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bmcintyre57

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
Long story short, pipe broke one day and damaged the drywall in 2-3 rooms. Pipe repair and cleanup was immediate and drying out was completed professionally in 5 days. Drywall repair and painting took another week. Tenant wants a discount on the rent for saying part of the house was not inhabitable. The rooms were unused basement rooms. Nothing was mentioned about the temporary loss of use for the first 5 days until over a month later. I do not think a discount is warranted.

Thoughts?
LLinVA

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #2 
What does the lease say?

In general, if they could stay there and had all necessary functions (kitchen, bathroom, HVAC system, etc.), then you provided adequate housing. If none of their property was damaged they should be thankful (as should you). 

What's the math? What percentage wasn't usable for days (1/4 of space for 5 out of 30 days)? What's the cost of that in terms of rent? Probably less than $100. Maybe just give it to them if they are good tenants. 
bmcintyre57

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LLinVA
What does the lease say?

In general, if they could stay there and had all necessary functions (kitchen, bathroom, HVAC system, etc.), then you provided adequate housing. If none of their property was damaged they should be thankful (as should you). 

What's the math? What percentage wasn't usable for days (1/4 of space for 5 out of 30 days)? What's the cost of that in terms of rent? Probably less than $100. Maybe just give it to them if they are good tenants. 


The lease does not mention any discount or otherwise in this situation. Water was never off except when the pipe was repaired and other utilities were not effected. There was no damage to their property. If I used a calculation of space unusable it would be only about $250 for the week but the tenants have been extremely hard to deal with since they moved in. Constantly complaining about items that are their responsibility like light bulbs, water filters, etc. Ive had many repair guys over there who cannot duplicate their alleged issued. It's over the top. Then they broke some furnishings and now want the discount!
LLinVA

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #4 
That sounds high unless the rent is really high. For example, if rent is $1,000 and the time was one week, that would be 25% of $1,000 which is $250, but since it was only 25% of the space it is only 25% of $250, just over $60. 

It sounds like you have other issues that need to be addressed. You need to stick to the lease. If light bulbs aren't covered, don't replace them, that just establishes a precedent and raises their expectations. Any time they ask about something that isn't your job, say, "Sorry, based on your lease that you agreed to, that is your responsibility." If they are problem tenants it may be worth ending their lease as soon as you can and finding new tenants. It depends on whether they will just stop asking, or get ticked off thinking they are entitled and then trash the place.
bmcintyre57

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #5 
They have 4 more months to go on the lease and I have been firm on what they are responsible for but they continue complain and invent or fabricate issues. 10 rooms in the house, 2 rooms were out of service for a week.
LLinVA

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #6 
2 rooms / 10 rooms = 1/5 / 1/4 of month = 1/20th of the whole month's rent would be waived if you decide to do that. If rent is $1,000 that would be $50.

Then it is up to you if it is worth ending the lease or not.
bmcintyre57

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #7 
How can a landlord end a 1 year lease early if their rent is paid on time etc? Just give them. 30 days notice?
LLinVA

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #8 
No, ending the lease when the term is up as opposed to renewing the lease and letting them stay. This depends on your lease. All of our leases automatically renew with an increase in rent unless we or the tenant give notice. We actually do all of our residential leases as month to month now anyway so that we can get rid of problem tenants when we want to, we don't have to wait for their lease to end.
AccidentalRental

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #9 
I've had a similar situation where the tenant complained and I sent them a $150 Amazon gift card.  They were happy.  Approach them with the gift card and say that while the full rent is still due, you understand they have been inconvenienced.  Avoid a rent concession as I believe it sets their expectations for a permanent discount down the road.  

The bottom line is this was nobody's fault and you addressed it quickly.  They really can't complain too much.  Good luck!

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bmcintyre57

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #10 
Tenant now claims the carpets are moldy and want them replaced, along with a prorated rent for not having access to 2 "guest" rooms that are not even used. The cleanup crew and insurance indicate no evidence of any mold. They are now threatening to sue. 4 months left to go....

Thoughts?
bmcintyre57

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LLinVA
2 rooms / 10 rooms = 1/5 / 1/4 of month = 1/20th of the whole month's rent would be waived if you decide to do that. If rent is $1,000 that would be $50.

Then it is up to you if it is worth ending the lease or not.


When counting up the total # of rooms, are bathrooms counted as a room?

4 bedrooms
2.5 bathrooms
1 living room
1 kitchen/dining
1 den

LLinVA

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Posts: 186
Reply with quote  #12 
If you want to get technical, you would go by square footage, not room count. 

If you can show there is no mold, then they shouldn't be able to successfully sue you. They complained, you looked into it and found no issues to be corrected, done. They are probably just trying to bully you into the rent reduction. The most you should do is take off rent for the space they couldn't use (whether or not they usually do, they are leasing it from you) for the time period it was not able to be used. As we have seen, that is an insignificant amount of money and could go a long way if things continue to go downhill and you actually do end up in court. It would show you aren't trying to screw over your tenants.
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