Forums / Property Investing / Help Needed! / Bathroom floor needs replacing , tennants in place .what are my options ?

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  • Profile photo of suavemechanicsuavemechanic
    Participant
    @suavemechanic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 106

    Hi , the title says it all…. the bathroom floor is rotten and the tiles are cracking just from being walked on , long term tennants with a lease till october.
    no property manager direct deal with tennants
    no access from underside.
    they have no plans for holidays in the near future
    I cant see how ripping out the floor and replacing it can be done in under a week ( drying time for membrane , tiles etc ) even if all the trades involved were standing in a line waiting to go .
    there are no “extra” toilets or showers .
    Im guessing if there was an agent involved they would evict the tennants and allow a few weeks for repairs
    and relet

    what are my obligations ?
    any one been through a major repair with tennants in place?
    do I have to rent them a deluxe camper van ?

    cheers

    Profile photo of BennyBenny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,376

    Hi Suave,
    No second bathroom eh? Any chance of building an ensuite first? ;)

    I don’t know if a week is required (but then, this was never my trade – you may well know more than I). What I would be doing is checking with a tradie just how long they say it would take, then allow a day for contingency. Get two or three quotes and comments re how disruptive each tradie might be – e.g. the need to turn off water (for how long?) and the need to have full access to the house, hallway, do they lay down drop sheets to save dirty boots in the Lounge (?????) etc. Is it possible for the tenants to co-exist with the tradies during this time?

    Check your landlord insurance! Does it cover “putting up tenants in a hotel while doing remedial work?” Do the rotten floors constitute remedial work anyway (was there a flood in that bathroom some time ago, and was there any prior insurance claim on your watch)? By the way, it is common for insurance companies to NOT cover wear and tear – so don’t get your hopes up, but hey – it is worth checking.

    How much would a week in a nearby motel cost? Or, are there any vacant apartments nearby that might be willing to provide a short term rental? Stress the safety aspect – you don’t want them falling through the floor, so the work MUST get done – the main question is HOW !! Don’t rush them to a decision either – they will need a few days to think of all of the different aspects of such an upheaval.

    In a similar case of my own, we were re-doing the whole house so the work took some 6 or so weeks. They moved out into another rental place. I gave them the option of returning to my place once complete (excellent tenants who had been with me for many years – and yes, they came back after the reno, despite my lifting the rent to suit the new features).

    Good luck with it,

    Benny

    Profile photo of suavemechanicsuavemechanic
    Participant
    @suavemechanic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 106

    Hi , thanks , after a previous experience with water damage it never crossed my mind to check the insurance ! I’ll have to give it a look .
    Id love to build an extra room with an en suite , but the house is probably some thing for the developers to tear down and replace down the track , and we arent feeling much love from the bank at the moment !

    cheers

    Profile photo of TheNewGuyTheNewGuy
    Participant
    @thenewguy
    Join Date: 2014
    Post Count: 151

    I’m not a lawyer or a real estate agent, but I’d say your obligations are to provide a safe and habitable house. This does include things like running water, toilet, shower etc.

    So, will the bathroom last to October when the lease finishes? If so, maybe just wait it out. If not, stop guessing and get some quotes. From memory and depending on what state you’re in the tenant needs to provide access for safety issues and repairs – probably some notice requirements etc. Specifically ask how they will limit disruption to the tenant.

    Profile photo of ToolsTools
    Participant
    @tools
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 363

    Hire a temp bathroom for them or put them up in a hotel.

    Tools

    Profile photo of Jacqui MiddletonJacqui Middleton
    Participant
    @jacm
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 2,539

    Hi @suavemechanic

    Hmm, sounds like your bathroom has the toilet in the same room, and that the floorboards need replacing. Dilemma.

    For just a week the tenants might find it a hassle to move out and prefer alternate options.

    If you were dealing with a concrete slab I would say replace with a nice lino. However it sounds like that is not the case.

    Check with your property manager as to whether you can have people residing in the home at all if there is literally no floor in the bathroom. Even though you may tell them it is unsafe to go into that room the law might say you cannot take the risk of them being silly and going in there anyway.

    If the room only had the shower, bath and sink I’d be suggesting looking at options such as a week’s free passes to the local swimming pool or gym that has shower facilities (in fact the tenant could probably get a free week’s trial at a local gym). There is also the option of temporary showers and toilets… cubicles that go in the backyard. If it went on for weeks on end it’s a bit unfair, but for only a week people can manage.

    Another option is to ask your property manager if they have properties nearby on the books that are having trouble getting tenants and see if you can lease one for a week or two. It’ll be cheaper than a hotel.

    In summary the options, depending on circumstances, and how flexible the tenant is, are;
    – Choose a quick-replace solution such as lino over concrete
    – Go with budget options such as utilisation of shower facilities in nearby gym or swimmingpool. Doesn’t solve the problem if the only toilet is in your bathroom though.
    – Temporary shower and toilet solutions (cubicle in backyard)
    Hotel/shortstay
    – See if tenants have friends/relatives they can stay with for a week until the works are finished, in exchange for some rent exemption/rebate
    – Leasing a regular residential rental for a week or two
    – Wait till lease ends to do the repairs … somewhat irrelevant though if the tenant plans to renew the lease.

    Jacqui Middleton | Middleton Buyers Advocates
    http://www.middletonbuyersadvocates.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    VIC Buyers' Agents for investors, home buyers & SMSFs.

    Profile photo of suavemechanicsuavemechanic
    Participant
    @suavemechanic
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 106

    Hi , yes toilet is in the same room ,rotten timber flooring under the tiles , been bodged before which obviously didnt work ,so i want to do it properly (tho the idea of re sheeting over the top and putting lino down is tempting , there would be a fairly big step up into the room then ! )
    they have a small child , and one doing final year at high school so im a bit nervous about disruption .
    no property manager , direct .
    exploring my finance options …..

    Profile photo of BennyBenny
    Moderator
    @benny
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 1,376

    Hi SM,

    Well, given your last post (about sheeting over the top) and this earlier quote from you :-

    but the house is probably some thing for the developers to tear down and replace down the track ,

    This is all about safety – so if you were to use marine ply sheets, or an equivalent water-resistant material, and it was in large sheets (such that several joists were spanned by the sheet) then this would be a quick (and cheap) way to mitigate those safety issues while providing a useable bathroom with minimal disruption.

    Then lino over the top for aesthetics if you wish.

    Benny

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