Author Topic: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions  (Read 4011 times)

mountains_o_mustaches

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Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« on: September 25, 2016, 07:27:01 PM »
My SO and I are looking to rent a house (while we finish saving our down payment to buy our own).  We found a great place - right location (less than 2 mi from work!), excellent price for where we live, well-maintained, etc.  We got out lease to review and everything seems normal except they specify that if the washer or dryer break we as the tenants are responsible for the cost of repairs or replacement (this is not stipulated for any other appliance in the home).  I asked the landlord about it and he gave some excuse about previous tenants abusing the machines (over filling with heavy clothes) so that he had to replace the washer twice, so now he puts the costs on the tenants. Does that make sense to anyone else?  I worry we'll move in and their old washer or dryer will crap out (not due to us abusing it, but just due to age or previous tenants' usage of the machine) and we'll end up dishing out the money for a new unit only to end up moving after a year.  I thought maybe hearing from other landlords could help me understand where ours might be coming from or give me more info when going back to him about this.  Ultimately other than this weird (to me) stipulation in the lease everything's above board and it's really the perfect rental for us.  Is this even worth pressing?  Thoughts?

Letj

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2016, 07:31:49 PM »
If the cost of the apartment is otherwise reasonable, I wouldn't worry about it. It's unlikely that both appliances will break at the same time. If they do, buy the cheapest replacement.

arebelspy

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2016, 08:14:28 PM »
It depends on the area. Some places, landlords provide appliances, other places tenants are responsible.

If you do buy one, get it used, and resell it when you move.
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Frankies Girl

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2016, 09:40:32 PM »
In the event that the washer or dryer dies during your habitation, craigslist almost always has like new stuff on there. There are usually used appliance stores around too. Do not buy brand new.

I personally would request them to remove the ones there and purchase my own (and make sure the lease changes to reflect this), so I could take them with or resell when leaving, but that's me.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 10:04:32 PM by Frankies Girl »

fishnfool

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2016, 09:58:46 PM »
Really? I think that is ridiculous to expect a tenant to replace a washer or dryer!  I can see maybe taking money out of a tenants deposit if they clearly abused a appliance,  but this is over and above what is fair imo.

K-ice

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 10:49:52 PM »
I once lived in a city where WD were almost never provided. Hook-up were provided.

How old do they look? Is there at least a warranty?  I would get an estimated replacement cost & if you are uncomfortable I would just get your own now or later if needed.

If this is the only thing it wouldn't be a deal breaker.

MrMonkeyMustache

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 11:20:02 PM »
It depends on the area. Some places, landlords provide appliances, other places tenants are responsible.

If you do buy one, get it used, and resell it when you move.
I ubderstood that the tenant is required to replace it for the landlord, which I think is crazy. Not privoviding them in the first place is perfectly ok.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2016, 09:50:10 AM »
I think it's an unreasonable stipulation because you can have no way of knowing what shape they're in or what their expected life cycle really is, whether you use it properly or not. I think what IS fair is if the landlord either removes the appliances before you move in OR stipulates that the landlord will not repair or replace them but will remove them upon your request.

That's what we've done in the past with old W/D that we've had in our units. Kind of a, "You're welcome to use them, but if they break, you're on your own."

The lease as is doesn't seem to specifiy a minimum or maximum replacement amount, and that leaves you vulnerable to a landlord trying to get you to replace $200 worth of applicances with $1500 worth of appliances.

Would you take the place if it had hookups but no W/D? If the answer is yes, then just ask the landlord to remove the units and say you'll provide your own.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2016, 10:01:58 AM »
In my jurisdiction, a landlord is required to maintain/repair any appliances provided by the LL. I wonder if what your LL is saying is the washer/dryer are not a part of the deal, and if they break the LL is not going to replace them? That is different than requiring a tenant to replace an appliance that the LL then owns.

Leases are contracts. Contracts can be negotiated. I would clarify with LL.

therethere

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2016, 10:04:05 AM »
Personally, unless the place was under market rate I would not sign it. Or I would ask for $25-$50 off a month (whatever places without WD's are renting for). My concerns would be how much of a hassle is the landlord going to make it for other repairs to get done while I live there? Are they going to try to say I caused it every time something breaks? Is he going to try to pull the same thing if the garbage disposal breaks, etc.

To me its fishy. So what if he got burned before? Maybe he was buying the cheapest HD washer so of course it would break again.... This from a tenant who went through 2 washers in a year! My landlord kept buying the same model of washer and it would go out again in a few months. After awhile they stopped believing me that it was broken. It was ridiculously annoying trying to just get a working washer. If its a HotPoint brand, expect it to break while you live there.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2016, 10:55:32 AM »
Yeah, I feel like it's fishy.  To clarify, the W/D come with the house (along with other appliances).  The lease indicates that any other appliances will be repaired / replaced by the landlord except the W/D - if those break then the tenant must cover the cost of repairs / replacement.  The W/D are definitely not new and per the landlord he has replaced with CL finds in the past (and would expect this level of replacement).  The fact that they are old, used W/D makes me worried that they are faulty to begin with.  I'm going to try to negotiate with him - he seems reasonable in other respects - it just seems like such an odd request that I'm guessing is made emotionally due to be frustrated with the previous tenants.

