Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo
- - - - -

Rental house issue - landlord responsibility? UPDATE post 1


54 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:38 AM

We own a house in Alaska that we rent out through a property management company. Saturday night (8 pm) the power went out to the house. The electric company came to investigate and found that the meter base had failed. It turns out that that repair is our responsibility. So the property manager was calling contractors until midnight on Saturday, found one over the weekend who will coordinate the work, and they are acquiring parts and scheduling an electrician. It is now Monday night there and we got an email from the property manager. The tenants have chosen to get a hotel because the temperature is in the 20s at night. They are saving receipts and asking for compensation. That sounds reasonable to me - I am thinking we will look at the hotel rates in the area and deduct the "going rate" from their rent for the number of days they were in the hotel. I have no idea if they are going to ask for food or per diem.

 

They are arguing with the property manager because there is a generator on the property. We never used it; in fact we disconnected it before we moved because we didn't want to pay to have it serviced and worry about upkeep (it is pretty old). This is what the property manager sent me:

 

"The tenant is claiming the generator did not work when the power went out and claims it is required to because it is a part of the house. He asked about the generator shortly after they moved in. I informed him that I knew nothing about it but he can investigate and if it is usable he can use it for back up power. Today he insisted there is a responsibility for us to provide a working generator. My reply was it is not documented in the lease, therefore it is his responsibility if he wishes to use it. I informed him at this time the generator will not be started because work is being performed on the electrical system and the system is not properly locked out for the workers."

 

Ok, that seems ridiculous to me. We are not responsible for providing a working generator! Most homes do not have them. We rarely have power outages that last more than a couple of hours. This reminds me of how they complained that the asphalt on the driveway was faulty - it was installed during a heat wave and took a little longer to cure. They wanted something done about it (okay, wait it out! That will fix it!). I think they are acting entitled. I bet they are the sort of people who expect their meal to be comped at restaurants if it takes ten minutes or the silverware has spots. So this makes me not feel like being too generous to them.

 

The landlord tenant law for Alaska states that the landlord has to provide heat. I totally agree with that. If I was a tenant, I would be ticked if I was paying for a hotel while the power was off. I think we should help them out (from our deep, deep pockets, of course). But what would you say (if anything) about the generator?

 

-----------------------------------

UPDATE 11/3

 

The power was restored on that Friday. A generator had been brought in after 2 days without power, and so the fridge was without power for only 2 days according to the property manager. Before the generator was turned on, the temp was professionally recorded at 60 F. So the heat is not the big issue to me, but the lack of water (well pump) is. The tenants turned in receipts and are asking for $700 compensation for food, gas, and time. Here is their breakdown:

 

$408 for hotel fees - 3 nights @ $90/night (good rate) plus $40 per night for their pet fee, plus tax.

 

$43 for groceries to eat in hotel room (note - their hotel was 3 minutes from the house, just down the road. They bought canned soups, crackers, fruit & veggies, bread, mayo, lunchmeat). I am inclined to say NO to this since they could have retrieved that food from the house.

 

$62 for two restaurant breakfasts. Hotel didn't have a breakfast buffet - but I think restaurant breakfasts should not be my responsibility. The hotel had a fridge & microwave - they could have made oatmeal or eaten yogurt or cereal, like we do every day instead of driving to a restaurant and ordering $13 meals.

 

$22 for a pizza for dinner

 

$55 for food lost in the fridge power-outage (meat, cheese, veggies)

 

$51 gas ????? This makes no sense to me at all. The hotel was 3 miles from the house, and all the stores they went to were within walking distance of the hotel.

 

This totals up to about $640, and they want $60 for their "time."

 

My thoughts - The food bills are silly. The gas is ridiculous. They have renter's insurance and can file a claim through that if they wish.

 

So I am thinking of telling the property manager:

The tenant's renter's insurance likely covers them in this situation. We are already out $3k+ for an electrical system that was fine when we left the house in June.

Looking over the receipts, I am a little surprised at a few things. One is that they seem to have not brought perishable food from the house into the hotel. That would have saved them food expenses while staying in the hotel, and would have saved that food from spoilage by being left in the refrigerator. I am also surprised that they want us to pay for their restaurant meals, since their hotel had a fridge & microwave, and they had already bought soups & sandwich fixings to eat in the hotel. If it had been me, I would have eaten oatmeal & yogurt (like the yogurt they apparently left in the house fridge) for breakfast instead of going out to a restaurant. Replacing food left in the refrigerator is surprising to me, since I am fairly certain the food could have been moved to the garage and kept at a safe temperature, and food in the freezer could have been placed outside at 20 degrees F. So given all that, I feel that their food expenses were unnecessary and not our responsiblity.

