Re: Difficult Tennant - Posted by dennis
Posted by dennis on May 02, 2002 at 09:52:19:
hi, i hear ya on this one. i just posted a similar message and got good suggestions. one person said to have a set schedule for a “minor repair day” every few months or so and to have the tenant prepare a list of what they want done. you should go over the list with them and tell them what you will and will not repair in accordance with the landlord-tenant laws in your state. this should keep them out of your hair and present the appearance that their complaints are being heard.
someone else said to sit them down and tell them you’re not a hotel and they’re not paying hotel rates and you’d be happy to rip up their lease if they’d prefer to live elsewhere.
someone else said to make them responsible for the first $25 of a repair per incident, but i checked and that’s not legal in my state, georgia.
finally, you can do what i did: claim poverty. let me quickly tell you my saga:
i renovated a 1940’s bungalow, new everything, and gorgeous. i rented it to a grad student with perfect credit and within the first week she started calling telling me things like the closet door wouldnt quite latch shut, rain had created a small mud hole in the backyard, could i bring her touchup paint for a spot on the wall… etc. i basically politely ignored those requests but responded the same day to a legit one: a plumbing backup.
the last straw came just a few days ago, after i’d put a $1,500 central AC in, and she called to say thanks for the AC, and by the way, would i would split the cost of putting gravel near a flower bed? i told her, in no uncertain terms, that installing the AC had left me FLAT broke and i have no money for any additional expenses. i said if she wanted to get touch up paint, gravel and other (key word here) DECORATIONS, she should feel free to do so but i have no money. now, this seems to have worked. if i’m called again I’m going to go with the “minor repair day” thing. the problem is that she’s a great tenant who pays and takes very good care of the house. i dont want to lose her but cant deal with her ocd.
this tenant has also prompted the addition of a new clause in the lease i use with all my tenants. i added a paragraph that spells out per state law, the landlord must meet local code and minimum safety requirements and that also, the landlord is only responsible for maintining strutural integrity, including the roof, and keeping heating, electric and plumbing operational. that’s it.
once bitten… you know? good luck!