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Reduction of rent

Hi, my tenants requests a hefty rent reduction due to noise of a construction next door and supposedly humidity in their unit. They removed all portable heaters, are not religiously using the 70pt dehumidifier (furnished 1 bedroom), therefore they are not keeping my unit dry. (San Francisco, rent controlled house). For a year and a half they were nice and thankful of my efforts and suddenly on the 2nd of this year I got an email requesting the reduction. They also have been slow in paying the rent, always on 3rd and 4th and I had to remind them. I also live in the building and monitored their stay and have found out that they have been gone for more than 2 weeks, also over Thanksgiving - Xmas and New Year. They moved in under the "pretense" to search for a house to buy in San Francisco and Bay Area and are irritated by the cost. My furnished unit is in a rent controlled house. When moving in, I disclosed that there will be construction next door and that there might be a humidity problem in the unit during the rainy season, but controllable with heat and dehumidifier. I bought them an energy efficient dehumidifier (70 pints, Energy consumption; about  .50 - $1.00 a day when running it 8-10 hours). Now they complained about the noise (construction and whirring of dehumidifier), even though they seldom work from home. Last year they were happy when they received the new dehumidifier and mentioned in an email it is rather quiet and absorbs a lot of humidity. They had removed all portable heaters when they moved in and when I suggested to them that they should get them again, they mentioned that they prefer not to do so. They still have 2 energy efficient mounted wall heaters. When I visited them to check on their complaint, it did not smell humidity and it was comfortable. I rented the furnished 1 bedroom unit below SF suggested Market rate, since I was aware of the easily controllable issue and wanted to be fair They had requested a reduction of $150.00/month, I had suggested a reduction of $25.00 (Cost of running the dehumidifier) which they did not accept – we then verbally agreed on $75.00, but when I saw that they were gone again, I felt cheated and taken advantage of. I now strongly feel that they just want a reduced rent – I am a senior lady and such a reduction means further hardship to me. My costs increased a lot too. Rent reduction is supposed to start next month. The construction next door is going on for several more months and there is nothing I can do about it. I had spoken to the Architect and Contractors, asking them to be considerate, since they also work on Saturday. 8:00am to 5:00pm. Their response was: If the tenants leave, ask for more money!! Anyone with great suggestions. Can I stipulate in the Addendum, that the reduction will only be paid if they are around and prorate it accordingly and only for 3 months. I don’t want to absorb the loss for endless months and they do not adhere to  my wishes. In my opinion, I have done everything in the book to keep them happy. Also, can I use the security deposit for their part of the shared utilities-Internet, Water-Garbage.  (3 months due) on Feb01. They have their own smart meter for gas and electricity. What should I do? Thanks for listening.  – a stressed senior lady
1 Comment

You are being so nice, since this was already warned to them, they should have no issues! If you are not making a profit at all, this will not be worth the reduction, find a couple for whom would be satisfied. Sometimes people just get bored and need to complain about something.
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