Reimbursement for blinds??

13 Replies

My property does not have blinds on windows and ceiling skylights. Tenant had two walkthroughs of the property, conducted a move in checklist without mentioning the lack of blinds as an issue, and signed the lease (annual). The tenant is now asking me to reimburse for expensive blinds, purchased without consulting me. I am pushing back, willing to credit for a nominal amount per blind. I’d appreciate your suggestions on how to handle the situation.

Agree.  Figure out how much you would have spent and credit that amount.  You need to prvide window coverings, but they need to discuss it with you before they buy things on your dime, and now you have the issue that they can take their blinds with them and you'd need to buy cheap ones again.  You might offer them a bit more to agree to leave them.  But we have to replace them almost every turnover.  Check out blindschalet.com, we like their wider slat faux wood blinds.  Home Depot is cheaper, we like these better and would be easier to price out in a shopping cart if you have the sizes.

@Thomas Peddle INSANITY ! You have no obligation whatsoever to give the tenant one penny toward those blinds. He took it upon himself to buy that stuff , that is not your problem . Do NOT give this idiot a dime instead remind him he signed the lease he agreed to the current condItIon he did a walkthrough and it’s his responsibility to decorate using his money .

I said idiot simply because I personally feel it is idiotic for the tenant  to buy a upgrade / decoration and have the entitlement attitude that somehow he should be reimbursed for his purchase he took upon himself 

You might want to take into consideration that the tenant MAY intend to stay for some time, which might have had a factor in the purchase.  I think I would ask what made them think that you would reimburse when they never even asked.  Letting them do this can set a precedent, next purchase may well be patio furniture!  Make your policy clear, and if you LIKE the tenant, reimburse what you might have spent.  Alternatively, you could spread it out.  Reimburse them 20% of what they spend each year they renew. That gives them a vested interest in making sure the blinds are well cared for.

The key here is that reimbursing them anything will set a precendent that they can do whatever they want without asking and you will pay for it.  I would tell them "Had you requested, I would have installed blinds.  Because you did this without permission, I will not reimburse you for them."  Further, some leases (mine) state that if the tenant does something like that it must remain behind when they leave.  I would offer to waive that provision is they choose to remove them, provided they repair damage done when installing them.

@Steve B. We did recently move from Longview to Seattle.  Our primary residence in LV sold $10k over list in 3 days with 10 offers, it is booming for sure.  We kept our rentals there.  Jon has some good points, although I think that the lower reimbursement is enough of a sting to reinformce not acting without consulting you too.  Bottom line they are gonna do what they wanna do.

@Thomas Peddle Since they signed a lease without asking for blinds and purchased blinds without asking first, I would not offer them a penny. I would let them know you are not able to reimburse for their decorating. Remind them that they rented the property in its current condition and that you are not making any changes now. i woukd also remind them that if they have any maintenance issues to inform you and you will have it taken care of and that you will not be reimbursing for them for anything. They need to get the message that they can’t make changes and expect reimbursement. Otherwise you may find a new state of the art appliance in your property which they wanted to replace an existing appliance and they will ask you to reimburse them.

Any reimbursement that you choose to offer should not be payable until the end of their tenancy.

No sense paying for something now that might grow legs or get damaged when they move out.

Not a dime...... NEVER pay for stuff the tenant does to "improve" the property without your permission..... NEVER..... EVER..... you will set a disastrous precedent

If an owner wants to add or "improve" something, they need to ask to do it....its YOUR property....not theirs. Based on the request you may give them permission and/or authorize the reimbursement.... but NEVER after the fact.....bad idea.....

@Thomas Peddle - If you reimburse them for the blinds, they are yours to keep and the headache of getting and installing blinds is gone.

If you don't reimburse them, they can take the blinds with them when they move out and there is bad blood between you and them for the remainder of the lease. 

I would figure out how much money you are losing by going with these more expensive blinds than if you were to purchase a more reasonable set yourself. Also include installation costs. 

If it's significantly more, then I would suggest telling them that you don't plan to fully reimburse them, but you will reimburse them the cost of the blinds you were thinking of getting. 

If it's not all that much more, I would just swallow it. Getting into a huge tizzy with your tenants isn't worth a couple hundred bucks. Save yourself the future headaches and have a good relationship with your tenants.