I am a relatively new landlord with three rental properties that I’ve acquired over the past few years. This week I have come across a situation that I have not yet encountered. I have a tenant who would like to do improvements at their own expense.
These tenants are brand new, and in my newest rental. The property is a 3/2 SFR on some land with an attached carport. It was a probate property that I did some extensive remodeling on, spent about 25k too much on— and I got screwed by my *now former* contractor on the quality of the finish work. Lesson learned there of course, and that’s beside the point for now.
These new tenants have contacted my property manager, and asked permission to have garage doors with openers professionally installed and to sheet rock and insulate the garage at their own expense. They are aware that the materials will stay with the property when they move. My first inclination was to run the other way shouting, “NO!,” because if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. However, I got to thinking that if I allowed these tenants to do this, they would probably stay longer than just one year, allowing me to avoid unnecessary vacancy and more quickly dig myself out of the hole I have on this property. Also, free garage doors don’t sound too bad, as we are all in this for the money.
If I were to allow them to do this, my approach would be as follows:
I would have to approve any professional companies doing any of the work. I would communicate with these companies not to proceed with the work until the entire balance is paid by the tenant. I would have to approve the look of the garage doors for aesthetic purposes.
I would have a written agreement from the tenants stating that I am not financially responsible for any of these specific improvements, and that they agree that everything stay intact and with the property upon their move out. I would also include in this agreement that I am not responsible for the maintenance or upkeep of the garage doors or openers anytime throughout their tenancy.
Alternatively, I would just say no.
I would love some more experienced opinions on this!