Is there an industry standard for maintenance costs?

What percentage of a properties revenue should be maintenance cost?

The reason I ask is because our maintenance costs are way higher than what we had planned (which was based on nothing)…

Examples of things that come up out of nowhere… When we got the place, zoning made us move most of the trailers a few feet off the fence to comply with setbacks. The previous owners had a grandfather clause and didn’t have to comply. Of course, we didn’t even find this out until we applied for a permit at the Health Dept.

A few months ago, I needed a new drain field on one of my four septic tanks (there is no sewer in that area).

Recently, I had to get a septic tank pumped. One of the legs of the 5th wheel was parked partially on top of the septic tank, so it could not be fully drained. I could either move the 5th wheel and the carport to the side or put in a new tank. It’s a lot easier to put in a new tank than to disassemble and reassemble a carport, and move a 5th wheel (currently occupied). The only way it would be cheaper to move the trailer is to find someone to do it without a license. Carports need to be installed by someone with a license, and it would require re-installation of the hurricane tiedowns, etc.

Without getting into further details of the maintenance issues…

Is there a way I can solve this problem of maintenance cost rendering the business unprofitable?

The only thing I can say is that a lot of this is one-time maintenance. For example, that drain field should be good for 20 years if used properly.

Other than that, the only things I have going for me are that my maintenance skills have greatly improved over the last few months. I know more than most of the people that work at Home Depot now, and also I know a few “retirees,” that want/need money, even though I know hiring non-licensed people is not a good long-term plan.

  1. On a stabilized apartment building assume 10% for maintenance and repair, and add 3% for replacement/reserves.

  2. Who told you that hiring ‘non-licensed’ people is not a good long-term plan? That ‘is’ the plan, unless you’re doing new construction, or remodeling. You hire people who know what they’re doing, and it has nothing to do with having a license or not.

**** Tearing down and reassembling an awning should not require a licensed contractor. It may, if you don’t have the personnel to do the job correctly, but otherwise, this is just a labor job that anyone should be able to accomplish.

**** How did the codes administration get invited in to nickel and dime your operation, and force you to reposition coaches, and what not?

**** Why didn’t the seller transfer the park’s title into a trust, and make you the trustee/beneficiary?

**** How come your due diligence didn’t uncover the sewage situation, and the ‘grandfathered’ code violations, before you closed?


Seems like “common sense,” but maybe my “common sense” doesn’t make sense. I’m new to this. Does Donald Trump hire unlicensed retirees to fix his electrical outlets when they break.

Constructing a new one does.
But it turns out that the septic tank has a third lid and I have to get the septic company back out there on Monday to show them apparently what they didn’t know, that an unlicensed retiree knew. So I just have to move the 5th wheel about two feet forward.

I went in to get the Mobile Home/RV Park Permit transferred and they informed me of the issue of needing to move the trailers off the fence. They would not otherwise transfer the permit, which would cause my dad to be guilty of a misdemeanor of operating without a permit.

I didn’t buy it. My dad did.

Things like this… the septic contractor I’ve been using apparently hasn’t been pumping the tanks correctly. Somebody watched them pump and thought they purposefully left the solids in there. So I will get a new septic contractor and personally make sure that they suck all the sh** out of the tank. I would go down there and get it myself to save a few hundred dollars.


A property owner can repair / replace "as built" most things on a property provided they are structured / built the same way! This is inclusive of the owner paying his own staff to perform those duties!

A contractors license is required if you are bidding a project with the intention of getting paid / compensated for your time and materials.

Donald Trump hires little old ladies with a battery to hold the end of a power inverter to the battery to provide outlet power!!! lol

So the original permit was grandfathered and when it was purchased to get a new permit you had to comply with current code! Bad due diligence!

Setting up a trust to transfer ownership is a way to advanced and sophisticated method of transferring ownership!

A septic pumping company only picks loose material up with their pumps, drying solids require the tank to be hand dug out to clean it to the tank walls and that kind of clean out costs 2 or 3 times what a tank pumping costs!

Pull on a pair of waders and jump in and shovel the solids out into a solid waste container! Try to remember to wear a canister mask to work in!

Good luck,


But if I’m hiring someone, they would be an independent contractor, or completely under the table. Would they still have the legal right to “connect two wires?”

I didn’t do the due diligence. My dad bought it.

