Author Topic: Tenants destroyed my house  (Read 7663 times)

BJacks

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Tenants destroyed my house
« on: May 02, 2017, 10:06:58 AM »
I’m new here, mostly lurking, but we’ve run into a situation.

Back at the beginning of 2013 we rented out my then boyfriends house to a woman, her two kids, and her boyfriend. We had no real idea what we were doing and just really wanted someone to pay the mortgage. We did some work outside the house last year (tree trimming etc) but I haven’t been inside the house since she moved in. My husband had been in it a few times including when we had it inspected for refinancing at the end of last year. He said it was dirty but with all her stuff there nothing jumped out at him. This was obviously a huge mistake on our part.

She just moved out yesterday and the house is trashed. The filth is just the beginning. There is mold growing everywhere from the showers to the windowsills. There is rat poop and damage to the walls. She installed a bar in the dining room that is attached to one wall.

The carpet we already knew we were replacing but it’s been soiled down to the sub-floor in places. It was serviceable when she moved in.

The cabinet in the hall bathroom is the worst of all. The pipe was disconnected and the water has ruined everything. There was tons of mold/damage all the way down to the sub-floor and I wouldn't doubt the joists below. On the other side of the wall is the master bathroom. We’re unsure at this time if the damage reaches that side but banking on probably.
I just went through the lease and highlighted 20 different sections where she was in violation including but not limited to:

•   Disposing of rubbish (house and yard has garbage throughout)
•   To not intentionally or negligently destroy deface damage impair (wall damage, door damage, counter-top damage, bathroom cabinet)
•   Cleaning of dwelling at the end of tenancy (Filth, mold, urine (human and animal), cobwebs)
•   Subletting (new boyfriend received mail there he has two kids who seem to have lived there as well)
•   Responsibility for damage for minor repairs and infestation caused by resident (every room)
•   Promptly report any and all plumbing defects to the owner and resident will be required to pay for damage caused by residents neglect. (Bathroom ruined)
•   Maintaining yard and shrubs (not mowed this year. Yard destroyed. garbage everywhere)
•   No hazmat permitted in dwelling storage areas (used oil in funnel/container thing)
•   Smoke detectors maintenance (smoke detectors from bedrooms were removed and in non working order left on fireplace. Detector in kitchen did not work but was on wall.)


I’m salt the earth furious right now.

My husband stayed home from work yesterday to remove the carpet/bathroom cabinet so that the cleaning lady we have coming today can actually clean.

We’re preparing for at least 15k in getting this place back up to par. We need the following services:

Yard work/garbage removal
HVAC Cleaners
Exterminator
House Cleaner –
Contractor/handyman– bathroom
Mold

I’m looking into getting a lawyer. I’m in WA. What can I reasonably expect out of a situation like this?

We have the money to pay for repairs out of pocket but should we have home owners insurance involved due to the water damage? What is the line on this?

Can we charge for our hourly work on the house or only what we pay someone else to do who is licensed and bonded?

waltworks

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 10:12:37 AM »
Don't bother with the lawyer. In every situation I know of, there is no money to be gotten from your ex-tenant, so hiring a lawyer is a waste of both time and money. You can probably keep the damage deposit, just make sure you document *why* in writing. Tenant could sue *you*, so have your ducks in order.

Fix it up, learn your lesson about being more hands-on, and perhaps sell the place instead of renting it out. This kind of thing can happen, and it's one of the reasons that people who invest in RE use the 50%/1% rules and conservative assumptions when calculating expected expenses.

If you have a rental policy on the house, you can *probably* get insurance to cover some of this. If you just rented it out and kept it as a standard homeowners policy, you probably can't.

-W
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 10:34:26 AM by waltworks »

Cwadda

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 10:15:06 AM »
For now, get all repairs and cleaning done ASAP so that you can minimize the amount of time it's vacant. I'm assuming you've already kept the security deposit? Document why you're keeping it. Have before and after pictures.