I like the idea of asking to bring my own W/D and that he can hook the old one back up with the next tenant and ask for some $$ of the rent to be commensurate with other rentals without this amenity.  At least if the ones that I own break, the repairs / replacement are mine to keep, not something I'm basically donating to the rental property.

therethere

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2016, 11:31:59 AM »
Its reasonable for him to say the washer and dryer are not included in the appliances he will maintain and lower the rent accordingly. Mainly they're saying you're free to use them but if they break its not their responsibility. And in my opinion this should have been stated with the listing NOT only brought up later when the lease is being reviewed. For me, I only look for places with WD. If its in the pictures of the listings I expect that to be included without any lease exceptions. So if that fact was left out during the listing and showing of the place then that in itself is shady. But its completely unreasonable for him to expect you to maintain or replace them and have you leave them with the rental at move out. If you buy it you own it. My old landlord pulled this crap. At move out my entire deposit was taken. When I got the itemized receipt they charged for every maintenance done during the year  including new physical items! Completely ridiculous in my opinion.

So to emphasize, I'd be less concerned about the details of the washer/dryer situation. But more concerned with what type of landlord they are and how they view tenants. I mean, in reality they are in effect penalizing you for how other tenants have acted.

Bliss

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2016, 11:42:51 AM »
In my lease, my tenants are responsible for the first $150 of any appliance repair. I will then pay the balance and, if necessary, full replacement. I've had difficulties in the past with tenants abusing appliances and this makes sure that they have some skin in the game. 

I agree with the other posters that you should not have to pay for replacing appliances that will remain with the house. My guard would be up at this point. Can you have him remove the W/D before move-in and use your own, as another poster suggested?

therethere

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 12:08:56 PM »

In my lease, my tenants are responsible for the first $150 of any appliance repair. I will then pay the balance and, if necessary, full replacement. I've had difficulties in the past with tenants abusing appliances and this makes sure that they have some skin in the game. 

I find it interesting that you don't agree, yet have what I would consider an even worse stipulation in your leases. Just curious, at what stage in the game do you bring up this clause? Do you wait until lease signing stage? As I would think this would be a red flag to a high percentage of renters, myself included. I'm hoping you are upfront before wasting people's time who wouldn't agree to sign it. I would be very upset if I went through the showing and credit application only to have a landlord bring this up late in the process.

Bliss

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2016, 12:38:12 PM »

In my lease, my tenants are responsible for the first $150 of any appliance repair. I will then pay the balance and, if necessary, full replacement. I've had difficulties in the past with tenants abusing appliances and this makes sure that they have some skin in the game. 

I find it interesting that you don't agree, yet have what I would consider an even worse stipulation in your leases. Just curious, at what stage in the game do you bring up this clause? Do you wait until lease signing stage? As I would think this would be a red flag to a high percentage of renters, myself included. I'm hoping you are upfront before wasting people's time who wouldn't agree to sign it. I would be very upset if I went through the showing and credit application only to have a landlord bring this up late in the process.

No, I've had nobody balk as it's a pretty common lease term in my area, albeit, for higher end homes not for apartments or condos.  I guess it's just a difference in the markets we're in.

oldladystache

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2016, 01:01:52 PM »
I supplied an old refrigerator in my rental house, and I told the tenants it was my gift to them. It was theirs to use or toss or whatever. They could take it with them when they left, or leave it.

The first ones left it for me, the next ones took it with them.

Most tenants in my area already have a refrigerator so I was happy to see it gone.

mtn

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2016, 01:04:09 PM »
I'd ask them to take it out and supply my own, OR have him knock $80 off a month from the lease, unless it was made by Speed Queen.

Fact is, things break. You don't know when or why. Our dishwasher started leaking last year for no reason. It just was tired and started leaking. I didn't do anything wrong and it started leaking. Similar story with our AC unit. Stopped working. I'd never even seen it, just the thermostat. A washing machine, or dryer, can do the same thing without warning, even if you do fill it correctly. Why take that risk? You don't own the thing and you are paying for it in your lease.

adamcollin

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 12:09:37 AM »
If the place is reasonable enough, I think you should consider renting it. Just make sure you go through the other terms & conditions.

bpleshek

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2016, 07:40:07 AM »
While a lease is a contract, the rule of thumb is usually, if I supply it to you, then I have to replace it if it breaks.  If it was abused, then a portion of your security deposit might be forfeit.  But normal wear and tear is on me.  I don't supply a washer and dryer in my SFHs because I don't want to replace them.  I do have a functioning hookup though.

Brian

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2016, 08:10:25 AM »
To me, it hinges on what happens when you move out. If you've replaced the washer and/or dryer, but don't have the right to take it with you, that's a deal-breaker.

Rubic

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2016, 11:00:45 AM »
At the very least, your lease should cap the replacement/repair cost of the
washer/dryer appliances.

I have a remote garage door opener in my lease.  I inserted a clause to
cap damage/loss at $50.

Lmoot

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Re: Weird stipulation in lease - seeking opinions
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 06:14:00 PM »
Maybe it was previously a washer/dryer "hookup" and the previous tenant left it and he didn't want to bother removing it. I would only sign if he treats it as a hookup, and doesn't hold you responsible with replacing it if it breaks, and allows you to take any that you purchase, with you. Or have him remove it and provide your own (treat it like a "hookup").