How to Handle Small Cosmetic Issues

7 Replies

I have a tenant 1.5 years into a 2 year lease.  So far so good, had a few issues came up but handled them and everything has been fine.

He recently brought up two issues with me though and I'm not sure exactly how to handle them:

1.  Near the front door, where the carpet meets the tile, the tack strip is starting to get exposed (maybe half an inch or less wide, a few inches long).  My handyman (who's very good/smart dude) looked at it, nothing he could really do though since you can't add carpet.  Best course of action?

2.  The cabinets in kitchen/bathrooms were painted right before the tenant moved in.  I had a guy paint over the old laminate cabinets.  Not the most elegant solution but looks pretty decent when painted (rest of kitchen is pretty nice with ss appliances and granite counters - bathrooms are just regular white tiles).  My tenant sent me pics that the paint is chipping around the handles/knobs but again, not sure what I can really do here.  I could have someone re-paint but it will be costly and more of a temporary solution since it will likely chip again.  Or I could re-face cabinets which would obviously be a huge/expensive project?  Thoughts?

@Harry Campbell  any good carpet guy should be able to stretch the carpet, or even a good handyman, The cabinets you can often get new drawer and door fronts, or just repaint it till they move out and do it then. Sanding it, priming them and then painting them would prob work. It sounds like the were not sanded or primed first. 

How old is the carpet?

If it is the difference between a tenant leaving, I would probably have the cabinets touched up.  Even if it does seem silly from a long-term point of view.

Originally posted by @Jeremy Tillotson :

@Harry Campbell any good carpet guy should be able to stretch the carpet, or even a good handyman, The cabinets you can often get new drawer and door fronts, or just repaint it till they move out and do it then. Sanding it, priming them and then painting them would prob work. It sounds like the were not sanded or primed first. 

 Hmm the tile/carpet guy who originally tucked in the carpet said he can't and my handyman said he can't.  I guess I could get a third opinion?

The cabinets were not sanded or primed first, I could touch up the paint and that would probably be good for a year or so but then this problem will come up again.  Maybe try to negotiate when lease expires and do cabinet re-facing then?

Originally posted by @Jesse T. :

How old is the carpet?

If it is the difference between a tenant leaving, I would probably have the cabinets touched up.  Even if it does seem silly from a long-term point of view.

 Around 5 years old but last I checked it was still in decent condition.  Maybe touch up the cabinets and figure out a better long term solution when I renew the lease?  I guess my worry is that I spend a bunch of money now on something that is relatively cosmetic and then when the lease is up, the tenants leave.

I've been pretty good about fixing/replacing everything else up until this point including a few big ticket items like A/C and dishwasher

sounds like the bathroom cabinets are pretty old to begin with and when work was done last time to buy some time it wasn't done correctly. I would personally just rip it out and pop in a new vanity that will update the room, be more functional and only cost maybe $200. 

As for the flooring. If the carpet is getting wore through that would also indicate that it has some years on it and is a high traffic area. I would consider extending the tile through the high traffic walkway. You should be able to just cut the carpet square out and lay down a new acknowledge strip next to the new tile and create the we transition. Again might cost $200 in materials but will address issues hat will continue to pop up and this will be a long term solution...

We had the same thing happen with the carpet / tiles at our house. We just went to Home Depot and bought a wooden divider that is made for going over the area where carpet and tiles meet. We just screwed it into the floor and it looks great. 

Cabinets: I would just tell them that you plan to replace those cabinets at some point, but not right now. Maybe at lease renewal time. You could just do some touch ups now to make her happy.

@Harry Campbell  

Fix the carpet.  The cabinet doors follow Account Closed advice.   Use it as an enticement to get the lease renewed.  If you know of different issues with the house.  List them and let the tenant choose which one gets improved if the lease is renewed.  It will help you and they will feel like you care.  You need to get it fixed anyway.  So, if they are happy and it knocks one off your list its a win all around.  Of course, make sure the list includes updates that need to happen.  

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