One Reason Not To Become A Landlord…

Besides asking family friends for real estate advice, my father-in-law also manages rental properties himself. He is an extremely handy guy, and I hope to get him to teach me some useful home repair and remodeling skills later on. But today, he was replacing a tenant’s toilet and dropped it on his foot. The result was a side trip to the Emergency Room and a stylish cast. As a klutz myself, this is not good.


  1. Yeah, that’s why most real estate investors once established, hire property managers and maintenance crews. That stuff is no fun at all.

  2. A pair of steel-enforced work shoes preserves the feet from most of the construction-related dangers, flying toilet bowls included.

  3. I wouldn’t mind learning how to replace a toilet, although I wouldn’t want to do it for a living. Very true on the shoes. That and good safety glasses.

  4. Not hard at all! Unscrew the old toilet from the floor, pull it off (this requires some effort and is probably where the above-mentioned foot injury occured), throw away the old wax ring and clear up any old wax, do your repairs (e.g. fix the flooring, waste pipe, etc.), pop a new wax ring downs and reseat the new toilet! Voila!

    Ok, that probably doesn’t seem simple if you’ve never done it before, but consider picking up one of the Black and Decker home repair guides, especially one of the older and out of print versions where they actually illustrate all the details instead of giving you “2000 color photos”. That’s were I learned most of my home-repair fu.

  5. What if you completely rewrite that post, only this time your father-in-law is replacing his OWN toilet and the same thing happens?

    He doesn’t collect rent for repairing his own toilet, but he does get paid to fix his tenants toilet.

    I guess it’s all in how you look at it, but I wouldn’t let this event drive you away from being a landlord.


  6. Agree with Lucas – toilet replacement is a breeze once you have done it. I replaced a couple of the them when I remodeled the bathrooms in my rental property.

  7. Don’t worry, this post was mostly in jest. I forgot the 🙂

    So far this year I’ve figured out how to fix leaky faucets and replace toilet bowl innards. Not rocket science but it makes me feel somewhat less useless.

  8. So far this year I’ve figured out how to […] replace toilet bowl innards

    Congratulations! My 3-year old just learned how to do that too! I’ve never heard it described using the euphemism you used, though…

  9. supposedly, if you mastered the “project management” skill of your remodeling project, you really have no time and necessity to actually get down and do all the dirty work. I found that to be hard to accomplish. 1st, all the contructors will fool you if you show no knowledge of the thing what so ever. So you will have to had some experience of what they are doing. 2nd, the economics of d-i-y is just too big to miss. Replacing a toilet will cost you somewhere around $100-$200 when you call professional plumbers. That’s not including the toilet. Do you want them to pick it up for you? That will be another 30-40% mark up. So, you will always be tempted to do it yourself, or at least be hands on to make sure you are not spending too much.

  10. Toilet bowl replacing: You don’t even need to remove the wax, simply drop a new wax ring ontop of the old one. I would never want to scrape away the old wax, that stuff just feels dirty.

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