 

I do not understand the gas receipt at all. The hotel is 1 mile further from Anchorage than the house, and the Walmart, cafe, and pizza place are all within 1 mile of the hotel. As far as I can see, any increase in fuel is negligible.

 

I feel comfortable crediting their rent for the 5 days that the house was without power, and they can file a claim through their renter's insurance.

 

--- I am trying to be fair to myself here, and not just rolling over and paying them for their drama. Does this seem reasonable?


Edited by ondreeuh, 03 November 2017 - 04:05 AM.

  • Melissa in Australia, Word Nerd, Catwoman and 3 others like this

#2 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29610 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:56 AM

I don't see why you would be responsible for providing them with a generator. That seems ridiculous. You should definitely put in writing (immediately!) how much you are willing to reimburse them for their hotel stay. Otherwise, they may be staying someplace outrageously expensive and expect you to foot the entire bill, including all of their meals at expensive restaurants.

Ordinarily I wouldn't be as concerned about how much they're spending, but these people sound like they have an entitled attitude and they might be looking for any excuse to take advantage of you.

How much time is left on their lease? Do you think they're looking for a reason to sue you or to not pay their rent? Could that be why they are suddenly demanding the generator be repaired?
  • Amy in NH, mom2scouts, Stibalfamily and 1 other like this

#3 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29610 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:57 AM

I just wanted to add that I'm so sorry your tenants are being difficult, Andrea. It sounds like you are being so kind and gracious, and that you're doing everything you can to make things right for them. :grouphug:

#4 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:09 AM

I don't see why you would be responsible for providing them with a generator. That seems ridiculous. You should definitely put in writing (immediately!) how much you are willing to reimburse them for their hotel stay. Otherwise, they may be staying someplace outrageously expensive and expect you to foot the entire bill, including all of their meals at expensive restaurants.

Ordinarily I wouldn't be as concerned about how much they're spending, but these people sound like they have an entitled attitude and they might be looking for any excuse to take advantage of you.

How much time is left on their lease? Do you think they're looking for a reason to sue you or to not pay their rent? Could that be why they are suddenly demanding the generator be repaired?

 

Their lease is through mid-July. I sent an email to the landlord, trying to help smooth things over. If they see us as reasonable people and not faceless, rich investors, then maybe they will calm down a bit. I sent him this: "Please let the tenants know that we are very sorry this has happened. We had no indication that this could be an issue. We sympathize with the fact that they are inconvenienced. The generator was an artifact that came with the house when we bought it. It probably hasn't been serviced in many years and we have never used it. It is not hooked up to the gas system any longer, and was never included in the amenities. It is very uncommon for Alaskan houses to have generators, and it is not part of the home heating system. We had routine maintenance done on the whole house in May, and that included having the heating system inspected and serviced. "

 

I do get the sense that they want SOMETHING out of us because it seems like they want to use the generator as leverage. When they moved in, they demanded that a room be repainted because it was "unacceptable" which we paid $500 for (ugh) to keep them happy. We'd had the paint touched up in the room (the whole house, actually - $3k worth of professional painting). I know they have complained about a lot of stuff that our manager has just dealt with (mostly told them no) and not burdened us with. It will be interesting to see how they handle the winter. They are from Florida, and it has rained constantly since they moved in this past summer. Winters get very cold and WINDY at our house, and this might be a heavy snow year. They might get fed up with the climate and take it out on us.

 

I just wanted to add that I'm so sorry your tenants are being difficult, Andrea. It sounds like you are being so kind and gracious, and that you're doing everything you can to make things right for them. :grouphug:

 

We're trying! I don't know what they think of us - if they think we are reasonable or not. They don't seem as concerned about making a good impression.



#5 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 02:26 AM

Reply from our property manager: I will pass on your generous offer to the tenants after power is restored. These things happen, as the state law says the issue is being addressed, nothing was done malicious so it's really tough luck to the tenants. Unfortunate for all of us. I personally believe they are looking to get out of their lease. They have been talking to a sales agent about buying a property. He requested a copy of their lease this evening.

