How Much Frustration Can You Endure?

July 19th, 2011 · 6 Comments · Personal House, Property Management, Rental Property

Close the door
Creative Commons License photo credit: pedrohfpi

I just got in from a so called simple lease signing at one of the properties I manage. I can assure you that it’s extremely frustrating to be a landlord. The simplest task can easily turn into a nightmare time suck.

First The Lock

When the new tenant and I go into the apartment, we discover that the key no longer works. The little doohickeys that keep your lock locked have fallen down and I can’t even put the key in the lock. I decide to go to the hardware store and buy a new lock and install it.

The Quest Begins

The hardware store is closed, I go to the grocery store hoping it has a hardware section but no luck. I call the tenant who is waiting for me at the house and tell him that I’m going to Home Depot. It’s further away but at least I’ll get this task done…

Home Depot has the lock. But I also need to get a copy of another key for this place. Home Depot does not have that particular key blank. Crap. The Home Depot employee tells me to go to Rona, they may have it. Next stop Rona. Guess what they don’t have it either. It’s the rarest key blank in the world. Just my luck.

Installing The Lock

My hubby got me a great combo tool that I keep in my purse. I start installing the lock. First I install the latch the wrong way and have to disassemble the lock. Then the door won’t latch. After some diagnosis I discover that the hole in the door jamb is 1/4 inch too high. This door has NEVER latched. I borrow a hammer from the upstairs tenant and use the flat screwdriver as a chisel to make a bigger hole for the door to latch properly. Finally it works.

The Carpet

The tenant asked for new carpet in the bedroom because it was kind of musty. The owner agreed and hired a carpet company to come and install the carpet. I can’t exaggerate what a ridiculously incompetent job they did. So if any carpet installers are reading this blog let me give you a few tips.

  1. Remove the old carpet – your customers will notice if they can’t budge the door to the bedroom.
  2. You should stretch carpet not just lay it on top of the old one
  3. Folding the carpet under itself is not the same as tucking it under the baseboard
  4. If you cut the carpet 3 inches short, laying a little strip of carpet over the missing part will not confuse your customers. They’ll see a random unattached piece of carpet and lift it up.
  5. Ditto on the 1 inch strip along the wall.
  6. We didn’t order carpet baseboard in the closet. The carpet should not be 4 inches up the wall.
  7. I found and noticed all the leftover carpet pieces you tried to hide under the stairs.
So now the owner has to call this contractor back tomorrow. Unbelievable!

The Tenant

Through the entire ordeal the tenant was unbelievably patient and cool about the whole deal. It makes me feel great about renting the place to him. He’s moving in tomorrow and I’ll let him know when the carpet is to be installed. Hopefully it’s soon.

What is it about this business that creates these frustrating situations? How can a simple thing like a lock change and key cutting turn into a 4 hour ordeal? I can’t be the only one that deals with these challenges.


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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Rom

    Oh, the irony.

    A LL inconvenienced by their own failure to maintain a fixture.

    The schadenfreude!

    But look on the bright side…
    #1) It could have happened to the T late one night, causing the T to have to stay & pay overnight at a motel/hotel, and where the LL would be liable for those costs.

    #2) It could have happened with the door locked and y’all on the outside, requiring a locksmith to bypass the lock and give you the entry needed to effect a lock change.

    Ya know Rachelle, if you insist on seeing only the clouds you’ll never realize the silver linings.

    Or: People find in life only that which they are looking for.

    BTW, kudos on your push-forward, DIY fixit effort. But considering the amount of your inexpert handiwork needed it might be worthwhile having a proper locksmith take a peek, as a preventative maintenance measure.

    “A stitch in time saves nine.”

    • Rachelle

      You missed the major point, the door never locked which is why when the key stopped working I was able to just push the door open.

      I am also far from inept at repairing stuff, I owned a construction company for over 10 years and at one point had 14 employees working for me.

  • cashflowmantra

    Unbelievable. I can’t fathom such incompetence in laying carpet. I would have blown up.

    • Rachelle

      They were long gone… and the owner paid them already. He called them but not surprisingly they didn’t answer the phone…

  • Rom

    re: “I am also far from inept at repairing stuff”

    Rachelle, I said you were “inexpert”, not “inept”.

    Nearly everyone is “inexpert” in fields outside their occupation/avocation, non?