Author Topic: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied  (Read 1197 times)

clarkfan1979

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I had a group of college kids that wanted to rent my house and they have two dogs. I told them that I normally wouldn't do 2 dogs because I have carpet. However, I was considering replacing the carpet with new flooring that would be better for dogs. If they were willing to deal with 8 days of construction, I would rent to them.

When the old tenants were getting ready to move out, I told them that they didn't have to clean the carpets if they were willing to deal with 4 days of construction. I would rip out carpeting and replace it with new flooring. They agreed. The carpet was at least 14 years old and was ready to be replaced.

The new flooring is waterproof vinyl plank from Costco (Golden Arwana Brand). Regular price is $2.38 sq. ft. I got it on sale for $2.08 sq. ft. I like it better than the lifeproof from Home Depot. Golden Arwana is a little thinner, but that can be an advantage, in my opinion. If you have an uneven floor, it will bend. I have an uneven floor in the basement.

In conclusion, I was able to negotiate 4 days of construction with the old tenants and 8 days of construction with the new tenants.

I have had 0% vacancy at this rental since I bought it in May 2007. My intent is to provide some inspiration to think outside of the box. Please do not blindly accept 8% yearly vacancy because that is considered to be normal. Don't be normal.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 06:21:24 AM by clarkfan1979 »

Papa bear

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 07:08:22 AM »
That gets a thumbs up from me.  Nice work on getting that done and not skipping any rent.


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PMJL34

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 10:06:47 AM »
Happy New Year Clark,

I dig it! I have done similar in the past and agree it can be a win-win. Also, great choice on the costco LVP, I agree it's superior to lifeproof.

Question: Are you doing anything in addition to the flooring? 14 days sounds like a long time for flooring unless it's a big home and it's DIY.

Best of luck!

waltworks

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 10:32:42 AM »
Let us know how it goes. I'd personally not want that situation as a tenant OR landlord (seems like it'll be a pain to work around the tenants moving stuff in/out the whole time, but maybe not).

Floors are a standard expense, indeed. The luxury vinyl stuff is great, way better than hardwood or carpet especially for a rental.

-W

cool7hand

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 09:36:08 AM »
Good deal!

ixtap

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 09:39:18 AM »
I had a group of college kids that wanted to rent my house and they have two dogs. I told them that I normally wouldn't do 2 dogs because I have carpet. However, I was considering replacing the carpet with new flooring that would be better for dogs. If they were willing to deal with 8 days of construction, I would rent to them.

When the old tenants were getting ready to move out, I told them that they didn't have to clean the carpets if they were willing to deal with 4 days of construction. I would rip out carpeting and replace it with new flooring. They agreed. The carpet was at least 14 years old and was ready to be replaced.

The new flooring is waterproof vinyl plank from Costco (Golden Arwana Brand). Regular price is $2.38 sq. ft. I got it on sale for $2.08 sq. ft. I like it better than the lifeproof from Home Depot. Golden Arwana is a little thinner, but that can be an advantage, in my opinion. If you have an uneven floor, it will bend. I have an uneven floor in the basement.

In conclusion, I was able to negotiate 4 days of construction with the old tenants and 8 days of construction with the new tenants.

I have had 0% vacancy at this rental since I bought it in May 2007. My intent is to provide some inspiration to think outside of the box. Please do not blindly accept 8% yearly vacancy because that is considered to be normal. Don't be normal.

14 days is 3.8%, not 8%. How much rent reduction are you willing to offer for this massive inconvenience? It may be easier to just accept the costs of doing business.

PMJL34

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2021, 01:01:34 PM »
On second read....

Are you saying that you will be doing construction with current tenants in place? and also construction when the future tenants move in?

If so, this only works for young college kids. Not for a family or most other scenarios.

Why not just offer to lease to the new tenants on the condition that they give you 8 days to complete redo the home before they move in (since you are allowing them to have 2 dogs. so if they since a lease on 1/1/2021, then can move in 1/9/2021)? Or tell the current tenants that you will return their full deposit if they move out 4 days before their official move out date? Wouldn't this be better for everyone including yourself?

Also, how do you assess dogs? Do you charge extra monthly or extra deposit?

TIA.

waltworks

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2021, 01:22:21 PM »
Wait, how is it going to take 2 weeks to do the floors?

