Tenant Wants to Take Toilets that they installed

83 Replies

@Ryan Dossey The 2 years actually isn't up until October. They were very nice and we did a thorough background check in the beginning to make sure they would be able to purchase the property. All they have told us is that it is too expensive and they want to move to something cheaper.

@Chinmay J. They did tell us about one of the toilets having a problem, so we said we would have someone go out there and take a look at it. Then he just replied and said it was fine because he had already replaced them. I think he just wanted new toilets and wasn't satisfied that we were just going to repair it.

Asserting your rights here over used toilets may end up poorly, Nothing like 100 lbs of concrete mix dumped down your stack to ruin your day a few weeks into your next tenant's lease. Clearly, they know enough about plumbing to be dangerous. I would consider how ugly this could get. By all means, get 'em on the deposit after they're out if you must, put the fear of contract litigation into them after they're gone, but do it after they're out. This is of course, coming from the viewpoint of a C/D low-income landlord who has seen less-than-pleasant things done by tenants who feel they have been done wrong for some reason.

I am my own Bubba. This has broadened my perspective.

Wait, so did they want to buy the house before but now they don't because of a stain/scrape on the floor from a kitchen repair? Why wouldn't you just offer to make a concession at closing to provide a certain amount for a flooring allowance?

If that's not an option anymore, you gotta think about the long-term play and protect the future return on the investment of your asset as much as possible, even if it means taking a short-term loss. Try to part ways as amicably as possible. Maybe even incentivize them and offer to write them a tenant recommendation letter if they leave the place in good shape – toilet removal withstanding.

@Adam Soelberg . It’s two toilets and you get to keep the option payment. If that’s the only thing wrong with the house you won so I wouldn’t spend any time thinking about it and Would install two more toilets when they move out And go looking for that next option payment.

@Michael Ealy the cost of the attorney would be more then the toilets are worth. Also doubt most lease contract cover removing chattel from property in lieu of replacement.

The toilets are likely just screw bolted with a wax ring. I’d allow him to take his special toilets as long as he replaced them with the old ones or equivalent

They must be young and stupid. Teach them a lesson. Charge them for every nick and scratch 50 bucks a piece. Take a hundred pictures , let them take you to court, take all the deposit legally. Don't let anybody screw with you. Nice guys finish poor. Take it from me. Just sayin. Or 320.00 for a nice pair of delta toilets , you can install with no tools. Either way, you can tell the next tenants you did the first thing. Start with commanding respect. It's your house.

@Adam Soelberg

Initial thought is they have the right to take them with them if they installed them with the intent that they are not permanent. Permanency matters if it’s your property, but if a tenant installs and intends to remove and leave in the same condition they found it, then they may be right.

If they installed toilets you didn’t, why not just give them $500 for toilets and install and call it a day? Seems like pride is getting in the way of making the better decision.

Originally posted by @Michael Ealy :
Originally posted by @Adam Soelberg:

This may be a question for people specifically in Washington. One of our tenants was on a 2 year lease option with us but decided to back out before the 2 years was up. The tenant is claiming since he installed 2 new toilets while they were living there, that he can remove them and take them when they vacate. I would assume this is not correct because it would cause "damage" to the property if removed. Thanks in advance for the help!


Talk to a real estate attorney and have him/her review your contract. What does your contract says about property improvements that the tenant/buyer put in? Did he ask your permission to put in the toilets? I am assuming your property has toilets that were there before? If so, maybe ask them to put the old toilets back or bring the property to the same condition they've found it when they started renting?

 mike while I love your post on the west coast talking to an attorney over this will cost more than the two toilets in question :)   

I bought property in Canada.. and its customary there for the seller to take their refer  their stove and other items that in the US we would not even think about it would be clearly denoted in the listing.. toilets as well.

This is a crappy situation. You feel pissed on.  They feel pissed off.  You should wipe the slate clean.  Discuss if the real issue is issue #1 or issue #2.  Then you can really flush out your differences.

@Adam Soelberg Let them take them brother, replace them with 2 new $89 home depot toilets and prep the unit for a new better tenant. It's not worth your time, energy, and let alone dealing with any legal issue for something this small and petty. Just wash your hands and move on. My personal opinion on how I would handle this. Cheers