Curb-shopping from tenants

One of the good things about tenant turnovers, when you live in the other unit of your duplex, is curb shopping. If you’re not above it, that is. I have been called cheap in the past, but prefer the term “thrifty.” 🙂

The thing is, I’m just starting out with property ownership, and have sunk a lot of my disposable income into improving the house over the past few years. There was an attic that needed insulating (believe it or not, there was NO insulation up there). Before the insulation, though, the old knob-and-tube wiring also had to be brought up to code. Then there have been new appliances, curb appeal improvements, plumbers, larger-than-expected water bills… you get the picture. Meanwhile, my upstairs tenants — usually recent college graduates still partially supported by their parents — are splitting a thousand dollar rent three ways. You can guess who has more disposable income. And people with a lot of disposable income throw out some nice stuff.

So, when my tenants move out, I take a little time out of my turnover maintenance duties to check out what’s out on the curb. Somebody’s going to take it, if it’s nice stuff that I can use, it might as well be me, right? To date, I’ve picked up three nice shelving units, a sleeper-sofa for my office/guest bedroom, an almost new ironing board, a chair, some flower pots, and a waffle iron.

That said, I usually try to do my scavenging when my tenants are between trips. They might think it’s weird to find their landlord(landlady) picking through their discarded stuff. Even if it is environmentally responsible (reduce, reuse, recycle?)

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