On having renters 2

By Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

This is the second part of my series on the refurbishment of my mom’s rental house. As you may or may not have read in the first part; my mom’s renter bailed after five years of use and abuse of her rental house. That wouldn’t have been such a big thing except he made a bunch of changes to the house and only did a half assed job of it. This leaves me to get the place back up and running. This will be a slow project since I can only get down there once a week.

After our first visit to the house I bought some of the supplies I would need to get it back into shape. I met my mom at the local Home Depot and we did some shopping:

  • Plywood (for floor)
  • 2×4 (for the plywood floor repairs)
  • Sheetrock (for finishing modifications the guy made)
  • White paint, painting supplies
  • Trashbags, cleaner, sponges
  • Caulk
  • Expanding foam
  • Spackle, mesh tape, mud spreader
  • Portable AC unit
  • Ceiling fan
  • Plug/outlet wall adapters

All in all the total was about $430 and this was mostly taken up by the $300 AC unit. I knew I couldn’t do much work in the sweltering heat of the house (the built-in AC died years ago) so we got a portable unit. I didn’t want to leave anything in the house when I wasn’t there in case of break-in so we got a portable. I will keep this as payment for fixing the house when I am done with it all.

I began my first day by cleaning the rotting food stains on the counter and floor. The smell was getting to me. When the renter came back and took the fridge he took all the rotting food out and left it on the counter… nice. After I did that I started in the smaller bedroom by tearing out the carpet. The floor was rotting and if you weren’t careful your would fall through! This repair was nothing new since I had worked on this very room on this very issue about seven years ago. The problem is that the hot water heater is right behind the wall and when it leaked the crappy mobile home particle board flooring got ruined. I had replaced several pieces back then and now the damage has spread to new places. I was about to cut up the old floor to put in the new plywood but realized I needed 2x6s and not the 2×4 that I bought. That will have to wait.

I went ahead and pulled up all the other carpet which had been new seven years ago but was cheap and held onto every stain and was never taken care of by the renters. I also started patching all the little nail holes in the walls and started patching the larger holes in the walls (about five) with the spackle and mesh tape. Finally I fixed a couple of the plug wall sockets and light switches that were hanging out of the walls with some adapters.

I loaded the old carpet and some other stuff (including a functioning compound bow I found) into the back of my truck for taking to the dump. Before I left I screwed down all the windows so no one could get in without actively breaking into the house.

Join me next time when I plan to actually fix the floor and do so much more! Exciting…

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