Tag Archives: Bathrooms

The Water Closet Chronicles

Hey all you renters, landlords and property owners. This week on the Hometown Rant, we’re talking bathrooms. You know, the head, the john, the sh*tter, the ol’ W.C. There’s a reason it’s the room with the most nicknames–it’s the most important part of the house that nobody wants to talk about. Here at the Rant though, we’re rolling up our sleeves, plugging our noses, and going in.

From a landlord’s perspective, the bathroom should be the room in the house, apartment or condo that gets the most attention after the kitchen, which if you think about it is pretty appropriate. This is because like the kitchen, the bathroom contains plumbing, which is pretty much the dividing line between man and nature. If the plumbing is out, people might as well rent a yurt or wigwam with a scenic view. You’ll want to make sure that everything in the bathroom is working properly before renting out the house, and if tenants have any problems, get them fixed asap. If you thought regular water damage was bad, you should smell sewer water damage. Ugh.

On the flipside, potential renters looking at properties should make sure to inspect the bathroom before making a decision. Sit on the toilet awhile, and see if you can picture yourself living there long-term. Stand in the shower and check out the acoustics. We recommend James Brown or Luciano Pavarotti. Or how about both?

There’s also a reason that rental properties are listed by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Even if you’re cool with your buddy Steve renting the crawlspace, do you really want to share a bathroom with him and 4 other dudes every morning? Number of bathrooms is a seriously limiting factor in the number of people that can occupy a house, apartment or condo, so plan accordingly.

On another note, the bathroom is one of the places where there may be evidence of past tenants who didn’t take very good care of the property. Take an extra good look around the bath and under the toilet and make sure that you’re not being held responsible for the last people’s disgusting bathroom mess before signing anything.

It works both ways too. As a tenant, make sure your bathroom is kept clean and tidy, because it gets gross fast. People showering and shaving and doing their business naturally creates bodily messes that need to be cleaned quickly or they’ll start festering. And nobody wants a festering bathroom. Your roommates will detest you for making them clean up after your messes, and your guests will judge you mercilessly if they have to stare at hair bits and pee dribbles all over the sink and toilet, hopefully respectively. Don’t be those tenants. Respect your water closet and it will respect you!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Get at us:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com


We’ve already covered bed bugs here at the Hometown Rant, but as spring rolls into summer, a whole new family of insect crawls into houses, apartments, lofts, duplexes and condos across the country… ANTS! GIANT RADIOACTIVE ANTS! Ok, maybe not, but depending on the type of ants, you could in for anything from bugs in your food to major structural damage in your rental property. Luckily, Hometown Rant has the answers.
One good thing about ants is that they tend to be pretty obvious. They won’t come alone, and you can usually follow the trail of them from where they’re coming from to where they’re going. As a landlord, this means it might be tough to conceal an ant problem from potential tenants, but you wouldn’t do something like that, would you? In any case don’t worry, the little buggers are at least predictable.

The first step to getting rid of ants is to identify the type of ant you’re dealing with. Bayer provides a nice illustrated guide for figuring out which species is invading your rental property. Ants not on the Bayer list include Henry Pym, Ant Man of the avengers, and DJ Ant of Atmosphere. Once you know which type of ant you have, you’ll know what you’re up against. Most ants are just hungry for the food in your kitchen, so that’s where you’ll want to start. If your cabinets have crumbs and open containers, wipe up the crumbs and close the containers! The more airtight, the better. Simple, right?

Then, get yourself some ant bait and leave it where the ants will find it. It’s designed to be delicious and deadly, and to take long enough to kick in that they’ll bring it back to their nest and let everybody get a piece. You can kill individual ants all day, but if you don’t hit em at the source you, you’ll never see the last of them. Baits are better than straight up pesticides too, because even if you spray them right at the nest, chances are some of the ants will escape and start a new nest somewhere else in your house or apartment, and then you’re just going to have the same problem in a few weeks.

What you really need to worry about as a renter or landlord is the ants that aren’t out for food, at least people food. Carpenter ants nest in wood, and can cause major damage to your rental property if left unchecked. Wikihow has a good guide for how to deal with carpenter ants, but the gist is the same: find the nest and destroy it with sneaky poison. It’s the American way! Also, if you’ve identified a crack or crevice where the ants were getting in, plug it up with some caulk so future ant colonies can’t come back in the same spot. Now you renters and landlords can get back to whatever it was you were doing, minus the ants! Isn’t that better?

