Inconveniences to a tenant multiple times... pay them $?

9 Replies

I'm in the 1st year of renting out my property. The tenant has been excellent overall, and has been very responsive to all calls, text , payments. 

I had some A/C issues along with plumbing problems this summer.  I've had to have 3 or 4 separate trips out to the property. plus had A/C out for a few days along with a restroom not operating properly. 

My question is, does any one either discount the next month's rent slightly, or give a small fee to the tenant for dealing with these headaches?   I never really rented other peoples homes/ apartments, so I don't really know the other side of point of view. 

I thought about $50 - 100 being a nice, respectful offer.  Or am I just being way too nice?   

I appreciate any feedback. This site always delivers the goods!

@James De Stefano in my opinion, as long as you are addressing issues as quickly as you can when reported to you, then there's no reason to give them a credit, unless you think it highly likely that they will leave without said credit. If they were renting from an apartment complex or if they owned their own place, there would still be time delays in getting someone out to do repairs and getting said repairs finished. That being said, if these really are stellar renters and your gut tells you this will help retain them, well $50-$100 is a small price to pay for renter retention. 

That really depends on the tenant the severity of the problem and how long it persists. If your going to do that I give my tenants a homeowner depot gift card . A -your not reducing the rent

B- it’s a tax write off

C- there’s a good chance they’ll use the money to improve the property

Great, thanks ya'll. I figured as much, just curious  about other experiences.   And yes,  I don't want to set a precedent of giving away money or discounts with some basic house troubles.   

@James De Stefano i have told tenants to take money off rent for inconvenience of no hot water andreroofing (noise). I do it to be fair. They pay $50 a day and have expectations just like you do when renting a hotel at $150. Would you complain at the front desk if the ac didn‘t work?

@James De Stefano

This seems to be one of those gray areas where different things work for different people and not all properties and property classes are equal. This is what I do with my low-income urban C-class properties as a DIY, self-managing landlord. First I ask myself some questions:

In the case of a bathroom, is it the only bathroom? Was the bathroom completely or partially out of commission?

If it was the A/C, was it on high-heat days (high of 90-degrees-plus)? What did I do to remedy the situation other than wait for the HVAC guy?

How many days and how severely has the tenant been inconvenienced here?

For A/C: My HVAC guy is one of my mentors and the first time I screwed this up by sitting on my hands and waiting for him to get to me during a heat wave he called me up and set me straight. If you're running more than two units, have at least two small window units on hand at all times in your basement or a shed. Used, little guys in the 5-6000 BTU, 4-6 amp range. They cost about $100-$150 each on sale new but in my area, you can find working used units of this size sitting out in front of houses all the time when people buy bigger, more powerful units.

For a central A/C issue on a very hot day, I typically would be over there to put in these units if the wait goes beyond a day. If it's a high heat day (90-degrees-plus) I'm over there immediately. If I manage to do that and at least worked to provide limited cooling here in western Pennsylvania, I've done the right thing and I'm not offered any rent rebates. Larger rental properties will of course require more of the kind of window units I'm talking about.

For plumbing: A single-bathroom property with a non-functioning bathroom is not livable. That being said, if the commode works, the bathroom is partially operational. If the vanity faucet or sink doesn't work, it's not an end-of-the-world deal, they can go to a kitchen sink. If the bathtub/shower doesn't work, there are also options -- fewer, but they're there.

It's very rare for me to have a residential plumbing problem inside one of my properties I can't address personally in a timely way. But if my tenant has a non-functioning bathroom for longer than one day, I'm refunding the price of that day out of next month's rent. If the commode and shower work but the vanity isn't fully operational, I give myself three days to fix it before thinking about possibly compensating the tenant. If the shower or tub is the problem, I give myself one day. But again, after enough experience fixing bathrooms, rent rebates for nonworking bathrooms are more or less a nonissue for me these days.

James, I don't know your situation. The problem is done for you now, water under the bridge. Think about the nature of the problems and how long it took to fix them. Calculate the rent per day based on the rent per year. If you do give your tenants a rebate, calculate that rebate precisely, explain EXACTLY what that rebate is for. A round amount isn't a good idea. good luck to you.

We lost all 4 water heaters in the widespread flood this year in a class C. The trades were swamped (pun?) for weeks afterward. We refunded a good chunk of rent to each tenant.