Preparing Tenants for Renovations: Limiting Disruptions
Preparing tenants for renovations is a crucial part of owning a building. Providing quality workspace is a commercial building owner’s top priority. Summer months require preparation as much as winter, and the work can be just as disruptive. Maintaining your property includes a list of responsibilities you must work on year-round.
It can be tricky to update your rental or renovate your property while you have tenants occupying your building. Disputes can arise and cause discord between tenants and landlords. Follow these steps to ensure you make your summer renovations with the least amount of disturbance to you and your tenants.
Preparing tenants for renovations
1.Know Your Rights
You have the right to maintain your commercial property. However, depending on your lease agreement, there are ways that tenants can push back if they don’t want to cooperate. These legally binding contracts typically state routine repair agreements. Ensure you read these thoroughly to know your and your tenants’ rights.
Never enter a renter’s space without proper notification and permission. However, you can take steps when tenants refuse to comply with renovations. It’s a give-and-take relationship, so working together and respecting each other’s time and obligations is ideal.
Rights of Tenants
Tenants have rights as well, like having a quiet environment. This is also called the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. This gives the renter peace of mind to enjoy their space without interruption or disturbance. The landlord’s responsibility is to ensure renters can live peacefully without being disturbed. These laws vary by state but can be researched in detail for more information.
The landlord must be notified of something offending the renter and has an opportunity to attempt to remedy the situation. If they fail, they can be held accountable by law. Some disturbances are rare and can be dealt with, like disagreements between tenants about pets or loud noises such as footsteps.
Other disturbances are unacceptable, and tenants are protected from these issues when the landlords don’t comply. These disturbances are like pests in the walls disrupting work, unnecessary inspections or remodeling, and harassment from a landlord toward their tenants or guests.
2. Provide Safety
Tenants may encounter some inconveniences during renovations or scheduled maintenance. Ensure they have the proper safety tips for all potential disruptions to their daily lives. Road construction, either in your building’s parking lot or outside your property, can annoy the people living there.
Road repairs are just as essential as interior maintenance and can be much more dangerous. Car wrecks resulting in death increased by 1.4% in 2020, so safety measures are more necessary than ever. Ensure that you have proper traffic control and that workers take every precaution needed for tenant safety.
3. Schedule Maintenance
Preparing tenants for renovations means adhering to a maintenance schedule. Maintenance should be scheduled routinely, and repairs should be prioritized as soon as possible. This is necessary for the functionality of your building and the happiness of your renters. Maintenance should be communicated to the renter in advance to avoid inconvenience, and tenants should be warned and fully cautioned of every upgrade and renovation in detail.
Planned work should have a timeline and list of potential encounters that could cause issues. Landlords and tenants should work together if the cost of the upgrade will result in an increased rent or a short-term lease must be converted into a long-term one.
A planned vacancy is an excellent way to remodel your space. There’s no risk of a potential breach of agreement and renovations can go as planned. Grumpy tenants can dispute lease agreements and cause legal discord for their landlords.
A landlord was fined $22,865 for violating renter statutes. They didn’t provide notice for entering the renter’s property and was charged for violating their quiet enjoyment and emotional distress. Tenants should be warned of the work scheduled to its full extent and how they stand to benefit from it. Hire good contractors and stay involved in projects so they don’t fall on tenants’ shoulders.
Eviction for Repairs
An eviction for repairs may be required if a planned vacancy isn’t warranted and is disputed by tenants. Under the Residential Tenancy Act in British Columbia, an eviction notice must be given two months in advance for renters to oblige. The landlord must have all necessary permits required to renovate and prove that the premises should be vacated to perform the work.
The landlord should compensate the tenant for a month’s rent before the date they are scheduled to vacate. This eviction notice won’t be upheld in court if a renter is willing to relocate for the duration of the construction. Landlords must be willing to work with their tenants regarding the renovation process. Dispute resolution hearings can be held to give both parties the chance to resolve issues and try to find mutually agreeable circumstances to work within.
4. Offer Rent Reduction
Preparing tenants for renovations may include offering a rent reduction.Being attentive and supportive of your renters’ concerns will make you the best landlord. You likely never intend to inconvenience your tenants or disrupt their lives. Tough decisions are necessary as a commercial property owner. If your summer renovation plans are too disruptive, consider putting them on hold and discuss planned vacancy options.
If you must proceed with renovations, perhaps offering your tenants a reduction in their rent will suffice. Every dollar counts right now, and your tenants would probably be happy to oblige any scheduled construction if it means a little more money in their pockets. This also helps squash conflict before it starts and can make renters feel seen and respected throughout the process.
Preparing tenants for renovations
Responsibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to owning a property. Landlords must protect their tenants and their property simultaneously, which can be challenging without balance and preparation. If you have mutual respect with your tenants, you can make renovations seamlessly and without too much inconvenience. You end up with an upgraded structure that’s better for all parties and appreciation from your renters, who will likely tell others about your willingness to make their lives easier during this transition. That can make it easier to find new tenants and establish a solid reputation in the community.
Rose Morrison is a residential and commercial real estate writer and the managing editor of Renovated. To see more of her work visit: https://renovated.com/