Call for help: Help Joz not be a slum lord

I’m kidding about the slum lord thing, by the way, but I’m serious about the call for help.

As you may remember, my father passed away suddenly about a year ago. After this happened, my family was left to pick up the pieces and handle the many things that he took care of while he was alive. Among other things, my father managed a small (6 unit) apartment building in the Greater LA area. It was built in the 1960s or so and it’s been maintained fairly well and because my Dad preferred to have good tenants who would stay a long time over ones that constantly turned over, he had loyal tenants who basically never moved. Because they never moved, nothing much got updated/modernized.

We’ve been managing this property in my “free time” since last summer and recently had a unit vacate because they’d been living there for years and the couple got pregnant and bought a townhouse, giving us the first opportunity to attempt to update the kitchen/bathroom in this one unit.

This is where I need help. Evidently, when you have an apartment building you can’t just call the “kitchen remodeling” center of Home Depot or Sears and ask for an estimate. They refer you to a “commercial” center where they proceed to tell you that they’re not interested in re-doing just one unit. The Apartment Owners Association resource guides also cater to property management companies that are totally large scale.

Aside from the fact that I don’t want to displace the other tenants (one of whom is my Grandma and is not easily movable), I really just want to re-do this one unit while it’s already vacant.

So, any suggestions? Can anyone give me advice? If you don’t want to make a public comment, I can be emailed directly at joz @ jozjozjoz . com

Thanks muchly.

14 thoughts on “Call for help: Help Joz not be a slum lord”

  1. Run screaming from HD. Call Lowes. Or ask everyone you know for contractor referrals.

    You can redo one unit.

  2. Before I moved into my condo, they updated the kitchen from Ikea and I was shocked how nice it is. I wasn’t around for the process so I don’t know the logistics but I’ve heard from a couple other people who were happy with their Ikea kitchens as well. I can send you a pic of mine if you’re interested.

  3. yeah, IKEA’s the way to go. I spent no more than $6000 on a gorgeous one, and I would be happy to refer you to the contractor who installed it. He’s a friend so I don’t know his professional rate, but shoot me an e-mail and I’ll give you his number. The kitchen came out great, IKEA was wonderful and very easy to work with. It helped me boost the value of my condo well ($25k) above the prices my neighbors were asking for units that should have been more expensive than mine. It looks and feels like a deluxe kitchen.

  4. not to sound rude, but…

    is this site becoming more and more a personal blogging/ranting site for the writers on here or this site no longer about LA?

    and please don’t say this posting is about LA because she lives in LA and the apartment is LA

  5. “and please don’t say this posting is about LA because she lives in LA and the apartment is LA”

    Hey amigo… it is about LA, she lives in LA, she blogs in LA, she does a whole lot of damn cool things here in LA… who the f*** are you???


  6. I agree. This is not about LA. Sometimes the posts on Metroblog LA are insightful, this one is definitely not.

  7. jozjozjoz. i guess you could say you called me out if i read it, but i didn’t. so does a blogger make a point if the posting goes unread? kinda like if a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? i’ll make sure to read it some time today so you can feel like you upset me. a good writer would have seen the subtext of that comment though, which was sarcasm since some people would have a found a lawyer the following day. see…

    awesome!(for will campbell standing up for his rights)

    you should still sue(sarcasm)

    can you see it now?

    kenarch. what “coooool” things are those?

  8. I’ve put in several IKEA kitchens. Unless your unit is high end, get the white cabinets, but think about a stone or some other kind of tough counter top.

    As long as you use glue along with the pegs when you build, your kitchen will last for years.

  9. I own a condo and rent it out. I wouldn’t put Ikea kitchen in because renters are generally really tough on stuff, more so than if you own it yourself. I’d like to replace my kitchen too as some point but I wouldn’t use Ikea, I’d be afraid that pressed wood would start falling off as soon as someone slams the door.

  10. I think this is a relevant post. First, joz lives in LA and is posting about an issue in LA that many an LA renter has complained about – outdated, shabby apartments. And she’s trying to make it better.

    What if, someday, someone stumbles on this post while trying to figure out the best way to pitch a kitchen remodel to his/her LA landlord…? Voila, s/he’s got a head start right here.

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