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Monday, May 7, 2012

Who put the toilet in the closet?

Well it's time for the next installment of rental home shortcomings vs occupancy requirements. Rental properties are historically neglected by absentee landlords because the out of sight out of mind method of management applies perfectly to the situation. Investing money in the upgrade of a rental means that income declines with every dollar expended for maintenance/upgrades. Add to this the fees collected by property management firms and you have an understanding of why "if it aint broke don't fix it" is not a tired cliche where landlords are concerned. Property managers are hired because the owner does not wish to deal with the day to day details of maintaining a rental property and they keep their jobs by minimizing the involvement of the owner. With that in mind I am tasked with the job of upgrading a bathroom that while technically functional with regard to the fixtures is woefully inadequate for the purposes it is used for. A working woman uses this washroom for the day to day routine of getting ready for work and the bathroom offers little more storage than the minuscule area in the vanity beneath the lavatory. Modernizing this bathroom is a challenge on a budget and the focus will be on optimizing space with an eye towards storage and function. Maximizing unused space is a must and to this end a new vanity/lavatory was installed which was larger and thus more useful than the el-cheapo original. After removing the flat mirror above the vanity there was adequate room for a medicine cabinet/mirror to take its place. Another under utilized space was the wall space above the commode which easily accommodated a matching storage cabinet. All of these basically install ready improvements increased storage fourfold and got all the cosmetics, hair care, hygiene and multiple other preparations essential for the maintenance of a working woman off of the lavatory rim and windowsill. Covering a generic dingy beige paint scheme with an ultra white high gloss finish took full advantage of a new lighting fixture which added more horsepower to the illumination of the entire room. Whew! I never knew such a small room could have so many problems. I am not finished yet. Moving the toiletries off the windowsill pointed out the glaring need for a window treatment that was more attractive and functional than the big box store $5 plastic mini blinds. And also in a bizarre development possible only in a rental I will be replacing a bi-fold closet door with an honest to goodness door equipped with a privacy lockset one would expect on a bathroom. Stay tuned for more while I see if I can get any reimbursement for my out of pocket improvements.