Tenant wants to modify unit? Thoughts?

9 Replies

Hi Folks,

I just was curious what other people would do. I have a long term tenant in a duplex. I have let her paint her walls and when she wanted to upgrade ceiling fixtures, I had them installed for her and she paid for the fixtures. 

Currently her daughter wants to pay to have her linoleum floor upgraded to tile, and she has asked if this is OK. My thoughts are do I allow the upgrade with the condition that I approve the materials and contractor OR just say no? 

What is everyone's thoughts?


I'm all for letting tenants pay to improve my properties. It tells me they are planning to be long term tenants. That being said, I would make sure they have an insured contractor install it.

If someone else wants to improve your property, you should let them.  I think you choose the contractor then get an idea of what the tenants wants and select a few options of flooring for the tenants to choose from.

Win /win for everyone!

@Kate Gagnon some good advice so far. My mother in law is a renter and she just replaced all the carpet on the 1st floor in her place at her cost. She never bothers her landlord and always pays rent on time. We should all be so lucky. :)

I agree with others that you've potentially got a long term tenant here interested in improving the place. I would treat it no differently if you were getting the work done; I would want to know who is doing the work, they're ensured/licensed, and have a good track record. I'd also make sure that the work gets done properly so be present as part of the process.

I would let them do it and do what you mention.  Also look into material selection, as not to install something that would make the next tenant not want to rent there.  You are lucky to have someone who improves the properties!

Material and contractor must be approved by landlord PRIOR to start of project, tenant assumes all costs of this project. Landlord approval required after installation in order for project to be considered complete.

I'll never understand why some landlords allow residents to work on their properties.  You can either (1) have your trusted contractors do the work and the resident pays for it and you don't have to worry about anything or (2) the resident has their contractors do the work, they pay for it, you have to deal with a new contractor, vet them, inspect that the work is done properly, and then deal with the consequences if it is not.  It makes no sense to me why someone would choose #2.

This sounds like a tenant you want to keep and she will likely stay longer if you allow the improvement. I would only require that the materials be approved by me and that a licensed contractor do the work.

One thing I would consider is to have the tenant sign something to the effect of any improvements become part of the real estate and the tenant will not receive any credit toward rent or security deposit, nor will said improvements give tenant any equity in the property.

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