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Old 10-12-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: charleston
1,442 posts, read 2,440,621 times
Reputation: 493
I would never pay to have something fixed in my rental condo, afterall that is one perk of renting "if it breaks call the landlord!".. never should a renter pay for anything that needs to be fixed (mechanically) in a rental.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,166,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Good points, folks. I am thinking about something along the lines of "passing the savings" to the tenant. Perhaps, have a certain amount of funds allocated and if the tenant does not report repairs periodically or frequently enough to consume that reserve, they could claim that happily at the end of the lease term. Does this sound attractive? Perhaps, this would bring about a win-win situation for both the landlord and the tenant.
It does not sound attractive. Not as a tenant, because it tells me that you are a cheap landlord who doesn't want to put the money into maintaining the property. And even from a landlord's perspective, it isn't all that appealing - do you really want the sort of tenants who would live with a broken dishwasher (or whatever) for the benefit of a few bucks at the end of the lease? If they're that hard up for cash, how well are they going to make those timely rent payments?

Plus, if you and your tenants let a minor repair go for months or years just so they can get the cash at the end of the lease, it could develop into a big problem that costs you even more to fix.

Our current lease stipulates some small things that we, the tenants, are responsible for - grout, gutters, pipes freezing due to us not turning the heat on, furnace filters. So our landlord doesn't get nickled and dimed to death. But most repairs do come right from the landlord's pocket. It's just the cost of doing business...this is kind of one of the reasons that nobody thinks renting a place out is easy money, you know? One landlord I had saved himself a bundle by getting good at doing minor repairs himself, but I know not everyone can do this.

It really sucks to be a renter. You get nailed to the wall at tax time in return for living within your financial means and not buying a house you can't afford. Your home can be taken away from you through no fault of your own, if the landlord decides not to renew for any number of possible reasons. Your neighbors don't like renters, just kind of on principle, no matter how good of a neighbor you are. No matter how long you live somewhere and how faithfully you pay your bills, it will never be yours. You're not protected against inflation like people with fixed-rate mortgages are. Any money you spend on updates is eventually going to flow into someone else's pocket and you won't get so much as a "thank you" for it. The ONE redeeming thing about being a renter is that when something breaks, it's not your problem. Most renters know this, and desirable tenants are not going to jump at a lease that messes with that status quo.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:18 PM
 
411 posts, read 617,631 times
Reputation: 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Good points, folks. I am thinking about something along the lines of "passing the savings" to the tenant. Perhaps, have a certain amount of funds allocated and if the tenant does not report repairs periodically or frequently enough to consume that reserve, they could claim that happily at the end of the lease term. Does this sound attractive? Perhaps, this would bring about a win-win situation for both the landlord and the tenant.
I don't think this would be the greatest solution for you as the property owner. You want your tenants to report issues to you promptly so that you can maintain the property well. You don't want problems sitting out there getting worse just because you don't know about them. That'll just cost you extra money in the long run. So why reward your tenants for keeping problems from you?

Going back to your original question, as a former renter, I know that neither my husband nor I would have been comfortable renting a property for which we would have been responsible for paying a portion of all repairs. Bearing no financial responsibility for maintenance (unless it had been maintenance required due to our abuse of the property) was one of the chief attractions of renting vs. owning.

From what you've said about your rental property costing you a lot in repairs, it sounds like maybe you just have a problem on your hands. If it's not something you're interested in continuing to deal with, then have you considered selling it and instead investing in a different property to rent out?
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:59 AM
 
257 posts, read 321,162 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by athousandlogins View Post
It really sucks to be a renter. You get nailed to the wall at tax time in return for living within your financial means and not buying a house you can't afford.
How do you feel you get nailed to the wall at tax time? Is it because you don't get the mortgage interest tax deduction? FWIW, if you're married, that deduction is way over-rated. As a married couple, you have a standard deduction of just over $10,000. For the interest deduction to mean anything, you have to pay interest (and other deductible items) OVER that amount. The tax deduction is not much of a saving grace for those who own their house.

Quote:
Your home can be taken away from you through no fault of your own, if the landlord decides not to renew for any number of possible reasons. Your neighbors don't like renters, just kind of on principle, no matter how good of a neighbor you are. No matter how long you live somewhere and how faithfully you pay your bills, it will never be yours. You're not protected against inflation like people with fixed-rate mortgages are. Any money you spend on updates is eventually going to flow into someone else's pocket and you won't get so much as a "thank you" for it. The ONE redeeming thing about being a renter is that when something breaks, it's not your problem. Most renters know this, and desirable tenants are not going to jump at a lease that messes with that status quo.
Yup.

You did forget one small benefit of being a renter -- if you move around a lot, or are at a period of your life where your living situation and career aren't stable, your obligation ends after giving requisite notice (and your lease is up). You don't have to worry about paying for two houses.

