What to do about high maintenance renters?

7 Replies

Hi all,

We own a home in the San Diego area and have been renting it for 4 years. First we had renters for two years with teenagers that totally trashed our house. It was a horrible experience. It took me 4 months of fixing the house to get it back to normal.

Then we got people on the opposite side of the spectrum. First they didn't want to pay the full deposit. Then they wanted new carpet in the house (it was nearly new and in perfect condition), then they wanted to move out all our cabinets and put in their own (they own a business) and we said they could do that as long as they put the original back when they moved out. They were super high maintenance and "whiney"... we got to the point where we told them that if they weren't happy, they were welcome to look elsewhere. Well, they backed down and took the house. Its very expensive rent in a nice neighborhood with nice schools. The house was totally remodeled in 2010 from the ground up.

That is the back story...

We have a perfectly working LG washer and dryer purchased in 2010. They are still working except the washer has a little bit of mold on the rubber inside. My renter bleached it but it is now just speckled (stained) and I tried to scrape it with my fingernail but it is *in* the rubber. It's unsightly but not a detriment to the clothing.

First he wanted to replace that which I said fine, but at his expense. Then he said he wanted to go half with me for a new washer and I said no because it still worked and I didn't want a mismatched washer and dryer. So I put my foot down and said NO as I can't justify paying for a new set since they are perfectly functioning.

Now he sent me an email and said he wants to buy his own and store ours away. ARGH! I haven't responded because this is driving me nuts. There is NO room in that garage so not sure how he is going to store it AND when you store a washer and don't run it for months, well, you can kiss it good bye due to drying out and corrosion.

My ideas are

A: Fine, buy your new washer and dryer, sell mine (if he honestly tells me what they sold for) and I am going to raise the rent 75 bucks a month. (they have been there over a year and are month to month now)

B: Let him store them (where I have no idea) and reinstall them hoping they aren't damaged from the moves and the washer isn't corroded due to non use. I think I will still raise the rent 75 bucks.

C: Tell him NO because the washer and dryer came with the darn house and they are top of the line LG washers that work perfectly fine and if he has a problem with that, he is welcome to find another home to rent.

His wife is having a C section on Sunday. They are super OCD and have their cars detailed every week and when I asked him why he wanted to replace the washer his words were "I just like nice and new stuff"

I know there are bad renters but what do you do about the diva factor? As a side note, they do pay on time and are not trashing the house but I am afraid this could be a Pandora's box if I say yes. 

Thoughts please?

Thanks in advance

C-section or no C-section Issue them with a Notice of Non-Renewal and Notice-to-Vacate.  Based on the B.S. they threw at you prior to them moving in, i.e. the cabinets and carpet, you should never have let them move in.  Tenants like these are NEVER, EVER satisfied.  It sounds like you'll have an easy time getting the property rent-ready again, but you need to do a better job of screening and monitoring your tenants.  Since you're local, you need to inspect the house every month (put iit in the clause) until you are satisfied that your new tenants are "keepers"!  

Thanks for your reply. I am not local as I live out of the country but I have a property manager whom also lives right up the street. He sort of watches over things (I don't pay him monthly) but is there for any issues. 

@Julie Smith Another vote for C. No you can’t replace them and feel free to find another place. I also don’t let people like this move in. If they don’t like the place as is find people who like the house as is and let them rent it! Pain in the *** in the beginning means pain is the *** always!

This is a common tactic among tenants. They say they love the place but then try to get you to fix a bunch of problems after they move in. You allowed them too much lee-way in the beginning so they are continuing to test your boundaries.

I would tell them, in writing, that they were given the chance to view the home prior to applying and renting. They made the choice to rent it, nobody forced their hand. If they've changed their mind and the home no longer meets their needs, they can move on and pay the appropriate termination penalties.

You want new paint, $2000 deposit to return it as is. New cabinets $5000 deposit.  Ways to say no without saying no.

I had someone say they wanted me to re-pour the concrete in the garage.  Anybody that comes in and mentions changes should be shown the door.

@Julie Smith You're probably charging $3500/m in rent if it's a house in "a nice area with nice schools" in the City here, and we're talking about an 8 year old washer and dryer set.  That's probably just 10 days worth of rent.  And, it's a *house* where appliances are as often not provided by landlord as they're included.

If they want to buy new ones, who cares?  Nothing you need to worry about and they should go for it.  Explain that you need the house - and the appliances - back in the same condition when they move out.  As long as that happens, it's all good.  Done.

FWIW, I'd say a quarter of my tenants end up buying a new fridge, or adding a window or portable A/C unit, or whatever their personal preferences are ... and 80% of the time those people want to leave it when they move out.

@Julie Smith If you want more drama in your life you should watch the lifetime channel ..otherwise hand them a non renewal notice and show them the door . Life is too short to deal with whiners calling for new appliances because there’s a spot on it . Tell them to pound salt