In Katy, Texas, landlords are required to give month-to-month tenants at least 30 days’ notice before enforcing amendments to the lease. For example, if you want your tenant to park in a different spot, you’ll need to give them a 30-day notice to comply.
For most lease amendments, 30 days is ample time to comply with changes, especially when those changes are small. For instance, requiring a tenant to remove glass bottles from their window sill or repair or remove an inoperable vehicle shouldn’t take longer than 30 days.
However, some tenants struggle with timely compliance. While you’re only required to provide 30 days’ notice, you can choose to extend that notice with an additional grace period. For some tenants (and some requests), allowing more time seems fair.
The problem with providing an extension is that you can’t predict which tenants will keep asking for more time without any intention of complying.
Still, it’s not bad practice to give a tenant extra time to comply with new lease terms. However, there are pros and cons you’ll need to weigh with each individual situation.
5 advantages of giving tenants extra time to comply with lease amendments
1. Your tenant might actually need more time to comply
Not all tenants will take advantage of their landlord’s leniency. If your tenant has expressed the need for more time to comply with a lease amendment, they might actually need that extra time.
If the lease changes aren’t urgent or a health hazard, consider giving your tenant the benefit of the doubt. Even if they don’t explain why they need more time, or if their explanation sounds sketchy, it won’t hurt to provide a short grace period.
Your tenant might have a legitimate need for more time, but could be too embarrassed to tell you the truth or elaborate on why they need an extension.
2. You’re more likely to get compliance
Tenants who don’t feel rushed are more likely to comply with reasonable lease amendments. While you have the right to make changes your tenant won’t like, reasonable amendments will usually elicit compliance.
When assessing whether a lease amendment is reasonable, tenants will usually consider the amount of time they have to comply. For instance, a request that reads like a demand on short notice will be perceived as unreasonable simply because of the way it’s presented.
3. Your tenant won’t feel resentment toward you
Tenants just want to be left alone to live their lives and see lease amendments as an intrusion. Tenants with this outlook often grow to resent their landlords more each time they’re hit with a new change. Rent increases usually generate the highest level of resentment from tenants, especially when the increase is drastic.
Hopefully, you’re not the kind of landlord who makes changes regularly. However, either way, being generous with your compliance deadline can prevent some tenants from developing resentment toward you.
4. You’ll get a more thorough compliance
Sometimes tenants comply with lease amendments, but not thoroughly. If your lease amendment(s) require time, thought, or money, you’ll get a more thorough compliance when you give your tenant an extended deadline.
For example, if you want your tenant to take on the yard work in 30 days, they might not have time or money set aside to hire a professional. If they don’t have their own equipment, they’ll need more time to save money to either buy landscaping tools or hire out the job.
In the meantime, your tenant might hire a neighborhood kid to mow the lawn. Although some kids do excellent work, there’s no guarantee the yard will look professionally maintained. If you give your tenant two months’ notice rather than just one, you’ll be more likely to get full compliance where the job is done professionally.
5. You’ll avoid creating tension
Having tension between you and your tenants is never good. If you can do anything to avoid creating more tension, it’s worth the effort. This includes allowing more time for a tenant to comply with lease changes.
As long as the changes aren’t time-sensitive or urgent, it won’t hurt anyone to give your tenant a little more time. Do whatever it takes to keep your tenant happy and peaceful, within reason.
3 disadvantages of giving tenants extra time to comply with lease amendments
1. Your tenant might decide to not comply
When you give a month-to-month tenant notice regarding new lease terms, chances are, they’ll be somewhat resistant to comply. Resistance, even to small changes, is a natural response for many people.
If you automatically grant extra time to your tenant, they might decide not to comply at all. They might even keep asking for extensions with no intention of following through.
2. Your tenant might interpret your extension as an invitation to take advantage of you
There’s a reason people advise against giving tenants any kind of break from their contractual obligations. Once you let them slide with something, they might expect that same treatment with all future situations. Don’t let your tenants take advantage of you.
If your tenant has already been given free passes, extensions, and other leniencies, consider maintaining your original compliance deadline and not offering any extensions. If you let your compliance deadlines slide, your tenant might just ignore your request altogether.
Depending on how many deadline extensions you give your tenant, they might start to brush off the changes. After all, if compliance isn’t all that important to you, why should it be important to them?
3. Your tenant might drag out compliance longer than you’d like
When you give an extension to your Katy tenants, they might decide to drag everything out longer than necessary. It might not be intentional, either. For example, if you give a tenant 90 days to get their vehicle running, they might wait until the last minute. At that point, they might realize their repairs are more expensive than they thought.
The more time you give tenants to comply, the more likely they are to procrastinate. Not all tenants procrastinate intentionally, but it’s easy to put tasks off and forget about them when you know you’ve got ample time.
Lease amendments can be challenging – call us and we’ll help you manage your tenants!
If you’re feeling exhausted by managing leases, lease amendments, and maintaining adherence to landlord tenant law, you need a property management company. At Green Residential, we take care of our clients’ tenants and ensure they’re given proper notices and enough time to comply with lease amendments.
If you’ve been dreaming of the day you can be a hands-off landlord, call us today to see how we can help you get your time back.