Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Jay

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Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Jay

Posted by Jay on July 07, 2005 at 01:00:45:


I have a tenant in a rental house who has torn the roof off of the carport and replaced it, without my knowledge or permission. Now he wants me to reimburse him…I say no way. I believe the request to have the carport repaired must have been in writing, from the tenant to me. If I failed to respond, then he could make the repairs. I’d appreciate any other opinions / viewpoints.



Opportunity in disguise - Posted by Mr. Big

Posted by Mr. Big on July 07, 2005 at 14:44:03:

On thinking it over you could have a gem there- a tenant who not only doesn’t wreck things, he actually fixes them.

If you need a handyman tell him you will hire him fromm now on when you need something fixed.

You don’t have to pay for the roof because you didn’t ask for it to be fixed. But if you were going to get it fixed anyway, well why not be a good sport about it and give him some money?

You May Have a Bigger Problem… - Posted by Randy (SD)

Posted by Randy (SD) on July 07, 2005 at 12:02:21:

Roof repair even on a carport requires a building permit (in most cases, I would check with building services department - anonymously of course) so if you’re “handyman tenant” did this without your knowledge or permission most likely he did not get the appropriate permits. This poses considerable risk for you, I know of a similar situation in my area where a homeowner did a quick weekend roof replacement (without permits and on the weekend to minimize the chances of getting caught) only to be informed on Monday morning he will be fined $100 a day until he gets it inspected and acquirers the necessary permits and the cost of the permit is double.

What does your lease say about repairs? Most leases prohibit unauthorized repairs, violation of the lease is grounds for eviction.

Re: Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Jay

Posted by Jay on July 07, 2005 at 11:56:35:

Thanks for all the input…Yes the carport roof did need to be repaired, however I told him I was going to take care of it this summer (in addtion to the regular roof). By the way, I did give him a 3-day notice to pay or vacate, also.



Re: Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Sean (OH)

Posted by Sean (OH) on July 07, 2005 at 10:54:59:

I would try collecting the rent.
If on (whatever your day your lease says) he hasn’t paid you the rent hand him a 3 day notice.
at the end of the 3 days file for eviction.
Take the matter up with the courts.
I tell all my tenants that I do all the work.

Re: Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on July 07, 2005 at 08:44:48:

Depending on your rental market I’d seriously consider eviction. Your tenant might be just a handyman looking for a place to roost, or a scammer, but he smells more like a scammer to me.

I suggest you make it very very clear that they are not allowed to make any material changes to the property without your written approval.

good luck,


Hmmm. - Posted by DaveD (WI)

Posted by DaveD (WI) on July 07, 2005 at 08:35:12:

Is this just a vector towards getting a free months rent? Sometimes folks get real “handy” when they run out of cash. So they try to trade their sweat at retail rates against their rent obligation. Amazing how creative they can be when it comes to beating you on the rent. Hope you like the color of the roof. If not, he can fix that next month. LOL.

Re: Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Stan

Posted by Stan on July 07, 2005 at 08:01:24:

Was it in need of being repaired or replaced?

Re: Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by Mr. Big

Posted by Mr. Big on July 07, 2005 at 07:39:04:

If they did it without your permission and you didn’t authorise it, you don’t owe them anything.

The only time you can be forced to pay for repairs is if it is something necessary for life or health, and only after they have notified you, given you a reasonable time to fix the problem, and you didn’t.

For example if the furnace quit in the middle of winter, they told you, and you didn’t do anything for a week so they had it fixed, then yes they could sue you for the repair bill. But certainly not for a carport roof.

Re: Tenant repairs without permission - Posted by larry

Posted by larry on July 07, 2005 at 06:59:30:

Were you planning on replacing it in the near future? If so then why not reimburse the tenant for half the cost? And reiterate to them that this is the only time you will do this and be stern.

If you were not planning on fixing it and you never broached the subject with your tewnant then tell him/her that you cannot repay them since you did not negotiate this up front.

my .02

Re: Opportunity in disguise - Posted by ski

Posted by ski on July 07, 2005 at 20:19:52:

Does it have to be permitted? If so can be a problem.

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Re: You May Have a Bigger Problem… - Posted by Barry (GA)

Posted by Barry (GA) on July 07, 2005 at 15:49:14:

You need a permit to reshingle a roof? In my area you do need permits for new constructions and additions, maybe certain inside remodeling jobs, but not to reshingle an existing roof.

We just rehabbed a badly burned property in a town about 30 minutes away and there were NO inspections! I called all of the offices but since it was outside of the city limits it was not under anyones jurisdiction. Had a trusted contractor do the work.

Good investing,

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Re: Opportunity in disguise - Posted by shelly

Posted by shelly on May 15, 2006 at 11:26:50:

what happened with the roof payment,is tenant still there.make sure they have a tenant policy to cover their stuff and make sure youre covered for tenant coverage,put it in writing as im finding most forget what you tell them and then turn it around to mean something else.please let us know what happened.thanks