I have a pretty picky tenant that I need help with. He gets a $100/month discount for lawn care and shoveling. I have provided ice melt and a shovel. He doesn't like the shovel I provided. Is it my responsibility to supply him with a different shovel or can I tell him to go buy his own if he doesn't like the one I provided? I'm trying to do things by the book and need some advise.
@Kellie Ellsworth I guess it's really a personal judgement...I have a feeling by posting it, you really don't want to buy a different shovel. I'd say go with your gut on an issue like this...there is a difference in being a good landlord and letting yourself get walked on by a tenant...always trust your gut
@Kellie Ellsworth , while it may be tempting and seemingly easier to let a tenant handle maintenance work around your rental, we find it to be a bad business practice.
The only exception: in single-family homes, our lease states the tenant is responsible for their own landscaping and snow removal, so it's all on them. There is no discount for them to cut their own grass, remove the snow on their walk/drive and stairs. We do not supply ANY tools for these jobs. We've read of a tenant suing a landlord for providing a lawnmower that somehow malfunctioned and injured the tenant.
Multi-family property is an entirely different story: if the tenant that is getting 'paid' for the work does not remove the snow and salt, what can happen? Another tenant can slip/fall, a passerby can also get injured. They will not be suing the lazy tenant, they will sue the owner and management company.
We never allow a tenant to do maintenance work on multi-family properties we own or those we manage; collect the full rent and pay a handyman or other service to get the work done. And have them send you photos of the before/after work along with their invoice.
("I don't like the color of your shovel--get me a new one!" Whiney tenants--like fingernails on a chalkboard! Ugh!)
No, he can buy his own shovel or he can start paying the $100 a month to make it no longer his responsibility. I think it was more than fair for you to provide him the tools he needed.