Also, +1 for what waltworks said about renting vs. selling. Run the numbers both ways.

BJacks

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 10:49:01 AM »
We're going to rent it to my mother starting next month which is why we kicked this woman out to begin with. She was constantly late with the rent and we were tired of dealing with her excuses and lies.

If it weren't for the fact that my mom is moving in I would be selling it. She clean and respectful and we have a good relationship.

We have a house cleaner at the house now and we already have someone to do the yard/garbage lined up we just want to get at least one more quote.

We'll be doing the painting and small repairs ourselves but unfortunately with two small kids and working opposite shifts our options are limited with what we can get done on our own during the week and this is way to much for weekend work.

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 11:18:59 AM »
I'll offer an alternative viewpoint that if you have extremely good documentation and evidence, you could take her to small claims court for damages in excess of the deposit.  You would need to be very careful in determining what are actual damages (physical problems with the house), and what is just 'mess' (rat droppings and excess trash do not count as damages).  It would probably be a big pain and time suck, and in the end even if you win you may never see another dime, so go this route only with extreme trepidation.

nereo

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 11:28:29 AM »
1) Sorry this happened to you
2) Document everything - photos as well as expense receipts.  Document your time as well.
3) Look into the feasibility of going after damages in your particular municipality - look into landlord tenant associations; rules and protections for both vary wildly from place to place... but consider the adage "you can't get blood from a stone".  If this woman has few/no assets you're unlikely to get anything, even if you do prevail in court.

SingleMomDebt

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 11:33:13 AM »
That royally sucks. Take pictures before you clean it all up - comes to mind.

I'll offer an alternative viewpoint that if you have extremely good documentation and evidence, you could take her to small claims court for damages in excess of the deposit.  You would need to be very careful in determining what are actual damages (physical problems with the house), and what is just 'mess' (rat droppings and excess trash do not count as damages).  It would probably be a big pain and time suck, and in the end even if you win you may never see another dime, so go this route only with extreme trepidation.

and this ^. You probably won't see money from it, but least it is documented. I feel sorry for those kids.

Car Jack

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 11:58:43 AM »
This is a GREAT thread for those perspective landlords looking for a "passive investment", thinking that renting means raking in the monthly checks alone.

sequoia

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 12:28:39 PM »
Sorry to hear that. I can not help you with the matter getting a lawyer or not, but first thing you should do is document everything. Take a lot of pictures before you start fixing or cleaning everything.


bobechs

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 12:29:53 PM »
This is a GREAT thread for those perspective landlords looking for a "passive investment", thinking that renting means raking in the monthly checks alone.

Also  reminder that for a fraction of residential landlords, tenant-directed rage is a normal and constant condition.

Eg.,(bullet point no. 8):  the tenant left behind a jug of drained motor oil?  That is not a Hazmat incident and it does not call for a "licensed and bonded" intervention.

Eg., Tenant's failure to 'maintain' (!?) smoke detectors.  These are normal expendables for typical renters.  Once they have been through a cycle or two of battery replacement, just fork out the five or ten bucks to replace them.  They crap out all the time.  They are cheap and required. No license or bond is going to insulate you from having to think about it ever again in your landlordish life.

Eg., General dirt and disorder- use the deposit to remedy this.  Part of landlord life.

And cool down-- your house is not destroyed, no matter what you say now.


sammybiker

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2017, 01:26:13 PM »
Sorry to hear.

I know you're in WA but have a hard look at the budget - 15k is very heavy unless you're redoing everything with high end finishes.

Looking at the bright side - the home doesn't sound like it was tenant proof to begin with (carpet?? eeek) and you collected some $48k+ over the last four years, hopefully more.

If you'd like to post a more detailed scope of work, I'm sure we can help in slimming that budget.  It sounds like all the big ticket items are functional, you just need some hardcore deep cleaning & cosmetic bits completed.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2017, 09:44:05 PM »
I know you're in WA but have a hard look at the budget - 15k is very heavy unless you're redoing everything with high end finishes.

