Repair estimate after tenant moved out

13 Replies

I'm looking for some feedback, especially from my fellow Rochester, NY investors. My tenant left the duplex unit after almost being evicted. My property manager sent a request to their contractor to make the unit ready and came back with a $5700 estimate which is blowing my mind. Granted I have not seen the unit and the manager has not been in touch with me to discuss yet. I'm trying to determine if the scope of the work seems excessively priced. Here is the description of work.

tenant has moved out, please change locks and get make ready estimate
We have a estimate that come in at 5743.67 and included material and labor
Replace lock and secured unit
Remove garbage leftover in the unit by prior tenant
Remove nail and decal from wall and ceiling
Prep , patch, and finish large hole in the
living room , stairs case and bedroom walls
Prep and paint entire unit
Remove and replace damage and stained carpet on the living room, dining room, 3 bedrooms , hallway and stairs tread
Replace broken outlet,switch and plate cover
install missing carbon monoxide and smoker detector
Repair kitchen cabinet
clean entire unit
Note: this estimate those not include a C/O ,section 8 or lead swipe and all unforeseen , alteration and deviation from above specifications involving extra costs will be executed only upon written orders, and will become an extra charge. Over and above the estimate

What are your thought on the cost of these repairs. Every time a repair is needed I feel I'm being ripped off. Thoughts?


@Barry Cohen  The big ticket items are the painting and the carpet.  You don't say square footage, so all I'll just say that this may be a little high, but not crazy.  Of course, it depends on the quality of paint and carpet, too.  I assume this is not a low end rental.

If the paint and carpet are very old then this is not something you'll be doing with every move-out.  It is just something that currently needs to be done.

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Is the estimate itemized for each item included in the scope of work or is the $5700 a lump sum amount?

If the scope of work is detailed enough including quantities of work required for each item, you should be able to take the estimate to another contractor or contractors and ask for estimates.  You could then compare any new estimates you get to the one you currently have.

On a significant job always get multiple estimates.

Have you seen the unit in person?  If not, I think you should.

I would never put carpet back into a rental.  You're going to get a few years out of it, at best.

That seems like a reasonable amount for the scope of work. Repainting and replacing the carpet will be the biggest expense on that list. I would recommend seeing some of their other work if you've never used them before. This will give you insight into the professionalism of the work, as well as the caliber of materials. I've found that with contractors in the rental remodel space often use subpar products that fail quickly (within weeks or months). For instance, think about a water valve. If the contractor wants to maximize his take home on the bid, and you approve the price will that valve have plastic insides or a nice stainless? Probably plastic, after all they'll save a buck on the cheaper part and it will last long enough to get paid. The quality of materials is a key consideration when I'm rehabbing for rental. Tenants can be hard on things, and getting quality products IME is well worth the premium. We bill out for time and materials, and recommend appropriate products that will not leave the client wishing. Some other considerations on that highly lacking work description. How many coats of paint? Are they going to wash the walls down with TSP first? Are they going to apply a primer coat? How many top coats? Is this all one color or will the trim be painted differently? Does this include window sash? Does it include ceiling? What kind of paint? What kind of carpet? Does this include padding?

We provide these services as well, and can show you examples of our work with the totals for reference.  Without a better SOW I cannot comment on if this is a good value.  If it is one quick coat of paint and cheap carpet you're not getting your money's worth.  


Thanks all. It's a 3 bed/1 bath unit, in a nor so good area, so no, it is not high end at all. The estimate is not itemized and I will be requesting a detailed line by line estimate and I will be asking for an additional quote or two based on the scope of work and estimate. I have not seen the current condition nor has the mgr provided pictures which I want as well.

An itemized list would absolutely be the only way to move forward.  There are some items that are very vague, such as "Remove garbage left by tenant".  Does this mean 5 articles of clothing or requiring a dumpster?  Ask for documentation of 'garbage' (ie-lots of pics!).

I truly hope the property manager will provide lots of pictures (or a video) of each and every room and that they have PERSONALLY been there.   You also should request before, DURING and after pics of all the work to ensure that it's being done and to your standards.   This is a must! 

You can go a step further, if you are apprehensive and want further reassurances, and even say make sure the pics are 'standing back' (to make sure that the entire room and therefore identifying features that are unique to this unit) are captured in the pics.  While I do believe there are honest property managers, we of course all sadly know of stories where unknowing owners get swindled for work that was never completed or done on another property altogether....

@Barry Cohen  As others have said, without knowing how many square feet the home is, it's hard to tell if this is high.  I just got a quote for carpet and paint in a home I am fixing up for $3000.  This does not include the cost of the paint.  It's one coat on the walls and trim and new carpet and pad.  There is hardly any carpet in this home, just two bedrooms and a hall, so I don't think your quote is that terrible compared to mine, and my carpet/paint guy is the cheapest by far of any of the contractors I have compared him to.

You also need to separate out the estimate items that are tenant damages that you can deduct from the security deposit; there is probably some time limit during which you must return the security deposit, and with that you would provide the itemized repair bill showing the security deposit deductions.

To be clear...this is entirely and absolutely ridiculous. A line by line estimate isn't going to reveal anything either. Do you know what the exacting dollars and cents of that estimate are? Salesmanship, A way to make you believe this to be a scientific calculation instead of a bloated way to screw you over.

So you understand from a material point of view: (home depot)

5 gallon bucket of cheap interior paint=50
Joint compound=10
4x8 Drywall=10
All the brushes, paper towels, cleaner, miscellaneous= 200?
Smoke detector=40
Carpet...hardcore cleaning service=2-300

Figure under 1000 total materials, and should be way less. you paying someone 4700 labor??? Ridiculous

This sounds WAY too high to me.  I wouldn't go forward unless you see the place in person and take some pictures or get some pictures sent to you.  I did a $5000 rehab on a place and that was for almost everything -- new kitchen cabinets, new flooring in all the rooms, refinishing HW floors, adding a wall, painting, electrical fixes, drywall fixes, plumbing fixes, new locks, new outlets, mini-blinds, curtains, and cleaning.

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@Barry Cohen  I don't think it is too out of line with similar work on rentals I have done.  I would get estimates outside of your PM, but remember don't wait too long because you don't want to lose an extra months rent trying to save $500 especially in the winter.  I will send you one contractor to call as well, but you need to understand your contract with your PM before you go to an outside contractor.

Based on where you mentioned the property is I would definitely consider ripping out the carpets, and then painting the floors (if you can't refinish hardwoods) as they should be pine or oak planks.   Last a lot longer and easier to repaint on your next cleanout instead of replacing the carpet everytime it gets torn up.  

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