Discussion Question for slum lords

nisryus

Senior member
Sep 11, 2007
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#1
So I have my old house as a rental unit. Current tenants are not renewing after being there for three years. Their kids are older and need more space.

So my questions for fellow slum lords are.. do you change the carpet each time new tenants move in? Do you put new interior paint?

I know the old tenants must patch all of the holes and paint them before moving out, and clean the carpet. However, the carpet is old (it is the original carpet when we bought the house! we took great care and it was a good condition when we lease it out.)

We don't think it will be in such good condition because the tenant kind of hoard a lot of things and made the house a little messy.

Do you use contractor/handyman for carpet and paint? Or go to a flooring store and let the pros do it (cost more), or.. Home Depot/Lowes!

Wife doens't want to spend too much since new tenants will move in and who knows how the carpet and paint will be when they move out?!
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#2
Depends on your market. If you're demanding premium prices, you better have premium accommodations. Otherwise, the goal is to get more money than you spend, and tenants like fucking stuff up. Better to put off "upgrades" til you really have to.
 
Oct 10, 1999
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#3
If you haven't been Cited or made the Local News, you're not a True Slumlord. Get Good!
 
Jul 20, 2001
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#4
Good slumlords replace the carpet with used carpet from their slightly better rentals. Great slumlords put that carpet right down on top of the old carpet.
 

nisryus

Senior member
Sep 11, 2007
291
7
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#5
XD.

Well, They were always late on payment (instead of the 1st day of the month, third week of the month). I let that go since I know family with kids can make finance a challenge.

Plus I did not raised rent on them all these three years, while everyone else around there area gone up at least $100 per month year after year.

I guessed I was being too nice on them. Anyway, I want to replace the old carpet with woods, but that costed too much. Just wondering if other land lords have experiences on this.. Like if big box stores would be cheaper than retail flooring, or maybe go hire some local handyman and have them measure, order carpet, and install it. Just trying to save as much as possible without breaking the bank.
 
May 24, 2003
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www.uovalor.com
#6
I would not bother hiring it out. If there's carpet I would just replace it with hardwood or laminate. Unless there's some weird laws around this would REQUIRE you to use a pro? Would not really be surprised, always stupid laws about everything. It's crossed my mind to buy a cheap multi unit and fix it up myself and rent out, but there's just so much BS and red tape when it comes to that stuff, like needing permits etc.
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#7
I'd invest in a decent carpet cleaner as a first course of action. It might bring back the old carpet, and you'll need it if you continue renting anyway. Otherwise, you usually get what you pay for with carpet.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#8
I would at least paint. Replace the carpet if it is worn down/through in spots, or has pet stains / cat piss in places. Though, a thorough carpet cleaning can probably do wonders, maybe hire a pro cleaner.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#9
At least make the place presentable. Back when I rented I house, while I wasn't good at keeping the place clean, I did went I out of way to avoid damaging it and paid the rent on time.
 

nisryus

Senior member
Sep 11, 2007
291
7
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#10
Good suggestions on hiring a pro carpet cleaner. Since they are still living there, the whole place is covered and was very hard to see how bad the carpet looked. Will wait and see after they have the place cleaned out first then.
 
Oct 12, 2009
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#11
XD.

Well, They were always late on payment (instead of the 1st day of the month, third week of the month). I let that go since I know family with kids can make finance a challenge.

Plus I did not raised rent on them all these three years, while everyone else around there area gone up at least $100 per month year after year.

I guessed I was being too nice on them. Anyway, I want to replace the old carpet with woods, but that costed too much. Just wondering if other land lords have experiences on this.. Like if big box stores would be cheaper than retail flooring, or maybe go hire some local handyman and have them measure, order carpet, and install it. Just trying to save as much as possible without breaking the bank.
Hey, how about you don't have the temperament. GTFO of rentals.


<--I did shit. I lost some, won some. "Pay me next year" never worked out. And your Boss has no interest.


Sell it, cash into the 529 and wave goodbye.
 

skull

Platinum Member
Jun 5, 2000
2,041
105
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#12
With highland, you have to be able to control the tenant or they will control you. Rent is late eviction notice on the 5th, forget the kids you have to be able to kick em to the curb. Rentals are a business not a charity.