I’ll let you know how the septic clean out goes.

Start getting acquainted with Labor Ready®, or find a Home Depot parking lot with day laborers waiting at 7:00 a.m. to do anything you want, for four to eight hours @ $10/hr. Just saying.

You’ve got to either supply the tools and supplies (gloves, shovels, etc.), or Labor Ready will sift for the guys that have them already.

You’ll need to supply everything for Home Depot laborers.

Labor Ready charges me $15/hr. on a four-hour minimum, and I tell them what I’m wanting done, they broadcast the job to their pool of laborers, and the ones that want to do it, sign up, and I get however many I want. I don’t want to have to tote laborers back and forth, or provide tools, so Labor Ready’s my first choice.

The Home Depot day laborers usually need transportation. Labor Ready guys have cars.


An independent contractor still works for you! An hourly person still works for you! A salaried person still works for you!

A bid to do a job for $4,000 dollars is a licensed contractor!

A contractor bids for flat price, a person paid by the hour does what you want done every hour!


That doesn’t mean they can do things that require a license without a license.

Who do you hire when you have a problem in your a/c wiring at one of your apartment complexes?

I suggest you just continue hiring the most in-demand, licensed electrician, carpenter, and plumber you can possibly afford, and that way you can rest assured you’re not breaking any laws, or codes, or anything, but your budget …and then call it a day.

You are tripped up on the most ridiculous hump I’ve ever seen.

GR’s already outlined in black and white, exactly what you can do without a licensed contractor, and yet you either ignore it, or you believe he’s lying. Either way, it’s pointless to answer more questions about whether you can fix your a/c yourself, or have it done by Grandpa Scissorhands, or not.

Would you also suggest removing trees without getting a Tree Removal Permit and hiring an unlicensed retiree to install a drain field without getting a permit through the Health Dept first?

Yes. Whenever possible.

I don’t know why I’m so hung up on this. Honesty is my only moral.

I did install a drain field without a permit a few months ago and it saved me a couple thousand dollars. The county said that the only penalty if they found out was that they would make me pay for a permit and have it inspected. ($435).

Cost of a Tree Removal Permit = $80.

Cost of mitigation if I remove a tree without obtaining a permit = ~$5,088.


 Redstar we are not advocating purposely outright breaking the law in broad daylight but look for grey area's where something can be done without outright breaking the law, their are differences you know!

What you have to do is read the “Tree Code” so you understand what tree’s are included? Are There exceptions? Does the code only include “Native Tree’s”? If a Nursery Tree is planted can it be cut down later without breaking the law? Are Palm Tree’s included? Are only specific species included in the Tree Code?

You see I have had a back hoe accidently knock a tree down while working on a project, because it was an accident and no one was hurt their was no violation! In some area’s a dead tree can be taken down without a permit, honestly I did not realize there was muriatic acid in that jug I just happened to pour out at the base of that tree seven months ago!

Wow my pickup truck just happened to back into that little tree and knocked it over! Oh we just happened to dig a trench along one side of that tree and it fell over last night! OOPS!!! Oh we trimmed every branch off that tree and oops it just happened to die!



Dear Doctor:

Under no circumstances is GR allowed within a mile of my life support equipment.

Signed, Javipa

If that’s what it takes, then that’s what I’ll do.

I am now the clumsiest property manager on the planet. Oops… I keep spilling sulfuric acid everywhere!!! Oh no not again!!!

Dead trees can be removed for free as long as they are inspected first and I have an inspector coming tomorrow to look at ones that I marked for destruction.

Why would I want to get rid of live palm trees, anyway?


 Jay I love it!  :beer

Redstar understand the tree code! Know if it makes exceptions for suckers? For wild trees of a less than x inches of circumference? Does it give exemption to Nursery bought trees? All I was referring to was get an idea of the specifics!

The tree we accidently knocked over with the backhoe was actually digging permitted footings and although the county knew we were trying to save it, it fell into the excavation sideways and was un save able. It was no secret I wanted it gone but we were mandated to try to save it but with our footing and excavation so close it just wasn’t going to happen.

I don’t advocate killing off bunches of big giant redwood or oak trees on a quarter acre lot.

But there are occasions when there’s that one tree just in the middle of everything and it’s just got to go!

Most states don’t require a tree cutting permit on private property so in my case we have never broken the law!