Tenant wants me to buy a bigger refrigerator

8 Replies

So the tenant in my rental was complaining that the refrigerator panel where the water and ice come out would pop off occasionally, but mentioned that it wasn't a big deal because she doesn't use the water or ice. Other than that it worked perfectly.

It was a somewhat older unit so out of good faith I replaced it with a slightly smaller pre owned fridge. Other than the size, the only issue was that a few of the shelves had small cracks, which I offered to order online and replace within the week and she verbally agreed.

(The old fridge was 35.5" wide and the replacement fridge is 33" wide. both were the same height and the replacement fridge was about 1" bigger in depth.)

The surrounding cabinets were custom made around the 35.5" fridge, so the fit was extremely tight, wouldn't be able to fit a 36" fridge.

She was ok with the size when we discussed it prior to purchasing it, and everything was good when I dropped it off and installed it. but about an hour later she sent me a message stating she was unhappy with the size and wanted me to purchase one of the same size as the old one. 

Legally speaking, do I need to replace the fridge with one of the exact size? 

If I do replace it with another one, that she wants, can I increase her rent to cover the price of the new refrigerator?

Just for reference, I live in Florida, and from going over our lease agreement there is nothing stating anything about appliances.

Thanks in advance, 

Pat D.

No you don't have to change out that fridge..... It's your house. I don't think you even have to ask her approval for what size you out in there. Especially if its a 33" vs a 36". It isn't like you put in a mini fridge or something...

Reminds me why I'm so glad to be out of LTRs and into STRs....

No, no legal requirement to get the exact same size fridge.  In fact, you went above and beyond what is required, you not only got her a new one but you had her approve it.  Maybe you even have her signature somewhere or a text or email that says she approves it?  But you are not required to get tenants approval for new appliances so you went above and beyond.  

From here they can live with it or if they really want can buy their own.  

All that said, this will stick in her brain and be a constant problem, may even be enough to cause her to leave at the end of the lease VS renew.  You get to be right for now : ) 

Not only do you not have to replace the one you just bought , 

but you did not have to replace the first one. 
she said she was okay without having any ice water . 

giving her another fridge for that reason was a bit extravagant . We are not required to provide a refrigerator with ice water . 
in New York , landlords are required to replace anything that poses a safety hazard. 
yes , You can add the cost to a rent increase , but you don’t have to mention that’s the reason. 
In the future , don’t  let her tell you how to spend your money. 

"I told you the dimensions of the new fridge prior to purchase and installment, and you agreed it would work. I am unable to fit a larger fridge due to the space limitations. I will replace the broken shelves as agreed, but I will not replace the refrigerator."

That's it. Don't let your tenant dictate how you maintain the home. Your responsibility is to maintain the home. You don't have to replace a broken appliance with the exact same size, make, or model. I would agree that it should be something similar, but it sounds like this one is very close and should be sufficient.