Amount to reimburse tenant before becoming a pushover?

9 Replies

Hi all,

Thanks again to the BP community answering my questions in the past.

Yet again, I find myself in a situation in which I can turn to you guys for advice/opinions.

A tenant was late on paying rent and paid in full when notified.

Since then, a handful of maintenance issues arose and I tended to the issues promptly by calling the fix-it guys the same day. Of course, there's the scheduling of times to access and obtain a bid, etc. These issues are not a safety or health concern, so it's not required by law to be rectified in a week, correct?

However, one pressing issue is a 'leaky' faucet. Maintenance says it's not a big leak so nothing to worry about but there was a delay on fixing for 2 weeks now because he was on vacation last week.

Tenant is furious that it hasn't been fixed and is running up their water bill. I told them to send over the water bills for past few months for comparison and see the difference and perhaps it could be reimbursed if the leak affected their bill that much.

Turns out, its only $5 difference. Really, I don't think the tenant should be complaining about the leaky faucet which is 'cranking' t?up their water bill since it's not that much. At the same time, it doesn't seem to warrant a reimbursement just because they complained about it.

Just for background, previous landlord never did maintenance. Since manaiging this property, I have been pretty good with their concerns and following up. They've been overall happy since I get things done but not this time. I blame it on them being upset paying late fees for last month's rent.

Advice on how to communicate with tenant in situation like this to prevent them becoming aggressive and what do you think warrants reimbursement?

Thanks all!

all you have to due is give tenant 24 hours notice to make repairs  problem solved oh and give him a $5 Starbucks card

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I would not pay a thing, but I would have had a handyman change the cartridge or do whatever was necessary within 7-10 days. I doubt the faucet is solely responsible for a $5 variance in bills.

This sounds like the tenant wanting to save face due to his short comings the previous month. Give him a $5 credit on next months rent and move on. He will feel he won a fight against "the man". And you prevent future fights and found a short coming in your process (no back up handy man). That is a win-win for only a $5 fee.

On a side note, how are you liking Lubbock and where have you invested? I am working on my first deal and would love some insight of you can give me some.

He is entitled to nothing, He brought this on himself for not paying on time and if it appears he is going to harbour hard feelings he will continue to be a problem. You have no control over that and nothing you do will change him. If this becomes a issue you may need to terminate him at the end of his lease if he has developed an attitude. This is often how good tenants go bad.

Originally posted by @Michael Randle :

This sounds like the tenant wanting to save face due to his short comings the previous month. Give him a $5 credit on next months rent and move on. He will feel he won a fight against "the man". And you prevent future fights and found a short coming in your process (no back up handy man). That is a win-win for only a $5 fee.

On a side note, how are you liking Lubbock and where have you invested? I am working on my first deal and would love some insight of you can give me some.

Yeah I go back and forth on being an agreeable person, and sticking to my guns when I don't feel someone really deserves something.

I invest in Lubbock, and it's great! Flips are there, and Rentals are great. The economy is very stable. Very stable haha. And it's JUST big enough to support different creative strategies. Not a huge shark tank like Houston, where I've also lived.

I'd say thanks for letting me know of the repair needed,

The trusted plumber you had scheduled the work that he was interrupted for your job do to an emergency call. That this was a scheduled repair that wasn't an emergency call and job was scheduled as per priority with the plumber. 

That you are reimbursing him $10.00 to more than cover the amount of utilities he felt was lost. If he says anything else, Say That you had attempted to schedule with another plumber but they were over a week out for this type of repair also, you basically had 2 plumbers on call and the first available came to do the job. 

The faucet was leaking into the sink, not a pipe leak under cabinet causing damage,, so that is not considered an emergency call per plumber standards. 

@Lucky Tran I would also check with the city. I know in Houston you can get a credit back on the water bill for the leak, if you send in an invoice showing it was fixed. 

Thanks all for your input!

I checked out Anthony's suggestion about getting credit back and it turns out with Lubbock Power and Light, they can only credit if it affects the foundation or alley way water pipes.

I did have work done for pipe replacement a few months back, so I'm going to try to send an itemized statement from the guys who fixed it to see if it will qualify for an adjustment.

Will update and let y'all know how it goes!

As for the tenants, I do agree they are entitled to nothing, but to let them feel that they have "won" over something trivial is most likely best for future interactions.

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