Tenants want money for their renovations after moving out. What are my rights?
I was renting out a 2 bedroom home to a young couple with a baby. Shortly after moving in they asked if they could do some renovations including, a chandelier in the dining room, painting the walls and ceiling in the bedrooms, putting carpet in their sons room and hardwood floors in the kitchen, replacing the bathroom countertop around the sink.. I did agree that it was okay as long as we can agree on their choices of colour etc. There was no agreement that I would pay them back for this upon moving. I did say they could remove the chandelier as long as they replaced it with another light fixture but they said they want me to pay for an electrician to remove it. They’ve withheld 3 months rent due to this, they had said they were having money issues and couldn’t pay it right away, I said they could pay me once their finances were in order but having a discussion they decided just to move out and now are withholding this rent as well as threatening to sue me for their “damages” what are my rights as a landlord?
- sunshine_melLv 76 months ago
Your lease with them will generally have something to the theme of them 'making good' any changes they make to the property, and leaving it in the condition they moved in.
- Common SenseLv 76 months ago
You had no written or verbal agreement to reimburse these people for any changes they made to your rental unit. So, they do still owe you rent. Whether you choose to go after them for it is up to you. Because, remember, you did get incredibly nice upgrades to your unit, probably more than what the rental fees would have been. New floors, new light fixture, fresh paint and carpeting? Those materials and labor have value to your unit now, which means you can probably charge more rent for a new tenant.
Personally, I would go after them for rent because you have this little thing called a lease that protects you. I read another post about a couple with a son who died in the unit. Is this the same couple, I wonder.
- Anonymous6 months ago
The General Industry rule is that the tenants must return the apartment to its original state when they leave however if you agree to it somehow that might change the rule. They might be able to get you to pay for it or sue you if they can prove that you agree to it.
- Anonymous6 months ago
"I was renting out " says everything. You own the property. Everything attached to the walls and floors stays with the apartment.
. Why they wanted to renovate is beyond me?? It is not logical for they will NEVER OWN IT..
. Any judge in ANY COURT IN ANY LAND WILL SIDE WITH YOU. Their rental agreement is to pay you rent money. THEY have not lived up to their end of the agreement. The renovation money is money they "BLEW" ON THEMSELVES to make your place more welcoming to them...while they were there. Which is a hell of a lot of effort on their part. Some Landlords may go halfers on the cost of the material as they did the work and you got the benefit of free labor from them. But you did not agree to that as you did not HAVE TO AGREE TO ANY OF THAT. tbh The fact they did not try to get you into some written and signed agreement stating that means they were sloppy on their part...for not drawing up a piece of paper that you both sign that would be legal in court.
. They were trusting on your good nature to give them a partial break (not that you have to) but maybe this has been their previous experiences with other rentals. The LL was that good of a guy.
. So the ball is in your court.
. You could be firm & state "Nope, not a cent becuz I am a cheap bass turd." & legally there is NOTHING you can do about it". All courts would agree as there is no paper documentation saying they get some kind of discount for doing this. That will wake the tenants up as to "What they must do" & that is fulfill their end of the agreement(pay rent money owing)
Legally, that is your right.
They want to sue? They will lose and pay all the court costs and pay you the money owed to you for rent.
What damages did they suffer? None, because of you. They volunteered to do this stuff. You did not request it.
. 3 months rent in my town is over $3000.00
What they did in your rental unit equates to DAMAGE, because it is not original. You could counter sue them .
Or swallow it and accept the missing 3 months rent as the improvement to the unit so paid in full. & Let it go at that.
Judge Judy is not presiding anymore and I am guess that is what her determination would be just to be equitable and get this case tossed out.
Over and done with it settled out of court. You know better next time.
So do they.
The chandelier stays put.
Or they take it out, their cost for the electrician and replace it with the light that was originally there. No chandelier costs $3000.00
Everything gets put down in writing and signed by both parties on what is agreed to happen. Then there is no " misunderstanding of who said what or meant what" It is written down so a COURT JUDGE CAN DECIDE and settle the dispute.
This could be settled out of court or can get NASTY FOR THEM IN COURT. The tenants have no rights here.
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- Anonymous6 months ago
Why have you let them get behind in rent for three months? You owe them nothing, they owe you rent. You might want to remind them you will not be giving them a reference to any future landlords, and if they have on their record they owe money to a landlord then good luck in renting another place.
- JudyLv 76 months ago
You owe them nothing. You can sue THEM for the unpaid rent
- 6 months ago
You have no obligation to pay for the work they wanted and did on their own. You have no obligation to hire an electrician to take out the chandelier they want to keep.
Let them sue you, and you counter sue. Or better, yet, YOU sue THEM for the unpaid rent. They cannot prove any agreement to repay for the work, they will lose.
- curtisports2Lv 76 months ago
You are behind on your rights. You should have issued a 3-day pay or quit the first month they withheld the rent, and moved forward with the eviction. Unless there was a written agreement (aka 'contract') for you to give them rent credit for the 'improvements' they made, you owe them nothing. If they remove the chandelier, they must replace it with the one they removed or pay for one of like quality, and the cost of the electrician is on them.
Now, they have stuck you for several months of unpaid rent, and when you sue them - you are going to have to - leftist leaning judge, you never know what you'll get, might just decide that you got the value of the rent in the work they did. That's not how the law should work, but judges sometimes write their own. The mistake you made was by waiting so long. If they have already moved, you can't evict them so you have lost the ability to put an eviction on their record.
- goz1111Lv 76 months ago
1st You need to send an accounting of the tenant's security deposit within your state timeline: do not forget to do an inspection for damages plus the three months rent owed.
2nd step sue in small claims, absent something in writing that you would compensate them for the improvements made long shot at best on their part to sue
- Anonymous6 months ago
You can sue them for the rent they owe.