If you'd like to post a more detailed scope of work, I'm sure we can help in slimming that budget.  It sounds like all the big ticket items are functional, you just need some hardcore deep cleaning & cosmetic bits completed.

We don't know the size of the home. Total carpet/flooring removal and repair of subsequent subfloor damage in the areas most heavily damaged will cost a significant amount of money. Added to the fact that contractors are VERY busy right now, and rates have risen, and they could very easily find $15k to be a reasonable estimate.

•   Disposing of rubbish (house and yard has garbage throughout).
 Depending on the volume, this could require dump fees etc, ranging into $500+
•   To not intentionally or negligently destroy deface damage impair (wall damage, door damage, counter-top damage, bathroom cabinet)
Drywall repair, door replacement/repair, countertop replacement/repair, bathroom cabinet replacement... These will likely run a couple thousand dollars.
•   Cleaning of dwelling at the end of tenancy (Filth, mold, urine (human and animal), cobwebs)
Mold is a major issue on the West (read, wet coast) Coast of WA. If the walls, cabinetry, kitchen and bath surfaces, and ceilings are contaminated, it can be a major job to repair and replace up to livable standards. Another couple grand is easily possible
•   Subletting (new boyfriend received mail there he has two kids who seem to have lived there as well)
 Kids can wreak havoc when unsupervised. Who cares, cause it's a rental!
•   Responsibility for damage for minor repairs and infestation caused by resident (every room)
Every room... Rodents? Rodent waste everywhere. Closets, cabinets, crawl spaces, insulation? You have to find it all, and remove it all.
•   Promptly report any and all plumbing defects to the owner and resident will be required to pay for damage caused by residents neglect. (Bathroom ruined)
Replacing a bathroom is no easy task. Is the toilet absolutely disgusting? The shower/bath set totally destroyed? The cabinet likely needs replacing. A bathroom set, removal and install can cost $5k no problem.
•   Maintaining yard and shrubs (not mowed this year. Yard destroyed. garbage everywhere)
(Already mentioned)
•   No hazmat permitted in dwelling storage areas (used oil in funnel/container thing)
•   Smoke detectors maintenance (smoke detectors from bedrooms were removed and in non working order left on fireplace. Detector in kitchen did not work but was on wall.)

« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 09:46:12 PM by bigalsmith101 »

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 09:14:57 AM »
Unfortunately you can't change the past, but you can sure learn for the future. If you are renting to a family member in the future hopefully you won't have these issues (though you could be trading this risk for a whole other set of issues). I'd advise if you rent to non-family in the future that you do a very thorough credit check before and start the eviction process at the first sign of the first late rent check. This is a business, not a charity.

checkedoutat39

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 10:36:16 AM »
This sucks but as others have mentioned you're trumping up what you perceive to be violations of the lease. Having a different boyfriend live there isn't "subletting".

In any event, violating a lease can be grounds for eviction (which is a separate procedure that must be followed to the letter) and you should have no problem keeping their deposit but it is very difficult to obtain recourse retrospectively. Judges generally want hard evidence.

Consider making annual or seasonal visits to "inspect the water heater/ smoke detectors/ plumbing fictures" or whatever because it's law to have these in full working order. With adequate advance notice, of course.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2017, 03:22:54 PM »
I'll offer an alternative viewpoint that if you have extremely good documentation and evidence, you could take her to small claims court for damages in excess of the deposit.  You would need to be very careful in determining what are actual damages (physical problems with the house), and what is just 'mess' (rat droppings and excess trash do not count as damages).  It would probably be a big pain and time suck, and in the end even if you win you may never see another dime, so go this route only with extreme trepidation.

I would also pursue small claims court, but skip the lawyer. I think it would be worth your time.

Alim Nassor

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2017, 04:23:39 AM »
This is why you learn to do things yourself.




