Should I approve this request?

By Nancy Kaller on Aug 11, 2021 at 04:38 PM in Articles
Should I approve this request?

Should I approve this request? 

You get the phone call (or even a text nowadays) that your resident wants to make improvements or alterations to your property.
Before you jump to the answer of yes or no, read through your rental agreement for areas about maintenance, repairs, and alterations. Determine if this request could be considered a repair, which is usually a one-time fix for problems that have risen, or is it an improvement or an alteration to your property. In our rental agreement, items of repair are indicated and clearly states what is to be paid for by the resident and the landlord.

Should this request be an improvement or an alteration to the property, be sure the details are written out on what changes will happen, what contractors will be involved (or will the work be done by the resident), what materials are used, how long will it take, etc. By getting the details of the request in writing, and the details clearly documented, should a dispute arise you will be that much more prepared to handle it. 

An additional and important item to make note of exactly who will be paying for the materials, labor, plans, permits, etc., you or the resident? Never assume you and your resident are on the same page, make it clear what and who will be paying for this improvement or alteration.

A few items to consider: is this request going to work for other residents in the future, is the style going to change or fade over time, will it increase the value of the home, does the resident want to do the work themselves, if so, can you verify their construction skills, are they licensed and insured?

What if you find out during an inspection of the home that changes to the property were already made, without the owner’s authority? This exact item should be already noted in the rental agreement along with the expectations of what happens next. First things first, document what the changes were, in detail, take pictures if you can, and contact the resident that they violated their agreement. As a landlord you have options now, keep the alterations as they are now and make it clear the costs for the alterations will not be paid for by you or insist the property gets restored to its original state, paid for by the resident, or if they are unwilling to do that, you then evict them, do the repairs and deduct the costs from their security deposit.

On a final note, the day-to-day living in the home is done by your resident, stop and think about their request, have a conversation, even do some homework, but ultimately it’s your home and your decision. Happy Landlording!

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This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change and may vary by county or city. You are responsible for performing your research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

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