Rent Reduction for Snow Removal by Tenant?

7 Replies

Yesterday, I came to a verbal agreement with a current tenant of mine for a new 18 month lease at $1400/month. The tenant now has the physical lease to sign, but I have an email from him asking to handle snow removal himself in exchange for a break on rent. Would you let a tenant handle snow removal or should it be a landord responsibility? If so, how much of a break in rent would you offer per month? This driveway is small, only big enough for 2 cars, and serves only this one apartment.

I don't know what kind of home this is or how much snow there is to remove but landscaping and snow removal is generally considered a tenant responsibility on a single-family home.

I don't believe in rent reductions. Charge the full amount for rent and then pay the tenant for the agreed-upon work. In this case, I wouldn't pay them anything because the occupant is expected to shovel snow.

If it’s an apartment building, I would keep the rent the same and make a second agreement to pay $xx for snow removal and salting. Add a cancellation clause and what the expectations are (within 4 hours, salt if under 1”, etc). You’ll pay him monthly, etc.

If they stop doing the job, you want to be able to cancel it and hire a contractor. It also keeps the two activities (rent/snow) separate so you have control and he can’t stop paying rent because it snowed a lot, etc.

I would not give a rent reduction and I would think twice about hiring him as he would then be your employee by federal standards.  You really want to do the workman comp, unemployment, SS, e-verify route for snow removal?  If he gets hurt, do you really want to do his workman comp claim processing?  or his unemployment insurance if he quits?  I have been down that road for live in nannies, and its not a fun pathway.  Needed for a live in nanny with kids, but I'd never go down that pathway just for snow removal.

I'd hire a company that does that for a business.  

And if its a single family home, it would be part of his or his and whoever else lives there's responsibility and I would not hire anyone to do it.

Rent reduction over all will devalue the place. On paper you'll be renting it for under market value, also you're assuming they actually follow through with it. if they don't you'll have a lease with lower rent on it for no reason. I agree with the above that if you are willing to take on the cost you should pay them for the work completed when completed. Also keeps your rent normal on paper rather than fluctuating all over the place based on an agreement with 1 tenant.