first sign of trouble?
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first sign of trouble? (by Jeff [IL]) May 18, 2023 3:56 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Ken [NY]) May 18, 2023 4:08 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) May 18, 2023 4:55 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by DJ [VA]) May 18, 2023 4:58 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) May 18, 2023 5:27 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) May 18, 2023 5:27 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Jeff [IL]) May 18, 2023 6:55 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Jeff [IL]) May 18, 2023 7:11 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Small potatoes [NY]) May 18, 2023 7:43 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) May 18, 2023 8:11 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Nicole [PA]) May 19, 2023 9:41 AM
       first sign of trouble? (by Busy [WI]) May 19, 2023 10:39 AM
       first sign of trouble? (by Busy [WI]) May 19, 2023 11:03 AM
       first sign of trouble? (by Allym [NJ]) May 19, 2023 10:53 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) May 20, 2023 12:14 AM
       first sign of trouble? (by April [KS]) May 22, 2023 5:19 PM
       first sign of trouble? (by Me [AR]) May 24, 2023 9:19 AM
       first sign of trouble? (by Gus Raymond [TX]) May 24, 2023 10:45 AM

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first sign of trouble? (by Jeff [IL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 3:56 PM
Message:

Recently, I discovered mositure-related damage to the hardwood floor in the dinning room, and when I asked the tenants about it, they failed to provide an explanation or inform me about it. Instead, they claimed that the floor was not properly sealed, causing it to cup/warp. To assess the damage and repair costs, I contacted a flooring company, which determined that it was indeed water damage and estimated the repair cost to be at least $3,000. As a result of this incident, I have postponed preparing a renewal agreement for them to sign.

What bothers me is not so much the damage itself but rather the fact that the tenants failed to notify me and then denied any wrongdoing. Additionally, during a walkthrough, I discovered that they installed a smart lock and replaced the doorbell with a Ring doorbell without my knowledge or consent. While I wouldn't have objected to these modifications if they had asked, the fact that they made them without consulting me raises concerns about other undisclosed changes they may have made to the property. When I asked the tenant about the maintenance he claimed to have performed, he did not provide a satisfactory answer, which further adds to my concerns.

I'm trying to decide whether I should renew their lease for another year or give them a two-month notice to find a new home. Or, considering that they violated the lease agreement by not informing me about the damages and taking necessary steps to prevent further damage, should I terminate the lease at the end of this month? Note: their current lease ends at the end of the month.

What would you do? --67.176.xxx.xxx




first sign of trouble? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 4:08 PM
Message:

First thing i would do is ask for the $3000 for damages.Chances are they will deny owing it and move out without giving notice,then sue for damages and not giving notice and rerent it --74.77.xx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 4:55 PM
Message:

We are in the construction business, my husband is a licensed residential and commerical contractor. We have seen our share of all kinds of things including water damage. I am a long time landlord 30 years. #1 you do not know the source of water damage, until you do, I would not charge for damages. #2Maybe it was the tenants, maybe not. But they were negligent in notifying you. #3They were also negligent in asking permission to make changes to your property.

#4 If you have this stated in your lease: NO CHANGES WITHOUT CONTACTING LANDLORD, then you are covered. If you didn't you should really consider putting it into your lease to avoid these things.

You have all the signs you need to terminate this tenant. Why wait for more? IMO I would not renew. You must ALWAYs remain the boss of your property.

--142.196.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 4:58 PM
Message:

I was thinking similar to Ken - try to get the money for damages now, while you know where they are.

Even if you won't do the wok until they vacate, and the work will probably cost more, don't count on their deposit to cover it.

What does your lease say regarding this situation?

For example, mine says:

"Tenant must promptly report to Landlord any item on the premises that needs repair or maintenance. If Tenant fails to report needed repairs or maintenance to Landlord as soon as it is discovered, and this failure to report causes more damage that could have been prevented if it was addressed promptly, then Tenant shall be responsible for the cost to repair such additional damage. (example: a leaking drain under a sink goes unreported and it causes the cabinet underneath to rot - Tenant will pay to repair the damage to the cabinet)"

and

"Note: Any amount due for unpaid rent, late fee, insufficient funds fee, damages, penalties, fines, citations, liens, money judgment, award of attorney fees, and court costs, etc. will be added to the Tenant's account; will be considered "additional rent"; and will be due and payable to Landlord, no later than on or before the next rent due date."

There is no question that damaged / cupped / warped wood floors are normal wear and tear. Has the entire floor throughout the house "worn out" like that? NO!

When they said the floor was not properly sealed, did they say from what?

Maybe a potted plant with drain holes in the bottom of the pot? Maybe a fish tank broke? Whatever it was, they caused it. I'm just curious about how big an area it is.

Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to repair & blend back to the surrounding floor. --68.229.xxx.xxx




first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 5:27 PM
Message:

And where is the damage, kitchen? Bathroom? Near a window that may leak? I just did a re pipe of a whole rental house, sometimes leaks are just that.Leaks. Things happen. Maybe they didn't notice,I mean they aren't home owners, they are renters. Maybe they did. You really don't have enough information on the leak. Do you know how many bathroom showers I have seen that leak because the shower pan was never installed correctly? Including my own. Windows are another source of leaks if they are not maintained and caulked. One thing you know for sure, they put in Ring without your consent, that would be enough for me. --142.196.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 5:27 PM
Message:

And where is the damage, kitchen? Bathroom? Near a window that may leak? I just did a re pipe of a whole rental house, sometimes leaks are just that.Leaks. Things happen. Maybe they didn't notice,I mean they aren't home owners, they are renters. Maybe they did. You really don't have enough information on the leak. Do you know how many bathroom showers I have seen that leak because the shower pan was never installed correctly? Including my own. Windows are another source of leaks if they are not maintained and caulked. One thing you know for sure, they put in Ring without your consent, that would be enough for me. --142.196.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Jeff [IL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 6:55 PM
Message:

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

the lease agreement does address damages and alterations...

Damages of negligence: Tenant shall be liable for any damage done to the premises as a result of Tenantís or Tenantís invitees, guest, or others authorized to reside in the premises direct action, negligence or failure to inform landlord of repairs necessary to prevent damage to the premises.

No alterations: Tenant shall not make or cost to be made any alteration or addition to the premises, without the prior written consent of landlord, and shall under no circumstances install any additional lock or security devices to the premises or the property which could impair landlords access.

The damaged area is relatively small, approximately 2sf, but to achieve a uniform look throughout, they will need to resand refinish not only the damaged area but also the adjoining room.

In Illinois, landlords are required to serve tenants a notice of intent not to renew at least 60 days before the lease end date. On April 1, I contacted the tenant to inform them about the new lease terms and rent price, and they promptly agreed to renew for another year. However, I haven't presented them with the renewal contract yet. Considering their violation of the lease terms, I'm uncertain if I need to provide them with a 60-day notice at this point. Giving them the notice would give them more time to potentially cause further damage as retaliation.

As a relatively new landlord in my third year, I know that I still have much to learn. --67.176.xxx.xxx




first sign of trouble? (by Jeff [IL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 7:11 PM
Message:

Hi Susan, The damage is in the second-floor dining area of a townhouse, nowhere near any pipes or plumbing. The tenants must have been aware of the warped floor as they had to pass by it daily to reach the kitchen, but they chose not to report it. The professionals I hired to evaluate the damage tested for moisture and found none, indicating that it likely occurred weeks or even longer ago. --67.176.xxx.xxx




first sign of trouble? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 7:43 PM
Message:

You may have to chalk this up to lesson learned. Do you have before pics from rental photos, or did you do a written walk through or take pics then?

Your best option might be to part ways and keep the security for the damage. If the floor really is cupped then it won't sand out and look good. Problem now is they may try to use security for last month rent. --172.59.xxx.x




first sign of trouble? (by Susan [FL]) Posted on: May 18, 2023 8:11 PM
Message:

Oh small potatoes, indeed photos! Always photos. Take the time to do photos, and a walk through with list upon possession and upon leaving. You can argue with photos and before and after inventory conditions lists. --142.196.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: May 19, 2023 9:41 AM
Message:

I guess I'm confused as to what kind of damage it is not near a water source.

As for the ring camera and door knob, those would NEVER be a reason to evict in my world. I'd have them change the knob/lock set back to my master system and make sure they understand when they leave there must be a working doorbell to my satisfaction. Should they have asked? Sure. An offense of monumental proportions worth evicting over? Never. --98.237.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 19, 2023 10:39 AM
Message:

I had my electrician install doorbells just so my tenants COULD install Ring doorbells. The electrician made sure to coil a little spare wire in there, so, if, every time a tenant changes to a Ring doorbell, and back again, if the wire ends get damaged, there is extra in the line.

Everyone gets package deliveries these days, and, my houses are in crummy neighborhoods. One tenant ( great tenant) has an ex who has threatened her, so Ring doorbell is part of her protection. I encourage tenants to put in a Ring doorbell. Or, other system. Same if they want a security system, go for it! I figure the security systems and doorbell cameras greatly help PREVENT damage, so why wouldn't I want that? I don't get involved with installation, as I want tenants to feel they have control over a camera that could be spying on THEM!

I would EXPECT better tenants to want the security that comes from having 'eyes on their place.'

Just some thoughts. --72.135.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 19, 2023 11:03 AM
Message:

Oh, for flooring, windows, any of it, I try to NOT perfectly finish anything, or put the best in anywhere, unless the best costs about the same as poorer finishes. For instance, I have beautiful hardwood floors in my own home, hubby refinished them years ago to perfection. And we have beautiful, expensive windows, with blinds between panes of glass that we love. But, my tenants wouldn't be able to afford it if a kid busted a window. So, for rentals, just the cheaper vinyl windows from big box stores, or Window World. Tenants can afford to have a broken sash replaced, though still ask why its so much more than just getting a pane of glass installed. ( cuz its an insulated window.)