The slumlord I work for buys super cheap carpet by the wholesale roll and puts it down himself or when hes busy pays a carpet installer off craigslist to put it down. He has 140 rentals though so it make sense to buy that much carpet.

It all depends on th condition sometimes he will roll with the existing carpet and paint or just do one or the other. Other times if its bad he offers the new tenant no deposit if they live with it. Most the time after a nasty long term tenant moves out its paint and carpet time.
 

skull

Platinum Member
Jun 5, 2000
2,041
105
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#13
Oh and with the paint the trick is too paint the entire house the same semigloss color walls, trim and ceilings. Then you can clean it and what don't clean you can spot hit on the next turn
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
6,650
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#14
all one color. have a painter you use, and they will usually give you a good price for returning work. have someone put in new carpet. something just a touch better than utter crap. remember, you have to "break even" at the end of the year and you get to write this off.

if my tenets don't pay I show up knocking on the door by the 5th.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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#15
XD.
I guessed I was being too nice on them. Anyway, I want to replace the old carpet with woods, but that costed too much. Just wondering if other land lords have experiences on this.. Like if big box stores would be cheaper than retail flooring, or maybe go hire some local handyman and have them measure, order carpet, and install it. Just trying to save as much as possible without breaking the bank.
Carpet isn't cheap either - and the difference is that I sure as hell can't put in carpet myself, but I can put in laminate myself - especially the kind that simply "snap" together.
 

squirrel dog

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
5,442
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#16
ceramic tile , everywhere . Have some now that look like wood .
 

dandruff

Golden Member
Jan 28, 2000
1,402
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#17
So my questions for fellow slum lords are.. do you change the carpet each time new tenants move in? Do you put new interior paint?

Short Answer : NO to carpet. If it needs to be changed - goto vinyl planks.
Interior Paint : Touch - Up.



I know the old tenants must patch all of the holes and paint them before moving out, and clean the carpet. However, the carpet is old (it is the original carpet when we bought the house! we took great care and it was a good condition when we lease it out.)
You must be brave and stupid to let tenant do ANY repairs. Deduct from deposit or eat the cost. 90% of time you will be redoing their fuck-ups.


We don't think it will be in such good condition because the tenant kind of hoard a lot of things and made the house a little messy.
Hoarding / Clutter is your friend. Filth is not. More stuff means only trash out - walls and floors are less damaged. Filth is not.


Do you use contractor/handyman for carpet and paint? Or go to a flooring store and let the pros do it (cost more), or.. Home Depot/Lowes!
Home Depot has free install going on right now. Get a flooring guy or DIY (esp. vinyl planks from Costco on sale)


Wife doens't want to spend too much since new tenants will move in and who knows how the carpet and paint will be when they move out?!
Do the bare minimum to make it rentable. Agree with Wife.

DO improvements that leads to low maintenance.

HTH ! PM if you have any specific questions. Good Luck.
 

nisryus

Senior member
Sep 11, 2007
291
7
81
#19
Thx guys. I have called a few places for paints and so far their quotes are similar. So that's good.

Once the tenants moved out I can actually see the condition on the carpet and go from there. They are currently packing stuffs and patching the walls.

The old house is partially owned by my in-laws (they are the majority owners), and they want to keep it as a rental. For now I have to keep it as a rental.

Yes, I will need to be more in control the next time with new tenants.
 
Jul 13, 2005
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#20
I know in the county that landlords have to replace the carpet every so many years! They calculate the life of the carpet! Same goes for painting and other odds and ends!!
 
Jul 12, 2006
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#21
XD.

Well, They were always late on payment (instead of the 1st day of the month, third week of the month). I let that go since I know family with kids can make finance a challenge.

Plus I did not raised rent on them all these three years, while everyone else around there area gone up at least $100 per month year after year.

