Tenant turn away because they can't fit their stuff through door?

7 Replies

I'm debating on adding a bedroom to a basement of an up & down duplex. Adding the bedroom will mean I need to remove the second stairwell to the rear of the basement. This stairwell is more conducive to being able to move larger items into the unit (i.e., queen beds, dressers, tables). I am worried that if I remove that second stairwell access point that I might severely limit what tenants will be able to move into the property - and therefore limit my property offering to a potential tenant. The main front entry is your normal basement entrance that has steps down and then it turns 90 degrees to the door. 

Has anyone else had issues like this before? I assume there are basement entry areas that make it difficult to move in and out but that tenants make it work? 

Everything else about the idea seems to work okay, it's just this final issue that I need to work though. I would love to know if anyone else has had experience with this?

@Chris Watkins Not sure this helps, but I think good tenants actually take moving their stuff in into consideration.  I know I have a unit that has a tight space to move stuff to second floor and tenants notice it.  I actually like that they do because it shows that they are really looking at what fits their needs and not just taking any place available.

I'd check your local building codes on this one. There may be standard procedures that you might be violating if you're adding these things. I saw your other post on questioning whether to add the extra bedroom and in my opinion I'd say leave it for now. Its an awful lot of work and hassle for you, and now your tenants, if they want to move into that unit. Although you're not getting that bit of extra income its a bit less of a headache moving forward.

Thanks @Carolina E. for your input. 

@Steven J. - I had the city inspector in the home early this week for the upstairs unit and he looked at it and said I was good to go. But you make a good point regarding the hassle... It's a tough decision because of the extra income but also the forced appreciation potential as well. Hard to resist the option which is why I posted here. 

Thanks again for taking the time to provide your opinions. 

Originally posted by @Carolina E. :

@Chris Watkins Not sure this helps, but I think good tenants actually take moving their stuff in into consideration.  I know I have a unit that has a tight space to move stuff to second floor and tenants notice it.  I actually like that they do because it shows that they are really looking at what fits their needs and not just taking any place available.

 Totally agree, well said. I've had numerous tenants rush in, not even check the room sizes, and say, "Oh yeah, this'll work for my family of 7" (2br apt). BG checks almost always show eviction procedures on these or moves every year. 

The best tenants will consider if they can move their own fridge, their couches, beds, etc into the unit. Not to say that good tenants might overlook the entry issues, but you'll certainly limit your pool by removing those stairs. What's your $ increase look like for that 1 extra bedroom? Can you rearrange the rooms down there to keep the stairs, even if it means the extra bedroom is a bit awkward?

Thanks @Matthew Olszak , a conservative increase in rent would be maybe $125-$175 for the added bedroom. 

 It's a separate basement unit and the 2nd set of stairsI want to remove are to the current common laundry area. The new bedroom would cut into the stairs for that common area. I want to convert the shared laundry and storage area to 1 bedroom and laundry for basement only. I would use the existing stairwell for an upstairs stack-able laundry closet. I wouldn't want to keep the 2nd set of stairs if I added a bedroom to that area unless those stairs were only accessible to the basement. This would be possible except it ruins the idea of use the stairwell space for the upstairs laundry area...

It does sound like a lot of work for a small return. I understand the city inspector said go-to-go but I'd still have the fire department look at it too. Two ways out! Good luck.

Yes, it's a moving in nighmare even when you caution people looking at your rental spaces and you say it's a tight corner if you have large furniture it may not fit.  I've seen people cut sectionals in half. cut queeen box springs in half, and haul a couch up over a deck railing to get it inside a patio door. 

What's the potential of appraisal value increase of the added bedroom. 

My sister did a larger wider cement  basement stairway with over sized entry door for her 4 plex lower basement unit and it was worth every penny she spent, 

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