Becoming a Landlord

Over the weekend, I had some family and friends over to my mother-in-law’s house to price things–thousands of things–for the upcoming garage/estate sale.    If you’ve ever felt a need to own 30 identical paring knives, you should stop by.

While we were over there, I had my contractor look at the house (Thanks, Dad!).  Shortly after the sale, we want to start working to bring the house up to date.

Here’s the list of repairs so far:

  • Replace storm windows all around the house, since all of them have had the screens and screen frames vanish.
  • Trim the windows that are missing trim and replace the trim on the windows that have oddly colored trim.
  • Put locks on all of the windows.
  • Trim the window between the kitchen and the living room that used to be an actual window.  Add a shutter.
  • Trim the archway between the dining room and living room.
  • New linoleum in the kitchen.
  • Remove two cabinets in the kitchen to open up counter space.
  • New ceiling panels in the kitchen.
  • Sheetrock and plaster repair all over the main floor.
  • Remove linoleum from the dining room.
  • Sand/buff/varnish hardwood floors under the dining room’s linoleum.
  • Replace attic access panel.
  • Seal bathtub surround.
  • Replace front screen door.
  • Replace back door
  • Install ceiling tiles in basement.
  • Finish basement bathroom.
  • Finish basement walls.  They are sheetrocked, but not mudded, taped, or painted.
  • Paint basement floor.
  • Paint basement steps.
  • Paint the entire main floor.
  • Install spare cabinets in the basement for a utility area near the washer and dryer.

While that’s happening, we’re having the outside landscaped.  We also need to take the city-mandated landlord class and file for the business license that will allow us to rent a property that we aren’t inhabiting.

The good news is that we have potential renters already.   Assuming they are still ready to shack up when her lease is up in February, we won’t have a tenant hunt.   My wife has known the couple for years and is positive they’ll be responsible people.  If not, that’s what a security deposit is for.

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    1. Wow, that is a to-do list! But you can totally get that all done by February and save tons of labor costs by doing what you know yourself. 🙂 Remember to keep your receipts for taxes.

      We will be moving sometime in September most likely and our renter is moving in mid-October. We will need to replace a toilet, sand and repaint the back door, repaint the great room and kitchen since we did not pick a neutral color at all, repaint the upstairs guest bathroom that the dog from hell scratched up, and touch-up paint if possible around the house. Then a thorough cleaning should make it all ready for her since the carpet upstairs is only a few months old and the wood laminate and tile through the rest of the house is in great shape. It will be a tough weekend or so, but that should be about it for a while.

      We’ll be putting her rent aside to take care of stuff as it dies. The air conditioner is 8 years old and the dishwasher and oven/stove combo is about 5-6 years old. And who knows if another toilet will come up with mysterious cracks (we only have 3 and will be replacing 2…odd). And if a hurricane does any damage, we have our decuctible at around $3500…

      Guess I should have made this my own post, hahaha.

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    Becoming a Landlord

    For those of you just tuning in, my mother-in-law died in April.

    Since then, we’ve spent nearly every available moment at our inherited house, digging out and cleaning up.

    My mother-in-law was a compulsive hoarder.   I’m not going to get into the details of her compulsion, but we have–so far–filled a 30 yard dumpster.  For perspective, that’s big enough to fit our Ford F150.

    Now that the house is approaching the point where we can begin updating and remodeling, I’ve been looking into the requirements to rent it out.

    In my city, I need to get a business license that costs $95 per year.   This comes with a requirement to allow the city to inspect the property every two years.

    Before they will issue the license, I have to take an 8 hour Minnesota Crime Free Multi-Housing Program class that covers tenant screening, lease addendum, evictions, and “etcetera”, followed by a physical audit of the property to ensure minimum security standards.

    The lease addendum basically reads “If you are loud, obnoxious, threatening, criminal, intimidating, or doing/dealing drugs, you will be evicted.”

    The actual costs to become a landlord are going to be:

    • Something under $100 for my wife and I to take the landlord class.  The price varies from free to $40, depending on the hosting city.
    • $95 per year for the privilege of using our private property to conduct a private transaction with a private individual.
    • The remodel.  I don’t know what this is going to cost, yet.   There’s an unfinished bathroom in the unfinished basement.  I’d like to finish both of those, though the basement will never hold a 3rd bedroom, due to code.  The entire house need to be painted and have the trim replaced.  The dining room and hallway have hardwood floors, hiding under linoleum that was never properly put down.   We may need new windows.

    If possible, I’d like to keep the project under $20,000.   Since we’re not adding a 3rd bedroom, or tearing out the kitchen cabinets, it should be possible.

    In the meantime, expect to see a bunch of remodeling and renting related posts coming up.

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    1. Sounds like the costs are pretty low considering you will make up for them in your first month (aside from renovations, that might eat into more than a year’s rent).

    2. I’m looking forward to all of these posts about remodeling, as i’m in the middle of a remodel myself – everything basically on the upstairs level of the house has been updated, and it’s kind of a lot of work (and expensive!) enjoy it though.

    3. Good luck with being a landlord. I know first hand it is not easy!

      Please let me know if you got my e-mail. Thx Jason.

    4. Good luck with the renovations!!! I know this has been awful. Looking forward to the posts to see how it’s going. 🙂

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