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Mom looking at apt to rent ....first time renter

Posted by ilene-84 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 12, 13 at 8:45

My 87 yr old mom is selling her coop garden apt, she is Mrs Clean and Mrs fussy!! We saw an apt in building she wants to move. The bathroom does have mold, it's an expensive rent, Should owner regrout? When she moves should apt be clean to move in? Real estate agent said some owners paint, others do not, is this true? All apartments my daughter has lived in have been painted for her, some in all white, one she got choice.The apt has track lighting, is this something she can ask owner to remove? If she removes it oes it usually have to be put back up when she moves? She is moving to expensive gaited community, I think it's a good move for her, she has lived in coop for 48!years, never rented, am afraid nothing will make her happy......but need imput on what to expect from owner of apartment. I assumed all carpets would be cleaned? Am I assuming to much? I do expect to have to clean, but assumed it would be cleaner than when old tenant moves out. When I sold my house, I was to tired after move to clean, I did sent cleaning person to clean bathrooms, kitchen and to vacuum all.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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RE: Mom looking at apt to rent ....first time renter

It all varies. It varies on local and state laws, and what the landlord wants to do.

In some areas, it's a requirement that the landlord paint between tenants, in other areas it is not.

You have to ask. You have to read the lease carefully.

For your specific questions:

You can ask the owner to regrout. They may not want to, but may do extra cleaning to remove the mold. You will have to decide if that is enough.

Usually the apartment is clean enough to move in. If it has been vacant for a while, it might be dusty. Only in very hot rental markets have I moved into a dirty apartment (in Boston--one tenant moves out and the next moves in later the same day--you come prepared to clean).

Painting--ask when you view the apartment. If repainting isn't standard or the landlord doesn't think it needs to be done, you can ask them to do it anyway. They may charge for this. Again, you'd have to decide if it's worth the cost. Or the landlord may give you the paint and let you paint yourself, although in an expensive rental, I doubt they'd take that risk. You can also ask about colors--some landlords allow colors if the tenant repaints in white paint before leaving, or pays to have the walls repainted.

Track lighting--again, you can ask if this can be removed. However, most track lighting is attached to the ceiling in several places along the track and the landlord may not want to do the work to patch and repaint to make the ceiling look nice again.

Many renters do replace lighting fixtures they don't like with ones that they do. However, you need to read the lease carefully. Some leases clearly state that anything you attach to the walls or ceilings becomes the landlord's property, so you can change the lighting, but you have to leave it behind when you go.

If your mother does change anything like a light fixture, she should put the original fittings back before she leaves. That's usually a condition of the lease. I had to put black-out shades in my bedroom in my current apartment because the landlord-provided mini-blinds do nothing to prevent the morning sun from awakening me at 4:30 am. I kept the mini-blinds, and will ask my landlord what she wants me to do when I leave--keep the roller shades up or put the mini-blinds back.

Carpet cleaning--again, you have to ask. Every landlord has different policies.

Usually, the higher the rent and the better the location, the more the landlord cleans and fixes up the apartment between tenants. However, there's a difference between dealing with a management company handling hundreds of apartments and an individual landlord who owns one or two units. The management companies have a system--the old tenant moves out, the cleaners and painters move in. With an individual landlord, there are no clear expectations--you need to ask what they do and don't do.


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RE: Mom looking at apt to rent ....first time renter

Camlan, thanks for the information.....


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