Tenant Repair Request

59 Replies

Hi, 

one of my tenant just move-in and I already have a long to-do list. For example, he wants new carpet, new paint. Complained the fridge is too small, complained the washer dryer didn't hooked up properly etc...

In addition to that, the home inspections was ordered without my knowledge. Now, he said he will send me the home inspection report and I should address the issues from the report. 

Is this tenant too difficult or am I being over paranoid? (the tenant is just ok... meet all the very very minimum screening requirement.)

Any thoughts or commend welcomed. Thanks.

@Richard Vang  - did the tenant view the apartment before moving in?

Those are all cosmetic issues that should have been discussed before they took the keys.  From what you're describing I'd flat out tell them no.  You're better off with a couple months of vacancy than dealing with a tenant who thinks they wear the pants in your relationship.

Medium logoMichael Seeker MBA, Renting502 | http://www.Renting502.com | Podcast Guest on Show #94

Theres no way I'd address any of that stuff. Like Michael stated that's just cosmetic stuff that if they were concerned about they could have commented prior to moving in. Unless you know the W/D is definitely hooked up properly i'd ask why they thought it wasn't but other than that they got what they got.

I agree with @Michael Seeker  

These are items he accepted when he viewed the property.  Next thing he will bill you for the inspection....  I'd offer to let him out of the lease if he doesn't like it.  This guy sounds like the prototype of a trouble tenant.

I would be curious what prompted the inspection?

Did he order and pay for a professional home inspection, or did he report aome sort of safety hazard and concerns to the city and your city came out to look?

@Michael Seeker  , yes, they did. But, when they viewed it, the previous tenants was in there. So, the new tenant say that they didn't notice the stain on the paint and the carpet due to all the stuff in there. Now they complain. I understand that's valid. But, I also told him that "The house was viewed, and you signed the lease 'as-is'. I will be very happy to fix any repair but not upgrades or cosmetic items.

I am more concerned about "why would a renter order the home inspection"? What's the intention behind?

Those items should be addressed prior to signing the lease if the tenant has an issue with them.  I'd let the tenant know if those items are deal breakers I will release him from the lease and he can find another place.  Don't start playing those games, it'll never end. 

@Sam Leon  He said he order the professional inspection and he will pay for it. I dont' know what's in the report yet. The report might come out in a few days. 

@Sam Leon  I dont know what prompted the inspection... My guess is, maybe he thinks he is buying a house... :) I dont know why

watch out with this crew.  "Professional tenants" (not in a comfortable business relationship way) who know how to work it.  I have a couple exactly like that now, and I have a few threads in here with my woes in current situation.  Alpha female who is always right and even wants to dictate rental payment amount as she sees fit.  

Also, if I have to hear "mold in the vents and health hazard..." again, even though they have never provided verifiable evidence (simple mold kit test result), and have also made no attempt to vacate early, well....

@Bill Bell  , I read some of your posts, feel your pain. Consider adding more items to your lease regarding utilities and mold issues. I already had those in my lease. But, for professional inspection report, I can't add anything to the lease. Because if the inspection found any real issue, I have to fix those. I am willing to fix those. But, I just dont understand why a renter wants to spend money for a home inspection. 

I would indicate that it is what it is.  You can certainly make accommodations like getting carpet cleaned and you have to make safety related repairs on the home inspection (smoke detectors etc) to protect yourself.  But just like houses don't grow more room or extra bathrooms, the fridge is the size it was when he saw the place so live with it.   I would check the washer dryer hookups if they are his appliances just to be sure you don't flood.

Take his list and  go through it.  Do safety and any turnover items you should have done when the apartment was empty like carpet cleaning if it really is bad.  Check anything that is possibly going to result in damage to your property.  Then tell him no to the rest.  I would let this one go out the door if they don't shape up.  Some tenants are needier then others,  I do try to get rid on PIA s  during screening but it isn't always evident. You might find yourself better off vacant then with this type of person.

given cost is around $200-300 for inspection (which is not that expensive overall), it may be something of interest for a given tenant to know, as much as an inspector can provide, the current status of the property.  Though as noted, unless any findings key to building code failures, or other issues which require fixing, they may want to know and/or use for leverage while the lease term is underway.

Originally posted by @Richard Vang:
...Complained the fridge is too small...

That pretty much sums it up. What, he couldn't see how big the fridge was when he viewed the apartment? Sounds like he is either a pro tenant as the above poster just mentioned, or he is just a nutjob and he's trying to see how much of a doormat you are going to be.

Red flag! Red Flag!  In all of my years I've never had a tenant order an inspection, or call the health department, or call code enforcement etc without that creating serious hassle for me down the road. Your tenant is up to something no good. Start documenting ALL contact in detail and put everything in writing from here on out. I sense a court case in your near future...

What do you mean "my guess is maybe he thinks he's buying a house"

None of my tenants have ever misunderstood that they are renting, not buying. Did you do a lease option or something?

@Derek W.  I only heard people doing home inspection when purchasing new house. Never heard a renter will pay for home inspection. 

@Colleen F.  Yes, the carpet was professionally cleaned. The carpet is still ok, not perfect spotless, but, with some visible stain. The whole house was also professionally cleaned by the cleaning company. 

@Richard Vang  Or if they are professional squatters and setting you up. It sounds like you might be new to land lording. Hope you don't have to deal with these types already!  It can be costly. 

@Derek W.  I dont know whether they are squatters. The background check came clean. They did a short sale before. But, other than that, the credit reports look ok. No eviction, no huge debt etc.

I am not new to landlord. Just that before this tenants, all my other tenants are "tenants from heaven". So, first time dealing with difficult tenants. 

I already told them nicely that if they are not happy with the house, I will offer them to break the lease. But, they want to stay. 

Obviously lesson learn. Getting a tenant is just like a marriage. It's much easier to get married than divorce. It's so costly to get rid of tenant than getting a tenant. 

What should I be prepared just in case they are squatters? 

Well, if you had the carpet cleaned it is what it is.  Sounds like what it is going to be is painful. ( hey they can't deduct a stain on the carpet from their rent).  Be careful what you say and write. Respond to repair requests so they have no excuse to say landlord was not responsive so I deducted from the rent.     Never had someone get a home inspection on a rental but when they come through and point out all the defects I usually red flag them as being not for us.  Too bad  he didn't show his true colors sooner. All I can say is quash it quick and good luck.

@Colleen F.  Before move in, i told him I will clean the carpet professionally. He requested to do some fleas treatment too... which makes sense due to the previous tenants having dogs. So, the promise is the carpet was flea treated and professionally cleaned. 

The tenant said he is doing me a favor by getting a home inspection at his cost. He said he wants to iron out just in case there is any repair issue needed to be fixed. 

Oh... is this nice or is this weird?

super weird. Be prepared for a long list of repair demands and threat of court if they are not done. 

I feel rent payment issues coming on...

Weird.  Very Weird.  Don't even know what to do with that.     Lets hope against hope he isn't  your problem child for the next year.