Tenants are SO Helpful * They Tell Me there is a PROBLEM and then HOW TO FIX IT!

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Maybe it is a phase of the moon that is causing my residents to let me know they have maintenance and repair items and THEN proceed to tell me how they want them fixed.

A tenant of 5 months e-mailed me a month ago that she wants 2 of her 3 toilets replaced.  She had had a plumber out to check them and they are DISfunctional (her word).

I advised her that (1) they operated when she moved in; (2) they are the same toilets in 40+ townhouse units and this is the first I have heard that they are DISfunctional; (3) she may not replace them and the owner is not paying for them to be replaced.

She promised to NOT bother me about them again.

Now she has had another plumber to the property who found a blockage in a toilet and wants them replaced AND reimbursement for her plumbing costs.  She has talked to a consumer protection office and they say it is my responsibility to keep the plumbing working.

I was not lulled when she promised not to bother me about the issue again; however, I notified the owner in case she contacted him and I let him know that (1) these are the lo-flow toilets that the city mandated when the townhouse project was built 8 years ago; (2) per her lease any blockage after the 5th day of her lease is HER responsibility to repair; (3) the HOA pays the water for the units so how many times she has to flush is immaterial.

Last night, I get a call that another resident has had the local fire department come because she smelled a BURNING smell.  She said the fire department says the electrical service needs to be upgraded from 100 to 200amp service because of the ADDITIONS to the house.

HELLO!  The only addition to the home is a screen porch with 1 outlet and the electrical service is already 200amp * it says so on the electrical box in the garage.  My service man will replace the "offending" breaker and THAT IS IT!

Unnecessary repairs does not benefit the property, the property owner OR the tenants' pocket book.....My rental increase notices go out in February!

Posted by

Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  


View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous



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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
Don't you love tenants. Sometimes it is hard to remember the benefit that they bring.
Nov 09, 2011 03:07 AM #1
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

We usually receive these types of calls from tenants right around the time that their rent payment is due.  It's as if having to write the check "reminded" them of something that was "broken."  I wouldn't be jaded accept that the trend is so blatant.  Things that are legitimately broken don't break on specific days of the month.

Nov 09, 2011 04:40 AM #2
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


The helpful & handy tenants.  My funniest moment was a tenant (international and new to the US) who once they filled out the Move-In form demanded all new appliances.  Did not happen.  Funny enough, four years later they bought the house - and two years later now, they still haven't replaced them.  

God bless tenants.

All the best, Michelle

Nov 09, 2011 01:09 PM #3
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Some SMART people have too much time on their hands and nothing to do!

DIY landlords think they HAVE to agree to tenant demands to keep them "happy"...I gave up trying to make other people happy - they just need to abide by their lease and leave the property clean and in good repair.

Nov 09, 2011 01:51 PM #4
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect


I have yet to have a tenant tell me one of their toilets is dysfunctional! haha.  Way to handle this!

Nov 09, 2011 03:02 PM #5
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I once "managed" a rental for my father-in law when he was stationed overseas.  It was an experience, to say the least!

Nov 10, 2011 11:08 PM #6
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