Guidelines for Landlords Getting a Hotel Room for Tenants

9 Replies

I own a duplex in Fort Pierce Florida.  I have a new Section 8 tenant in one of my units and she recently contacted me to inform me that there is a crack in the tub that is leaking water onto the bathroom floor.  I immediately contacted a couple of contractors to get bids/advice on the best way to fix the problem.  One suggested a new tub but explained that it would involve tearing up current bathroom to remove tub before putting a replacement in.  That person's time estimate of that job would be a minimum of 7 days to complete.  The other contractor repairs the existing tub, guarantees the work for 3 years, and the job takes 2 hours to do but the tub has to sit untouched for 3 days in order to harden.  I choose the quicker, less expensive route of tub repair.

Because my tenant would not be able to use the tub for 3 days while it dried, I made reservations and paid for a hotel for her to stay in.  The tenant told me that any hotel I choose should be close to the freeway because she doesn't have a car and the person she rides to work with wants her close to the freeway.  I went on line and did a google search for hotels near the freeway in Fort Pierce.  The closest one was a Motel 6 and cost $50 a night.  I reserved the room for my tenant and her 2 children.  When I contacted my tenant to tell her the arrangements she said she wouldn't stay at a Motel 6 because she has not had a good experience with them, she didn't feel comfortable taking her kids there, and she wanted something with a stove since she wants to cook during the 3 days.  I said ok but since I had found a hotel for $50/ a night that if she choose something else more expensive that I would pay $50 a night and anything over that she could pay.  She said that she couldn't afford anything and that I should be the whole thing at a hotel which costs $65 a night.

1.  Am I required to pay the hotel bill if she can't use her tub?

2.  Can I choose the cheapest acceptable hotel?

3.  Her water is working she can still do wash ups while the tub is drying should I tell her to kick rocks?

I'd appreciate input and feedback from other landlords who have been in this position.  Thanks in advance. 

Hi @Debra Mittleman ,

1: No

2: Yes

3: Most likely

In reality you MAY have been able to get away with telling her to use her renters insurance or some such. In this case though I think you did the right thing by offering the hotel.

I think there are times to fight it out and some times not to. In this case you are looking at a one time expense of an extra $45. I may end up in the minority in this one, but I think because the tub cracked, not act of god or anything I would put her and the kids up in the $65 a night one.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

I can't speak to Florida, but in Texas, the landlord is responsible for timely response and necessary repairs.  If the house is uninhabitable (not having a tub wouldn't qualify) the landlord's obligation is only for the daily value of the lease.

Items that would be considered necessary would be hot water (24 hours), gas leaks, wastewater backups/leaks. Kick rocks.....

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They may have swung a hammer at the tub to try and get out of paying rent. Could probably apply some epoxy intended for tubs and resolve the issue (for now) for close to nothing.

We had to refinish a tub in one of our rentals to pass a Section 8 annual inspection. We gave the family notice of when it was happening, but there wasn't any discussion of compensation, hotels, etc. 

That's what renters insurance is for....my tenant is required to have renters insurance. If he chose to cancel the policy to save a few bucks then he can pay for his own hotel with his insurance savings. 

You did right by her, but based on your wording, she doesn't seem grateful at all. Shocker. 

I agree with everyone that says renter's insurance. My lease even spells it out to make sure that it is abundantly clear that they are responsible for alternate housing.

Since you had already offered to pay $50, I would have done as you did and just sucked it up and paid the $65.  Not worth fighting over $45 in my book.  I also would have done as you did and offered to put them up in a hotel if they couldn't use their tub, assuming that's the only shower/tub facility in the home, even if it wasn't my responsibility to do so.  This is all assuming they were good tenants, otherwise "kick rocks".