Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Duplex Floor Plans

March 9, 2012

David asks…

We are renting a duplex and there is a lease for the top floor. However there was not a lease for the bottom.?

There was no lease to the bottom floor and we had 3 people living there with one bedroom open. the land lord knew about everyone. Then we had another friend move in without ever telling the landlord. He agreed to pay utilities for the whole duplex. Well now the landlord found out about the extra roommate, however he is planning on moving out at the end of the month. In Ohio I believe there are statue of Frauds the requires leases to be written to be a contract. Is there anything the landlord can do against me?

Administrator answers:

You broke your lease by letting someone else move in. The landlord can evict you and keep your security deposit.

Ken asks…

What is the easiest way to remove a set of stairs from a very old plaster and lath house?

We just bought a home that needs to be completely gutted and rebuild from the studs out. It use to be a duplex and has two sets of stairs going from the basement all the way up into the attic. We want to remove one set of these stairs and make the floor plan larger on the main and second floor. The stairs are on opposite sides of the same middle of the house wall.

Administrator answers:

Crowbar, lump hammer, common sense. Check for pipework and electrics.

Nancy asks…

Can anyone help with a ballpark figure on rewiring a house?

The house was built in the 1890′s and probably last had its electrical updated in the 40s. No knob and tube wiring, but there is fabric wrapped rubber. Two floors, tiny attic, and a basement. Each floor is roughly 900 sq ft. Off the top of my head I think there are 11 outlets (almost all two prong, the ones that were converted to 3 prong aren’t grounded past the metal box) and 6 light switches on the ground floor, and since the upstairs has almost an identical floor plan (duplex), I would assume the same up there, but not positive.
Ohh.. it does already have an alarm system. A nice washer and drying in the basement, and the kitchen stove is gas, so no electrical for that.
Mostly just looking to get the electrical good enough to switch all the outlets to something safer than, ohh, plugging the TV into a power strip that is plugged into a wall with a 3-prong to 2-prong converter (I know! scary!).

Administrator answers:

It all depends on the size of your house, and yours is large, plus it will have to be brought up to code, that could mean moving electrical boxes to other locations in the house, installing a much larger service than what you have now, adding additional outlets and fixtures. Special plugs must be installed in the kitchen and bath to prevent electrocution. Do you want it wired for surround sound? Do you want to add an alarm system? Do you want to add any outside lighting? How much and where? Do you have front and back lights for when someone comes to the door? It’s always good to have at least one outlet in the front and the rear of your home for such things as lawn equipment, outside activities, and Christmas lighting. Flood lights on the corners of your house for safety issues. Make sure they don’t use aluminum wiring, its a fire hazard. There is a lot to consider. I wish someone had given me these same tips when I was re-wiring my old house, it would have really helped. You are looking at major bucks to be honest.

Betty asks…

Need solution for a duplex we’re buying?? Need your advice.?

I already have a house and good salary. I have two brothers. We are very close as our parents are both deceased. I am the eldest.

I have offered that all of us buy a duplex which the 3 of us will own and I’ll pay the downpayment of 30 thousand. I have given them 3 years to pay their share of 10 thousand for each of them (or whenever they can).

The duplex has 3 rent spaces: the 2nd floor, 1st floor, and basement. We plan to have the 2nd floor rented for $1,000 per month and the basement $700 per month. The 1st floor will be reserved for my two brothers to live in.

Our mortgage is $2200 per month. The total of our rent income is 1,700 so we have another $500 to pay for the mortgage.

Who will pay the remaining $500? Will we divide it to three? Or only my two brothers will divide since they are staying in the 1st floor? I am staying in my own house, do I have to pay my share of the duplex even if I don’t stay there?

How do we solve this?

Administrator answers:

No, you shouldn’t contribute to the rent. That is theirs. Furthermore, if this is a business tarnsaction and not a family transaction they should pay markey rent, not $500. The excess of the market rent would be cash flow and split 3 ways. With you paying the down payment and giving them a reduced rent you absolutely should not have to contribute to the $500. You are being pretty nice as it is. Do you need another brother? Lol

Maria asks…

I’ve got a huge problem! Stray cat in my wall, I van hear it in my vents ?

I live in a duplex where the format has got two homes on bottom and two on top. Some people rebuilt the patio for the duplex above mine and a cat climbed in the middle of the floor plan before they finished. Well now there done and I know it’s still in there because I can hear it crying in my vents. Please help): serious answers Plz I don’t want this cat to die

Administrator answers:

It’s imperative that you call someone immediately about this. The ASPCA is a good idea, they’ll be able to do something. Should they be closed at the moment, perhaps calling the fire department would be the next best thing. They rescue animals from pipes, sewers and all sorts of predicaments.

Is there any possible way of you getting to the area where the cat is, or to see inside? If anything is just connected via screw or nail it wouldn’t hurt to take it off and replace it on once the cat is free. You say you can hear it from the vents, is there any possible way it might have gotten in your vent from where it entered the floor plan?

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