When you're in the real estate industry - specifically rentals - you can make a lot of memories and also money. But you can just as easily come across a lot of projects that make you want to throw your hands up and throw the dream away. But don't despair! We have some remedies for even the worst investment property nightmares.
From a disgusting, yellow tint on the walls to the putrid smell, rehabbing a smoker's rental is a pain. Here are some tips to get your property smelling just fine in no time.
- Fresh air is your best friend. Open up the doors and windows, turn on the fans, and let it air out the old-fashioned way.
- Clean top to bottom starting with the ceiling and ending with the walls. This can be done with one part white vinegar and two parts water.
- Steam clean all fabrics - including the carpet, rugs, and drapes. Clean hard floors and cabinets, they are not immune to collecting smoke and odors.
- Mop up the floors.
- Clean cabinets out well with the same vinegar mix and if the smell is still there, you can leave newspapers and dry ground coffee in them for a few days.
- Repainting the walls is a great idea, but be sure to strip the previous paint first, or that smoke can peel off the new coats.
When an unattended death happens, there are so many worries that run through your mind. Of course, your heart goes out to their family and friends, but what do you do with your rental property?
- Get a written notice of your tenant's death from their executor or next of kin.
- Keep in mind that the lease isn't broken by death, meaning that you can't legally take possession of what they've left behind.
- You should secure the property with new locks to avoid any legal complications if family try to take something not left for them. And if they ask to come to the home for a photo or similar items for a ceremony, accompany them and take studious notes on what they leave with.
- Typically a death notice will serve as a 30-day notice that the lease is or has ended. This means that you should coordinate with family or the executor of the estate about removing personal items and cleaning the property by the appointed date.
- When a tenant dies, deposits are usually kept to cover any unpaid rent and cleaning fees. If it doesn't take the whole deposit, give an itemized receipt along with the remaining deposit to the appropriate people.
Cleaning up after a tenant has used your property as a drug lab can be...you guessed it, a nightmare. The devastating and toxic residues can be nearly impossible to detect, and they have huge consequences.
- Your property will need full drywall and carpet replacements throughout the entire house.
- Powerwash each individual room with a chemical cleaning solution.
All cleaning and repairs should be done while wearing protective suits, and the health department will have to come in and give your property the green light before you can rent it out again.
Bed Bugs & Other Pests
Dealing with pests is bad enough, but bed bugs are debatably the worst. You're going to want to get an exterminator, but there are a few things you should do to prepare.
- Ditch all of the clutter in the house.
- Take all of the stuff out of drawers, off of shelves, and from closets.
- Make sure that all clothing and bedding is washed and packed away in sealed plastic bags.
- Vacuum thoroughly.
- Let your tenants know when the exterminator will be there so they can leave. Usually, they can come back the same day.
- Destroy things that can't be treated, such as the mattress.
When it comes to paying for the exterminator, unless you can prove that your tenant brought the bed bugs (and in some states, even that doesn't matter), you have to pay. It's your obligation as the property manager.
Of course, we can't cover every nightmare scenario, but we've definitely covered the worst. Now you know the not-so-scary truth about handling even the worst rental situations!