Fire Alarm Checks

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preforming fire alarm tests in each unit serves two purposes.
One) To make sure the alarm works, obviously.
Two) To check out what condition the apartment is in, obviously.

Going door-to-door, stepping over tenants dirty clothes, and getting on my tip-toes, using the end of a pencil to push a button, only to be deafen by a LOUD ear piecing beep--is not my idea of fun.
But, what I discover during my checks is almost always worth the ringing I hear in my ears for the next two days.

I was nearing my last apartment.
I knocked on the door, twice, hard.
No one answered.
I cracked the door, made my presence known, loudly, before I stepped in.
I closed the door behind me, and walked over to the fire alarm.
As I reaching up, a cat appeared from the hallway and curled himself around my leg.

I called the tenant.

Me: "I see you have a cat."
Tenant: "I don't have a cat."

Fact: I am not blind. 

I came to a door and there posted was a note from the tenant that read

"You do NOT have my permission to enter this apartment. My fire alarm works great. DO NOT ENTER."

I gave more than twenty-four hour notice, and I was legally allowed to enter.
I walked in.
I figured this tenant must be a bachelor as all he had in his apartment was a bed, a desk with a large TV, and a chair.
Well that, and about two months worth of fast food wrappers scattered across his floor.
It appeared that he didn't own a trashcan.
I stepped through the trash and into the hallway where his fire alarm was supposed to be.
It was missing.
I then spotted it on the counter.
I picked it up, and noticed that he had removed the batteries.

I replaced the batteries, and then left him a note on his door saying that he needed to clean up his apartment.

Kinda hard for the fire alarm to work when it doesn't have batteries.


The Staged Apartment

>> Thursday, October 2, 2014

I had a tenant who was a bit odd.
He would sit at the picnic table in the middle of the courtyard and stare into my apartment all day.
Kinda creeped me out.
He looked like he never showered, shaved, changed his clothes or ate.
He would retreat back to his apartment at sundown, return at sunrise, and sit there.

But he payed his rent.

As one would imagine, I was quite pleased when he turned in his 30-Day notice along with his rent.
Around 11:58 p.m., the night before the last day of the month, I get a call on the emergency line.
This tenant said he would need an extra day to get all his stuff out of the apartment.
Side note: This is NOT an emergency.

A day later than planned, he turned in his keys.
He said he was able to get everything out of the apartment.
He did not want to do a move-out inspection, nor did he have a forwarding address.
He said he would call me with this information when he figured it out.
Side note: I always send the reconciliation to the apartment if I don't have a forwarding address, because the post office may have one, and then I can't be accused of not sending out the deposit. But you probably already knew this.

Moving on.

I entered the apartment and, it was clean.
And not just clean, but immaculate.
It was also filled with his brand new furniture.
It was as if he staged the apartment before he left.
No clothes left behind.
Cabinets stocked with new dishes.
The refrigerator empty, and looked to have never been used, and I swear he sprayed air freshener before he left.
It was so bizarre.
I am used to finding destroyed apartments, this was so the opposite, that I found myself getting a little weirded out.
As if I were the subject of some hidden camera prank.

I tried calling him.
Several times.
He never returned my call.

As nice as the apartment was, I have to lug his furniture out of the there and store it for the required amount of the time.
Side note: That was annoying.
Upon clearing out the apartment, we found a drawer filled with sauce packets from a variety of different fast food restaurants.
Ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce, tempura sauce, honey name it, he had it.

I, of course, threw it all out, and stored all his brand new Ikea furniture in the garage.
I mean, sauce packets don't hold value, they are free.

I finally got a call several weeks later.
It was the creepy tenant.
He said, in a super casual way, "I think I may have left a few things behind in the apartment."

Uh, yeah.

When he showed up to collect his belonging, he had no interest in the furniture, dishes or fridge.
He didn't even care about the check with the remaining deposit owed to him.
He was, of course, looking for his sauce collection.
And he was quite upset when he found out that I had thrown them away.

I mean, it is rather annoying when you run out of soy sauce.


