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Old 06-20-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 7,568,116 times
Reputation: 997
Default Landlords with septic systems

Looks like we will be joining the ranks of the landlords. While I want to have rental property, this is not the property I wanted it to be. My goal was a couple of new condos or townhomes. Instead, we'll be renting a SHF once we move for my job (only moving 45 minutes away to split commutes - mine is ~2 hours right now). The thinking is keep this for a few more years, then 1031 it for something else.

The septic system is my biggest concern. The drainfield was redone 4 years ago, so it should last a long time, but I always want to make sure tenants don't destroy it. If you have a septic, do you have a routine pumping schedule - say every 2 years? Can I stipulate in the lease no feminine products be flushed?

For some reason, the plumbing is my biggest concern. Electric is fine, roof has about 5-8 years left, appliances are all 4 years old (except the washer/dryer), oil furnace and hater heater are old, but functional. The water heater will probably go at some point, and will be replaced with electric.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:27 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,195 posts, read 21,839,868 times
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What you want is to find tenants who are used to living with a septic system...
who don't need to be told what to do and what not to do.

Mention that the house is on septic in your advertising...
and ask the applicants some questions or just what their experience with septic systems is.

The old oil burners are probably going to be the bigger problem.
(I'd live in a tent before a house with oil)
---
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 7,568,116 times
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Good tip!

And interesting.... I find oil much better than electric, and gas isn't an option. Well, without bringing in bottled gas. Its gets too cold here to for a heat pump.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Clermont Fl
1,421 posts, read 1,897,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
Looks like we will be joining the ranks of the landlords. While I want to have rental property, this is not the property I wanted it to be. My goal was a couple of new condos or townhomes. Instead, we'll be renting a SHF once we move for my job (only moving 45 minutes away to split commutes - mine is ~2 hours right now). The thinking is keep this for a few more years, then 1031 it for something else.

The septic system is my biggest concern. The drainfield was redone 4 years ago, so it should last a long time, but I always want to make sure tenants don't destroy it. If you have a septic, do you have a routine pumping schedule - say every 2 years? Can I stipulate in the lease no feminine products be flushed?

For some reason, the plumbing is my biggest concern. Electric is fine, roof has about 5-8 years left, appliances are all 4 years old (except the washer/dryer), oil furnace and hater heater are old, but functional. The water heater will probably go at some point, and will be replaced with electric.
On a side not think twice about condos and townhouses for rentals they all have high HOA fees
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,676 posts, read 5,951,635 times
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You can't screen tenants based on what they know about septic systems. What you can do is a combination of educating them about living with such a system, and a very detailed addendum to your lease outlining use, restrictions etc. about the septic system.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:35 AM
 
Location: The Middle
5,229 posts, read 7,767,658 times
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I bought a house on septic a couple of years ago. I find a lot of conflicting information on them as I tried to educate myself. Even on CD people have differing opinions on what is correct and what is not. I know how expensive the system can be to replace so I am pretty anal about taking care of it. That being said I have neighbors that do silly stuff to their systems and seem perplexed when they have issues. I was a landlord years ago and did not find the experience enjoyable. I rented out a house with city services. In my experience most renters don't give a hoot about the place they are renting. Can't imagine renting a house on septic but then again the landlord deal wasn't for me.

My suggestion would be to have the system pumped every 2 yrs on at your own expense. This way you can keep an eye on how the renters are treating the system and it ensures the tank is getting pumped. I dont think renters are going to be to keen on paying for this and will probably lie saying they did. I mean what do they care? They don't own the house.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,367 posts, read 10,247,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tworent View Post
On a side not think twice about condos and townhouses for rentals they sometimes have high HOA fees
I fixed that for you. I live in a townhouse, and our HOA dues are under $200/year.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:14 PM
 
13,787 posts, read 25,181,931 times
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Septic adds a whole new set of possible complications...

I pay to have rental homes with Septic Pumped once a year...

And yes, I do educate through an addendum... the problem is tenants have guests and visitors and no one will admit to what goes down the toilet... septic or not.

A big problem is also the use of strong chemical cleaners and washing machine lint...
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:37 PM
 
Location: The Middle
5,229 posts, read 7,767,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Septic adds a whole new set of possible complications...

I pay to have rental homes with Septic Pumped once a year...

And yes, I do educate through an addendum... the problem is tenants have guests and visitors and no one will admit to what goes down the toilet... septic or not.
So true. Last summer my father n law and his new wife came to stay with us for a weekend. After they left I emptied the bathroom trash and found tons of wrappers from baby wipes. ugh. Pretty hard to call someone up and say "hey...what did you wipe your behind with?" Also she is unstable mentally so just normal conversations can go bad pretty quickly. Can't even imagine asking about her bathroom habits. If they visit again though I will have to say something whether she is unstable or not.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 7,568,116 times
Reputation: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Septic adds a whole new set of possible complications...

I pay to have rental homes with Septic Pumped once a year...

And yes, I do educate through an addendum... the problem is tenants have guests and visitors and no one will admit to what goes down the toilet... septic or not.

A big problem is also the use of strong chemical cleaners and washing machine lint...
hmmm So maybe I should consider once a year rather than every 2 years. I trust Ultrarunner's opinion I'll definitely consider a septic addendum. I'll need to find out what I can do for that in this state (MD). The cost of pumping is negligible compared to the cost of replacing the system. I don't mind putting it in my expense column (even though we will be running at a loss we probably can't deduct all of ).

And, I agree with a PP in that its only sometimes that HOA have high fees. Condos, for sure, can. But fee simple townhomes aren't usually too bad. Under $50/month is pretty typical around here, and considering I pay $40/month just for my trash service in my SFH, $50/month isn't much (since is generally pays for trash service and a few other things).
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