 

Well, awesome! Ugh. They signed a 1-year lease and moved in in mid-July. So if they break the lease, that means they are obligated to pay rent for the rest of the year, correct? If they don't, we have to sue them. I know the landlord-tenant law states that if we have failed to provide the necessary systems (including heat), the tenant may produce in writing a request to break the lease if the issue is not fixed within 20 days. This issue will be fixed within a week, so that is moot. We have done our part to have the house inspected/serviced to prevent this kind of issue, and have responded promptly, so I can't see any judge would side with them. But still, it would take time & money to fight. I am SO glad we have a property management company handling this!!!

 

Incidentally, we have a 3-year lease on a house in Europe and have worked out with our landlord that if we want to buy a house, we may break the lease after 1 year IF we have found a replacement tenant so they don't lose rent. This is how reasonable people do things.


  • Sandwalker likes this

#6 Jean in Newcastle

Jean in Newcastle

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 66735 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 03:09 AM

If you pay for the hotel, then you have provided a heated place for them while repairs are being made.

How easy is it to rent properties out? Is it possible to get a new renter quickly if they break the lease?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Amy in NH, Lady Florida. and Sandwalker like this

#7 momacacia

momacacia

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2651 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:02 AM

Ugh. I'm so sorry. We've watched my in laws go through it with residential renters and my husband just won't even consider doing that with our house of we ever move. The law is very in favor of the renters, it's tough.
  • Amy in NH and Sandwalker like this

#8 Carrie12345

Carrie12345

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11556 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:03 AM

If you pay for the hotel, then you have provided a heated place for them while repairs are being made.

 

 

This.

You're not a magician. Repairs are being done.  They are being accommodated.

 

Landlords are obligated to provide working heating equipment in NJ, too.  (I'd assume everywhere, but I've only ever rented in NJ.) I've never rented a place that had a generator.  It's just not an expected (or required) thing.


  • Amy in NH likes this

#9 Mama Geek

Mama Geek

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5139 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:15 AM

I don't understand why renter's insurance wouldn't cover their hotel.  We had a problem with a toilet cracking and flooding our apartment in another state.  The apartment complex did the repairs and our insurance covered our stuff and hotel.  I would talk to a lawyer before paying them anything.


  • Amy in NH, ondreeuh, mom2scouts and 1 other like this

#10 JFSinIL

JFSinIL

    Queen of teh Typos ;-)

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9868 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 06:42 AM

Something failed on the new (as of this summer) freezer part of the fridge in the town home she rents, and while she was able to rush most of her meat to us and out deep freeze in time, some less dense stuff had to be tossed.  Does the landlord have to get the freezer fixed - I suspect it would still be under warranty since he just got it for the unit this summer.  Although I suspect it is the door seal, which would be cheap for him to simply replace.   The girls are clueless ("Mom! Adulting is hard!")  ;-)

 

He does still have a key for emergencies since he is mere blocks away and I am an hour away. 

 

 



#11 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 06:55 AM

I don't understand why renter's insurance wouldn't cover their hotel. We had a problem with a toilet cracking and flooding our apartment in another state. The apartment complex did the repairs and our insurance covered our stuff and hotel. I would talk to a lawyer before paying them anything.


Our property management company DOES require tenants to have rental insurance, Wikipedia tells me that rental insurance covers accommodations if the house is uninhabitable. I sent an email to the manager, asking him to check their policy. Thank you for mentioning this!!
  • Amy in NH, Anne, Mama Geek and 5 others like this

#12 Rach

Rach

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4307 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:14 AM

What a frustrating situation!

They are high maintenance. Good luck resolving the situation.

#13 prairiewindmomma

prairiewindmomma

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10491 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:30 AM

Providing a hotel covers providing heat.

Depending on your state law, if a generator was on site ("provided") you may be obligated to repair/replace it just like you would a washing machine or an oven. Next time I would distinguish in the lease that it is specifically not warranted.

But, yes, it sounds like they are trying to get out of the lease, and getting them to continue paying on it may be challenging.

#14 Lanny

Lanny

    Powered by Banana Splits

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7257 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:42 AM

You probably will need to reimburse them for staying in a hotel or motel or something.  Not the Waldorf-Astoria, but a decent property. You can get guidance from the Per Diem charts on GSA.GOV   Regarding their meals, while they are not able to  be in the rental home.  I would reimburse them, partially, for what the meals they eat in restaurants cost.  Partially, because  if they were in the rental home, their meals would not be free. They would be eating food they had purchased and cooking with gas or electricity they had paid for. Plus their time for cooking and dish washing. 

