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Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave - Landlord Forum thread 249099

Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by Anonymous on February 25, 2012 @15:22

I've been leasing out my SFH in a newer developed suburban Chicago area for the past eight years. We've been through a few tenants, some good and some not so good. Went through the hassles of having a property manager and after realizing he was lazy and I'd rather do it myself, therefore took him of the the picture about a year ago. Learned a lot of lessons and have been trying hard to do things the right way.

Anyway, after several months of vacancy due to some cleaning/rehab work and the Winter/holiday months, I've got what I believe is a decent set of tenants ready to move in March 1. I'm ready to work with them and keep them happy.

The tenants recently asked me if I would buy them a microwave. While I've learned that it pays in the long run to use a good customer service focus with tenants, I want to set reasonable expectations and boundaries. I told them that it is customary for the tenant to purchase their own microwave for a kitchen that does not have a built-in unit. I also explained that microwaves are relatively inexpensive and that by purchasing their own, they are free to take it with them wherever they go.

As a renter myself, I'd never expect the landlord to buy me small appliance items. These tenants are from out of the country and living/working here on a time-limited visa so I'm wondering if where they are from, this is a reasonable expectation. Regardless, I don't want to be cheap but at the same time I don't want the tenant to get the idea that I'm going to buy them items they should be buying on their own.

Am I being unreasonable?
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Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by ERIC on February 25, 2012 @15:58 [ Reply ]
What is the risk, vs. reward? For less than $100, you keep them happy.
Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by Anonymous on February 25, 2012 @16:20 [ Reply ]
You may want to make an amendment or whatever to your rental agreement stating that a MW is provided for tenant's use but will remain in the unit when the tenant vacates. Be sure you note the make and model 3 and take a picture of the MW, both inside of it and the outside.

It's a good thing to provide this for good tenants, but be sure you CYA.
Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by Jake on February 25, 2012 @17:54 [ Reply ]
If your tenants are on temporary work visas they will not be taking the microwave with them. If they are two guys, the microwave will be their method of their cooking. I cater to temporary workers and furnish coffee makers, microwaves, toasters, TV, vidio disk players and vaccums as well as mops and brooms. You have to if you want any cleaning done by working men. I also stock the place with dishes, flatware, pots and pans. All from Walmart of course. If your tenants only want a $100 microwave, I would buy it.
Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by Anonymous on February 25, 2012 @22:28 [ Reply ]
They make mircrowaves that attach under the kitchen cabinets. That makes it seem more "permanent" and attached to the kitchen like a stove or frig.

If they are good prospects I would probably do it. It's a small cost. If they take it well then take it out of the security deposit when they leave. Keep the receipt of whatever you buy.

Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by Anonymous on February 26, 2012 @01:14 [ Reply ]
I don't think you are being unreasonable. Most households have one but most households also have a coffee machine as well. Doesn't mean that a LL is expected to provide one. Once you provide one personal small appliance, then you do open yourself up to further requests. They have a stove and oven. You have provided for them a way to cook/reheat food.
Also, remember, once you supply an appliance, if it breaks, the tenant will expect you to repair or replace it if it becomes broken as you are providing it with the rental of the unit.
I would just tell them that a microwave is a personal home appliance that falls into the same category as a coffee maker or toaster and is not included in the rental.
Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by Katiekate (New York) on February 26, 2012 @06:01 [ Reply ]
Not only do I provide the microwave, but I also provide and set up the internet router ....both of which I expect the tenant to take with them when they leave.

Both items are cheap and make the tenant happy.
In the case of the is set up for their very exact one else could use it anyway. The microwave is so cheap and it is a nice touch.

Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by MrDan (Georgia) on February 26, 2012 @10:27 [ Reply ]
A simple solution would be to give the tenant a 'gift card' toward the purchase of a microwave (or other item) at a local store. That way the tenant can choose their microwave and pay the difference out of their own pocket. The landlord would not have any repair obligations, the tenant would be happy, and the tenant would know that they would have to come up with some money of their own for any future request.(which would politely be denied)
Re: Tenants asked me to buy them a microwave by xxx on February 27, 2012 @13:27 [ Reply ]
I'm have high turnover apartments (40%+ per year), and i provide microwave ovens

i buy 10-packs of them for $300, so $30 each, and on move out about half the time it is cheaper to put in a new one than to take the time to clean the old one

i suspect these cheap units may be emitting intense gamma radiation at that price, but they work

modern tenants (at least the ones i have) use microwave ovens almost exclusively: i sometimes have stoves where the oven has never even been used

i draw the line at dishwashers: those can be finicky in tenant hands, and if they break can flood

but i find microwave ovens nowadays are pretty basic items in an apt, and are a good selling point

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