•   Disposing of rubbish (house and yard has garbage throughout)
This is mostly labor.  My local landfill charges 35 bucks a ton.   So maybe a hundred bucks

•   To not intentionally or negligently destroy deface damage impair (wall damage, door damage, counter-top damage, bathroom cabinet)
Drywall repair is easy if you get a few tools, like a texture gun. Replacing doors is not hard, Home Depot has hollow core doors for about 30 bucks.  Bathroom cabinets aren't hard either, countertops, depends on what they are.  Formica is a snap. 

•   Cleaning of dwelling at the end of tenancy (Filth, mold, urine (human and animal), cobwebs)
It's not fun, but cleaning doesn't take any special skills

•   Subletting (new boyfriend received mail there he has two kids who seem to have lived there as well)
•   Responsibility for damage for minor repairs and infestation caused by resident (every room)
Poison, traps, cleaning. 

•   Promptly report any and all plumbing defects to the owner and resident will be required to pay for damage caused by residents neglect. (Bathroom ruined)
This one will take more skills, but nothing you cant handle.  I've taken bathrooms down to the subfloor, put in a new tub and vanity and floor covering in a couple of days

•   Maintaining yard and shrubs (not mowed this year. Yard destroyed. garbage everywhere)
Cleaning, mowing, planting, no special skills needed

•   No hazmat permitted in dwelling storage areas (used oil in funnel/container thing)
Take it to your local oil change place for disposal

•   Smoke detectors maintenance (smoke detectors from bedrooms were removed and in non working order left on fireplace. Detector in kitchen did not work but was on wall.)
5 bucks a piece.

I know how aggravating it is, but if you will learn to do things yourself, a large percentage of the cost will go away.


MayDay

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2017, 04:49:41 AM »
My MIL has rental houses and has dealt with this quite a few times.

She takes them to court herself or with a lawyer and always wins. That isn't the problem, as they've always clearly damaged stuff.

The trick is actually getting the money.  Best case scenario is she gets a check for 50-100$ a month for however many years it takes to pay off the judgement. Worst (more common) case is she never sees the money.

sammybiker

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2017, 06:26:05 AM »

I know how aggravating it is, but if you will learn to do things yourself, a large percentage of the cost will go away.

This. 

Stachetastic

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2017, 06:59:08 AM »
I agree with others that DIY will save thousands, but as a parent of young children.....yeah. Not always possible, especially if the property is not close by.

The good news here is that once it's all fixed, your mom will be a reliable tenant who will take great care of the property. We have rented to several family members over the years and always appreciated the peace of mind. Good luck to you!

plog

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2017, 10:50:13 AM »
Quote
I would also pursue small claims court, but skip the lawyer. I think it would be worth your time.

Not to derail the thread, but does anyone here have a first hand, happy-ending small claims court story in which they were the plantiff?  By happy ending I mean:

#1:  You not only won the case but collected the full amount on it.
Or
#2.  #1 didn't happen, but the defendant was in a car accident on the way to/from the proceedings.

I've never even heard third-hand about either of those occuring.  Right after you win the judgement you will feel some satisfaction, however, it will pale in comparison to the frustration in dealing with the court system in the first place and then realizing its an empty victory because you will never collect that money.

Bobberth

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2017, 12:48:09 PM »
Quote
I would also pursue small claims court, but skip the lawyer. I think it would be worth your time.

Not to derail the thread, but does anyone here have a first hand, happy-ending small claims court story in which they were the plantiff?  By happy ending I mean:

#1:  You not only won the case but collected the full amount on it.
Or
#2.  #1 didn't happen, but the defendant was in a car accident on the way to/from the proceedings.

I've never even heard third-hand about either of those occuring.  Right after you win the judgement you will feel some satisfaction, however, it will pale in comparison to the frustration in dealing with the court system in the first place and then realizing its an empty victory because you will never collect that money.

I've not heard people actually getting paid after winning. I prefer to 1099C them and bask in the knowledge that they will be F'd by the IRS when they are expecting a tax return next year.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2017, 12:59:32 PM »

I've not heard people actually getting paid after winning. I prefer to 1099C them and bask in the knowledge that they will be F'd by the IRS when they are expecting a tax return next year.