 

The Generator is a no go...  First of all, it might not have had enough capacity to power the heating system. Secondly, generators are mechanical devices, and they are very prone to failure.  That's why Puerto Rico must not become dependent upon generators, to power their hospitals, for one example. They are not designed to operate 24/7 for more than a day or 2. The generator the tenants saw might have been able to power the lights and TV, and maybe the refrigerator, but probably not an electric stove or a furnace.  And hooking that up to the house would probably require an electrician who understands the wiring of the house and where to hook it into the electrical system of the house.

 

We live in Colombia and power failures are very rare here. Our neighbors on one side have a generator and sometimes during a power failure, it will kick in. I am not sure how much it can power. I would be happy, under those circumstances, to have lights and to have the refrigerator operating.

 

 

 

 



#15 StephanieZ

StephanieZ

    Child Wrangler

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7439 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:43 AM

I'm also a small-scale landlord. . .

 

I think you're on the right track with paying for hotel fees while there is no heat. That's likely your responsibility. Whatever their bills are, I'd cover them . . . unless they are INSANE, in which case, I'd pay a lawyer before I didn't pay . . .

 

RE: the generator. I doubt you're responsible to keep it working since, as you said, you'd disconnected/disabled it before renting. In fact, I would NOT want to provide a generator at all if you can possibly avoid it, as you'll not only be liable for keeping it working safely, but also for any accident/explosion/fire/CO poisoning/disaster associated with its use.

 

(We have used generators, I get how much of a hassle and life/limb risk they are!)

 

You're probably wise to go ahead and suck it up and contact a lawyer about these issues . . . Just to get comfortable with what your responsibilities are . . . 



#16 Annie G

Annie G

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7941 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:01 AM

Sounds like you're doing everything you should be doing! So sorry you're going through this. I know it stinks to lose a tenant partway through the lease but  they sound high maintenance so maybe it's a blessing in disguise.  And just wait until they buy a house of their own and see how unpredictable stuff like that is!!!! 

 

:grouphug:


  • Rebel Yell and Sandwalker like this

#17 elegantlion

elegantlion

    Wandering and Wondering

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28012 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:03 AM

Providing a hotel covers providing heat.

Depending on your state law, if a generator was on site ("provided") you may be obligated to repair/replace it just like you would a washing machine or an oven. Next time I would distinguish in the lease that it is specifically not warranted.

But, yes, it sounds like they are trying to get out of the lease, and getting them to continue paying on it may be challenging.

 

If I'm remembering correctly, one lease we signed years ago stated this. If an appliance/something mechanical was on site, it was by contract supposed to be working condition, unless specifically excluded. If  you end having new renters, I would make sure that exclusion is written into the contract. 



#18 Sandwalker

Sandwalker

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 284 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:13 AM

In the state where dh and i were landlords, if the tenants break the lease, they are responsible for paying until you get another renter in there. We had to prove that we had advertised for new tenants in good faith.

As far as the hotel for yours, I would find a decent one and pay for it myself, or they could go to a really expensive hotel and eat out of the mini fridge or from room service. I would not reimburse for food, that's ridiculous. They can eat out cheaply if they want.

We decided never to be landlords again after we had renters in an old Victorian that we had renovated and split into a duplex years ago. Heat was included in the rent because it was impossible to split the oil bills up fairly. This is when heating oil and gas prices were astronomical, so our monthly oil bill was in the 4 figures (big old 4 story house). Not to mention the mortgage, which was covered ny the rent--or should have been.

They stopped paying rent that November. In that state, it is illegal to evict tenants in the winter, so they did not pay from November until April. They made more money than we did. Tenant's brother was a lawyer, and he advised them all the way. We were not rich; in fact were struggling in a tiny condo with a new baby and a 3 year old. The tenants called in people to see if there was asbestos, lead paint, and radon gas. In a house built in 1888. Luckily, all was safe, and they couldn't sue for that, but we lost all our savings and were so broke, we lived on rice and beans. My daughter remembers my digging in couch cushions for change to put gas in the car. :(
  • Carol in Cal. and Amy in NH like this

#19 Carol in Cal.

Carol in Cal.

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16817 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:23 AM

Please check to see whether your landlord insurance covers their hotel stay.

I am not sure about this, but ours (unexpectedly) covered loss of rent during repair in addition to the repairs after tenants vandalized the place and then moved out.


Edited by Carol in Cal., 17 October 2017 - 11:24 AM.

  • Amy in NH likes this

#20 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:26 AM

That is horrible!!!!!

We were just told today that the renters have been staying off-site. Presumably since Saturday night or Sunday. I took a screenshot showing the note rates in the area and there were four around $80 per night. I told the manager we would cover $100 per night for hotel & taxes. They still have access to the house, and honestly it is cold enough they can set their food on the porch and it will stay cold enough or even freeze.