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Send it on over: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com

Do it Yourself: Five Easy Home Repairs

There are a few easy around the house maintenance things, which you should be aware of incase some emergency comes your way. If you do, they’ll come a long way in ensuring your home is always running smoothly and looks great. Here are the top five easy repairs that everyone should be able to do on their own:

  • Know how to paint
  • Learn how to take care of your doors
  • Know how to apply caulk; it can really do wonders
  • Know how to fix your leaky faucet
  • Fix a clogged toilet

To read up on each point in detail, you can visit: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/repair/5-home-repairs-you-should-do-yourself.htm#page=0

Make Life Easier In and Outside Your Home

You should constantly be working towards easing out your daily hectic life. If you search and look around, you will actually find lots of ways you can achieve that, and even the tiniest of ways can help you a great deal. Some of the ways you can achieve this are:

  • Start using baking soda mixed with your regular shampoo for great volume
  • Use a soap box to fit in all your crayons
  • Use baby oil to make your stainless steel sink shine
  • Use a plastic zip lock baggie to keep your phone in when going for a swim

There are many more ways that can make your daily life easier right here: http://www.pinterest.com/jklmnodavis/tips-tricks-to-make-life-easier/

How to Make Your Small Bathroom Look More Spacious

HTR101713Bathrooms can often be the smallest room in the house despite being the ones that are most frequently used. If you’re looking to relax in the shower or soak in the tub, it’s just not possible if you’re in a gloomy, confined place. Since rebuilding is rather out of the question and budget, at times small, you sometimes have to live with the bathroom as is. With the help of the following tips, you can easily make some small changes that can make your small bathroom look roomier and more spacious for yourself:

Playing With Colors

Some colors can have a cooling effect while some are meant to add more warmth to a room. Luckily, you can even mix and match colors to help give you the illusion of more space. Choose a color scheme that utilizes, pastel shades or pale colors. Use them in a monochromatic color scheme to get the most out of your chosen color scheme.


Having a sink with a vanity is the norm but it also happens to take up a lot of space. Switching to something smaller, like a pedestal sink, will give you more space in your bathroom. If you feel you absolutely must have a vanity, then choose the new floating vanity look. They lend an aura of spaciousness to the bathroom while providing the same functionality that a normal vanity would provide.

For more information and tips on making your bathroom look spacious, take a look at the tips discussed here: http://www.granitetransformations.com/blog/3870/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-a-small-bathroom-space/

Things to Check Before Moving into an Apartment

Before you seal the deal, here are a few things you should check thoroughly in the presence of the landlord.


Make sure the shower, faucets and the toilet are in working condition and there aren’t any leaks. See if there are any molds on tiles and/or scratched or chipped enamel.


Check for broken shelves or broken hanger poles. Also check for any awkward smells in the closet.


Ascertain all the switches and burners are in working condition. Inspect the refrigerator, heater, air conditioner and the dishwasher.


Check the doors and the windows. Find out if they can be locked properly. Make sure there aren’t any obvious leaks that cause air to flow in or out. Ensure that all the lightings are working.

Around the House

Check for cracked plaster on the walls and ceilings. Check the condition of the blinds and the carpets. Make sure to point out if any of the electrical fixtures are broken or if they are not in a working condition. Ensure there are no roach or mouse droppings in the house.

For more information, please visit http://www.immihelp.com/newcomer/apartment-rental-pre-move-in-inspection-tips.html

Why Bathroom Renovation Matters

HTR062313Believe it or not, the way your rental property bathroom looks has quite an influence on whether or not a tenant will rent it. A bathroom that’s both functional and attractive can draw the attention potential renters towards your rental property a lot quicker than a house/apartment with faulty, rusted bathroom plumbing. Thus, to ensure your real estate rental profits, you need to focus on two words, i.e. “bathroom renovation”.

Now, a lot of people may presume it as a waste of time and money, especially if you’re not even using it yourself, but renovating the most neglected room in the house/apartment can have its benefits. How? It’s simple. Since your tenants will be visiting this important room every single day, they’ll prefer a bathroom that’s clean, equipped with all the necessary amenities, and not horribly dated!

You don’t need to remodel every little thing. You can just ensure that the bathroom in your rental property has good tiling and a toilet, sink, bath, and shower that are in good condition. Of course, plumbing is the most essential feature here.

A good bathroom equals happy tenants and happy tenants mean that they’ll probably stay longer – this is great if your tenants are invaluable. Also, providing your tenants with the ideal bathroom can even compel them into paying up a little extra on the rent – just to enjoy the perks of a state of the art bathroom!