I guessed I was being too nice on them. Anyway, I want to replace the old carpet with woods, but that costed too much. Just wondering if other land lords have experiences on this.. Like if big box stores would be cheaper than retail flooring, or maybe go hire some local handyman and have them measure, order carpet, and install it. Just trying to save as much as possible without breaking the bank.
there are some really nice laminate solutions out there with 20+ year warranties, extremely easy to install, and water proof. If you have the time, you could do it yourself over the weekend assuming the subfloor is in good condition and flat across the surface. When installed right, they have a very similar feel to hardwood. You could also pick up one or two dudes in the HD parking lot to install it.

It's much easier to maintain and cleaner than carpet, and much cheaper than hardwood.
 

dr150

Diamond Member
Sep 18, 2003
6,557
3
81
#22
OP,
Since your questions are noobish, I'mgoing to go all Yoda on you on this subject.

In answer to your questions, t's horses for courses. IF you deal with high income people in a good neighborhood, you have to keep it up to the competition so you get your share of rent for THAT neighborhood. In a ghetto area, your house doesn't need to go that premium with things inside.

For me, I bought a shithole and re-did the interior. I gutted it and put tiles that supermarkets use that are more resilient to scratching than consumer home stuff. In this manner I never deal with carpet, which usually you have to replace with every tenant or two.

If you go the carpet route, make sure to get CHEAP "Remnant Carpet". Call carpet stores to see if they carry remnant carpet options and their prices. Depending on their samples and how much sq. ft. they carry it can be really cheap. Don't take any premium remnant since the tenant will trash it anyway! Take the CHEAPEST decent looking remant. IF you're keeping the carpet, hire a a Pro cleaner and charge it as "Move Out Cleaning Fee" out of the tenants deposit. Same goes for whole unit "Move-Out Cleaning" service (espeically kitchen/bathroom/yard). You can find all these guys on Yelp. Go for the highest ratings as their service is not only better but their prices are fair too, otherwise they wouldn't get 5*!

But I do advise you to put tiles down as supermarket tiles are generally "nuclear proof" (ONLY ASK for industrial flooring samples--they make them quite aesthetic and OUTLAST any laminate flooring by far!!). In the long run, it'll EASILY pay for itself and save you money/time (buy extra tiles and keep them in your garage in case you need replacing one--floor models change all the time so buy a few extra--it's cheap!). Look ONLY at discount tile stores like LumberLiquidators and such for the best "garage sale" prices--negotiate discounts by just asking (it'll be cheaper than HD/Lowes crap--these stores ALSO have their own installer references and they'll be also cheaper/more pro than HD's low level installers, especially when you negotiate them against each other after they visit & quote you). Plus tiles looks more premium than carpet and attract better tenants that would otherwise shy away. I always get really motivated applications for my units b/c they look so great. That means less lost revenue from the place being empty on the calendar. Only advertise on Craiglist WITH photos instead of the newspaper and state in BOLD UNDERLINE "Minimum 3x Income" to FILTER lower income people that always pay late or need to eventually evict (which is thousands/costly). Try to land a State/Federal worker as their pay is stable and AVOID Section 8 riff raff and govt. tenancy rules/inspections. Try to land a TWO income couple so that the 2nd income can cover their Cost of Living if one of them loses their job.

As for holes in the wall and paint, you should learn how to do this yourself. After all, you're just patching cardboard. Any Youtube video will teach you. It's brain dead simple! Same with paint. Just paint over the scratches/holes. Use a more "standard" color paint from Kelly Moore which'll be cheaper than custom color (open a business acct with them to get the BEST discounts!--MUCH, MUCH cheaper than HD/Lowes!!). They'll have a history in your acct. of what paint you used in the past for future jobs and will make you a batch quickly). For a $20 can you should cover all major eye sores from a tenant move-out. IF you need to paint the WHOLE interior, it'll take 2 weekends for one side of a duplex for instance. OTOH, Hiring painters will be EXPENSIVE! Get quotes but you'll see it's better to do it yourself. I painted my interiors myself (including kitchen cabinets/closets). With an extra person it goes WAY FASTER! Heck, hire one of the dudes in front of HD to help you paint--they're more reliable/harder working than a flake on Craiglist!

