Category Archives: Tenant Damage

No-Fuss Wallpaper Removal

Q: Do you know the best way to remove wallpaper that’s about 20 or 30 years old? I just bought a house that has old-time country wallpaper in the kitchen, and I really don’t like it. Besides, they didn’t do a very good job putting it up in the first place.

I’ve tried some over-the-counter spray that’s supposed to work, but it only succeeded in having me put a bunch of little holes in the wallpaper. My dad suggests I just cover it up with drywall, but then the wall would be sticking out beyond the kitchen cabinets and I would need to redo the trim.

I just want to remove it and put some paint in its place. The kitchen is not very big, and there’s not a lot of wallpaper to remove. Any suggestions?

A: Wallpaper of this vintage is probably vinyl on a paper backing. The vinyl prevents the spray you bought from penetrating the wallpaper to the glue. We assume the little holes in the wall are from your attempt to score the paper so the solution could penetrate.

Don’t abandon the job. You just need to tweak your method a bit. Follow these steps and you should have the offending paper off the walls lickety-split.

First, prepare the area. Shut off all circuit breakers that control the kitchen outlets and lights. Remove covers from outlets and switch plates, and keep them and their screws in a safe place. The job will require fairly significant amounts of water. You don’t want to fry your electrical system or yourself.

Put drop cloths over anything you want to protect. Old wallpaper and glue get everywhere. And once it dries on the floor, it’s a pain to get off. Tape plastic sheeting to the cabinets. Use cloth on the floors. The drops on the floor will move, so be careful.

Next, slide a metal putty knife under the edge of the wallpaper. Odds are some of the seams are loose. Take the edge of the paper and peel it back. The vinyl face should separate and expose the paper backing. Peel as much of the vinyl off as you can.

Fill a bucket with water as hot as you can stand. If you are using commercial stripping solution, mix it with the water according to package directions. You can also get good results with a 20 percent solution of vinegar in hot water or a 50-50 mix of fabric softener and water. Use a paint roller to get the hot-water stripping solution mix on the wall.

Apply the solution liberally. The idea is to saturate the paper and the glue holding it to the wall. Do an area only as big as you think you can strip in 15 minutes. Any longer and you risk the paper drying out.

The wallpaper darkens as it gets wet. Let the solution set for a few minutes to thoroughly saturate the paper. Now start peeling. We like to use a 4-inch drywall knife for this part of the job. It’s small enough to maneuver, yet large enough to take big pieces of paper off at a time. Have a big garbage can nearby to contain the paper.

Once all the paper is off, you’ll be left with little specks of wallpaper residue on the walls. A Scotch-Brite pad dipped in stripping solution will take care of the stragglers.

The solution mix will cool down or get contaminated with old wallpaper glue. When that happens, dump it out and make a new batch. Don’t dump it into a sink or tub, as this may make your drains go slower. Dump it down the toilet — don’t worry about clogging — or outside if you are using nontoxic substances.

For larger jobs, rent a wallpaper steamer. This is a metal plate connected to a tank by a rubber hose. The tank contains a heating element. When plugged in, water is heated to create steam that escapes through holes in the metal plate. The advantage is that the water never cools, making the job go more quickly.

With clean walls, a little spackling, priming and painting will make your kitchen look like new.

 Copyright 2009 Bill and Kevin Burnett

Deadline for Returning Security Deposits by State

 

The following list is a guide to help landlords determine when the security deposit must be returned to the tenant.  As a reminder to all landlords, you should be performing a walk through prior to the tenant moving as this will prevent arguements as to the condition of the unit at move out.

State Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
Alabama 35 days after termination of tenancy and delivery of possession
Alaska 14 days if the tenant gives proper notice to terminate tenancy; 30 days if the tenant does not give proper notice
Arizona 14 days
Arkansas 30 days
California Three weeks
Colorado One month, unless lease agreement specifies longer period of time (which may be no more than 60 days); 72 hours (not counting weekends or holidays) if a hazardous condition involving gas equipment requires tenant to vacate
Connecticut 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is later
Delaware 20 days
District of Columbia 45 days
Florida 15 to 60 days depending on whether tenant disputes deductions
Georgia One month
Hawaii 14 days
Idaho 21 days, or up to 30 days if landlord and tenant agree
Illinois For properties with five or more units, 30 to 45 days, depending on whether tenant disputes deductions or if statement and receipts are furnished
Indiana 45 days
Iowa 30 days
Kansas 30 days
Kentucky 30-60 days, depending on whether tenant disputes deductions
Louisiana One month
Maine 30 days (if written rental agreement) or 21 days (if tenancy at will)
Maryland 45 days
Massachusetts 30 days
Michigan 30 days
Minnesota Three weeks after tenant leaves, and landlord receives mailing address; five days if tenant must leave due to building condemnation
Mississippi 45 days
Missouri 30 days
Montana 30 days (10 days if no deductions)
Nebraska 14 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire 30 days; for shared facilities, if the deposit is more than 30 days’ rent, landlord must provide written agreement acknowledging receipt and specifying when deposit will be returned — if no written agreement, 20 days after tenant vacates
New Jersey 30 days; five days in case of fire, flood, condemnation, or evacuation; does not apply to owner-occupied building with two or fewer units where tenant fails to provide 30 days’ written notice to landlord invoking provisions of act
New Mexico 30 days
New York Reasonable time
North Carolina 30 days
North Dakota 30 days
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 30 days
Oregon 31 days
Pennsylvania 30 days
Rhode Island 20 days
South Carolina 30 days
South Dakota Two weeks to return entire deposit or a portion, and supply reasons for withholding; 45 days for a written, itemized accounting, if tenant requests it
Tennessee No statutory deadline to return; 10 days to itemize
Texas 30 days
Utah 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is later, but if there is damage to the premises, 30 days
Vermont 14 days
Virginia 45 days
Washington 14 days
West Virginia No statutory deadline
Wisconsin 21 days
Wyoming 30 days, or within 15 days of receiving tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is later; 60 days if there is damage

The above chart was obtained from nolo and is deemed reliable at the date of this post.

Portland Oregon Landlord : Tenant destroyed rental as revenge!

PORTLAND – A tenant was believed to be responsible for destroying a home that he rented in SE Portland.  The landlord thinks it is retaliation for her trying to evict him for not paying rent.

Cindy Hiatt told NewsChannel 8 her tenant, William Olietti, wrecked every room of her home on SE Rhone Street.  “I just walked through the house and I was in shock,” she said.  “Every step I took I was in more shock.”

The kitchen cupboards were taken down and burned.  Trash was left in the sink and the faucet was broken.  It looked like Olietti took a jackhammer to the tile floor in the kitchen.

“It’s just like, you’re numb and in shock,” said Hiatt.

Olietti also smashed windows, broke holes in the wall, and trashed the backyard shed.

“I can’t think of anything horrible enough to happen to somebody who could do that,” said Hiatt.

An expert on landlord-tenant rights said there were a few things a landlord could do to avoid similar situations.

“The landlord can ask for references, can ask for a security deposit, can ask for a co-signer,” said clinical professor Mark Peterson.

Olietti was arrested and charged with criminal mischief.  Hiatt does not think the house will be available to prospective renters for several months.

“I can’t begin to think how much it’ll cost,” said Hiatt.  “It’s unbelievable.” 

From KGW.com
by Mike Benner

Find services to help you properly screen your tenant here.