Turning a Stormy Situation into a Soothing Soak: A Tale of Landlord-Tenant Harmony

Last Updated on 2023-09-08 by Tom

Last night’s storm was not just a test of Mother Nature’s power but also a test of our landlord-tenant relationship. It all started with a text message from our tenant, accompanied by pictures of a fallen tree in front of their rental home. As we scrutinized the photos, we noticed something unexpected – the corner of what appeared to be a hot tub. Surprise aside, we learned our tenant had installed this hot tub in the backyard without notifying us formally, although they had mentioned their plans verbally during the initial agreement.

Naturally, we sent a stern letter, stating that this unauthorized addition had to be removed immediately. Predictably, our tenant refused, and a clash began. Threats were exchanged, and they even attempted to file a case with the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS). We followed suit, and the hearing was scheduled. Tensions were high, and it seemed like we were headed for a lose-lose situation.

However, after the initial flurry of emotions, we realized that there might be a way to salvage the situation. It was time to put aside our differences and consider things from both sides. From the landlord’s perspective, it was invasive and disrespectful to have an unapproved addition to our property. But on the flip side, our tenant was simply trying to make their rental feel more like home. After all, what’s the point of investing in a hot tub if you can’t enjoy it? We asked ourselves if we were truly embracing the “renting, sharing, and caring” principle, and if so, we needed to appreciate our tenant’s perspective.

So, instead of heading to the RTDRS hearing with full force, we decided to seek a solution. We scheduled an inspection and engaged in a productive discussion with our tenant. We agreed on several points to ensure the safe enjoyment of the hot tub and the future harmony of our landlord-tenant relationship:
a) Proper Permits and Inspection: We required the tenant to obtain all necessary permits and ensure the hot tub met safety standards.
b) Tenant Insurance: We insisted on an updated tenant insurance policy to cover any potential hot tub-related incidents.
c) Responsible Use: Our tenant committed to using the hot tub with caution, respecting the lawn, neighbors, and property.
d) Restoration Clause: They agreed to return the property to its original state upon the end of the lease.
e) Written Approval: Any future modifications or additions required written approval from us.

An agreement was reached, and an addendum was signed. We withdrew our RTDRS application. What could have been a landlord-tenant showdown turned into a peaceful resolution.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes, it’s important to remember that a hot tub is not the end of the world. Rather than letting fear dictate our actions, we turned this “crisis” into an “opportunity” to build a meaningful relationship. Both parties emerged from the ordeal with greater trust and respect for each other. It’s a testament to the idea that, with a little understanding and open communication, landlords and tenants can work together to achieve mutual satisfaction and harmony in the rental relationship. 🤝🏡🌟