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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 

I recently rented to a couple who seem to find nothing but problems with the house they are renting from me.  Before we signed the lease they said they wanted to have the shower faucet fixed, the fireplace flue fixed, and a couple of other smaller items.  I took care ofall of that.  However, they also wanted me to replace the entire garage door motor because there is only 1 remote and there is no way to add more.  I told them that because the garage door works that I was not going to replace it which really upset them. 

Right before the 1st month’s rent was due theycalled to tell me that one of the light switches wasn’t working correctly andthat the windows were leaking.    Within a week I had an electrician out to fix the light switch and some other items they came up with.  On the 1st warm day I went out and sealed the windows. 

Now, a week before the 2nd month’s rent is due Iget a letter and phone call.  The key for the garage door opener doesn’t work, in addition to about 20 other items such as there is a hairline crack in 1 of the windows, the plug for the bathtub doesn’tcome up easily.   All of the items were pre existing except forthe garage door opener key which worked just fine a month and a half ago.

The guy is a control freak who likes to yell and scream toget his point across. 

I don’t want to have a contentious relationship with him but I hate being bullied and I also don’t want to fix 10 new things each month justso he feels like he is getting his money’s worth.  I want to be a good and responsive landlord but I also don’t want to be taken advantage of. Any thoughts on how I should proceed?


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Posts: 369
Reply with quote  #2 
Regarding the "there is only 1 remote and no way to add more" are you sure about that?  I have had 3 properties now where there were very old garage door openers and I have been able to find compatible remotes.  These were garage door openers from the 80s.  So for this one I would reply, "I understand that you feel that the entire garage door opener should be replaced because you only have one remote, but I don't think we need to add that device to the landfill just because there's only one remote.  Let me see if I can get another remote for you."  The remotes I found are like $8 each.  They're really not that expensive.  Post the model number and brand of the opener and maybe someone on the forum can help you find a compatible remote.

I understand your concerns about fixing a whole bunch of things at once.  Do you think maybe after this last batch of stuff that needs fixing, he'll settle down?  If things really are problems you do need to address them.  At least he's bundling them up so you can make one visit instead of 20 visits per month.

If he's yelling and screaming, though, that's no way to behave.  The solution to the yelling and screaming is to reply calmly, "I understand you have concerns, however yelling is not the adult way to resolve them.  Let's discuss these in person and set up a time line to get these things corrected."

One of the downsides of being a landlord is that since you own the property, you're responsible for repairs if something breaks (if it's due to normal wear and tear).


Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #3 

Charmed, thanks for the feedback. 


I have already looked into getting additional remotes for the garage door but the unit is old and there is no way to program new remotes to work with it.  I have called the installer and the manufacturer of the opener and both said the same thing. 


I too thought that after a while he would settle down especially once I showed that I was a responsive landlord but he shows no signs of stopping.  When he wanted the 5 or so things fixed before he moved in I took care for them.  He moved in Jan 15th.  Then right before Feb. (2 weeks later) rent was due it was the electrical switch, reinstalling a smoke detector (they pulled it out of the ceiling), and changing light bulbs. So I took care of these items within a week. 


Now a week before rent is due for March (4 weeks later) I get the laundry list of items, hairline crack in window pane, remnants of glue on the inside cabinet of the bathroom vanity, 2 cracked tiles at the top of the shower, and much more.  So it doesn't seem as though he is settling down. 


As I said before all of the conditions except the garage door opener key were preexisting, this is how the house was when he rented it, this is what he agreed to when he signed the lease, this is the condition of the house that the rent is based on.  It is a nice house and all he can do is complain.


Just a side note, when he was looking at the house a second time before agreeing to rent it he was in the garage messing with the garage door opener, starting and stopping it over and over so it would jerk to stop and then go in the opposite direction and then he would quickly stop it again and make it go in the other direction. 



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Posts: 369
Reply with quote  #4 
How long is the lease?  Maybe the next approach would be, "It seems to me that you don't seem to be happy living here.  I would like to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.  Are you looking to be let out of your lease?  If so, perhaps we can work something out."

Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #5 

Charmed - That is exactly what I was thinking too.  Unfortunately, the lease is for 14 months and we are only 1 month in.  On top of that I had to pay 1 month's rent commision, part of which he got because he works for real estate company and represented himself in the deal. 


First, I am going to try the repair form that was mentioned in these forums by OHLandlord.  I think he is going to freak out and call me yelling a screaming or send me 50 forms at one time.  




Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #6 

This is starting to smell like you were taken.  Why would you pay the tenant a finders fees?????  I do not care who they are.  Also, if you rented the unit to them with one remote-- that is how it was rented!  their problem if they don't like it.


I had a tenant once with similar "issues".  My advice is to document the heck out of everything-- in writing.  You may well need it.  My tenant I am referring to ended up filing a discrimination suit against us with HUD.  Was dismissed as we had good documentation.  With the way HUD works-- you are presumed guilty until prov-en innocent.  That tenant had "sued" previous landlords-- and won financial judgments.  Sounds like you could be going down a similar path.

It can be a bit of a pain to document everything--- but much less painful than not having it if you need it.


Hope you have read your state LL/tenant laws!!  If not, do so right NOW.



Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #7 

Also, you should send them the bill for the smoke dector-- they pulled it out of the ceiling. In Oregon we also send them a fine for "tampering with the smoike detector per our LL/tenant laws.


Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #8 
Definitely send them a bill for the smoke detector repair.  They didn't need to open it unless the battery needed changed.  And pushing the button to test it won't yank it off.  Also, why are you changing his light bulbs?  Weren't they all working at move in?  I'd have just handed him a package of light bulbs and told him he could change them.

As for the forms, send him one.  If he sends you 50, send them back to him, all completed like this:
  • request for 2nd garage door opener - denied.  Only one opener was presented to tenant at move in.  Tenant rented unit with one opener.
  • request for replacement of garage door opener-denied.  Unit was and is operating normally.
  • hairline crack in window pane -pre-existing/cosmetic, will caulk with clear caulk.
  • remnants of glue on the inside cabinet of the bathroom vanity-cosmetic, does not require repair.  Tenant may clean if he desires.
  • 2 cracked tiles at the top of the shower-pre-existing/cosmetic, will caulk with clear caulk.
ETC!  Show up with one tube of clear caulk to fix those 2 items, and no more.  Keep sending those forms back to him and he'll get the message soon enough.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #9 
 Yay to marytmary & ohlandlord's response/s! Sounds like Tenant from Hell...I too have one of these. Only wish I knew of this site, months, no!, years ago!!
 Your tenant will never "settle" down. He will continue to find fault, no matter what you do. Trying to be a "responsible" LL, will only land you with a nervous breakdown!
 My T from H, has been with me for 5+yrs. now, and the rent is late 1 in 3 months(at least). As I have a 3 family, with him on 1st, myself on 3rd, you would think we'd communicate on a somewhat regular basis. You'd be time went on, with late rents, different family members(of his)moving in & out, I finally had to distance myself from him, to the point of communicating either by e-mail, phone, or letters put in his mail slot!
 How helpful, this site could have been, to vent on ALL situations my tenant has put me thru!  And each time rent is/was late, he'd approach me with a new problem to deal with, as if paying the rent was contingent on dealing with each newfound problem...
 Well, as I said, this is first time on this site, and as I have found so many issues to relate to, will be checking back SOON. 
Looking to see others with similar problems, any advise given, & perhaps, some suggestions, via my experiences...(oh boy)
been at this(having 2 apts. to rent and maintain) 30+ yrs. now ...
  ninaLL- Is this tenant still with you???
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