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TYPE OF TENANT REQUESTS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM?

Your Trusted Lending Advisor

TYPE OF TENANT REQUESTS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM?

So, you have purchased an investment property and it’s settled! The tenant moved in and just when you thought everything is settled, popped the champagne and getting ready for the first sip…

The PM called, and tells you there was an urgent request from tenant and it’ll now cost you X amount of money to get it fixed…

Sounds familiar??

Yep, as soon as a tenant moves in the battle between tenant and landlord begins! At the end of the day, you want to keep the tenant happy because they’re the one helping you to pay the mortgage, but at same time you are also not going to say yes to all the requests they put forward. So there is a fine balance in managing tenant requests, and I thought I’ll share my personal experiences in dealing with the managing agents and tenant requests.

As a landlord, the following are the types of request you’ll get from the tenant:
1. Requests that are related to safety compliance / issue
2. Requests that will benefit tenant and may potentially increase rent during the next rent review
3. Requests that will improve property value in the long run

Let’s look at each one by one.



1. Requests that are related to safety compliance / issue

These are the type of requests that as a landlord you should prioritize as it relates to safety concerns of the tenant. For example, smoke alarm for fire safety, or replacing rotten handrail/balustrade, or wooden stairs (for a Highset house).

They are pretty self explanatory – if you don’t do it, it could have much more serious consequences. Especially if the tenant is injured because of such safety defect, then the tenant could take landlord onto court (for non-compliance to minimum safety standards).

Therefore my advice on any request related to safety issue – get it fixed asap. It’s cost of doing business. If the quote is expensive you may like to get a second quote for comparison purposes, but just be mindful the longer the delay the higher the risk to tenant, especially if it’s something that the tenant will have to use everyday (such as handrail, for example).


2. Requests that will benefit tenant and may potentially increase rent during the next rent review

These are the type of requests that are not a threat to safety or compliance, but more of an improvement in nature. A couple examples of these type of request includes:
– Installing flyer screen to windows
– Installing ceiling fans in bedrooms
– Installing mirror wardrobe in bedrooms

Feasibility of these request can be assessed by the potential increase in rent. For example, by spending $600 to install ceiling fans for 3 bedrooms is there an opportunity to increase the rent by $5 a week? This would be a question for Property Manager. And if rent can be increased by $5/week, then how long would it take to claw back the initial investment? In this case that would be $600 / $5 = 120 weeks or about 2 years and 3 months in order to claw back the initial investment.


3. Requests that will improve property value in the long run

These are the type of requests that are again not a threat to safety or compliance. They are usually higher in value, and are geared more towards capital improvement in nature. A couple examples of these type of request includes:
– Replacing existing floor covering with new floor covering
– Replacing air conditioning, cooktop, oven or the likes

As these are higher in value landlord are usually less inclined to proceed unless it’s absolutely necessary. For example, the carpet may have been damaged to the point above restoration so new floor covering should be considered.

One way of looking at these type of request is to see whether there is a potential to increase rent, and to assess the likelihood to improve on the property value (if revalued) and therefore an opportunity to increase equity on the property. Again, you can check with your trusted Property Manager to get their advice on the likelihood of rent increase and potential value increase before making a call.


This is where choosing a true outstanding property manager is paramount in helping you resolve these tenant issues. To determine how to pick an outstanding PM, have a look at our previous blog article on “the importance of having a trusted team around you” and “should you self-manage your investment property?

And I guess more importantly don’t forget tenants are also everyday people like us. If you look after their requests they’ll return the favour by treating the place like their own home and looking after the place well.

As usual, if you have any questions about any of the above content feel free to leave a comment or contact us.

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