Fee Dilema

Hi All,

Our TSSA lease details fees for cleaning and hual off (per hour charge with a minimum). A tenant informed us they had moved out in the last week of the month. Even though the lease states that 30 days' notice is required, we are normally lenient on it as long as we are aware. I reiterated to them that the unit must be emptied and broom swept clean before the move out would be processed. We hadn't heard back from them on the 31st, so, in the interest of them not being charged an additional month's rent, we threw out remaining trash, swept, and charged the minimum cleaning fee to their card.

A few days later they reached out and said they'd gone into labor and weren't able to go back and clean. They want the cleaning fee waived/reimbursed since it was out of their control, however, the work has already been done. Also, the cleaning fee is about half of what an additional month's rent would be. What would you do in this scenario? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Comments

  • MamaDuke7
    MamaDuke7 Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    In the interest of good will, I'd refund it.  It sounds like it wasn't a huge mess to be cleaned anyway.  (Maybe you can dig around on social media to confirm they had a baby that day?)
  • Nazpastortony
    Nazpastortony Registered User ✭✭
    Customer service is certainly an art form.  There are many situations that can differ on a case by case basis.  In the short time I have been doing this, I spend quite a bit of time trying to research things that are available to me in order to make a good decision.  I would look at the tenants history and notes to see what kind of tenant they were throughout their rental period if you don't have personal knowledge of their character.  I like MamaDukes idea of checking social media.  After that and aside from obvious or habitual dishonesty I would probably lean towards the benefit of the doubt as well and refund while congratulating on the new baby.  Good customer service is hard to find these days and really does mean a lot to people.  If she has storage needs in the future it could leave an impression that brings a return customer.
  • teamcapitola
    teamcapitola Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congratulate them on the new baby, then inform them that the fee is not refundable.
    You were within rights to charge a whole month, but didn't for customer service sake. The cleaning had to be done by somebody; since it wasn't them, your company had to pay to have it done (even if its just staff labor).

    You were doing them a HUGE favor by not charging another months rent because notice wasn't given. They agreed to everything when they signed the lease.

    With all that in mind, this could turn into a huge headache. They could contact their C/C company and initiate a chargeback, or they could pull a yelp review/google review etc. using the new baby to make you sound like monsters.... 

    If the "we didn't charge you a whole months $$ and the fee was our compromise" doesn't work, and you want it to go away, offer to "split the fee" with them and refund half.

    Sometimes its enough, and sometimes eating the fee is for the best interest of the facility....

  • Keri
    Keri Registered User ✭✭
    Regardless if they gave a notice or not if there is anything left in the unit you should of taken pictures, seal tagged and overlocked the unit . This tenant could possibly say they had items of value in the unit and taken you to court for such. Just from previous experience one mans junk is another mans treasure .  
  • i43storage
    i43storage Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    So ... boy or girl?
    Jean Marie
    I-43 Storage

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