Author Topic: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?  (Read 2428 times)

Dezrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 457
How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« on: February 02, 2017, 12:59:50 PM »
Landlords, how do you feel about your tenants DIY-ing on your equipment? 

I recently tried to do a simple repair on our in-unit dryer.  I ordered parts and replaced them myself.  The parts were worn and absolutely needed to be replaced, but that wasn’t enough to fix the problem.  Maintenance is scheduled to come check it out.

Is it reasonable to ask to be reimbursed for the parts I already replaced?  Or am I asking for trouble by admitting I was screwing around with their property without permission?

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 772
  • Location: WNC
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 01:09:49 PM »
Most people have no idea what they're doing.  I would not want a tenant messing around and trying to fix things, and no, I probably would not reimburse you for your parts if they didn't fix the problem. 

supomglol

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 01:34:18 PM »
I would say you are asking for trouble at this point.  In my mind as a landlord I would be very suspect of your mechanical aptitude without knowledge prior to this incident. 
I wouldn't expect reimbursement especially if the parts did not fix the issue. 

Going forward, I would alert the landlord and offer at that time to try fixing it yourself.  Ultimately you're fiddling with something that does not belong to you. 

Greenstache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 01:43:23 PM »
After some very odd attempts by tenants to repair things (universally creating bigger issues), we have made it very clear in our lease agreement that the tenants should not attempt any sorts of repairs involving parts replacement themselves.  Does your lease address this? 

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8942
  • Location: Oregon
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 01:49:13 PM »
Always check first. We did a lot of work for our last landlady (she was way in over her head, and didn't have the money buffer to do ANYTHING). So we always got the go-ahead to fix things, and took the money off our rent. But the key was- we always checked FIRST. And via email or text, so we had proof.

davef

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wilsonville, OR
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 01:51:01 PM »
My situation was atypical, both as a loandlord and as a leasee. When I had a rental property, I rented it to a friend, there were a few things I let her do her self painting and such and I paid for all of the materials. As a leasee I did a ton of work on the house, paint, landscaping, ficked a few appliances, toilets, etc. The landlord reimbursed me for all materials... However, I knew if I tried to fix somehting and failed. I might be out any dollars I spent on parts, etc.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4280
  • Age: 29
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 01:52:03 PM »
I've seen two extremes.

My dad is a landlord's dream tenant.  After he moved into his apartment (with permission, but initial apprehension) he repainted the front door and the kitchen cabinet drawers (out of his own pocket).  Both look impeccable now and way way better (especially the drawers) than they used to.  He also takes better care of the place than most homeowners do with their own house.

A few years back I had a moron tenant in my rental house that wanted to fix some things in exchange for reduced rent (and he wanted to move in sooner before I could do it myself).  Like an idiot, I agreed.  Nothing got done, what he attempted was sloppy as hell and took forever for him to get around to, and it was just bad.

Landlords can't always tell which you are.

If you didn't talk to the landlord in advance, I do think it would be out of line to ask for reimbursement.  You made the choice to do that; he didn't tell you to.

Dezrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 457
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 02:04:43 PM »
I admit I can't recall if we're strictly prohibited or not.

Technically I'll be dealing with the property managers, not a true landlord.  I'm in a large apartment complex easily 100+ units.  The office manager is very nice and knows my name and apartment number despite having so many tenants.  When we moved in, she actually encouraged us to stay vague about the nature of our pets on our corporate application to avoid the monthly pet fees.  I actually refused to do that, since I did want to blatantly lie on my documents.  My point is she is definitely a woman who seeks to create harmony between tenants and the corporate overlords.

The dryer was making horrible grinding noises.  It sounded like something was banging inside.  I knew enough to know that I could open the panels to at least check inside.  There was nothing inside, but the glider bearings were nearly worn through, so I thought that was the culprit.  I thought it would be quicker and easier to just handle it myself.

This is the repair I did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=RDY-Gxh1D_s

I replaced all four bearings costing ~$26 with shipping.  Sounds like I may just have to eat that price and learn the lesson.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8942
  • Location: Oregon
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 02:07:41 PM »
Ah. Personal experience, the chance of being reimbursed for something by a large company is approximately zero. Very different when it's a landlord with only a few units type of a deal.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4280
  • Age: 29
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 02:11:39 PM »
Yeah, given the extra details I'd definitely say there's no way you'd get reimbursed. 

If you borrow someone's car and take it through the car wash before returning it (without asking them), would you afterwards ask for the five bucks to cover the car wash?  They'd just laugh.  It'd be different if you asked "hey, I noticed your car is looking a bit muddy, want me to get that taken care of and you can just pay me back?"

bytre

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 02:18:36 PM »
Although some tenants may be quite competent, you may certainly lose money - and increase risk - by rolling those dice. 

If you really want them to do some repairs, work alongside them on a few different things to judge their competency.

NoNonsenseLandlord

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Eagan, MN
    • No Nonsense Landlord
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 05:56:39 AM »
Fixing an appliance can be easy, but you took a gamble and lost.  You should tell the maintenance guy (or landlord) what you did, as it may make troubleshooting a bit easier.

You may have made the issue worse, or replaced a part that did not need replacing.  I would say you can tell anyone you want, but do not expect reimbursement at this point.  It may be time for a new dryer anyway.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Location: Ohio
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2017, 06:34:36 AM »
It never hurts to ask for reimbursement.  But as a landlord, I wouldn't reimburse for this one.  Check in advance.  I've walked through tenants to plunge toilets, fix "stuck" garbage disposals, pull the filter out of washing machines, reset breakers and gfci outlets, etc.

On things I know I'm replacing in the near future, I've let tenants paint or change to their liking.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pueblo West, CO
Re: How do you feel about tenants fixing your property?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2017, 12:44:46 PM »
I make my tenants responsible for small repairs. The screws on the lock for the front door came loose and wasn't working properly. The deadbolt still worked.

They emailed me and told me to fix it asap because it's a safety issue. I told them that if the deadbolt still works, it's not a safety issue. I told them that if they wanted it fixed asap, they need to get a screwdriver from the garage and do it themselves.

If they want me to fix it, it will take 2-4 weeks. My brother will stop by the house the next time he is in town. The house is a 3-5 minute drive from the freeway. He passes my rental house when he visits my dad.

I have a different kid at another rental property that is a total idiot, but he thinks he is "Mr. Fix-it" My wife even said something when she met him. He is very odd. However, my other tenant at the property is an "all-star tenant" and they have been friends since childhood. The all-star tenant does a good job if keeping him in line.



I actually told him that he is not allowed to fix anything. If something is broken, he is instructed to take a picture of it and text it to me.