Repairs request for rental

11 Replies

Please share if you know what repairs/ maintenance renters can request landlord. I’m a little annoyed by a renter who requested me to fix the doorbell for her. Can I tell her to go buy a wireless doorbell to use? She also asked me to buy her a new furnace filter which I think she can take care of it herself. Is she kind of high maintenance renter?
Thank you.

If you supply(offer to rent) a property with certain amenities, eg. Doorbell, it is generally understood that if the amenity stops working you will repair or replace it. That is one of the selling points of being a renter...kind of like a warranty, that your landlord and not you have to maintain the property. However it is also generally expected of the tenant to take care of the property ( not the same thing as maintain) and changing the furnace filter falls into this category. I provide two 3-packs of pleated filters in the correct size to my tenants...and consider it an inexpensive investment in my 4k hvac system. Good luck.

I think what is best is that you set the expectations early on in the lease, like the first meeting. What is expected of you the landlord and what is expected of them the tenant..."Rules of the Game". In those expectations you can explain what they are responsible for and what you are responsible for on the maint side.

We explain that we will fix and repair anything unsafe or uninhabitable for the property. If it is deemed cosmetic, meaning it is not making it unsafe or uninhabitable then it is up for discretion. Also you can charge a trip charge for these types of calls that will inhibit this type of low level calls.

Again the only thing I would stress is that you are in the customer service business when you rent a property, if they do not like the service then they have the right to go somewhere else. At the end of the day you may have a rental property that is vacant not making money. There is a difference between being right on principle and being right in the wallet.

I would suggest setting the expectations and communicating that with them early on so that it is clear what type of landlord you will be and what type of tenant they need to be for this business relationship to work

You do not want a damaged HVAC system so it will be cheaper to buy a filter. I would buy a filter ASAP. Depending on the class of property you may also want to replace the doorbell. If this is a A or B area I would replace the doorbell too.

Replace filter yourself , Gives you access to inside on a regular basis to inspect the property as a whole.. 

door knocker is good idea and I'd put that on instead of door bell.. or fix the current door bell. 

Schedule it, get it done

If they rented it from you with a working doorbell, then in my opinion, you are at the very least morally obligated to replace, possibly contractually obligated depending on your jurisdiction.

Our tenants are responsible for changing & replacing furnace filters. Given that most furnace filters can be had for a few dollars, if the choice was between damaging the HVAC system or doing the filter myself, I would do the filter myself. 

The doorbell is part of your house and should be fixed by you. If the doorbell was non-functional when she rented the house, and you did not want to fix it, it should have been noted at that time. We do that, for example, with fireplaces - all fireplaces are declared decorative only and are non-functional. We do not entertain requests to repair fireplaces nor do we allow tenants to have them "fixed" themselves. 

You're assuming that your tenant even knows what a furnace filter is let alone where to look for one to buy.  So...they don't change them (even when you provide them, unfortunately) and, in the end, it's your heating/air system that suffers.  Or...they have no idea what size to buy even though the size they need is on every current one in the return.

Buy a box of these and keep them on hand for your tenant.  Show her how to change them and when.  Explain that by doing so this will save THEM money in lower heating/air costs.

And I do like the idea of the door knocker.


Thank you all who gave me advices. I will take care of those requests as it’s a good idea I should come check it out more often. The property is rented out for about $3500 a month, so for inexpensive items (less than $50), I feel bothersome, unless tenants don’t value their privacy as much. I manage and fix things myself on two rentals and have dealt with 3 renters so far, only this renter called me on everything.