Explain this?

iamlindoro

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2017, 01:53:31 PM »

I've not heard people actually getting paid after winning. I prefer to 1099C them and bask in the knowledge that they will be F'd by the IRS when they are expecting a tax return next year.

Explain this?

When you decide that you'll never collect on the debt, you issue a 1099-C to the tenant, send it to their last known address (regardless of whether you think it will ever get to them, that's their problem), then file it with the government so that they're stuck paying the taxes on the canceled debt, which is for all intents and purposes income.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 01:57:04 PM by iamlindoro »

Sibley

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2017, 02:09:57 PM »
My parents went through this a few years ago.

1. Take detailed pictures of EVERYTHING. Organize & annotate them.
2. Keep all receipts, and for work you do yourself, keep track of time spent.
3. Follow the laws in your area regarding tenant notification, etc. Do certified mail, etc.
4. Keep the security deposit to pay for damages. You may need to prorate things to account for normal wear and tear (paint, carpet).
5. Present an itemized bill for what you'd like. (follow the law here).
6. My parents ended up taking ex-tenant to small claims court. Check the rules carefully - my parents could have asked for much more than they did, but they thought there was a limit on the amount. Where they are, tenant damages had a different, much higher, limit.
7. Parents ended up in mediation, and won. If you're in mediation, don't walk out on the mediator (true story: their mediator sent a report to the judge that the tenants were hostile and operating in bad faith. Judge awarded 100% in my parents favor.)

I get that you're angry, but that's not going to get you anywhere. Document EVERYTHING with pictures and paper trail, be organized, be reasonable, levelheaded people who are just trying to get reimbursed for fixing this. Know the tenant/landlord laws in your area and make sure you follow them to the letter. You want everyone who deals with you to think "nice people, just trying to deal with a crappy situation." Take the high road. Note: this doesn't mean be a walking mat, it means everyone will obviously think you're in the right.

MayDay

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2017, 04:23:03 PM »
Quote
I would also pursue small claims court, but skip the lawyer. I think it would be worth your time.

Not to derail the thread, but does anyone here have a first hand, happy-ending small claims court story in which they were the plantiff?  By happy ending I mean:

#1:  You not only won the case but collected the full amount on it.
Or
#2.  #1 didn't happen, but the defendant was in a car accident on the way to/from the proceedings.

I've never even heard third-hand about either of those occuring.  Right after you win the judgement you will feel some satisfaction, however, it will pale in comparison to the frustration in dealing with the court system in the first place and then realizing its an empty victory because you will never collect that money.

My MIL has been collecting 100$ a month by for as long as I've known her from one tenant. I've known her for ~14 years. It will be paid off this year. The judge ordered some amount of interest. She doesn't always see the money but she did in this case. She has another that is actually by paying because they got an inheritance, and now own a house, so she could put a lien on the house if they didn't pay.

But in most cases she never sees the money.

surfhb

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2017, 05:30:30 PM »
Write down on a piece of paper the value of the house and how much you owe on the mortgage.

Next, write down how much out of pocket expenses you have on this home since owning it.   

That's should make you feel better ;D



Get on youtube now and do as much as possible yourself!!   These are all fairly normal things to deal with as a landlord
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 05:33:23 PM by surfhb »

hoping2retire35

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2017, 08:16:22 PM »

I've not heard people actually getting paid after winning. I prefer to 1099C them and bask in the knowledge that they will be F'd by the IRS when they are expecting a tax return next year.

Explain this?
I'm feeling quite devilish at the thought of ever needing this. Muhhhaaaahhh.
When you decide that you'll never collect on the debt, you issue a 1099-C to the tenant, send it to their last known address (regardless of whether you think it will ever get to them, that's their problem), then file it with the government so that they're stuck paying the taxes on the canceled debt, which is for all intents and purposes income.

waltworks

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2017, 08:42:03 PM »
Write down on a piece of paper the value of the house and how much you owe on the mortgage.

