3 Ways to Give Permission to Improve Your House

3 Ways to Give Permission to Improve Your House

3 Ways to Give Permission to Improve Your House

1. I Treat it Like a Business.
Owning rentals is a business. You want to make money both in principle pay down and cash flow. If you aren’t making money, then it’s not worth your time. Who wants to work for free? Not me!

2. Allow Improvements That Add Value to the Home.
Allow people to upgrade the home as long as they leave the improvement in the house when they leave. Putting up ceiling fans, stripping the wires, installing and installing security systems like ADT, can damage the property’s walls and crown moulding. That is why you should require all improvements to be approved and left with the home.

3. Remember it’s Not your “Home” Anymore.
You have to leave your emotions out of the decision. Yes, you might love the wall paint but it’s a rental. You remember the paint color almost making me cry when you first moved, yet you have to learn to let the house go.

As a landlord, your goal is to protect your investment even when the tenants want to turn the investment into a home. Over the years you will learn to approve improvements as long as they added value. One of the things some have learned the hard way is to make sure they are protected. While landlords will let tenants improve the house at the tenant’s expense and liability, the landlord often doesn’t compensate them for doing repairs. Here’s an example of this lesson learned the hard way here.

Another thing landlords learn is to make sure that they are very thorough on what is expected so that they are covered. The times that a landlord replies with a simple, “Yes” to tenants, could be the time it comes back to bite them in the tush. Below are some “stock answers”/responses that may help to make sure that everyone is clear on the expectations, hopefully they give you some inspiration for a scenario that’s been presented to you.

Author’s Note: As always, please remember we are not a legal firm. These are just experiences and ideas. These in no way should be construed as  legal advice.

Letters of Permission

ADT Alarm Installation:

Please consider this written notice that you have permission to install an ADT alarm system into 124 Missy Lane. The ADT system must be at your complete expense and liability. The installation must be done professionally, and the improvement must be left in the home at your departure in working order and contract-free.

Any damage occurring during this installation or later due to this system is at the tenant’s expense and liability. Landlord withholds the right to either immediately repair said damage when identified and charge it at the time (damage first, rent second, as outlined in the lease) or at move-out in the form of a security deposit deduction.

Paint Allowance:

Please consider this written approval for you to paint the below room the warm chocolate color that was sent in the link with no requirements to re-paint with the following conditions:

  • All painting (materials and labor) is done at you, the tenant’s expense and liability. No expense or liability for this project will be incurred by the landlord.
  • Paint job must be done either in a professional manner or by a professional. Any damage done or caused due to painting will be repaired at your expense. Landlord reserves the right to immediately rectify at your expense with repairs deducted first, rent second, or at security deposit.
  • The color in the below link is the only approved color. Any other color must be approved by the landlord. If the color is not approved the landlord reserves the right to either require you to return it to the original color or paint it back to the original (or in the family) color at you, the tenant’s, expense upon move out.”

Basics of Each Response:
While these are only two examples, the basic things that covered in every response are:

  • “Yes” or “No” regarding landlord permission.
  • What action they have permission to complete (be very specific).
  • That the tenant is responsible for the expense of it being done in a professional manner and are liable for any potential damage of the improvement and if any repair is needed because of the repair.

The key is being as specific as possible and to keep everything in writing. This prevents misunderstanding and when things have not been done in a professional manner, it gives the landlord the most to fall back on and the ability to hold the tenant’s feet to the fire.

Do you allow tenant improvements? What are your requirements for improvements?0

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