Incentive to tenants for reporting needed repair?

5 Replies

Has anyone ever offered a very small incentive to tenants so that they actually report necessary repairs to management company before the small repair becomes a real problem? (ie. leaking toilet, leaking rook, electrical issue, etc.)

Here's the dilemma: if you make the incentive too large, the renters may vandalize the property to get the reward. However, if it could be implemented, property repairs would be reported accurately and in a timely manner.

In terms of a reward, my thought was to keep it close to the $10-$20 range. Perhaps a gift card, dessert, or something simple.

What are your thoughts? Has anyone tried this before? How did it work?

@Kase Knochenhauer I don't find this to be a an area to incentivise.  Now if the tenants were't paying on time that's a different situation.  The role of your property manager is to get into the rentals often to check on repairs the property may need.  Additionally, You can amend the lease agreement to incorporate "late or unreported repairs will be billed back to tenant if it is determined that the damage was caused by late reporting of tenant."  There's your incentive right there LOL! Good Luck!

Second that about making tenants responsible....that's usually incentive enough. After a bad issue with an unreported leak that caused major drywall damage, I now have it in my contract. Tenant is liable for additional damages caused from failure to timely report any repair issue.

One question is why a tenant might not report a repair issue until it becomes a real problem.  Are they fearful that they may be blamed for these and charged?   Do they worry if they complain too much the landlord might consider terminating the lease?   Are they fearful of repair folks being in the rental?  Do they have something to hide from the landlord?

Considering the tenants who whine that their landlords are "slumlords" and never addressed their repair issues....and it turns out (in court) they never notified the landlord of these it appears there are a certain percentage of tenants who don't mind living in these conditions just as long as they can do so rent free so we'll set these deadbeats aside for the moment.

It is a good idea to include the clause in a lease making a tenant liable for additional damages caused by their failure to timely report any repair issue.   It is also a good idea to explain to tenants at the lease signing the importance of reporting repair issues as soon as possible when they note them.  I also tell my tenants that I now meet the repair folks at the rental (I'm now retired) and my HVAC/electrician and plumber as well as the guys that address any sewer related issues are people I'm familiar with and have worked with before and if they have to enter the house I will be there with them.


I echo the other concerns. My question would be WHY are they not reporting the repairs? Does your PM provide a convenient / reliable method to easily report repairs? Are their repair requests being addressed in a timely manner? Are they sending clean/ respectful vendors to make the repair? I'd first get to the root of why they aren't reporting. If it turns out the tenant is just being complacent, then I would enforce lease language that shifts the responsibility for repair costs back to the tenant if not reported. 


@Kase Knochenhauer  

I see you are new to Bigger Pockets. Welcome! It will help you to know there are many forums available on a wide variety of subjects. Glad you got an answer to your question, but you posted in the Renter's Discussion forum, which isn't the best fit. Many people erroneously post in the Renter's Discussion forum.

Renter's Discussion: "This is the forum for renters who are looking for advice in dealing with their landlord. Ask questions about dealing with landlords, leases, tenant rights and other important issues."

Under the Community Tab you will find Forum Categories and you can check them out to find the best forum for your questions. You may find the Landlord Forums and Rental Property Questions most helpful.

Also, many questions, including yours have been asked and answered many times in the forums. If you use the search box and type in a key word, you can often find these previous discussions and find the answer to your questions.

Again, Welcome! All the best to you! Perhaps I'll see you in the Landlord forum!

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