back a VW vehicle from Europe. Before I could bring the vehicle back to Canada, I had to take it to VW to be fitted with a North American "kit". Much of the "kit" was things like replacing the halogen taillights with the dimmer NA versions, adjusting the radio for the difference in frequency banding, etc.

One thing that did stand out, was the North American version of the owners manual. It was twice as long as the original and much of the new content was inane CYA messages ... my favourite was "do not lay in front of vehicle when it is running".

Originally posted by @Richard C. :
Toilet plungers. You're insane if you don't leave them toilet plungers.
Also fire extinguishers.

Not enough , i had to buy them a Toilet auger ! Actually, I mean, I charged them for the toilet auger but I went to the store and delivered to them for free.