Re: tenant water shut off for one night

18 Replies

question: How should you compensate a tenant who's water you had to shut off for one night because it was very late and your handyman could not fix a leak in the water heater hose until the next day? Feeling bad and even though they said, "it's all cool" I would like to do something nice. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Give them a gift card or something. You really don't need to compensate them for this. It's part of the game.

Lori, 

overnight really isn't much of a problem. you addressed the situation in a timely manner and in turn the tenants seem to be ok with the time it took you to complete the repair. I probably wouldn't do the gift card thing but if they were good tenants throughout the term of the lease, well then when it cam time to raise rents I would either leave their rent as is or slightly increase it while also reminding them that you really appreciate them as tenants and this is your way of showing gratitude. 

Hope this helps 

Devin

It's nice that you want to compensate them, but personally I wouldn't. It was a relatively minor inconvenience, and they said it was all good. Plus, if you compensate them for this you run the risk that they'll expect compensation every time something goes wrong in the future. Some things just happen and are beyond your control. The best thing you can do as a landlord is to be responsive and fix things quickly when they come up, which it sounds like you did. I'd leave it at that.

I wouldn't. You'd be setting a precedent. These type of things happen in life and you can't compensate them everytiime they're inconvenienced. You already did your part.

I would not do a gift card either because that could set an expectation you don't or won't want to do in the future. It is nice to get some kind of a recognition. Perhaps a simple acknowledgment and thanks for dealing with the water being turned off via a conversation. Most of us just want someone to understand what we had to deal with.

i dont see a need to do that. if the communication between landlord and tenant was there (seems like it was), i dont see the need.

if you really want to, giving them a movie gift card is what we have done in the past (for other reasons)

bottle of wine if it makes you feel better. Most people like alcohol.

I agree with pretty much everyone else here - I wouldn't provide any kind of financial anything. Things happen in any house, whether you own or rent, and you dealt with it in a timely manner and without damage to the resident. I might drop off some cookies or something like that, something that says thanks but doesn't have any financial implication that you will be ready/willing to compensate them every/any time something inconvenient happens. 

Wow - everyone says to do nothing. I couldn't disagree more, with a quick caveat: are theses tenants on the naughty or nice list? If they are on your list of better tenants - get them a $15 starbucks card! What does it hurt you? Make them brag to their friends about their great landlord! If they're on the naughty list though - follow the advice above.

I take the model of building a community. Get a solid group of people in the building and they will take care of the building and each other. Just my 2 cents though. I also do BBQs in the summer (in larger buildings), and give turkeys or grocery gift cards to all tenants (ALL BUILDING SIZES 10-250 units) at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

offer nothing, repairs happen....do you compensate a tenant every time a repair is needed? no way. Things break, if you deal with it in a timely manner, no reason to do anything. These aren't your friends, these are your assets. Assets that are entitled to professionalism and prompt service in exchange for rent. in case you were wondering, you were prompt. waiting a day or 2 might call for you to offer something. 

Well, they lost use of the unit (worst way to look at it) for one day of the month, so 1/30 of a month's rent is their maximum actual damage in terms of payment made to you.  They could have gone to a hotel and that could be additional "damages". 

So if the rent is $900 a month, a $30 gift card would be a good gesture to enhance goodwill. 

Thanks everyone for your comments. I feel much better knowing that I am not alone in this ordeal of landlording. 

They said it is ok, leave well enough alone. This will happen from time to time so you need to not feel guilty about this. Gift card fro coffee shop , no more.

5 dollar coffee card if your already passing through 

Nothing, it was fixed in a timely manner.  You can't go giving gifts every time something breaks.  If they were without water for days it would be a different story. 

@Lori Mills

I disagree with everyone saying do nothing, provided this is a good tenant. Sending this person a kind gesture is better than having to deal with the nasty tenant you could have had. Turnover costs a lot more than a gift card! 

There's no way I would compensate them.  You fixed the problem very timely, faster than most landlords.  They're happy....leave it at that.

Originally posted by @Travis Lloyd :

Wow - everyone says to do nothing. I couldn't disagree more, with a quick caveat: are theses tenants on the naughty or nice list? If they are on your list of better tenants - get them a $15 starbucks card! What does it hurt you? Make them brag to their friends about their great landlord! If they're on the naughty list though - follow the advice above.

I take the model of building a community. Get a solid group of people in the building and they will take care of the building and each other. Just my 2 cents though. I also do BBQs in the summer (in larger buildings), and give turkeys or grocery gift cards to all tenants (ALL BUILDING SIZES 10-250 units) at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 I agree with all of this. If you feel like you want to get them a gift card, do it! We also give gifts around the holidays with a nice card letting them know we appreciate them...because we do. Customer service is where it's at! 

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