In the last 7 years of selling Option rights to home across the country, we've never once had a problem getting our tenant-buyers to pay the first $5,000 in (any) repairs that the house needed.
In fact, it's easier than you think.
It's really just a matter of adding a clause that says something like:
Tenant-Buyer(s) responsible for the first $5,000 in any and all repairs to the home during the lease-Option period. All needed repairs must be first approved by the home owner(s) before any work is performed, in writing, and all work must be performed by a licensed and bonded repairman.
I usually use the $5,000 range for properties in the $200,000 Option price range, so if the home is a higher-end home, say in the $500,000 range and above, you can always increase this amount to say, the first $10,000 in repairs, etc.
You'd be amazed at how easy it is to have your future tenant-buyers agree to this. And that's not because you're taking advantage of them in any way, shape, or form. It's simply that in exchange for equal value, the tenant-buyer gets a bunch of perks that make agreeing to this arrangement a "no-brainer" like:
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