Landlord opinions please

34 Replies

hoping this is appropriate, In the past my x husband and I flipped about 9 for closures. For the past 4 years I have been renting with my two teenage kids and one dog. The home I'm renting is a young home. Built in 92.  

My landlord took a risk with me, after my divorce I was forced to file bankruptcy. Not forced. But told it was the best option. Anyhow, he accepted me as his tenant and now 4 years later, I love this house. It has become my children's home. I pay my rent two weeks early every month and in June I pay. July and August up front. I take care of this as if it were my own. When my dishwasher broke I went and purchased a new one. I've had the bathrooms regrouted and I have paid and never would ask my landlord for things I wanted done. If it needed it I would ask.  I have installed garage door openers and he allows me to install a fence. I also paid for.  It was a want. The front shrubs died from the brutal winter. So I had them removed and replaced and the pavers resanded. And the foundation on the stairs painted because they were cracking. People tell me I'm crazy for putting money into a home that I don't own. However I live here I plan on it for a minimum of another 6 years.  I've called my land lord twice in 4 years once because my heat was broke. And another to find out if I had to have the gutters cleaned or him. Other than that I've never asked for a thing. I do all landscaping and snow removal. i also pay rent with a bank checkevery month. So now I need the carpet in the living room and Dinning room replaced and Down the Hall. I've had Stanley steamer every 4 months   The padding underneath is starting to to des inaugurate and it's coming free from the walls  it was not new when I moved in I believe it is original   My question is I was told by my brothers contractor that he could install laminate flooring for 2300  I am willing to pay for some. I'm unsure how to ask my landlord. I was going to ask for a months rent which is 1300 and I'll pay the remander.  Do you think this is inappropriate? Or how do I ask. ? He tells me all the time he wishes he had 10 tenants like me, and how great his house looks. But I don't want to seem greedy   He only raises my rent 10 dollars a year.  Should I ask? And how can I ask?  It's not a game changer I'm not going to move if I can't. But it does need to be done. Thanks in advance

First, as a landlord we all would love to have all our tenants like you!  Second, why are you improving a property that you do not own?  I would save that money for a down payment on a house that you could own and improve and build equity.  Perhaps you should approach your landlord and ask if he would sell you the house on seller financing?  Win Win for you both.

Since you are a great long term tenant, you should not hesitate to ask as all the landlord can say is No.  He isn't going to kick out a great renter that improves his property and is putting more money in his pocket.

you are crazy for putting a dime in a place you don't own.  


I would ask him and the worst he can say is no. Just suggest the idea and ask him to think about it. He knows he will have to replace the carpet/floor sooner or later with his own money and you are offering to pay half so it is somewhat of a good deal for him. Also maybe explain to him that well kept wood flooring might reduce his carpet changes a few times thereby saving him more money in the long run.

Landlords don't liked to be asked for money or for possible non essential changes so NO is the immediate gut reaction. So don't ask him on the spot for a yes or now. Suggest the idea and tell him to think about it. That might I believe give you a better outcome.

And I agree with the other comments. Your home is your castle...and it is great that you are taking care of the place...but this is not your castle. Save your money like crazy to get a castle of your own for you and your kids that you will be proud to call home and can take care of just the way you want to. Then all the great care you take in the place will be an investment for YOUR home and your family.



first of all i would like to praise you for being a good tenant. second i would advise you not to spend anymore money with regard to the property. you have to understand that the property still belongs to the landlord even if it's you who's been paying for all the upgrades and repairs, it is actually not your responsibility to pay for the repairs.  third i would suggest that you consider a rent to own transactions if you can't afford to buy a home outright, rent to own transactions can be beneficial and in your case probably a better option. 

i hope for your best. good luck.

Thank you all for your responses. I'm going to ask him to think about it, I think that's is the best way to go.

