Inconvenience credit for maintenance

3 Replies

Hi Bigger Pockets Members, I’m curious to get the opinion of some other landlords. On December 29th I got a text from one of my tenants saying that they were having problems with the HVAC system. It’s a two story unit and the downstairs was in the 60s while the upstairs was in the mid 80s. This was a Friday afternoon, so we were not able to get someone out there until the next day. When the tech arrived, no one answered the door. We called another company we will call company A to service the unit on the following Monday but they were not able to dispatch a tech for a few days. This was in the middle of a extreme cold streak and units were going down all over the place. When the tech did arrive, he was only able to keep the upstairs from overheating. The next day we had a snow storm and no one would provide service for the next few days. We are located in N.C. and are not used to snow. That leads into this week. Company A promised to send a tech out as soon as possible given the demand in the area right now. I did contact other companies and was given a 1-2 week window for service. We were able to send another gentleman to go look at the unit, but the tenant refused to answer the door and said that this person was unacceptable. This gentleman had serviced the unit before and they believed that he had “damaged” their unit, which led to the problem. The unit began to be repaired yesterday and it turns out that a circuit board and the damper system went bad. This has been a 10 day process. During this time there has been partially functioning heat which the tenant supplemented with space heaters. The tenant is now claiming there utility bill has doubled from $200 to $400 and blames the faulty unit. They want a credit for the increased bill and a credit for the inconvenience to them. My question is, should I give the tenant a credit and how much? They pay $1200 per month right now and I was thinking of giving them a $300 credit which is equivalent to a week’s worth of rent. Is this too much or too little based on the circumstances? All opinions appreciated! Josh

They turned a service guy away , he was the one who could have fixed it right then . The delays were caused by the tenant .   The bill would have been higher anyway due to the cold .

Originally posted by @Joshua Lappin :
Hi Bigger Pockets Members,

I’m curious to get the opinion of some other landlords. On December 29th I got a text from one of my tenants saying that they were having problems with the HVAC system. It’s a two story unit and the downstairs was in the 60s while the upstairs was in the mid 80s. This was a Friday afternoon, so we were not able to get someone out there until the next day. When the tech arrived, no one answered the door.

We called another company we will call company A to service the unit on the following Monday but they were not able to dispatch a tech for a few days. This was in the middle of a extreme cold streak and units were going down all over the place. When the tech did arrive, he was only able to keep the upstairs from overheating. The next day we had a snow storm and no one would provide service for the next few days. We are located in N.C. and are not used to snow.

That leads into this week. Company A promised to send a tech out as soon as possible given the demand in the area right now. I did contact other companies and was given a 1-2 week window for service. We were able to send another gentleman to go look at the unit, but the tenant refused to answer the door and said that this person was unacceptable. This gentleman had serviced the unit before and they believed that he had “damaged” their unit, which led to the problem.

The unit began to be repaired yesterday and it turns out that a circuit board and the damper system went bad. This has been a 10 day process. During this time there has been partially functioning heat which the tenant supplemented with space heaters. The tenant is now claiming there utility bill has doubled from $200 to $400 and blames the faulty unit. They want a credit for the increased bill and a credit for the inconvenience to them.

My question is, should I give the tenant a credit and how much? They pay $1200 per month right now and I was thinking of giving them a $300 credit which is equivalent to a week’s worth of rent. Is this too much or too little based on the circumstances?

All opinions appreciated!

Josh

 I would not give the tenant a credit. I would also explain to the tenant that they do not get to dictate who comes out to service the HVAC. Do not send a 2nd tech out next time. They can deal with your guy or it won't get fixed is how I would have handled it.

You have a problem tenant. I inherited someone like this once. They ended up just leaving with no notice and leaving a bunch of stuff behind that I had to pay to have hauled away. And this was after I’d paid to replace an entire HVAC because they failed to change the filters, yet they wanted an “inconvenience credit”. There was some complaint about every service guy I sent out there for whatever problem there was, and nothing was ever to her satisfaction.

Don’t let the tenant dictate how you run your property. No credit. It will never end if you give such a credit.

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