Rental Repairs

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
9liner
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Rental Repairs

Post by 9liner »

I own a SFH rental property and the tenants recently submitted their 30-day notice that they are vacating. Approximately 6 months ago, through negligence on the tenant's part, there was an unattended fire outside which spread and ended up causing damage to the soffit, flashing, and gutters. I have since secured an estimate for repairs to the tune of $980. The tenants are requesting to hire their own contractor (a friend) who can do it cheaper. I am not inclined to have tenants conduct major repairs such as this based on the liability and potential for quality control issues. I'm using the same contractor who installed the items two years ago to ensure quality of materials, color matching, etc.

The lease verbiage is as follows: "Landlord shall maintain, and/or repair/replace (if necessary in Landlord's sole discretion) the plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical systems, and also the exterior walls and roof of the Property. However, Tenant shall be obligate for the costs of such repairs, replacements, and related services if the need for such repairs, replacements, and related services results from the negligence or misuse by Tenant."

Am I being unreasonable by not letting them conduct the repairs themselves?
ponyboy
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by ponyboy »

Who's in charge? You...or them? That's your answer.
tomtoms
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:56 pm

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by tomtoms »

9liner wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:14 pm I own a SFH rental property and the tenants recently submitted their 30-day notice that they are vacating. Approximately 6 months ago, through negligence on the tenant's part, there was an unattended fire outside which spread and ended up causing damage to the soffit, flashing, and gutters. I have since secured an estimate for repairs to the tune of $980. The tenants are requesting to hire their own contractor (a friend) who can do it cheaper. I am not inclined to have tenants conduct major repairs such as this based on the liability and potential for quality control issues. I'm using the same contractor who installed the items two years ago to ensure quality of materials, color matching, etc.

The lease verbiage is as follows: "Landlord shall maintain, and/or repair/replace (if necessary in Landlord's sole discretion) the plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical systems, and also the exterior walls and roof of the Property. However, Tenant shall be obligate for the costs of such repairs, replacements, and related services if the need for such repairs, replacements, and related services results from the negligence or misuse by Tenant."

Am I being unreasonable by not letting them conduct the repairs themselves?
It is not a good idea to let your tenants hire their own contractor. Who is going to verify the job was done correctly? Tell them you already have someone who you have been working with for years. Just make sure the cost is reasonable.
AB609
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:02 am

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by AB609 »

Unless he is licensed, insured and experienced with the type of repair, I would not consider it. They should be counting their lucky stars that the repair is only $980. It sounds like it came close to becoming a major house fire.
User avatar
Abe
Posts: 2214
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by Abe »

I have owned single family rental houses for over 40 years. Every time I let tenants or tenants friends/relatives do repairs, it has turned out unsatisfactory for me. Every time. I can almost guarantee that you won't be happy with the results if you let the tenants (contractor) friend do the work.
Slow and steady wins the race.
tesuzuki2002
Posts: 1156
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

9liner wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:14 pm Am I being unreasonable by not letting them conduct the repairs themselves?

I would not be opposed to a different contractor doing the work. I would advise them that if the work is not up to your standard it will need to be reworked or corrected until it is. Even that means you having to bring in your contractor to clean up the mess...

I always give the option and let them take that risk if they want to. GET IT ALL IN WRITING and take pictures... to compare to your before pics of what it used to look like.

I encountered something similar with one of my rentals and a bathroom upgrade. I had been considering doing the job with a contractor... but I ended up with a tenant at one point that asked about it and they had a reputable contractor who works in the commercial world (their friend) willing to help them out. Needless to say I explained the details of how this would work and confirmed with said contractor.

Needless to say they did what I would call B- work on the installation for my quality inspection and were not interested in fixing it. (The Tenants were completely happy with it, so I left it as is... I don't have to look at it as I don't live there.

I paid cost for the materials and I refused to pay the contractor for any labor charges because of the poor workman ship.

They wanted to fight me over it and I said gladly we can work this out in court... Nothing materialized... That house received an okay upgrade... but I paid very little for it. I called it a win. I'll have to go in a fix some things.. but it's been 5 years everything there is still ok.
Random Poster
Posts: 2314
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by Random Poster »

It may be obvious, but was there an actual determination that the damage was the result of the tenant’s negligence?

The language in the lease isn’t particularly clear how such a determination is made. By mutual agreement? By the landlord? By a court? Etc...
Topic Author
9liner
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: Rental Repairs

Post by 9liner »

Random Poster wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:25 pm It may be obvious, but was there an actual determination that the damage was the result of the tenant’s negligence?

The language in the lease isn’t particularly clear how such a determination is made. By mutual agreement? By the landlord? By a court? Etc...
The tenants left a burn barrel unattended and went to bed. The fire spread to leaves on the ground and subsequently set yard furniture, which abutted the of the house, on fire. The radiant heat melted the soffit, gutter, and fascia. Had it not been for a neighbor noticing the smoke and fire, it could have ended much worse.

Outdoor fires, contained or otherwise, are not permitted in this area of the county.
Post Reply