Should I change ceiling fans for my tenant?

21 Replies

My tenant wants to take down one of the ceiling fans that was in place when she moved in. I don't mind because the fan was missing a blade, so she'd be doing me a favor. She asked if I could remove the old one for her, so she wouldn't have to pay someone for removal and installation. I tried and failed. Should I let her pay for removal and install, go half on the cost with her, or get back in there and figure it out myself? We have a good relationship. She helps me, I help her. She's never been late on rent. Am I going too far by considering to help (since it was her idea and it's not a critical issue? Or am I just being a good landlord? After all, it should've been fixed before she moved in. 

Just read your last line again.

If youre not comfortable with the minor electrical work needed to remove/install a ceiling fan just hire a handy man from craigslist or something and im sure they can do it for you for cheap.

But to answer your question, i think you should cover all the costs and just take care of this for your tenant.  Especially based on the fact that she is a good tenant and you want her to stay.

@ Wayne thanks

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

Just read your last line again.

 Thanks

It literally is either a twist and pull or a screw somewhere there that is holding it up. You could always you tube it and try again. Or just pay to have it done, just like you said it really should of been fixed before she moved in. Good luck

thank you all! @tariq I thought that was the case until I saw all of the wires after pulling the fan down. there wasn't a simple harness to disconnect so I decided to reconnect the fan and reconsider

Home Depot charges around $80 for ceiling fan basic install if you purchase there.

I agree with @Wayne Brooks .

@A.J. Simmons There really are two issues here as I see it.

1 - Sounds like you're not doing a move in inspection. This will eventually bite you hard. Please save yourself the heartache and document the initial condition.

2 - Speaking for myself, I believe rentals are a physical representation of the landlord. Adopt VIP standards and have the fan professionally removed or replaced.

@Al Williams we did a move in inspection. It was noted, which is probably why she volunteered to buy a new one. 

Good advice. You're absolutely right. 

If she is a good tenant, i would just pay for her and tell her that you value her as a good tenant.  Because you don't want her to be mad at you and move out, then you will lose one month rental income and risk finding a bad tenant.   Personally, i wouldn't mind spending small amount of money to make tenants happy as long as they stay and pay on time.   Its a business and tenants are kind of like your customers.  Customer satisfaction is the key to me.  Best of luck!

It's a little scary letting tenants mess with things like wiring, anyway.

Just remove it and put in a normal light, is my advice.  Ceiling fans are gross, in my opinion.  They're just dirt magnets and one more thing to fix.  Seems like they always get damaged when tenants move in and out - speaking as a tenant who has damaged ceiling fans ha ha.

So, I vote you replace it with a nondescript light fixture you'll probably not have to mess with for many years to come.

Originally posted by @Al Williamson :

I agree with @Wayne Brooks .

@A.J. Simmons There really are two issues here as I see it.

1 - Sounds like you're not doing a move in inspection. This will eventually bite you hard. Please save yourself the heartache and document the initial condition.

2 - Speaking for myself, I believe rentals are a physical representation of the landlord. Adopt VIP standards and have the fan professionally removed or replaced.

What was missing was a "before showing inspection" after which the landlord. / property manager / owner corrects all items that did not pass that inspection. The move in inspection then becomes a simple matter of identifying items where repair or replacement did not make sense; in another thread hardwood flooring had stains, so replacement will be costly and in that case the move in notes the condition so that tenant understands that this will not ding the security deposit. 

Originally posted by @Shawn Thom :

Home Depot charges around $80 for ceiling fan basic install if you purchase there.

 Thanks Shawn I may go that route

@Sue good idea! Thanks Eric

Originally posted by @Joel A. :

... you should cover all the costs and just take care of this for your tenant.  Especially based on the fact that she is a good tenant and you want her to stay.

 This is my exact thought.

If you've never done it before, don't "learn" on an occupied rental.  Pay a professional to do this one.  Then, if you really want to know how to do it for the future, practice at your home.  It's not very hard if you're handy with a screw driver and not completely unaccustomed to such work, but you don't want your first time to be a tenant's unit.

Originally posted by @Randy E. :
Originally posted by @Joel A.:

... you should cover all the costs and just take care of this for your tenant.  Especially based on the fact that she is a good tenant and you want her to stay.

 This is my exact thought.

If you've never done it before, don't "learn" on an occupied rental.  Pay a professional to do this one.  Then, if you really want to know how to do it for the future, practice at your home.  It's not very hard if you're handy with a screw driver and not completely unaccustomed to such work, but you don't want your first time to be a tenant's unit.

 Thanks. My thoughts exactly after reading all of the other comments. 

This post has been removed.

It doesn't look like anyone brought up one other point (unless I missed it somewhere): if the tenant pays for the new fan and install, then you may have an argument on your hands when she moves out and takes the fan with her (or, she tries to pay her last month's rent minus the cost of the fan if she leaves it there).  By having her pay for it, there's the potential for disagreement about who owns it when the tenancy ends.  We always pay for anything that's permanently installed in a unit (like a ceiling fan) so there's never a disagreement about who owns it.

I never let tenants do repairs themselves. I would only let a tenant pay for a repair if they caused the damage. Then I would use my contractors or do it myself.

Here is a quick story. I do a lot of work for landlords fans faucets toilets. One landlord had a guy that did small repairs himself not a big deal the guy said he liked to do little stuuf and the landlord paid for materials. A fan problem came up the land lord was notufied and dropped off a fan for the tenant. Tenant fell of from ladder broke leg multiple times end of story Tenant now owns this property. Spending a few dollars to keep the property up to par is fairly inexpensive to some of the alternatives. Me? should have been done already it was something that was not move in ready Just my 2 cents worth

Sue's advice is spot on for a rental.  Things to never have in a rental...ceiling fans, garbage disposals, storm/screen doors, and those obnoxious pull out sprayers on kitchen sinks.  They all break, and you'll get endless phone calls to fix them!  Every household can function without them just fine!

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.