There are some great anecdotes here.. please add more!

Hey everyone.

I have been lurking on these forums for years, and I have to say I have that rubbernecker syndrome where I absolutely love to hear anecdotes of tenant horror stories, great deals (like propertymanager’s recent one), hilarious inexplicable events, renovation “discoveries”, etc. If anyone has any little funny/interesting/horrible stories that they havent posted because it didn’t fit a topic, please post it here. Some of you guys have great writing styles and I encourage more…

I can add only a few of my own…

When I was a college student, I was desperate and broke and made the mistake of taking on a “resident manager” job for some rundown student and section 8 buildings in a certain large midwestern city…

While I worked this job, I had the pleasure of:

  • Being offered $100 by the hunchback owner of the building to kill a tenants cat (I declined)
  • Having to move and store all the furnature of a woman who moved out in the middle of the night, leaving her TV on, food laying out, etc. She was supposedly on the run from an angry pimp, if you believe what the other people in the building said.
  • Had to go buy a bunch of smoke detectors at Meijers and then run around at 10 pm, installing the detectors and removing bars from bedroom windows, because a fire inspection was going to happen the next day. I still remember a sweet old grandma sitting there smiling at me while I tore up her walls trying to get the bars out.
  • Having to clean up some kind of horrible organic substance from a corner of the stairwell in front of someone I was trying to impress enough to get to date me.
  • Almost blew myself up, also in front of this same person, while replacing a timer for the building lights…

(Some explanation on that one: This ghetto firetrap building had its hallway lights connected to a cut-off plug from an extension cord that came out of the wall in a storage room, which was plugged into a timer, and one day the timer broke. It was one of those cheap plug-in timers you get to turn your lights on during vacations. Anyway, I bought a new one, plugged it in, and BOOM sparks everywhere, then darkness. Turns out the neutral to the plug was tied into the building’s neutral, but the plug itself wasn’t polarized, and I had accidentally flipped it when plugging it in)

  • Also dirtbag FILTHY tenants, a rabid raccoon in the basment (terrified female tenants cowering in the corner shrieking) and finding the owner wouldn’t pay for the late-night visit from animal control, so I had to get it out myself with a piece of metal conduit and an old pet carrier I found, and a drunken painter that spilled paint all over himself then passed out. (What is it with drunken painters btw??)

  • Oh yeah almost forgot… I can’t count the number of times I had to explain the concept of making sure the shower curtain was INSIDE the shower before taking one. Is this a foreign concept in the hood or something?

Yeah so obviously now that I’m older, I’ve only been considering commercial, mostly storage units. No tenants flushing toothbrushes down the toilet, and if you dont pay your rent, I get to sell your stuff at auction!

Anyone else want to throw more stories in?

Great stories! Even as a teenager I always preached about storage units!

I wanted to add a few things…

Are there any blogs that are like propertymanagers’, that are a straightforward account of their lives in real estate investing?

Also, I was fascinated to learn that the city of Montreal, Canada, has a “moving day”, where by custom ALL of the leases expire on the same day, July 1st. (which is also Canada Day) I read about how very often as one tenant is moving their stuff in, the other is moving theirs out. Obviously, its apparantly impossible to find parking spots or moving vans that day. This article I found even mentions tenants moving their own refrigerators, so I guess the landlording business up there is quite, quite different.

Here’s a rehab story from my local newspaper:,0,6298203.story

More stories on the developing events:

Apparently someone was remodeling and found a giant hidden child porn stash that belonged to the former owner.

Here’s one on the most wanted (by the courts) flipper in Buffalo…I could see this same scenario playing out in Detroit now: