Reduced rent for septic repairs

4 Replies

We had problems with he septic tank at our rental house. It took 2.5 weeks to fully repair. We found a problem, fixed it, happened again, fixed another problem, happened again, 3rd time is a charm and it appears to be fixed now.

Because sewage got onto the carpet in basement from the bathroom we had to cut part of the carpet out. We want to wait a week or two to make sure it is fixed before we put in new flooring. Bathroom and basement are usable again, its just that part of the basement does not have carpet right now.

Tenant just texted me and said she thinks they should get reduced rent because of all of the problems. She also added that the furnace has not been working. This is the first I’ve heard of the furnace but now she reports it hasn’t been working all week. (And they’ve been leaving the oven on to heat the house!!!).

Should I reduce rent for this month?

Only my opinion . . . . I've had similar situations (I'm right down the road from you in Ottawa!) with plumbing leaks, etc. If the tenant is letting you know the problem ASAP, have paid their rent in full/on time & otherwise been a good tenant, of course I would give them a discount. I've put tenants up at a motel for a few days because the property wasn't up to snuff. 

Technically, they are paying for a property in XYZ condition & if it isn't up to those standards, they should get some money back. (FYI, the tenant using the stove to heat the house is super-unsafe & needs to be stopped immediately, regardless of how!) 

Granted, I've got super tenants, but I also try hard to work with them on issues & keep them as long-term residents.

Get someone over for the furnace and make it clear furnace issues are to be reported immediately not a week later. In the interest of safety they should not use an oven for heat. Be stunned by the fact she waited to tell you and worried she is using the oven. What contribution did they make to the septic issue? That would figure in for me. What percent of the house is the basement? how long could they not use? Stuff happens so 2 weeks is long, do something consistent with the amount of inconvenience for the septic if they had little or nothing to do with the malfunction. Did you cover thier cleaning costs? Now if they threw something in the ejection pump no concessions.

It depends on how the tenant was inconvenienced due to the issue.

Most rent rebates would be in the 5-10% range depending on the number of days and what was not useable during that time period.

Break it down to % of home unusable, how that impacts the use of the home, what exactly was unusable as it impacts the tenants and the number of days it was unusable.

Once you do the calculation in most cases the impact on the tenant is usually very small. I may offer a 5% reduction in their next months rent at the very most.

If you are paying for the hydro deduct the cost of heating with the oven from your discount and tell her to pull her head out of her butt. Stupid tenants.

I would not give a discount for that issue. Very little inconvenience and you are fixing it promptly.

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