-W

clarkfan1979

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 02:54:37 PM »
I had a group of college kids that wanted to rent my house and they have two dogs. I told them that I normally wouldn't do 2 dogs because I have carpet. However, I was considering replacing the carpet with new flooring that would be better for dogs. If they were willing to deal with 8 days of construction, I would rent to them.

When the old tenants were getting ready to move out, I told them that they didn't have to clean the carpets if they were willing to deal with 4 days of construction. I would rip out carpeting and replace it with new flooring. They agreed. The carpet was at least 14 years old and was ready to be replaced.

The new flooring is waterproof vinyl plank from Costco (Golden Arwana Brand). Regular price is $2.38 sq. ft. I got it on sale for $2.08 sq. ft. I like it better than the lifeproof from Home Depot. Golden Arwana is a little thinner, but that can be an advantage, in my opinion. If you have an uneven floor, it will bend. I have an uneven floor in the basement.

In conclusion, I was able to negotiate 4 days of construction with the old tenants and 8 days of construction with the new tenants.

I have had 0% vacancy at this rental since I bought it in May 2007. My intent is to provide some inspiration to think outside of the box. Please do not blindly accept 8% yearly vacancy because that is considered to be normal. Don't be normal.

14 days is 3.8%, not 8%. How much rent reduction are you willing to offer for this massive inconvenience? It may be easier to just accept the costs of doing business.

1) I agree that this is more likely to happen with college kids. A zero vacancy rate is a benefit of college rentals, in my opinion.

2) No rent reduction for this inconvenience because it's not really that much of an inconvenience, according to both parties. However, third parties definitely have their own opinion.

3) The old tenants did not have to clean the carpets, so I was able to negotiate 4 days of laying flooring during the last week they lived there (July 24th - 31st). About 80% of their furniture was gone and 2/4 tenants already moved out.

4) The new tenants moved in on August 1st. However, only 2/4 of them moved in during the first week. They kept most of their furniture in the garage until I did another 4 days of flooring. I just finished another 4 days of flooring Dec 27-30 when the house was completely empty. The college kids are on winter break at their parents house. 

5) I did the floor myself. My personal preference is an 8 hour work day. It's possible to work longer, but for me personally, it gradually becomes less enjoyable. The house is 2204 sq. ft. I did the entire house, which is about 2,000 sq. ft. of flooring. It also took me an entire day to pick up the flooring from Costco. The flooring is heavy and I had to do 7 trips in my car to pick it up. However, that would be a 13th day.

What do you think I would pay for labor to install 2,000 sq. ft. of flooring? I think Home Depot charges 3.00 sq. ft. for install and another 50 cents sq. ft. to remove carpet.




waltworks

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2021, 03:40:04 PM »
Dude, you're going to do 100+ hours of work to save how much on the install?? And I assume you're commuting from Pueblo up there every day? Or are you ditching the fam/living in the garage of the rental for 2 weeks or something?

-W

PMJL34

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2021, 03:56:35 PM »
"However, third parties definitely have their own opinion."

and

"What do you think I would pay for labor to install 2,000 sq. ft. of flooring?"

lmao I love it! I'm right there with you. 2000+ sq ft?? That's a shit load of flooring. I'm sure it weighed a ton. Big props for taking that on! I don't know how to use emojis on here, but "muscle flex" emoji for your my man! Let's be honest here though, it's college kids. You could have done the repairs any time and they most likely wouldn't give a shit (and sounds like you did it during different months).

I am curious though. How do you personally assess dogs? It's very common in my area for high end tenants to have them and I have always turned them down. I'm considering opening up that option, but can't get over how destructive they "could" be.

PGSD

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 12:46:58 PM »
It's always interesting what you can possibly negotiate with tenants. As long as everyone's happy...

Heck, I'd have probably rented to them with the understanding the old carpet wouldn't be replaced as they had dogs (dogs can be hard on flooring).

As mentioned, hopefully you're changing them a monthly pet fee and a larger security deposit....

clarkfan1979

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2021, 11:28:38 AM »
"However, third parties definitely have their own opinion."

and

"What do you think I would pay for labor to install 2,000 sq. ft. of flooring?"

lmao I love it! I'm right there with you. 2000+ sq ft?? That's a shit load of flooring. I'm sure it weighed a ton. Big props for taking that on! I don't know how to use emojis on here, but "muscle flex" emoji for your my man! Let's be honest here though, it's college kids. You could have done the repairs any time and they most likely wouldn't give a shit (and sounds like you did it during different months).