Next, write down how much out of pocket expenses you have on this home since owning it.   

That's should make you feel better ;D

Alternately, jot down what your equity would have been worth plowed into a generic index fund over the same time period...

There's a reason for the 1% rule, folks.

-W

BJacks

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2017, 07:14:26 AM »
Things are looking so so.

Everything is pretty much demoed and I just finished painting the interior (loving my new spray gun). It took me 4 days (one cleaning/prep, one priming, one for ceilings, and one for the rest).

The house smells like paint instead of urine so +

On the downside it looks like we're for sure going to have to demo the master bathroom as well. The two bathrooms share a wall and the water damaged the sub floor through the wall.

In that 15k estimate I used in my first post we are doing/replacing things that weren't caused by her. For instance she only damaged 4 out of 8 doors but we're replacing them all because they're old. The vent covers are just dirty/gross but I'm sure they're cleanable but I'm buying new ones because otherwise my mom will and she paid for paint. We went with laminate instead of carpet when replacing flooring. We're replacing the toilets apparently.

All in all it's looking like it will be closer to 12k (we work opposite shifts to save on childcare so not really an option to DIY more due to time constraints). I'm also fighting my husband who is tossing out things like perfectly good trim because 'it will be easier to just replace it'. Not to mention a set of cabinets that just needed sanding. And toilets.

Anyway, I've spent 4 out of the last 5 days painting and I'm feeling much better about things. We're keeping track of everything and I'll be presenting her will a bill at the end of it. If she's not willing to settle out of court I'll go from there.

nereo

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2017, 07:32:33 AM »
I'm also fighting my husband who is tossing out things like perfectly good trim because 'it will be easier to just replace it'. Not to mention a set of cabinets that just needed sanding. And toilets.

Anyway, I've spent 4 out of the last 5 days painting and I'm feeling much better about things. We're keeping track of everything and I'll be presenting her will a bill at the end of it. If she's not willing to settle out of court I'll go from there.
...glad you are making progress.

My advice is that you treat these repairs like a business.  On some things your husband may be right that it makes more sense to junk and replace - for example if it takes you 30 hours to sand/rehab something that could be replaced new for $150, there's little financial reason not to go new.  And I say this as someone who occasionally digs scrap 2x4s out of construction dumpsters.
Ultimately what matters is that you get tenants back into your rental as quickly as possible without sacrificing rental prices. Spend a few hundred$ hiring  a few day-laborers if it means getting renters in a month earlier.  Think like a business.

g'luck.

hucktard

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2017, 09:54:36 AM »
I have dealt with a very similar situation at one of my rentals. I took the whole security deposit but did not sue the tenants for additional damages. The tenant threatened to take me to court over the security deposit but never followed through with it. One thing I learned is that you shouldn't count on being able to charge the tenant for your own time. So if you plan to take the tenants security deposit or go after them for additional damages, you should get quotes from contractors for your actual expenses, or have contractors actually do the work so that you have bills showing your expenses.

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Re: Tenants destroyed my house
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2017, 01:37:01 PM »

My advice is that you treat these repairs like a business.  On some things your husband may be right that it makes more sense to junk and replace - for example if it takes you 30 hours to sand/rehab something that could be replaced new for $150, there's little financial reason not to go new.  And I say this as someone who occasionally digs scrap 2x4s out of construction dumpsters.
Ultimately what matters is that you get tenants back into your rental as quickly as possible without sacrificing rental prices. Spend a few hundred$ hiring  a few day-laborers if it means getting renters in a month earlier.  Think like a business.

g'luck.

This ^. Sometime it is cheaper to hire someone to do it if it means you can get the place rented earlier.

Also if there is a store  that sell used/over-stocked materials around, you may want to take a look. You can purchase barely used doors for very cheap. We bought a rental last year, and did not plan to replace the doors, but happened to see some used doors for like $10 a piece (which looked much nicer than the original doors), so we ended up replacing all interior doors.