For hardwood floors in my rentals, so far we've only redone one house, others are still under carpet. But I just gave the floors a really thorough cleaning, scuffed ( lightly sanded) up the finish on areas that were still perfect, just to 'give it tooth' ( I think that's the expression, anyway) and had my husband give it two coats of poly. He wanted to do a full, down to the bare wood refinish; it was very difficult for him to accept that he was doing a half-@$$ finish. He upped the ante at least by going with oil-base polyurethane, rather than water based, as I would have done. Thankfully, we had time for the smell to air out, and I was doing a few other bigger projects before we let the new tenants have the place.

New tenants love the floors; looks good, quite good, but not perfect. Tenant commented that she wouldn't be afraid of damaging a perfect floor, though she'd still be careful. That is my sweet spot. Good, but not perfect. Traffic patterns show, but the poly greatly evened things out.

I have properties in C class neighborhoods of a major city. My tenants are working class, and, they are tenants for a reason. I suspect, Jeff in Illinois, that you have better places, in nicer areas. For me, just speaking for me, that wouldn't be as easy. I like my imperfect rentals, that are still quite good. --72.135.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: May 19, 2023 10:53 PM
Message:

The floor sounds like a roof leak over a rug that just sat there wet. Or a plant was watered there and leaked. Potted plants do the worst damage to floors and rugs. --173.61.xxx.xxx




first sign of trouble? (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: May 20, 2023 12:14 AM
Message:

A kitchen floor is like a bathroom where do not recommend installing a flooring that will stand up if dishwasher leaks or water. First Schluter ditra membrane on floor where then a good quality commercial porcelain tile where now the floor will not be problem with pets or water leaks. At a cost of $3,000 it may be worthwhile to consider porcelain. --74.220.xxx.xxx




first sign of trouble? (by April [KS]) Posted on: May 22, 2023 5:19 PM
Message:

Like others said, it's a good sign when tenants install Ring doorbell and cameras. Agree, they violated the lease by not getting your approval but instead of not renewing, I'd serve them a 14/30 Notice for the lease violation(s). If it happens again, the 14-30 allows you to evict immediately. Make sure they know the 14-30 means they will immediately be evicted if they don't get approval for any modification which is a lease violation. You have a lease that you can enforce. That's what a 14-30 does - enforce the lease. A lot of tenants think landlords won't notice an improvement, won't care or if noticed will ask them to remove it. My lease says "management reserves the right to keep any improvements to the premises or deduct the costs for repairs to remove any unwanted improvements from residents security deposit and return the premises to its original condition." I would avoid the legal risk of not giving a tenant the full 60-day notice, or the risk of a tenant skipping out,.. when you're getting a rent increase and they've paid responsibly? You're getting higher rent for a unit with damaged floors. That's great! If it were me, I'd serve a 14-30 notice and inspect more often. I'd tell the tenant the floors will be refinished in just that room in the next few months. That way I'm getting paid rent while the repairs are getting done which cuts my losses to do the repairs when it's vacant. I would also suggest splitting the cost of the refinishing if the cause is determined not to be related to landlord owned structure (plumbing, roofs, downspouts, etc.). If it is related related to structure, it should be the landlord's expense. If not, it should be the tenants. You just don't know where to point the finger right now so keep the tenant and make hay while the sun shines. --165.23.xxx.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Me [AR]) Posted on: May 24, 2023 9:19 AM
Message:

There never is a first sign of trouble in my residences. Each lease has a list of repairmen attached. Two other copies of the list are provided for car, and refrigerator. A resident calls the repairman at the first sign of maintenance required. It is explained at the lease signing when discussing the maximum return of security deposit. "If a door knob is loose, then you call maintenance to have it repaired. If the doorknob is missing or on the kitchen cabinet when you move, then it comes out of the deposit. "If the tub stops up, then call the plumber. If it is a problem with the pipes, then that is on management. If there is a toy truck stuck in the drain, then it is repaired, BUT that invoice is deducted from the security deposit. Residents are rewarded for their continued maintenance of their residence instead of punished for not taking care of things. The only time I am notified is when I get an invoice OR when the repairman calls to ask should he spend 500 on a 24 year old furnace OR should he replace the furnace. This streamlines all the repair calls directly from resident to repair people, and my properties are maintained in a prompt fashion to prevent long term damage due to leaks and hiding an issue. --75.31.x.xx




first sign of trouble? (by Gus Raymond [TX]) Posted on: May 24, 2023 10:45 AM
Message:

I would suggest that the wording on reporting needed repairs as soon as it is "discovered" be changed. Tenants will always have the same lame excuse that they did not notice it, which will be "their out".

I would leave out the phrase: "as soon as it is discovered" and simply use "immediately, or immediately upon occurrence" or some similar wording.

Also state that: Failure on the Tenantís part to notice such problems will not be accepted as a valid excuse, and Tenant is still responsible for the cost to repair such damage. Due Diligence is important: Tenant must be Proactive at all times to watch for, and report problems immediately.

--174.128.xxx.xxx



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