Author Topic: Tenant wants to install tile in rental  (Read 844 times)

PoppyOC

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Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« on: November 30, 2017, 02:21:07 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I currently have a 3 bd/2 bath rental property that rents out for $2000/month in a market where comparable homes rent for $2200-2400/month.  I've had the same property since 2011, and have had the same tenant the entire time.  Because the tenant has been pretty low maintenance, I never increased the rent.  In the past, the tenant has replaced the carpet at her own cost (they felt the existing carpet upon move-in wasn't soft enough), took over the landscaping costs (she wanted fancier landscaping), repainted the inside of the house to her taste, and installed pool lights.  She is mostly a good tenant, even though she makes weird personal decisions.  She would like to install tile flooring all over the house because she has 2 indoor dogs.  The carpet would need to be replaced anyway, which I am willing to do, but she offered to pay for the flooring if she can install tile.

So far, I'm leaning towards letting her install the tile since:
  • She is planning to pay for it
  • Tile is pretty durable and will last a long time for future tenants
  • It doesn't look like she plans to move any time soon if she is investing in the rental home

The only cons I can foresee are:
  • Tile is pretty permanent and would be difficult/more expensive to remove if that became an issue
  • The style of tile might be tacky
  • Eventually we plan to renovate the kitchen, which will require working around the tile

Am I missing any cons? Should I let her install the tile?
 
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 03:09:21 PM by PoppyOC »

letired

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 03:07:15 PM »
I'm not a landlord, but I'd want to approve the tile choice and where it's going to go. That way, you can make sure it's something that works with your future plans. Is this tile going on the floor, or is it a backsplash or something?

PoppyOC

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 03:11:21 PM »
It's tile flooring--I modified the first post to make that clear. I think she would be willing to let me approve the tile choice.  My preference would be wood-look tile, but that's pricier than regular tile and I'm sure she wouldn't go for that.

ixtap

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 03:15:33 PM »
It's tile flooring--I modified the first post to make that clear. I think she would be willing to let me approve the tile choice.  My preference would be wood-look tile, but that's pricier than regular tile and I'm sure she wouldn't go for that.

You could split the costs.

letired

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 03:23:30 PM »
interesting! If she wants to tile the entire place, maybe you can stipulate something like a joint or break of some kind put in at the kitchen threshold so it's easier/tidier in the event that you have to revisit the flooring in that area.

I would also want to confirm that the house/floor structure can sustain that much additional weight. All the floor is a LOT of tile!

You could also counter with an offer for a different flooring type that's also a hard surface with a comparable price, but easier to rip out of the kitchen if and when you get there, like a floating installation of a composite or vinyl flooring.

Or just say yes except the kitchen or something.

PoppyOC

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 03:40:09 PM »
I would ask her to hold off on the kitchen, but we don't plan on renovating until the next tenant.  The kitchen contains most of the original cabinetry from 1960, so it's old, but currently functional.  If I were to try to rent out at market rates, I would definitely refurbish it, but as it is I feel like I'm in a weird holding pattern with this tenant.   

Mr. Green

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 03:55:38 PM »
Tile flooring is actually pretty easy to remove if installed properly. A thin cement board is laid on top of the subfloor and tile goes on top of that. A simple jackhammer like tool will take the tile up off the cement board, then the cement board comes up like the underlying paneling they use for linoleum. Just make sure they dont glue or mortar the cement board to the subfloor.

I installed my own tile flooring and would not be afraid to take it up.
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Enigma

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 09:12:28 PM »
I would allow my tenants to install new tile.  Once a tenant starts adding additions (such as the carpet earlier on), they make the rental property a 'home'.  You have a better chance of them staying 6 more years.

Thus far you have had a tenant for 6 years, low maintenance, and no issues ($144k in rents received).

My father has had some renters that were the same renters for over 20 years.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 03:11:51 AM »
If you let her tile the apartment, but not the kitchen, then make sure enough extra tiles are ordered for the kitchen. You don't want to risk that the same tiles are not available after a number of years.

You should make sure the tiles of her choice also increase the value of the property. If she objects with the argument she pays for them, then you should offer to pay a part of it.

Tiles, if they do not break, require less maintenance than carpet. Carpet gets dirty and needs to be replaced after a number of years. Tiles just need a wash. Make sure the tiles are suitable for floor. And double check that the floor is stable enough for tile, so that they won't break.

Think about what is under the apartment. Is it a cold floor? Tiles are much colder to the feet than carpet. In Norway we install warmth cables or water heating pipes under a tile floor to make it warm in the winter. If someone else lives underneath, a tile floor can give more noise to the person under (high heels on tiles). Under a wooden floor you can put foam material, but I don't know if something similar can be done with tile.

PoppyOC

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 11:44:29 AM »
Thanks for the input everyone.  My only concern is that if the tile is put in improperly, it will cause problems down the line.  My regular contractor voiced some concern about tile being difficult to remove.  The tenant seems fine with the kitchen and installing tile in the kitchen to keep using the kitchen as-is, so if she's OK with it then I suppose I am too.

This is a one-story single family home in Southern California, so there are no neighbors below or above.  Tile floors are not uncommon here, at least for the common spaces.  My tenant really wants a faux-marble tile, which may affect my re-sale value negatively, but if she plans to stay a long time that doesn't bother me too much either.

PoppyOC

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »
UPDATE:  Talked to the tenant and she is ok with a small rent increase to $2100 and sign a 2 year lease, which is still below market value if we let her install any type of tile that she wants (she'll pay for the entire installation).  Seems like a win win!

Hotstreak

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 12:52:35 PM »
Marble floors throughout the house is certainly a unique look.  If she picks something ugly and you need to replace it when she vacates, how much would that cost you?

Enigma

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2017, 09:47:56 PM »
UPDATE:  Talked to the tenant and she is ok with a small rent increase to $2100 and sign a 2 year lease, which is still below market value if we let her install any type of tile that she wants (she'll pay for the entire installation).  Seems like a win win!

Big win!  I agree that is more than fair.
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jpdx

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Re: Tenant wants to install tile in rental
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 09:25:21 PM »
Sounds like you have a dream tenant. Also sounds like she should buy her own home!