landlord labor
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landlord labor (by Sherry [CO]) Feb 23, 2017 9:55 AM
       landlord labor (by cjo'h [CT]) Feb 23, 2017 11:45 AM
       landlord labor (by Ken [NY]) Feb 23, 2017 1:21 PM
       landlord labor (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Feb 23, 2017 11:15 PM
       landlord labor (by S i d [MO]) Feb 24, 2017 5:25 AM
       landlord labor (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 24, 2017 6:35 AM
       landlord labor (by Dan [IL]) Feb 24, 2017 7:34 AM
       landlord labor (by TonyT [PA]) Feb 24, 2017 9:50 PM
       landlord labor (by Vee [OH]) Feb 25, 2017 4:47 AM

landlord labor (by Sherry [CO]) Posted on: Feb 23, 2017 9:55 AM

State Specific Question About: COLORADO (CO)

I have it my contract that I can charge for labor at a given reasonable rate (less than professional rate) for cleaning and some repairs. Is this legal in Colorado. I do this to limit cost to tenants (and myself in case the cost goes over the security deposit) after move out for days rent lost while I wait for cleaning services. My tenants seem to appreciate it. I am very reasonable. Will this hold up in court since it is in my contract?

landlord labor (by cjo'h [CT]) Posted on: Feb 23, 2017 11:45 AM

Sherry, too bad you live so far away,we could use someone like you around Connecticut.You might not make much money,but you would always be working......................Charlie........................................Why would you charge less than professional rate,is your work not up to par?I. Was a master Carpenter, why would I charge less than the hack down the block.? --174.199.x.xx

landlord labor (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 23, 2017 1:21 PM

You are essentially encouraging your tenants to leave a mess because you will work cheap to clean it up after they leave,jack the price of cleanup up high and pay someone the lower price to do the actual work and charge the tenant the high amount,tell them up front how much it will cost them if they leave a mess and you are more likely to get it back clean.Unless you like cleaning up after your tenants after they leave

landlord labor (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Feb 23, 2017 11:15 PM


1. Move out is NOT the time to be "reasonable". In fact, this is when you should be unreasonably HIGH priced! LLs can lose a year's worth of income on an awkward move out. Stay in control.

Your goal is to get your home back to "move in condition", not do the past resident a favor. They don't care.

People CAN and DO leave homes in perfect condition when they understand they will be charged FULL FULL price for cleaning.

If this goes to court, you must ALWAYS start high because the judge can easily knock down your amount "to compromise".

They left you a mess on purpose. They made a conscious DECISION to walk away, enjoy their free time and let YOU give up a Saturday

We charge EXTRA if we have to clean up. I still cannot understand why LLs think they are only worth a "reasonable amount".

Call Molly Maids and ask what they charge to clean up. You are going to see something like $50 per hour.

My lease is clear: it includes a full page of STANDARD CLEANING AND REPAIR COSTS. I signed a new lease today and reminded them "We charge a high price because we don't want to clean up after you. If you leave a mess you will pay dearly for our crew to clean up after you." (Smile!)

Ken makes a great point that if you are cheap they will let you do it.

2. Gotta know YOUR judge. IF it goes to court I don't know if CO allows a LL to charge for their own time. We get around that question by having the standard costs itemized in the lease.

Stay strong and protect your business!


landlord labor (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2017 5:25 AM

100% agreement with the above 3 posters. You need to bill out your time at a dang near criminally high rate. Charge $80 an hour! Are you a land lord or a scullery maid? (wink)

I was cleaning junk out of my garage the other day. Old scraps of plywood, half functional light fixtures, old screen door....relics of a bygone era when I played "handyman" in my rental business. I haven't messed with that stuff in years, and I'm happy to say our portfolio has grown considerably since I "took the tools out of my truck." That's one of Brad 20,000's favorite phrases, and it's now one of mine too! I got into this game to be a real estate investor, not a jack-of-all trades handyman.

The bottom line is the bottom line: who and what are you in your business? Value your time accordingly. Why should tenants kick back and laugh at their new, clean rental while you scour you hands to the bone for $15/hour cleaning up their filth?

Don't take your lease to court: you're enforcing poverty wages on yourself!

landlord labor (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2017 6:35 AM

Brad, is your list of standard cleaning and repair costs available somewhere?

landlord labor (by Dan [IL]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2017 7:34 AM

I completely understand the point Sherry is making. It can be used as a negotiating ploy when one starts out in this business. I once had a call from a tenant whose toilet was clogged and plunging it didn't work. I brought along my large crank snake. When that didn't work, I removed the toilet, took it outside and placed it upside down. There, I immediately spotted the problem. I found several plastic picnic table variety of knives and forks blocking the toilet opening, placed in a criss-cross pattern. I had to get a wire hook to snag these and essentially snap them in half, then turn the bowl back right-side up and flush the pieces out with a bucket of water. Once satisfied that all of these pieces were removed, I re-mounted the toilet back in the apartment. The toilet then functioned perfectly.

While the process was ongoing, I was keeping the tenant informed on any new developments. When I told them what the problem was, they in turn told me they hosted a birthday party the previous day. Obviously, those utensils had been accidentally dropped in the mop bucket they were using to occasionally mop the floor when they had a spill. They, in turn, wound up in the toilet when the dirty mop water was emptied out. I then informed them they were being charged $65.00 for the labor, new wax ring and plumber's putty needed for the re-installation (this was 12 years ago). They raised a big stink about the cost. I pointed out to them their lease clause that such charges apply when any "non-organic" items are found to be blocking the toilet. Their hostility quieted down when I pointed out the standing labor cost then if a plumber had been called to do the same work I did would be $150.00. Nowadays, I side with S i d and Brad on this issue. --66.87.xx.xx

landlord labor (by TonyT [PA]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2017 9:50 PM

Sherry, I see that no one has answered your original question: is it legal in CO.

Contract law theory in every state is that any two people can agree on anything! ...and putting it in writing will help hold each party accountable.

So I believe you are free to agree on anything you can dream up unless it is against the law and I cannot imagine it's against the law in CO for this. In PA, there IS a law or policy that doesn't allow the landlord to charge for labor if there is no agreement in place.

Since I am not an attorney, I could be wrong, so you may need to post this question on a legal forum.

landlord labor (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Feb 25, 2017 4:47 AM

Using the listed costs is good reading but what you need to discover is how does -your- local court handles this, I am still a handyman but for the whole room refinishing I rely on estimates from local tradesmen, I have a niece and nephew who provide cleanout and cleanup help so some of my work stays in the family depending on their class load at that time.

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