Rental Property Tenant Issue / Question - Posted by James Lawrence

Posted by DanT on July 12, 2001 at 17:21:21:

First thing I do is give them a call and discuss the issues at hand. If that doesn’t work then you need to start taking action per the agreement. If you are on a month to month in my are you give them a 3-day notice and then start eviction as per the agreement violation. This may differ dependent on your location. DanT

Rental Property Tenant Issue / Question - Posted by James Lawrence

Posted by James Lawrence on July 12, 2001 at 15:06:13:

Hello Everyone,

I have a rental property tenant issue / question. We are renting our beach house out for the summer for the first time and we drove by the house the other day and we noticed some things that are making us feel like our tenants are not taking good care of our house. First, the shower head from our outdoor shower (we encourage people to rinse the sand from their feet with the outdoor shower before entering the house) was missing. Second we saw that the tenant had put an air conditioning window unit in one of our new windows (it is stated in the rental agreement that they are to call us to discuss it if the are planning to put in an air conditioning window unit). So I need the advice of folks who have had a lot of experience with rental properties on how I should handle this situation. What do you think?



Re: Rental Property Tenant Issue / Question - Posted by Dave T

Posted by Dave T on July 12, 2001 at 18:35:56:

Your experience is not unique. You should always expect that tenants will not treat a rental property with the same care and attention as the owner. This is what a damage deposit is for.

You do have a damage deposit, don’t you?

The things you mention are not flagrant and on the surface do not seem to have any lasting harm. You can surely replace the shower head and make an appropriate deduction from the damage deposit. One word of caution: if you do the repair, you can not charge for your time or labor – you may only charge for your actual out of pocket expenses (save receipts).

The window air conditioner also seems trivial. What if the tenant had called and said that he had purchased a window unit and wanted to install it. You would have said sure, go ahead. Now, at the end of the lease, if the tenant restores the window to its original condition, no harm done–right?

You may want to remind the tenant that any alterations to the property need to be done with your consent and approval, but for now, I would not sweat such small stuff. You want to be firm, but fair. You don’t say what your plans for this property are for next year, but you may decide to rent to these same tenants next year.