Within a short day, you should be able to paint/patch a tenant move-out. I charge for damaged holes (i.e. albeit NOT picture frame nail holes as that's wear & tear) out of the tenants deposits and the paint I cover myself as it's normal wear and tear. Little things like this that AESTHETICALLY TRICK the casual eye enough to get future applicants to say "this shit looks nice"--nothing more, nothing less.

Also keep in mind that tenants make more of an effort to keep it nice and clean when the place looks nice. If it's a shithole, you'll attract like-for-like applicants who'll treat it like a shithole and the rent you get will be less and go for MORE repairs the NEXT go around. You invest more into it, you'll get better tenants, more rents and less future repairs. When interviewing tenant with children, check the kids out for hyperactivity (i.e. more damage potential). Same with dogs. If it means waiting weeks for the RIGHT tenant to pop up, then do it as it'll save you headaches/stress/future repairs--don't get desperate--places always rent out!

The only reason you should hire a handyman for this simple stuff is that you are too busy and too inconvenient for you. Otherwise learn to be a MAN and do it yourself. Take a radio with you (with podcast/audio books/music) and you can do everything in a jiffy. From those THOUSANDS you save from doing as much as you can yourself you'll have for a nicer hotel on vacation or whatever.

Hopefully you evolve a temperament for this business and dealing with problem renters (this is directly proportional to WHO you choose to rent out to--follow my tenant advice above). If you have no stomach for it, hand it over to a Management Co. who'll do this headache stuff for you and just send you the monthly check. I do all of it myself. I had to do an eviction on my 2nd tenant. That was fucking stressful and almost called it quits! But I developed a thick skin and now I don't fuck around. Business is business. No fucking excuses or the threatening "Pay or Quit" legal letters go out. It's mechanical. It's math. You'll quickly know if a tenant is sincere or a bullshitter and to call them out on it. Try to PUSH YOURSELF to keep at this business and gain experience. The money will definitely help your retirement(!!)--much better than BONDS & a good counter-balance to stock volatility!! Try to grab more than 6+ rents for your portfolio. It's EASY money for the amount of work you put in (or the management co.). Plus it's tax deductible! :D

Also....make sure the roof is in good condition or tenants will call you in the middle of the night that water from a torrential rain is leaking from above (personal experience). You may have to spend $10k on this but it's worth it! Also pay for gutter cleaning once a year and do a Lint cleaning of the dryer ducts with a professional (see Yelp)--this can prevent a future fire! You have NO IDEA how much lint collects in those ducts. It's astonishing! Also charge EXTRA if the tenant goes over the water limit cap you set per month. Hopefully the unit has its own meter and they can pay for their own water instead of you. ALSO increase your Umbrella Liability insurance to protect your assets. And once you get a portfolio of units, do an LLC for extra protection (not really needed for one unit)--this is standard protocol for ANY investment property owner!
 
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GoodRevrnd

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
6,407
82
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#23
ceramic tile , everywhere . Have some now that look like wood .
This, especially if you're actually renting for something above slum-lord status. Stuff is nearly indestructible and you won't have to potentially replace carpet with every new renter. Cheap carpet is easier to destroy, but a shitty tenant will destroy nicer carpet anyway.
 

squirrel dog

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
5,442
24
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#24
had a hamster escape it's cage and chewed thru the water inlet house to the washer machine . Put 4" of water in my condo(1980) went with the cheapest ceramic tiles I could find on sale (.37ea for 12x12) Those tiles are still there . Home depot does a class on laying tiles , it's easy .Problem I see with any wood like product are scratches , gouges .
 
Nov 8, 2012
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#25
there are some really nice laminate solutions out there with 20+ year warranties, extremely easy to install, and water proof. If you have the time, you could do it yourself over the weekend assuming the subfloor is in good condition and flat across the surface. When installed right, they have a very similar feel to hardwood. You could also pick up one or two dudes in the HD parking lot to install it.

It's much easier to maintain and cleaner than carpet, and much cheaper than hardwood.
There has to be something more to the story though - Why is it that plenty of rental places - including corporate apartments still use carpets?

I agree with you - in hindsight laminate seems about as cheap as carpet - yet more reliable and more sturdy.
 

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