Being a landlord sucks. As a homeowner, you just deal with stuff like this. My prop. manager keeps saying that I am not required to do anything but have the meter promptly repaired. I am not maliciously shutting off utilities or letting the house stay uninhabitable. I am authorizing repair work to be done ASAP.

I really hope Alaska doesn't have any rule about a generator on site being required to work. My sh says he told the manager verbally that we weren't including use of the generator, but I don't know if that was noted on the lease. I think it does note specifically that we were leaving the lawnmower and garage freezer but wouldn't be responsible for maintenance. So hopefully the generator was included in that.

In the state where dh and i were landlords, if the tenants break the lease, they are responsible for paying until you get another renter in there. We had to prove that we had advertised for new tenants in good faith.

As far as the hotel for yours, I would find a decent one and pay for it myself, or they could go to a really expensive hotel and eat out of the mini fridge or from room service. I would not reimburse for food, that's ridiculous. They can eat out cheaply if they want.

We decided never to be landlords again after we had renters in an old Victorian that we had renovated and split into a duplex years ago. Heat was included in the rent because it was impossible to split the oil bills up fairly. This is when heating oil and gas prices were astronomical, so our monthly oil bill was in the 4 figures (big old 4 story house). Not to mention the mortgage, which was covered ny the rent--or should have been.

They stopped paying rent that November. In that state, it is illegal to evict tenants in the winter, so they did not pay from November until April. They made more money than we did. Tenant's brother was a lawyer, and he advised them all the way. We were not rich; in fact were struggling in a tiny condo with a new baby and a 3 year old. The tenants called in people to see if there was asbestos, lead paint, and radon gas. In a house built in 1888. Luckily, all was safe, and they couldn't sue for that, but we lost all our savings and were so broke, we lived on rice and beans. My daughter remembers my digging in couch cushions for change to put gas in the car. :(


  • Sandwalker likes this

#21 eternalsummer

eternalsummer

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4099 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 12:26 PM

Yes, as a homeowner you just deal with stuff like this - that is part of why people are willing to throw money away renting instead of paying a mortgage (essentially investing it), because it is sometimes preferable to pay for the convenience of having someone else deal with these problems and costs.

 

(we rent).

 

In every place I've ever lived, none of which have had a generator, if there is an appliance the landlord doesn't want to service, the lease specifically excludes it - something like, "washing machine available for tenants' use but not part of the rental property and will not be repaired," etc.

 

I don't think you can do that with things like ovens and refrigerators but I am not sure, maybe I just have only encountered it with washing machines. :)

 

 

I would reimburse something for food.  It is a lot cheaper to eat in your own house than to eat out, especially if you have a specific dietary requirement.  Like, for us, probably 5-10x as expensive.  

 

I would never be a landlord in any case, but I would definitely not do it if my own financial security depended on having someone in the property paying rent at all times, or even half the time.  That is just way too much reliance on one other family for your bread and butter.  It would be like running a business and having 3 clients total - not feasible.

 


  • Sadie likes this

#22 Lady Florida.

Lady Florida.

    New again (old) avatar. Same old me.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12881 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 12:36 PM

Ugh. It sounds like they are trying to get something out of you that you don't need to provide even if as the property manager thinks, they're trying to get out of the lease. It also sounds like you're trying to do whatever you can to accommodate them now and get the issue fixed so they can get back home. I don't know what else you can do.

 

What kind of renters have they been? As another poster asked, will it be easy enough to get another renter? If so, maybe it's not a bad idea to let them out of the lease. Sometimes it takes a thing like this for people to show their true colors. I could see them insisting on the generator if you were trying to fight them on reimbursement or otherwise not providing what they need while getting the meter repaired. 

 

I don't know the law in your state so maybe you will be required to fix the generator if it was on site when they rented. Still, that's a pretty crummy thing to try and force from you when you're already doing what you can to make them comfortable and get them back in the house asap.


Edited by Lady Florida., 17 October 2017 - 12:36 PM.

  • Sandwalker likes this

#23 foxbridgeacademy

foxbridgeacademy

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4866 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:31 PM

As for their responsibility if the lease is broken that varies by state law, some it's only 2 months, others it's until the property is rerented.  I'm pretty sure in most states once the property is rerented you can not charge them rent too.  In your situation I might see about working out a shortened lease option for them.  Weather being  an issue, no one wants to move during a snowstorm (we did it once and it sucks) then if you offer them an out in the Spring maybe they will stop being PITA's.  I definitely would not be renewing their lease.