I understand everyone's thoughts on putting money into someone else's property. However, if I've spent 1500.00 in the 3 years that I've been here that is a high number. The two good things that came out of my marriage are my children, and skills I've learned from my x. He is a contractor so all the work that I have done has been with my own hands. Grout is cheap 15 dollars. Paint and stucco also cheap for stairs. Sand and stone very cheap. Fence a friend did for cost and the garage door opener was peace of mind for me- my kids lose keys. Now they punch a code and enter. I don't worry. Can't put a price tag on peace of mind. Shrubs were 35 a piece.  I live there. I am a clean person. I enjoy the work and I choose to live in a home that I am comfortable with.

I wish I could do a rent to own/ my kids are in HS. One a freshman one a senior. I do not wish to by a home in the current town I live in. The taxes alone I couldn't afford on one income.  I'm waiting out my children's school years and hopefully will be able to make an out of state move. NJ is not the most affordable place for a single mom to live.  I don't want to live paycheck to paycheck. Getting a mortgage these days is no easy task with one income and a bankruptcy under my belt either.  I'm trying to make the best of a situation is all. 

I feel my landlord took a risk on me when he had other applicants with a great credit score and mine was 480.  I am a public school teacher so my employment was secure and I did sort of plead my case . Considering the last two tenants he had, he barely received rent and had to have a court eviction.  Besides I showed up with 2 kids and 130 lb dog. Not exactly a landlords dream tenant . Btw my dog is fully trained and a docile mastiff. Maybe when I decide to relocate I will contact one of you for advice in one of your areas. I need warm weather.  Thank you again for all of your honest responses 

@Kelly M. , move to NC when your kids move on to college.  I'd love to have you as a tenant!

Seriously though, I also think there's no harm in asking.  However, instead of suggesting you skip paying the rent for one month, offer to pay half rent for two  consecutive months, and also offer to pay 1/3 rent for three consecutive months.  We don't know the landlord's financial situation and he may not be in a financial position to easily afford to not collect any rent for a month.  

Good luck.

first off, want to move to Massachusetts? I need a tenant like you ! LOL

Seriously, you are a good tenant and a long term tenant. As a LL, I would not have a problem if a tenant like you asked me.  I only get upset from tenants that don't pay or pay late or break things and then WANT!  You are the opposite of them.

go for it.

Randy- great suggestion. FYI NC is on the top of my list.  However- who really would take a tenant with 130 lb dog? That's asking honestly. It's hard.  She is part of my family and even when her years are up. I would want another.  Awesome dogs. She is my 4th Mastiff 

@Rich N.  Ma too cold for my bones haha  but thank you. LOL   I would need a house not an apartment.  A small house. 

Pets are not the problem. Owners who let their pets cause damage and don't take care of things are the problem.

@Dawn Anastasi  I agree 100 percent. It's people like that, whom make it difficult for responsible pet owners. 

I was just reading another thread about a tenant allowing there pets to potty in the house.  I gagged.  The smell of amonia from the urine is almost impossible to get out of sub flooring especially OSB and partical board. They are so porous they soak any moisture up and retaine the odor. 

This was an issue for my x husband and I when we were flipping houses. 

My brother who use to be a landlord started, putting a coat of polyacrylic water based over sub flooring before adding the carpet or flooring to be installed. It was cheap and easy to do and it helped a lot with not having to replace subfloors after tenants with pets moved 

I would start by asking how old the existing carpet is. And see if it is more than say ten years old. And I would focus on the spaces in the house where the wear is the worst to gauge whether the landlord would agree to pay for that; there might be some rooms such as bedrooms that have had less wear than say living room. If the landlord offers to do it himself or hire somebody, you can then suggest your brothers contractor proposal. 

I agree with the others - it doesn't hurt to ask. If the flooring was old when you moved in, it is probably time to rehab anyway, and if it's a good quality laminate the landlord is getting something of value out of the deal. 

