Keeping up with property maintenance and renovations in your rental property is a vital part of being a landlord. It’s ideal to carry out major property updates when the unit is vacant. If you must do a renovation while a tenant is occupying your unit, it’s important to approach it in a way that respects their rights, or else you may accidentally end up in small claims court.
Each state has their own set of regulations a landlord must follow, but here are some general tips and guidelines that tend to be applicable across the board.
1. Read through your lease agreement.
You are obligated to protect your tenant’s right to a quiet home with adequate privacy. If they claim they have been inconvenienced by the renovation, it is technically a lease breach.
Breaching the lease agreement may lead to a required rent refund.
2. Offer a rent reduction.
If your renovations require that a part of the rental property is temporarily unavailable to your tenant, such as a blocked off bathroom, it may be appropriate to offer reduced rent or free parking for the duration of the renovation.
This is not a legal obligation, but could go a long way in maintaining a good relationship with your tenant.
3. Communicate clearly.
Explain what your tenant can expect throughout the renovation process. Include details about the associated noises, smells, and any potential inconveniences. Have a plan to protect their health and their personal property.
4. Schedule your contractors based on your tenant’s schedule.
Ask your tenant when the best time for contractors to be at the house would be. For instance, if they work from home during the weekdays, it may not be ideal for your contractors to hammer away between 9-5.
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