What to do if my tenant and I have an agreement that I would give him cheaper rent in exchange for him maintaining the property but it’s not working out?

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What to do if my tenant and I have an agreement that I would give him cheaper rent in exchange for him maintaining the property but it’s not working out?

In the lease it states that he will maintain the property and do all repairs $100 or less. He is also supposed to get written permission before major changes. I got a home warranty with a service fee of $100 which he agreed to pay. He is now refusing to repair my fridge that he now has outside; it’s covered by the home warranty. He is also now saying maintenance is not his job. Additionally, he installed recessed lighting without my permission.

Asked on November 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to evict him for breach of contract if you feel this is the only option. You need to give him the opportunity to meet his obligations or consider his communication to you as anticipatory breach.  Then use the provisions in your lease agreement to do a full accounting of what is owed to him and what you are deducting from his security including copies of receipts for things like recessed lighting (if you plan on removing) because his installation is still considered damage to the apartment.


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