We had a tenant of 5 years just move out. I have a question about I can charge my former tenants for and would like your opinions.
1. Older windows in the home. Several storm windows broken. Several screens are ripped. We have decided that rather than replace the storm windows we are going to replace all the windows. Obviously we can't and won't charge them for the cost of all new windows. Would you charge them for the cost of the broken windows? Forget it since you are replacing all the windows?
2. Stove. The stove is blackened to the point that it probably cannot be cleaned. The flat top is so black that probably cannot be cleaned either. That said, we will try to clean it. We just bought the stove/oven 4 years ago for them brand new. If it cannot be reasonably cleaned, would you charge them the cost of the stove?
3. There are old built in cabinets in the dining room/living room. They have large square knobs. A majority of those knobs are missing. If I can find new ones, I'll simply charge them the cost of those knobs. If I can't find them, what, if anything, would you charge them?
4. The tub was reglazed before they moved in and was in pristine condition. The tub is now so filthy I'm not sure it can be cleaned. If not, do you charge them to reglaze it again?
We are not charging them for the siding which their children drew on or the walls as we will be repainting the entire home and residing the house (old siding and might as well do it since we have to do the windows). We are also not charging them for new carpet (it was new when they moved in), but it's been 5 years and carpet only has a certain lifespan. There are a ton of other damages that we will not be charging. They did NOT clean before they left at all. There is excessive dirt and cobwebs everywhere. So, we will be hiring a company to clean and will charge them that cost (as opposed to doing it ourselves and trying to charge our time).
Hey Jennifer, it sounds like you really liked the tenants and feel bad using the security deposit as they lived there for several years. I have struggled with this in the past, but have since followed through with using deposits for their intended purpose and would encourage you to move that direction. Routine maintenance and capex are part of the business, but tenants should be responsible for reasonable upkeep and to not break items. You shouldn't have to pay for them all, as there are enough unexpected surprises in this business as it is. Here are my thoughts, best of luck getting it back and rent ready!
1. We've had an issue similar to this in the past where a window was broken and the tenant claimed it was a stranger trying to break in or the result of a storm. It wasn't clear and our lease didn't detail who would be at fault for windows so we payed for replacement. If they were at fault I would charge them the cost of the storm windows.
2. Absolutely charge them for a replacement or for the cost of a deep cleaning if it's possible to remove.
3. I would just replace all the hardware so it matches and charge them for the cost.
4. Yes charge them for the reglazing cost.