Tenant wants landlord to babysit repairs

7 Replies

In my years of renting and being a landlord this was never requested. However my client's tenant wants my client (the landlord) to open the house and be available for contractor to come in for repairs, and claims it is the owner's responsibility. Is it the owner's responsible for opening the doors, if the tenant is busy? Can the owner install a lock-box? And for lock-box of course I would try to get tenant's permission and request to waive any liability, which the tenant may not be wiling to provide. In this instance it was just an hour repair with a 2-hour window.

I try to be available for most repairs, first so I can ensure it’s completed and to answer any questions that arise during it, and also, I see it as my responsibility to maintain the house and appliances - and repairs are part of that.

I have a few tenants who I’m comfortable with letting the contractor in if they are around, but I see it as more of a favor than a requirement.

If I had a trusted handyman, they would be my proxy and do it for me... but that’s usually me.

Think about it from their perspective. Would you leave a key for a random contractor to get into your house to make a repair while you’re not home?

That at lease shows the tenants trust the landlord. Landlord when being there is watch the completion of repair and making sure there are no mess or stolen items. Putting a lock on the property essentially opens to theft, negligence and a potential lawsuit. 

It's actually in my lease for my self-managed property that tenant agrees to landlord's use of a lockbox if tenant cannot be present for repair or maintenance appointments.  I've had too many issues where I was out of town or not available to wait for a contractor, and I've found having that statement in the lease makes tenants more reasonable about providing access, especially if they do not want a lockbox on the home.  

even though its an inconvenience, it would kind of set my mind at ease being able to see the inside of the property knowing that the tenant has been taken care of it. They wouldn't want you in there if they were trashing it. 

It depends on the repair and the window of time that a contractor provides. For contractors that provide an open day window, then update the night before, we coordinate with the tenants to be there for the repair request. If the request seems odd or if it is an emergency then we will send a representative of the firm to allow contractor access. Since most contractors provide a 2-4 hour window, it is hard to scale when staff is waiting for contractors.