I am curious though. How do you personally assess dogs? It's very common in my area for high end tenants to have them and I have always turned them down. I'm considering opening up that option, but can't get over how destructive they "could" be.

When deciding to accept dogs, I think the biggest concern would be flooring. Now that my carpeting is gone and I installed LVP, I welcome dogs. I am getting a bigger pool of tenants in which to choose and more rent.

No estimates on how much money I saved? For context, the house is in Fort Collins, CO. I think the house is worth around 410k. According to zillow, the median house price for single family homes in the zip code are 487K. I personally think that's a little high. I think the neighborhood is probably closer to 450K.

The rental house is 177 miles from my primary residence. However, my family and I stayed with my sister-in-law, who lives 42 miles south of the rental house (45 minutes). The repair was split into 3 phases over 3 different months. 5 days, 4 days and 4 days.

My best estimate for total miles driven was 2,035 and my car gets 34 mpg. If I average $2.00/gallon, I spend about $120 on gas. However, I get to deduct 57.5 cents/mile on my taxes, which is $1170. At 12% for federal tax and 4.5% for state tax, this is a tax savings of $193.

This did cost me about 104 hours of labor (13 days), another 36 hours of driving time, $50 in supplies and $50 in trips to the dump. However, all the work was completed when I was on summer break or winter break.

I spoke to a few friends and they agreed with $3.00 sq. ft. for install and 50 cents sq. ft. for removal. This puts me at $7,000. I would probably lose another $1000 due to 7-10 days of vacancy, so now I'm at $8,000. Feel free to disagree if you think these estimates are high. I asked the forum, but I didn't get any estimates from the MMM crowd.

For me personally, I could spend about 70 days on Kauai for $8,000. Would I trade 13 days of labor for 70 days on Kauai? For me personally, the answer is yes.






« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 11:33:30 AM by clarkfan1979 »

waltworks

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2021, 12:15:01 PM »
Every time I read one of these posts I just shake my head (you "made" money by driving 2000 miles...sounds like about 40 hours of your time and $1000 of depreciation/gas/etc for $200 of tax savings to me), but I think we'll have to agree to disagree since it's always the same thing with these posts.

If you like installing flooring and doing DIY stuff instead of doing something else with your vacation time, by all means do it. Just don't count it as "investment" income.

-W
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 12:24:07 PM by waltworks »

therethere

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2021, 01:29:21 PM »
I just cannot believe you got the tenants to agree to this. They're pretty naive IMHO.

clarkfan1979

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2021, 06:54:24 AM »
Every time I read one of these posts I just shake my head (you "made" money by driving 2000 miles...sounds like about 40 hours of your time and $1000 of depreciation/gas/etc for $200 of tax savings to me), but I think we'll have to agree to disagree since it's always the same thing with these posts.

If you like installing flooring and doing DIY stuff instead of doing something else with your vacation time, by all means do it. Just don't count it as "investment" income.

-W

That's fair. I'm just sharing my story and trying to show what is possible. I'm not advocating that my way is the best way. Many of these decisions are based on my personal preferences. Over time, my preferences will change and so will my strategies and decisions.

ColoradoTribe

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Re: negotiating with tenants to make repairs when rental is occupied
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2021, 10:00:20 AM »
Every time I read one of these posts I just shake my head (you "made" money by driving 2000 miles...sounds like about 40 hours of your time and $1000 of depreciation/gas/etc for $200 of tax savings to me), but I think we'll have to agree to disagree since it's always the same thing with these posts.

If you like installing flooring and doing DIY stuff instead of doing something else with your vacation time, by all means do it. Just don't count it as "investment" income.

-W


That's fair. I'm just sharing my story and trying to show what is possible. I'm not advocating that my way is the best way. Many of these decisions are based on my personal preferences. Over time, my preferences will change and so will my strategies and decisions.

I commend you! Disregard the armchair quarterbacks. You get to decide what your time and effort are worth. I did the same a year back with my current renters. During the viewing before the signed the lease, they mentioned the carpeting in the bathroom sink area (sinks are outside the inclosed shower/toilet area, which are tiled). I told them that I wanted to replace that with LVP and put in new vanities and asked if they’d be willing to let me do it after the current tenants moved out and during their lease. They were all for it! Win-win, they got some nice upgrades for the same rent and I was able to make upgrades without losing any rent. Never hurts to ask and think outside the box.