It's safe to say that anybody who wants to stick repair costs on the renters should realize they will be dealing with some adverse selection in their rental pool. It means they are screening out the "best" tenants.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Beautiful beaches of Florida!
207 posts, read 381,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themommy View Post
I don't think this would be the greatest solution for you as the property owner. You want your tenants to report issues to you promptly so that you can maintain the property well. You don't want problems sitting out there getting worse just because you don't know about them. That'll just cost you extra money in the long run. So why reward your tenants for keeping problems from you?
Having lived all over the country I have NEVER heard of a "repair deductible" until moving to NOVA. I know of a few people roped into this on their leases, and as stated above they now choose to not report minor issues to their landlord which in time will become much bigger costly issues. What goes around comes around I guess...
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,255 posts, read 1,297,211 times
Reputation: 935
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
I personally would be very hesitant to rent from someone who had wording like this in the lease. If there were never any issues then I am paying above and beyond the rent. We have been renting since 2004 and there has always been wording to the effect that if the toliet stopped up or the sink didn't drain, if they could prove we were responsible we had to pay their repairman for the repairs.
I saw some of these clauses when I was looking at townhouses and dismissed them outright. I expect the maintenance of the property to be in the owners interest and funded by the owner. But I expect, as a tenant, to put some money into any rental (just to make it what I want) anyway and have only called my landlord once when the roof leaked.

So far I've seen the landlord once in 15 months.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: charleston
1,442 posts, read 2,440,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
I saw some of these clauses when I was looking at townhouses and dismissed them outright. I expect the maintenance of the property to be in the owners interest and funded by the owner. But I expect, as a tenant, to put some money into any rental (just to make it what I want) anyway and have only called my landlord once when the roof leaked.

So far I've seen the landlord once in 15 months.

Just curious as to what you have invested into your rental? paint? new lighting?
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:49 PM
 
386 posts, read 794,359 times
Reputation: 115
There goes my suggestion out the window and rightly so. So, it doesn't appear that any renter would want to bear the expenses, partially or otherwise, of maintaining the property. Which brings me back to my original question -

Would the best solution be to state that all repairs would be handled by the landlord so long as they have not been caused due to negligence? I have lived in apartments and paid a few hundred dollars for minor carpet stains so clearly even the corporates who own large apartments don't intend to pay for all the expenses themselves. While a condo should make sense to a renter as it is a tad cheaper, it cannot ofcourse eliminate all renter responsibilities as well. Correct?
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,255 posts, read 1,297,211 times
Reputation: 935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebyrd86 View Post
Just curious as to what you have invested into your rental? paint? new lighting?
Just as an example, two of the bedrooms had cheap blinds in them that didn't reduce light coming into the room. I bought new blinds (on sale) and installed them myself. Now I can sleep past sunrise again!!!!

I think people wrongly assume that a rental property comes equipped to your liking. It doesn't. Either your landlord is so broke that he/she can't afford to live in it themselves, or they have experienced tenants ruining the high quality things they left in the rental. Either way, expect to improve the place a little.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:50 AM
 
34 posts, read 45,453 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
There goes my suggestion out the window and rightly so. So, it doesn't appear that any renter would want to bear the expenses, partially or otherwise, of maintaining the property. Which brings me back to my original question -

Would the best solution be to state that all repairs would be handled by the landlord so long as they have not been caused due to negligence? I have lived in apartments and paid a few hundred dollars for minor carpet stains so clearly even the corporates who own large apartments don't intend to pay for all the expenses themselves. While a condo should make sense to a renter as it is a tad cheaper, it cannot of course eliminate all renter responsibilities as well. Correct?
An investment property owner for several years, I have never included a clause that penalizes my tenant for damages that are not their responsibility. It's a double whammy. Investment property ownership is a business, maintenance and repairs are a cost of doing business and tax deductible.

If you anticipate numerous repairs because of the property’s age or lack of prior maintenance, then increase the rent to absorb these costs. If the tenants tear up the place, that's what the security deposit is for.

I do however have a clause in my lease that requires the tenant contact us as soon as possible when learning of a "need to repair.” We also include a clause that penalizes them for costs over $50 if they fail to notify us within a reasonable time frame (contractors know how long a problem has been “festering.) Yes, this does encourage a little more hand-holding than most property owners care to provide, but we’ve learned that minimizing damages by repairing early keeps repair costs down as well as personal inconvenience.

We feel we are partners with our tenants. We agree to provide them a safe functional home and they agree to care for the property as if it were their own (with a no deductible maintenance contract) and pay their rent on time.

It's worked very well for 12 years, and if it ain't broke, I sure don't plan to try to fix it.
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