Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Edwin

Posted by John Merchant on June 11, 2007 at 10:58:53:

It’s just terrific to know people like you & Tye and you’re both reaching lots of us with stories like this one.

Thanks again.

John Merchant

Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on June 09, 2007 at 18:21:38:

Tenant has lived in house 7 years. Installed an automatic garage door opener with my permission.

Now he wants to move and take opener with him. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether I can successfuly bar him from removing it, on the basis that it’s now a permanently -installed fixture and belongs with the house.

Thanks to anyone who knows!!

Re: Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Sailor

Posted by Sailor on June 10, 2007 at 20:39:46:

Check your local statutes. However, I’d probably let him take it if he left garage in move-in condition. Your revenge would be thinking of him having to take in out + re-install it.

I did once pay ($35) a short-term tenant to leave all the blinds she’d installed. They made the place easier to re-rent & she’d been a perfect tenant. If the opener is worth anything to you, it might be possible to pay the guy $25-50 to leave it, reminding him he could take out & re-install only to have it go out in the new place. Tht way there wouldn’t be any hassle, he would not feel cheated, & there would be no damage to your garage.


Re: Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on June 10, 2007 at 14:18:35:


I have one of these issues everytime someone moves, but they are ceiling fans, roof antennae.

When I give tenants permission, I also tell them the object stays, or don’t bother drilling holes on my roof. As for ceiling fans, I have them replace the original fixtures.

Tenants are of the belief that if they bought it, it belongs to them, and when I was a tenant, I thought the same.

I got a tenant who didn’t like my toilet, replace it, and I told him a number of times it stays. He said “OK”. You think he’ll remember, or would I find a smelly hole when he leaves??

If the tenant was a good tenant, I would let it slide this time, and make sure you’re clear the next time around.

Frank Chin

Re: Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on June 11, 2007 at 03:45:58:


I often do the same.

I got this SFH, when I rehabbed originally, didn’t supply the washer and dryer at first. Three girls moved in, bought washer dryers, left nine months later, moving to FL, and and asked if I wanted to buy it from them for $100.00. So I bought it.

Several years later, the new tenants asked if it was OK for them to replace the now five to six year old washer dryer. I forgot to say “they stay”, but on moveout, they sold it to us for another $100.00

The same thing happened some years later again, and we paid yet another tenant $100.00. So it’s like we had a new set of appliances put in every few years for $100.00.

About two years ago, a “well to do tenant” moved in (she makes $110K a year, he runs a business from home) and wanted to replace the now almost 20 year old refigerator, and the “five year old” plus the range, dishwasher, washer and dryer. It’ll be a bit much for me to say “all of the appliances stay”, so we agreed that I’ll pay for the refigerator (which didn’t look so good after 20 years) and they the other appliances, but all of the appliances stay.

I figured at her income, they want nice appliances,but probably feel cheated if I make them leave everything behind, but yet, I got a good deal out of it, replacing all the appliances with ones of better quality than the ones I supplied (rental quality), just paying for a refigerator.

In life, you have to give a little to get a little.

Frank Chin

Re: Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Edwin

Posted by Edwin on June 10, 2007 at 14:28:18:

thanks for the reply, Frank. As for your toilet story, I would suggest reminding him once again right before he moves to leave the toilet. Tenants can be be amazing and will go to extraordinary lengths to save a buck. I’ve had tenants take every light bulb in the house when they leave.

Re: Is Automatic garage door opener a fixture? - Posted by Sailor

Posted by Sailor on June 11, 2007 at 05:21:53:

I very much agree, Frank. Although I put on my landlord hat every day so I can be tough when necessary, I find it really helps to try to look @ situations from a tenant’s point of view.

Even though often flawed, folks have an innate sense of justice, & I think if a landlord violates it, tenants feel obligated to make things right in their mind–even if it means destroying the property.

I am negotiating on an REO now, where I’m guessing the bank maybe didn’t play fair w/the homeowner. The place was clean & well-maintained, but stripped. I know it is common in a foreclosure for appliances to be stripped, but this family took out the cabinet door pulls, every last light fixture & even the smoke alarms. There was no defacement & the carpet is still good, so I think it was not just a sense of outrage that overwhelmed the previous owners, but a necessity of dignity & balance.

A fossil is any evidence of past life, & as I tour properties I always get a sense of the folks who have lived there, often of the problems they have had. It always makes me want to heal the home, even if I can do nothing to help those who lived there before. When I buy, I want the home to offer new life & hope for my tenants. That’s why I try to add some extras, even if just some inexpensive or homemade curtains & new rods.

Much of the time tenants are pains in the patoot, but I also think respect is a 2-way street, & I like to give them a good feeling about their new home. I think it is also good business.

Tye (who is going to negotiate a very good deal so the bank doesn’t overly profit on the previous owners)

Tye is a classy LL - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on June 11, 2007 at 09:15:45:

Tye, you never cease to amaze me with your insight, thoughtfulness and generosity.

A great exemplar of what and how a LL should be!

The over-riding messages coming through in the replies to this post clearly show that the most experienced and savvy LLs are finding it easier and more effective to give a little to the departing Tenant, which then gets them back the undamaged property.

Doesn’t that beat the hard nosed approach which oh so often generates such heat and anger that the departing T starts destroying the property?

I’ve even paid Ts to leave the house clean and have met them to get the key and handed them a check for $200 or more for their cooperation and help.

Tye, I hear you’re coming out our way in Oct for Steve’s MH Meeting and I look forward to seeing you then and hearing more of your great Pearls of Wisdom.

John Merchant

Re: Tye is a classy LL - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on June 11, 2007 at 10:44:00:


I had a tenant once, owned a successful gas station business when he moved in, but soon afterwards, the city decided to do a “sewer job”, creating major traffic jams in his area, his business went down 50%.

He decided to open his business 24 hours to cope, with his cousin manning the night hours. Not long after that, following a nightime robbery, his cousin hit on the head with a bat, was in a coma.

His wife, a pretty girl from Poland decided to leave him, and moved out. My wife, who went to supervise the move was told by the tenant’s wife “I expected to marry a successful businessman, not a loser”.

Not long after, we were told his wife took their baby son with her to Poland. Said he’s moving out, and scrapping up everything he has to look for his son.

At the time, he was a month behind on the rent, with us holding a month and a half security. Seeing what happened, we said “if you move right away, why don’t we refund your entire deposit, and you can use the money to look for your baby”. He was overwhelmed, and said OK.

Moving day came. The movers quoted $400. cash for the job, but when they showed up, demanded $700.00 instead, threatening to leave. He stood there dumbfounded saying “I don’t know what to do”??

My wife thought quickly, said “why don’t I go to the bank and get $300.00 cash to pay them”. Tenant said “so you’ll take that from my deposit then”??

Wife replied “NO NO, you’ll need all that money to see your kid”. The $300.00 is on us.

The tenant, a grown man, broke down and cried for a good 10 minutes. When he recovered, said “no one had treated him with such respect in his entire life”.

I realize I’m in the LL business, but every so often, a situation comes up that deserves an ounce of human kindness, and I have to do what’s right as a “human being”, not a LL.

Of course, spending $1,300, I not only did good, but also avoided a big eviction hassle, and the tenant got what he needed to go on with his life.

Frank Chin

Re: Tye is a classy LL - Posted by Sailor

Posted by Sailor on June 11, 2007 at 10:37:28:

How sweet you are, John! Hear you are one of the featured speakers @ the MH mtg, so folks are in for a real treat. I look forward to seeing you again, wherever our paths cross.