I am a new landlord so I’m still learning all of the things I need to know to be a successful one.
My rental needs a new garage door opener. My tenant is a mechanic and has requested that I buy one and he will install it himself.
What is everyone’s thoughts on this? At first, I was leaning towards letting him do it, but now, after reading some of these posts, I’m wondering if I would be opening myself up to liability.
Thank you all.
@Rebekah Nation I never let tenants install anything. I prefer to have it done with a professional with whom I know has insurance and I can call for any warranty work
It isn't hard to install one. If he's a mechanic, let him do it.
Thank you for your input. I’m in the process of creating “company policies”. I might incorporate that so that tenants will understand and it’s a matter of policy.
I never let tenants install anything more than light bulbs, I don't care what they do for a living. I paid a garage door guy $425 last year to install mine after a lightning strike fried the old one. It's warrantied, I know it was done right, and I can call him if I have issues. I'd get a pro to do it and save yourself any potential issues.
@Rebekah Nation Dawn summed it up quite nicely! Never let tenants install anything, always use a professional. This helps ensure your tenant-landlord relationship remains just that, one based in a solid business relationship. The one exception would be if they own an official company that you would have considered anyway - in this rare instance I would still require a formal quote, invoice and pay them like any other professional.
Never take “favors” from your tenants.
I don’t let my tenants work on my properties. However, just out of curiosity, what does being a car mechanic have to do with installing a house garage door opener?
More of a rhetorical question really. Bottom line, don’t let tenants work on your properties. It’s so inexpensive to have a pro install a garage door opener. It’s not worth the risk/liability of your tenant, or someone else, getting hurt if it were to be installed incorrectly.
As others have mentioned, it would be better not to let your tenant install it.
Aside from the liability, you’re opening the door to future request like this going forward. At some point the tenant might ask for a rent reduction or even to threaten to take the item they installed if the relationship sours when they move out.
Just hire it out and keep the tenant/landlord relationship simple, that’s one relationship you don’t want to over complicate if you want less headaches in the future
I always say no because there are so many people that say the can do this or that and THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE! On the other hand. I've had some tenants take things upon them selves to make some repairs and do a very good job. But it's to risky to find out.
Just NO. And BTW, there is a cray amount of tension on a double counter spring. Even if its a single door, it can fall if not done properly.
Plaintiff's attorney "So, Ms Nation, You approved your tenant to install the garage door opener in which the spring came loose and and killed Mr Tenant's little boy".
Another vote of No to letting the tenant do it. They will always expect something in return.
I would also beware of more requests for improvements start coming, if you go for this one. Today a garage door opener, tomorrow a new fridge..... this was my experience. So, there's an art to making sure you nip it in the bud, if you do think you want to spring for the garage opener now, in order to keep a great tenant. So, is he a great tenant that you're willing to do this for? An unexpected budget expense? Is it deductible? have to be depreciated? Sure it's worth it?
After all, this tenant rented a place that didn't have one. So, if you decide you really don't want the expense, I'd just tell the tenant, in writing (which can be a text or email), very nicely, that you just found out from your insurance agent that there is too much liability with garage door openers and so you can't put one in. Sorry.
@Rebekah Nation - I’m on the other end, I’d let him do it after he signs a liability waiver to leave it in place when he leaves and that he’s responsible for any damage to the door. My neighbor who used to install garage door openers for funzies came and installed me two for free ($150 for the opener plus free install) out of the kindness of his heart and wouldn’t let me repay anything including telling me what kind of alcohol he likes. Still working great two years later. I would hate to open/close/lock my own doors.
You have to say NO to some things though especially if they want to bill you for it and I promise they always think you’re going to pay for it. My tenants have installed shelves in rooms, etc. and I haven’t given them trouble mid lease. It’s true that they rarely uninstall and patch and paint to as good as new, so I have to charge against their deposit as needed.
The main thing is you cannot let it snowball from garage opener at your expense to new washer and dryer at your expense etc. if you end up paying for any new updates I’d suggest an agreed upon rent increase for financing the improvement so like new appliances is an extra $100/mo (with their permission and yours). Average payoff for any improvement should be no more than 3 years.
His understanding of how to install a garage door opener is not really the issue, it is the slippery slope you will create once you open the door to him doing repairs. Today it is a garage door opener, tomorrow it is who knows what.