#24 PrairieSong

PrairieSong

    Mrs. Bojangles

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3403 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 03:41 PM

We're small potatoes landlords, too. I would not have repainted a room that was "unacceptable" if it was just because of the color, especially if you'd just had the entire house professionally painted. Surely they saw the whole house before signing the lease.

Definitely read your state's landlord/tenant law to find out about paying for the hotel, and the generator issue. I would never want to provide a generator for tenants. Too many possible things that could go wrong, a nightmare waiting to happen. I'd also find out if their renter's insurance will pay for the hotel and if yours will reimburse you for loss of rent. If it's only a week, maybe not, but it's worth a look.

Good luck with it all!

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
  • Amy in NH and Sandwalker like this

#25 eternalsummer

eternalsummer

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4099 posts

Posted 17 October 2017 - 04:13 PM

I agree that the paint request was weird.  If they've signed the lease, that's it imo.  House is rented, no more improvements.  Now if they wanted you to repaint before they'd sign a lease, and you'd rather do that than keep looking for a new tenant, that's fine.



#26 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 01:46 AM

So the estimate is $3k! And that is if they don't find further damage when they do their work.

 

The property manager brought in a generator to get the furnace going, but it doesn't power anything else. The purpose was to keep the pipes from freezing. So I'm sure we will be hit with a gas bill by these tenants as well.

 

The manager says the tenants are being difficult. Personally, my family tries really hard to be gracious in situations that suck but are no one's fault. So I'm a little miffed that they can't do the same. I'm really glad that we have a middle-man who can filter things and pass them on. It's a lot less personal this way.

 

The manager asked me to contact my homeowner's insurance. We have a landlord policy, so maybe they will cover some of these expenses. We don't rely on this income and have savings, so it's a nuisance but not a huge problem for us. We will definitely be deducting any expenses when we do our taxes!


  • prairiewindmomma likes this

#27 Sandwalker

Sandwalker

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 284 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 02:10 AM

...I would never be a landlord in any case, but I would definitely not do it if my own financial security depended on having someone in the property paying rent at all times, or even half the time. That is just way too much reliance on one other family for your bread and butter. It would be like running a business and having 3 clients total - not feasible.

Thank you for such a thoughtful post! This has taught me an important lesson about sharing personal stories here.

Edited by Sandwalker, 18 October 2017 - 02:11 AM.

  • ILiveInFlipFlops likes this

#28 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:51 AM

Thank you for such a thoughtful post! This has taught me an important lesson about sharing personal stories here.


At first I was a little stung because it felt like eternalsummer was calling me irresponsible. But then I decided to assume she was just musing and it wasn't a reflection on me. But yeah, I almost never post anything personal (and almost didn't start this thread) because too often people get too judgmental.
  • Sandwalker likes this

#29 Sandwalker

Sandwalker

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 284 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:07 AM

At first I was a little stung because it felt like eternalsummer was calling me irresponsible. But then I decided to assume she was just musing and it wasn't a reflection on me. But yeah, I almost never post anything personal (and almost didn't start this thread) because too often people get too judgmental.

Yes, it was such a hard time in my family's life, so perhaps I took her reply too personally.

#30 Jean in Newcastle

Jean in Newcastle

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 66735 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:28 AM

I don't get why people feel like they need to weigh in on things when they have no experienced advice to offer.  Obviously someone who doesn't want to be a landlord shouldn't be a landlord.  For the rest of us, we are adults who have weighed the pros and cons.

 

Ondreeuh, you sound like you have an excellent management company.  That isn't always the case and I'm glad that you have that in the midst of this.  I'm sorry for all the damage to the meter and electrical system.  When essential systems fail it is so expensive.  We had a rental that got flooded and having to bring in a company that specializes in that sort of thing was so expensive.  Our renters were difficult too and blamed us.  It's not like we caused the flood.  (Just like you didn't cause the meter to break.)  I remind myself when things like this happen that even if we were to sell, we'd still have to fix the problem first. 


  • Scarlett and Sandwalker like this

#31 Scarlett

Scarlett

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19953 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:32 AM

I don't get why people feel like they need to weigh in on things when they have no experienced advice to offer.  Obviously someone who doesn't want to be a landlord shouldn't be a landlord.  For the rest of us, we are adults who have weighed the pros and cons.

