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knt217

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi there.  I'm a first time "landlord."  We have had to move out of state for two years while my husband does a fellowship, and have rented our house out while we are away.  My brother has a lot of rentals and experience, so we used his lease that was written by a real estate attorney in town and was pretty extensive.  Our tenant was really great all year.  She kept the house nice, and tody, but always seemed to struggle a bit with the outside.  She moved out July 3.  I arrived at the house July 10 to make sure all was in order for the next tenant.  Prior to her move out, I sent her a move out cleaning checklist that detailed what I would expect to have done, and the lease also detailed that the house was to be cleaned upon move out, and returned to the condition it was in when she moved in, and the rate for any repairs above normal wear and tear would be $45/hour.  It also stated that lawncare including landscaping and shrubbery were her responsibility, and that any weeds allowed to grow above 12" would be immediately removed by a lawn care company and billed to her.  She responded that she believed she did everything on the list except for one that she was unsure how to do (cleaning out the dishwasher filter).  When I arrived, I found that none of the items on the list were done, and the yard was a disaster.  It took me 30 hours of work to get the house back in order for the next tenant.  There was urine on toilets, I was scrubbing the cast iron stove grates with my fingernails, grease splattered up onto the crown molding, grubby fingerprints on all the switch plates and trim, a good layer of dirt on all the baseboards, hardwood floors obviously unswept/mopped, and carpeted stairs not vacuumed, no light fixtures were cleaned (a years worth of collected dirt/dust), cabinets not cleaned inside or out, curtains were dirty, burnt out light bulbs, there was even food residue on the counter tops in the kitchen and basement.  We also found damage to the door of the basement refrigerator, a chunk of wood knicked out from a doorway, along with paint chipped all along that doorway from moving furniture, and a melted spot presumably from a curling iron on a toilet lid.  The front and back yard's had weeds grown 3-4' tall, trees growing in garden beds, weeds growing up through all the bricks on the patio, grass unmowed (it had rained a lot, but this was twice as tall as neighbors yards, which I asked and had been mowed the week she moved out, and it took mowing and raking it twice to get it back in order).  It honestly looked like the only things she may have done from the checklist I sent her was a sub par wipe down of the sink bowls and toilet bowls, while neglecting the faucets, sides, backs, etc. of the sinks/toilets.  It took a lot of work to get the house cleaned up and back in order for a new tenant, but had you walked in and glanced around it may have looked "ok" from a distance- if that makes sense.  It was dirty, but not destroyed, inside.  The outside was just a giant mess, and we don't have a lot of landscaping...few hostas, day lily's and irises here and there.  I'm not sure what I should withhold from her deposit.  I'm not sure where the line is on normal wear and tear, and when it becomes excessive.  The house is in IL.  If anyone can give advice, I would appreciate it.
dishrodger

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Posts: 314
Reply with quote  #2 
I will miss some:
charge for any back rent & late fees...what you had to pay out of pocket while they were there(above normal wear & tear)
any damages caused to apartment....utilities (that you will have to pay). ant city fines you received.  you can charge a small hourly rate for your time(maybe disallowed).  anyone you paid to do work (have a recipt)
take a lot of pictures
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