Repair Expense Due to Tenant Misuse

4 Replies

To charge or not to charge, that is the question... I'm trying to be less empathetic when it comes to most business decisions. I also try to enforce the lease as letting things slide is a slippery slope. I wondered how many others have the same problem. When you have a great tenant who has always paid rent on time or early, has never had any complaints or issues, do you pass along repair expenses? Especially an expense over something silly they did on their part outside of normal wear and tear? Would it matter that you already knew this tenant won't be a long term tenant because they are actively looking to buy a home? This hundred dollars for instance wouldn't break you, but over time will add up, right? What are most people's perceived best practice in this case? First one should slide for a good tenants, and problem tenants enforced immediately?

This is a business and you should treat it as such.  Don't stray away from the policies that you should already have in place regardless of if the tenant pays on time or not.  If you "let things slide" you are setting a precedent with your tenants and they will expect it the next time.

If the tenant damages something and lets me know, or I see it during an inspection; it's getting repaired and billed now. Otherwise you're holding less of a security deposit come lease termination.

Yes, we have "shown grace" for single instances for long term tenants -- but we never do it without letting the tenant know we are doing him/her/ze a favor this ONE time.   The key is letting the tenant know you know about the damage or violation and are not afraid to address it.  That way you stay off that slippery slope!