 

Ondreeuh, you sound like you have an excellent management company.  That isn't always the case and I'm glad that you have that in the midst of this.  I'm sorry for all the damage to the meter and electrical system.  When essential systems fail it is so expensive.  We had a rental that got flooded and having to bring in a company that specializes in that sort of thing was so expensive.  Our renters were difficult too and blamed us.  It's not like we caused the flood.  (Just like you didn't cause the meter to break.)  I remind myself when things like this happen that even if we were to sell, we'd still have to fix the problem first. 

 

 

I agree the management company sounds awesome!



#32 OrganicJen

OrganicJen

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 379 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:46 AM

I have a rental property and I included language in it that anything left on the property like ladders, yard equipment, etc was not included in the lease and they were allowed to use it if they choose but at their own risk, but that it wasn't part of the lease so if it was non working or defective we aren't responsible. That way we could leave things there like a snow shovel etc and didn't have to replace them if they broke. If the generator isn't on the lease they can't require that it work, but in the future I would write a more detailed lease.

#33 OrganicJen

OrganicJen

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 379 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:50 AM

Oh and we changed our home owners policy to a special rental home policy when we made it a rental and it covers hotel bills in situations like you described.

#34 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 18 October 2017 - 01:20 PM

I called my insurance agent. Our deductible is the same cost as the estimated repair. :closedeyes: We will see what the final bill is.

 

Everything will hopefully be fixed on Friday. The manager wants to wait until everything is done before we discuss compensation. That way there will be fewer misunderstandings. My first instinct is to be generous, but I get the feeling that these people will be the type to take advantage. So we will wait and see. I'm not really feeling sorry for them anymore. My husband is wondering if they did something to overload the system - wouldn't it be ironic if THEY caused the issues?

 

We have a security deposit & last month's rent from them. I doubt the house would rent quickly as we approach winter. But the view is awesome!


  • Scarlett, Jean in Newcastle and Sandwalker like this

#35 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 04:08 AM

See update in post 1.



#36 Melissa in Australia

Melissa in Australia

    Amateur at everything

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11412 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:39 AM

Seems more than reasonable to me

#37 Mama Geek

Mama Geek

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5139 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 06:06 AM

Our apartment had minor flooding due to toilet issues.  The apartment paid to fix the apartment, our renters insurance paid for hotel and restaurants.  They would not pay for groceries because they saw it is something you would normally buy not an extra expense.  Their renter's insurance should cover everything other than the generator.  I think I would not give them money for their time, gas, groceries or anything else and let them make a claim with their insurance.  It sounds like you might do well to get a lawyer involved.  They are trying to use you.


  • Catwoman, ondreeuh and connib like this

#38 scholastica

scholastica

    Just Visiting

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 699 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 06:58 AM

Your property manager should be instructing them to file with their renter's insurance. If you wanted to be kind, you could pay their deductible if there is one.
  • StephanieZ, QueenCat, Catwoman and 1 other like this

#39 gingersmom

gingersmom

    Coupon Queen

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7098 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 07:53 AM

I think they are trying to take advantage of you. At the same time it's not thousands of dollars and they are living in your house. I would probably just pay, avoid the aggravation and not renew their lease.
  • ondreeuh likes this

#40 Ailaena

Ailaena

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1369 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:18 AM


I can't imagine why you would have to pay for their restaurant outings when there was a refrigerator at the hotel and food in their house. Were they aware that they could keep food outside? And $51 in gas is completely unreasonable. Maybe they're just high balling so you'll meet them in the middle?

I was gung-ho on the "don't be ridiculous, don't pay for that extra crap," but maybe gingersmom has a point :/
But wait! Aren't they possible trying to break their lease anyways?

Ok, I'm back in my original camp. If they have renter's insurance that will cover them, there is no reason for you to pay for those things that you shouldn't be paying for anyways.
  • QueenCat, Catwoman, ondreeuh and 1 other like this

#41 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:33 AM

I think they are trying to take advantage of you. At the same time it's not thousands of dollars and they are living in your house. I would probably just pay, avoid the aggravation and not renew their lease.

.

I totally understand this perspective ... but they have 9 months left in their lease and I'm afraid of setting a precedent of paying whenever they complain.

I will ask the property mgr if he can find out their deductible. That may be the best way to buy them off without getting walked all over.
  • StephanieZ, QueenCat and Catwoman like this

#42 itsheresomewhere

itsheresomewhere

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4265 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:44 AM

Any chance they canceled their renter's insurance after being in the house?

#43 prairiewindmomma

prairiewindmomma

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10491 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 09:48 AM

The fact that you are out money for the repair isn't the tenant's problem.

