Managing Tenant Renovation Requests: Best Practices for Landlords

By: ROS Team

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The tenant renovation request is a tricky beast. On one hand, you want to ensure that the property remains in good condition and that your tenant is happy. On the other hand, you have to protect yourself from any financial liability or risk of disruption while they’re living on your property.

However, with some forethought and preparation, landlords can successfully manage tenant renovation requests!

Determine What Is “Reasonable” To Ask For

The first thing you should do is define what’s “reasonable” to ask for. This will depend on the scope of the renovation, as well as its type:

A new kitchen may be reasonable to request if it’s small and there are no other substantial changes being made in the unit. However, if a tenant wants an entirely new bathroom or living room addition that requires structural work and major renovations throughout their apartment building, they’re likely asking too much.

You can also use this rule as a guide when dealing with requests that seem unreasonable at first glance – but might actually be reasonable under closer inspection (like adding windows).

clarify the tenant’s expectations
Photo Credit: Canva

Clarify Expectations Upfront

The second step is to clarify the tenant’s expectations. If you don’t know exactly what they want, it’s impossible to determine whether or not their request is reasonable.

Next, make sure they understand your expectations as well. It’s not just about being clear on your end – the tenant needs to be aware of the timeline and what constitutes an acceptable solution for any given problem (e.g., if there’s no plumbing in the bathroom, replacing it with a sink isn’t going to cut it).

Set A Timeline And Stick With It

The best way to ensure that your tenant renovation requests are handled in a timely manner is by setting a timeline and sticking with it. If you want the project done within two weeks, tell the tenants what you expect from them and stick to it.

Don’t let them change their minds and push back on your timeline because they have other priorities or things that come up in their lives. If the project isn’t finished on time, don’t let them delay getting started again until later – just give them another deadline!

If you’re worried about how much work will be involved in making these changes happen, Consider hiring an outside contractor for help or advice on how much money should go into each area of improvement before making any final decisions about what needs to be done where.

Pay Attention To How You Communicate With Your Tenants

It’s important to use a professional tone when you communicate with tenants. Your emails and letters should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Once you’ve outlined all of the details of what is being requested and when it will happen (as well as any next steps), take some time to review your communication before sending it out.

If there are sections that could be confusing or unclear in any way, elements such as grammar errors or vague wording, go back over them with a fine-toothed comb until they’re just right!

Communicate With Your Tenants
Photo Credit: Canva


Don’t Set Up Unrealistic Expectations For Your Tenants

When a tenant requests a renovation, it’s important to be realistic about what can be done. Don’t set up unrealistic expectations for your tenants and overpromise and underdeliver.

Your goal should be to get the work done as quickly as possible but also keep in mind that you need to make sure the job is done well and meets all building codes.

Don’t leave it up to the tenant to decide what is reasonable. For example, if one of your rental units has carpeting that needs replacing because it’s worn out or damaged. Don’t let them choose between new carpeting or laminate floors. You should make this decision based on how much wear-and-tear there is on the existing flooring material so that you know exactly what kind of replacement would be best suited for their needs (and within budget).


Can a Landlord Evict you to do Renovations in NYC?

Under New York City law, your landlord cannot evict you just because they want to do repairs or renovations on the building. Instead, they must have a good reason for doing so.

What is a Tenant Improvement Allowance?

A tenant improvement allowance is an amount of money that a landlord provides to a tenant, who then uses it to make improvements to the rental property.

What is an example of Tenant Improvement?

Tenant improvements are the modifications and upgrades a landlord makes to a property, so it’s ready for move-in by a tenant. These can include things like new appliances, new flooring, or even an entire remodel of the interior of a building.

What happens if the Landlord wants to Remodel, but the Tenant doesn’t want to leave?

The answer depends on the situation. If the lease is up, the landlord has a right to ask the tenant to vacate temporarily while they do their work.

However, they cannot force you out without just cause. The lease may stipulate that if you don’t leave by a certain date, your rent will go up, or your lease will terminate early.

In this case, if you decide not to leave when given notice by your landlord. You could face eviction proceedings and possibly even civil or criminal charges for breaking your lease agreement.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has helped you better understand the process of managing tenant renovation requests. We also want to remind you that every situation is unique, so don’t be afraid to ask questions as they arise.

If you’re unsure about something or just want some additional advice on how best to handle a particular situation, we encourage you to reach out! Our experts are here for all landlords who need help with their properties. Whether it’s just one question or several months’ worth of work needed to be done before moving in