The Sad Ceiling Fan

>> Thursday, September 25, 2014

This is the saddest, and grossest, ceiling fan that I have ever seen. 
This was submitted by Sinead G. 

"I am an Assistant Community Manager of a 432 unit property and loving every day of this insane career.

This resident had gone home for the summer (student) and called the day before returning to ask maintenance to turn on his a/c... so it would be nice and cold when he arrived.(side note: You are a very nice manager) 

The maintenance team quickly opened and closed the door to call a hazmat team. All of the photos were taken by the hazmat team, I can't claim them! There was a pinhole leak in a hot water pipe. He was downstairs, so the water and heat of the summer created this masterpiece of a property management nightmare. Our maintenance team informed us (months later) that his photo is now used as the beginning slide of the "Mold Remediation" course PowerPoint they attend annually."

Thanks for sharing Sinead G. 

Now, I've seen black mold, but I can't say that I've seen the gold and reddish beads before. 
It looks looks rather festive. 
In a barfy kind of way. 


Maintenance Woes

>> Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The buttons on my (two year old) microwave stopped working.
I called LG, and the operator asked me to try pushing the buttons again.
As if I declared the buttons were not working without having actually pushed them.
I humored her, and pushed the buttons.
Still not working.
She asked me to push them harder.
So, I did.
Again, not working.
I don't claim to be a genius, but I have been using a microwave for about 20 years, and I am fairly proficient in pushing the buttons on the panel.
After a panful 30 minute conversation, where she asked me numerous times to punch different codes into the panel, that doesn't work, and me expelling, it doesn't work, she finally sent someone out.
He arrives, and stands in my kitchen, trying to push all the buttons on the microwave for about fifteen minutes, and then turns to me and says, "your buttons don't work."
Me: "Yes, I know. How do we fix it?"
LG Guy: "I don't know, your buttons they don't work. I think you need a new one."
Me: "It's under warranty, so do you order a new one?"
LG Guy: "I don't know. This model has been discontinued, because the control panel has glitches."
Me: "Like the buttons not working."
LG Guy: "Yes."

- - - -

It is raining outside. 
I walk into the laundry room. 
I see that it is also raining inside. 
I quickly discover that there is a crack in the walkway above the laundry room, causing the leak.
I call my maintenance man. 
Me: "There is a leak in the laundry room roof, can you please come take a look?"
MM: "Why?"
Me: "Uh, because there is a leak."
MM: "That isn't my job."
Me: "How is that not your job."
MM: " Because." 

Well, glad he clarified. 

- - - - 

The company that glazes the countertops arrives in my office to let me know they are done in a vacant unit. 
I say thanks. 
Then, as they are leaving, they casually mention that they had a small fire, but no damage. 
I walk into the vacant unit. 
I turn the corner, walk into the kitchen, and I see that yes, they had a fire. 
The entire white stove, is now black. 
All the plastic buttons are burned off. 
And the cabinets above are burnt. 
It took over six months to get them to pay for the damage. 

- - - - 

We had the pool deck redone, since the current one was peeling. 
I had to close the pool for two weeks. 
That is two weeks of listening to tenants complain about how they can't use the pool, and they should get a rent discount, despite the fact that it was mid-January, cold, and the pool is not heated. 
The day came to open the pool. 
I took down the caution tape. 
I walked onto the pool deck, and then slipped around until I ungracefully plopped myself on a nearby lounge chair. 
It was a little misty outside, and the pool deck was like a giant slip n slide. 
I bent down and touched the slippery surface. 
Again, I am not a genius, but isn't the pool deck supposed to have some sort of, you know, grainy texture? 
So, people don't die when they step out of the pool. 
I called the deck guy. 
I said, "I need you to come back out, because the pool deck is way too slipper."
Deck Guy: "No it's not."
Me: "Yes it is. I think you forgot to put the sand into the paint."
Deck Guy: "Bottom line, am I getting paid or not?"
Me: "Come back out, fix the problem, and then yes, you will get paid."

Never heard from him again. 

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