 

I'd cover the hotel bill only, although I'd think about covering the food lost in the fridge. They were going to eat and drive as part of their normal lives anyway--I wouldn't pay anything else.

 

I think more to the point, I would've clarified from the very beginning, at the point at which they departed the home, that you were covering their room bill only.  And, I'd have renters have a renter's policy with you listed as an interested policy, so that you would know if the policy was ever canceled.


  • Catwoman likes this

#44 Tap

Tap

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16740 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:09 AM

I would tell them to submit to renters insurance.  IF you want to pay their deductible that is Way over the top nice and honestly I would never do it with that list submitted. They sound greedy and you may need to pay for some repairs when they move out of the house.  

 

Gas- I wouldn't pay for that anyways since the distance is so small.

Food- if the insurance doesn't replace/pay for it, then I wouldn't either.  While their meal prices weren't over the top, it isn't your responsibility to cover. That is what insurance is for.

Lodging-should be covered by insurance

Time-nothing. 

 

 


  • connib likes this

#45 Rach

Rach

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4307 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:41 AM

I've typed a couple different responses but I think I'm coming across too harshly and I don't mean to.

I'd only pay for the hotel unless required by law or the lease to pay more. In that case I'd pay $500. That is $250 per day for the two days they are out of the house. It doesn't matter how they chose to spend that money. Construction workers and people that travel frequently get a per diem (if not on an expense account), $125 per person per day is a very reasonable per diem. Some people choose to sleep in their truck and eat grocery store food. Others eat out at each meal and sleep in the local motel.

In the future, I would have in your lease contract exactly what you will cover with a cap.

The repair costs are irrelevant, you would have to do that as the owner of the property no matter what.

#46 KatieinMich

KatieinMich

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4897 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:50 AM

As a landlord and having gone thru a lot in 30: years, including a fire started by illegal tenant...my thoughts.

Covering their hotel bill is a very kind and appropriate thing to do.
While their list is not crazy, I don’t know that you need to cover food expenses and gas.
I would ask them to submit their list to their insurance company and go from there. I would require proof of insurance settlement before I would cut them a check.
  • StephanieZ, Catwoman and ashfern like this

#47 eternalsummer

eternalsummer

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4099 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:30 PM

I would also have them submit to renter's insurance first (that being the whole point of rental insurance).  It should pay for the hotel costs and their food costs (in general they don't expect someone not able to live in their home to cook their own food for those days, so it will probably pay for restaurant expenses, at least over the cost of what it would have cost them to just eat their own groceries in their own house) and the food that was lost to spoilage in the fridge.


  • Catwoman likes this

#48 Spryte

Spryte

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9593 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:12 PM

We had to be out of our home for repairs covered by our homeowners insurance for two weeks once. FWIW, our insurance covered food - to an extent. We switched rooms mid stream, and the coverage differed. When we had a kitchen, they covered no food at all, as we could bring food from home and cook. When we did not (mini fridge and microwave), they covered meals out, but no groceries. They did not cover gas or "time." They covered a lot more, but it was two weeks, not a few days. :) (laundry, dog boarding, I can't remember it all, it was crazy)

I think it's appropriate for you to cover their hotel bill. The gas and time - not so much. The food, I'd probably find a way to do that, to an extent, but not groceries for the entire time plus meals out.

Also, our insurance company provides the same coverage re: hotel/food if it's our tenant who is displaced during repairs, too. If it's covered by your insurance company, even if it doesn't meet the deductible this round, I'd probably use that as a guide and pay.

Their renters insurance should cover spoiled food in the fridge.

You sound like thoughtful, kind LLs. I'm sure whatever you decide will be generous and right, and I hope this doesn't come up again!
  • MistyMountain likes this

#49 ondreeuh

ondreeuh

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4121 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:46 PM

I just sent the email to the property manager offering six days rental credit ($329) and a request that they file a claim through their renter's insurance. Hopefully this will settle it - knock on wood!!
  • StephanieZ, Catwoman, creekland and 3 others like this

#50 jdahlquist

jdahlquist

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2056 posts

Posted 03 November 2017 - 04:03 PM

I am curious as to what type of renter's insurance they have.  Would renter's insurance cover their costs because of a meter base problem?  I would understand if it were due to fire or some other covered event making the home unlivable for the time being.  If my hot water heater goes out and I have no hot water, my homeowner's insurance does not pay for hotel expenses until the problem is fixed.  If my hot water heater explodes and water floods an area of the house, I may have coverage for water damage.