BTW, when you want to move, come south. I'm an ex-Jersey'an myself (grew up in Orange) and I'll rent to you and your dog :)

Wow an amazing story. Sounds like you have the know how and drive to do some great things. I would see about finding a fixer upper maybe from a wholesaler or just a for closure in an area you want to live. Some creative financing would be a world of help and with you fixing skills you could turn anything into a castle. As far as the current situation with the floors maybe trading sweat equity or something like that for the financial portion. I would assume that the landlord is going to change or update the floors anyway when you leave so for them to not want to get a more durable solution for a discount... I wouldn't hesitate to ask. Go in with a couple of solutions I'm sure he will pick one. Your request is not unreasonable.

bedrooms are perfect. Just the living room and hall leading to bedrooms and the dinning room. Very odd the dinning room is carpeted because this room leads to the deck and the back yard.. I've had throw carpets over it just to be sure it doesn't get more women than it was when I moved in.  I'm getting up the nerve to call later this afternoon. Don't know why I am so nervous. Feel like a child asking for a new bicycle lol

worn. Not women Lol 

@JD Martin  wow Orange is not a place I'd like to be living these days.  South is where I am headed. 

Can't believe how awesome the responses are on this forum. Can't thank you all enough

Originally posted by @Kelly M. :

@Jd Martin  wow Orange is not a place I'd like to be living these days.  South is where I am headed. 

Can't believe how awesome the responses are on this forum. Can't thank you all enough

 LoL. It was a rough place when I was growing up there in the 70's. I'm not surprised to hear it's still rough. 

Originally posted by @JD Martin :
Originally posted by @Kelly M.:

@Jd Martin  wow Orange is not a place I'd like to be living these days.  South is where I am headed. 

Can't believe how awesome the responses are on this forum. Can't thank you all enough

 LoL. It was a rough place when I was growing up there in the 70's. I'm not surprised to hear it's still rough. 

 I understand totally. Grew up in Paterson in70s and up to mid 80's   I can't even drive through there now without locking my doors and my dog as a copilot lol

@Kelly M., I agree with the other PPs.  It doesn't hurt to ask and I also like @Randy E. 's suggestion of offering to pay for it up front and then deduct the cost from rent over multiple months.

While a huge dog can certainly be an issue when trying to rent, it isn't always.  I had some prospective tenants a couple weeks ago with an Irish wolfhound who would have easily been much taller than me if he was standing on his hind legs.  But I have a large, fully fenced in backyard and no carpet in the rental (wood laminate and tile), so it really doesn't matter to me how large someone's dog is.  And they ended up renting somewhere else!  So apparently they found another landlord okay with an enormous dog also, lol.

BTW, I'm in the warm and sunny climate of New Orleans whenever you and your mastiff are ready to move ;), lol. 

Hi Kelly,

I praise you for being such a good renter. Have you ever explored a rent to own option with you landlord?

have a great day

@Jennifer T. wow that's a perfect rental for anyone with a dog.  I wish for a large back yard. My yard is only 40x20. Enough for my girl to relax and do her business. Not much running though.  Carpet to me is no big deal because Winnie is house broke. But when I am not home she is in her kennel always.  Safety reasons mostly. If she becomes sick or something while I'm away it is confined. Her kennel is the size of a shed lol so not like she is in this little thing. Sounds like south is much more friendlier pet wise then the north.  Good to know.  My job market is huge in the south also very odd. I look frequently. 

I think if people have pets that, a visit to the present home, would help make a decision if I was a landlord. That is what I did and he also met my dog. He knows if he needs to come in  she is kenneled. No matter how friendly and docile. She is a mastiff and will protect her home.  The way people care for there pets tells you a lot on how they will care for your property in my opinion.  

for my places if I had a tenant like you and the carpet was shot through no fault of yours I would pay for it contingent upon you providing additional security to the amount of the installation. if it is like new when you leave then you get back all security. the ll would have to do it anyway, right?

there are a lot of good strip vinyl products that look like wood and wear well.

good luck 

my two cents is ask your landlord. i would do it when u are handing him the rent check. also i would look for a rent to own deal or owner financing. i would ask this current landlord to change your arangement and either finance the house or do a rent to own.  you can start building equity instead of just throwing away money on just rent. when u decide to move, sell the house and use the equity check that u get to buy another house. thats my two cents.

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