Solar-Powered Rental

February 7, 2024

In this episode of “Adventures in Landlording,” the hosts discuss pressing issues faced by landlords, focusing on the importance of transparency, legality, and tenant rights. One story revolves around a tenant, referred to humorously as Petuli Poop-on-Poop, who encounters a landlord demanding a $1,000 non-refundable holding deposit without providing a lease for review. The hosts strongly advise against agreeing to such terms, highlighting the potential for scams and the importance of reviewing any contract before signing. They emphasize that while holding deposits can be legal in places like California, they must be clearly defined, with explicit conditions for return and use, which was not the case for Petuli.

Another significant topic covered is the installation of solar panels on rental properties. A landlord inquires about adjusting the rental agreement to charge tenants for the solar system’s cost. The hosts argue against this, likening the situation to making improvements like a new roof or furnace, where the cost is not typically passed to tenants. They suggest that the investment in solar panels should be viewed as a long-term benefit to the property’s value, rather than an immediate cost to be recouped from tenants. The advice leans towards increasing rent upon lease renewal rather than adding specific charges for solar energy, promoting fairness and avoiding potential tenant disputes.

The episode also tackles a serious issue of mold in a rental property, where a landlord attempts to cover mold with paint rather than addressing the root cause. The hosts condemn this approach, stressing the health risks of mold and the landlord’s responsibility to properly remediate it. They provide practical advice for both tenants and landlords on handling mold, including the necessity of professional removal and clear communication between parties to ensure a safe living environment.


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