Last time, I mentioned that I was turning a rental condo and I was having writer’s block. So I might as well write about this process to get it out of my head. It should be interesting for those of you who are aspiring to own rental properties. Actually, I’m not even sure if “turning” is the right term. I’m just cleaning and fixing up the unit to get it ready to lease again.
Here is a little background to get you up to speed. This condo is owned 50/50 by me and my brother. We purchased it so we’d have a place nearby for our parents. Meanwhile, we are renting it out and the cash flow is about even. The last tenant left last weekend and I’m getting the unit back into move in shape.
The tenant scheduled the move out on the worst snow day of the year. There was a sheet of ice over everything and the whole town was shut down for 4 days. They had to reschedule to this past weekend. I met with them Sunday and went over the unit. There are a few minor issues, but no big problems.
The tenants cleaned up what they could, but the place still needs quite a bit of work.
- Cleaning – The carpets are dirty and needs steam cleaning. The stove and counters are not cleaned well. The inside of the cabinets weren’t cleaned. The stove backsplash has stains and bits of food stuck to it. The windows weren’t wiped. The bathtub was not scrubbed. I’m hiring a professional cleaning crew to go over the whole place. The cleaning cost will come out of the security deposit. Now that I’m a landlord, I think tenants should really hire a cleaning crew. You never have time to clean up the place properly when you’re busy moving.
- Toilet runs – Every landlord’s favorite appliance, the toilet. The toilet tank kept filling every few minutes. I took a quick look and saw it needed a new flapper. They really should have informed me of this problem so it could be fixed earlier.
- A socket (GFCI) in the kitchen isn’t working – This was an easy fix. I just hit the test button then reset to turn it back on again. They must have tripped it somehow.
- Light bulbs – Some light bulbs went out and they never replaced them. This will be charged to the tenants via the security deposit.
- Cabinet faded – The cabinets are birch veneer which faded and cracked over the last few years. I got a bottle of Howard Restore-A-Finish and it helped immensely.
- Broken closet knob – Got a new one from Home Depot.
- Dirty HVAC filter – Need a replacement.
- Nail holes – I patched these and I’ll touch up the paint on Saturday.
- Check smoke alarms – I need to check the smoke alarms to make sure they are functioning properly.
- Home Depot trips – I already took 3 trips to Home Depot. One of the bulbs didn’t fit. The new closet knob didn’t have any threads. The new toilet flapper didn’t fit right with this toilet so I had to get a different one. These things never get done in one trip. I probably have to go pick up a new can of paint too. I’m 99% sure the old paints are all dried up.
So that’s what I’ve been doing this past week. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Luckily, we also have a prospective new tenant. The new guy doesn’t have a car so I’ll lease out the parking space separately. He also wants to move in as soon as possible and I’m scrambling to get everything done. The cleaning crew will come by on Friday. I’ll do the last touch up on Saturday and he should be able to move in on Sunday if all goes according to plan. Here are the things that I’ve been doing for the new tenants this week.
- Draw up new lease. I just based it on the previous lease.
- Run background and credit check. I used an online tenant screening service. They’ll do background and credit check for me.
- Rental application. Sent him the rental application and collected a copy of his paystubs.
- Draw up parking spot lease.
- Negotiated discount for no parking space.
- Meet another prospective parking space tenant.
If all goes well, I’ll finish the last touch up on the unit and meet with the new tenant on Saturday to sign the lease. I’ll give him the tour of the building and turn the keys over so he can move in on Sunday. Whew, this will be a record if it goes off without a hitch. One week turnaround time is great, but it’s a little stressful. I really hope this new guy is a trouble free tenant. He is an engineer so I’m hopeful.
I’m also meeting the tenant from our rental home on Friday. Their 3 years lease is running out at the end of April. I’ll see if they are interested in buying the place. If not, then the rent will go up substantially (maybe 10%.) They have been paying the same rent for a few years and the rental rate has increased significantly. If they move out, then I’ll most likely sell the rental home. We are contemplating a little bit larger home and would need some cash for that.
So that’s how I’m spending this week in addition to blogging and being a stay at home dad. Luckily, the 4-plex is managed by a company or else I’m sure something would come up. These things tend to come in bunches. See, retired life really isn’t that idle.
Do you have aspirations to be a landlord? Mrs. RB40 doesn’t like it at all and she wants to get out of it.
photo credit: flickr eszter