Tenant paying below market but begging for updates.

3 Replies

Hi BP! I purchased a duplex 2 months ago and have an inherited tenant who has been begging for updates like new paint, flooring, blinds, squeaky floor boards...she is paying approximately $500 below market. I let her know that if she wants all of that taken care of, her rent will go up to the current rates for the area which is $400-$500 more than what she is currently paying. She wrote me back saying that she doesn't want any dramatic changes in that case...Just the squeaky floor fixed, blinds, and paint in the kitchen and in her master bedroom. She said that the walls were dirty when she moved in. The unit she lives in was built in 07 and she occupied in 09. Her move-in walkthrough sheet that she signed with the previous owner says all of those things were in good condition. I realize it's 2015 and that unit should have been painted since then, but then again she's paying way under market. Any advice? Thanks

@Sergiu Ionita If you do any improvement, you have a legitimate reason to raise her rents.  If you only do small things, raise her rent a little bit.  Its only fair that you get money back for the improvements you do to her unit!

Some of those things are general maintenance and should be included for a good paying tenant, regardless of what they are paying. Repairs and maintenance are not updates. New flooring, that depends - what is on the floor now? 

I think that if she wants general maintenance, and you are unwilling to provide it, you should give her a reasonable notice to vacate, do whatever needs to be done, and then rent it back out at the market rates. Curiously, are you certain you can re-rent this unit for $400-500 more than what you are getting now? If so, why wouldn't you just give her the option of paying more or vacating anyway, irrespective of the "updates"?

@JD Martin Well It's a duplex. I live in the other half and I'm in the process of renovating my half. My plan is to get both units renovated and ready to rent at market rates. I was hoping to renovate mine first and then move into the other unit when i'm done. She saw the laminate in my living room and tiles in the kitchen when she brought over payment last month...I think that's what sparked all of this as she has carpet and linoleum.

She is currently paying $995/mo for a 3/2.5. (about 10 days late every month) Today's rates in my location are $1400 minimum. The reason I haven't given her notice yet is because I'm still updating my unit and was hoping to get rent payments from her until i'm ready to move into her unit and renovate it.

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