Since we are currently dealing with a tenant with less than stellar housekeeping habits, I found this piece about other people’s [tag-tec]property management[/tag-tec] nightmares quite disturbing.
Mom and daughter problem tenants, Heidi and Debbie Hill, had 72 cats, living and dead, a roach infestation, and tons of trash and cat feces in their tiny one bedroom apartment in Long Beach, California.
Neighbors had long complained about the odor and oddness and had even nicknamed the two animal hoarders “The Dumpster Twins” because they often went out at night collecting discarded things in empty shopping carts.
What was the apartment complex manager’s reaction?
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” said the apartment manager , as she stared at a heap of trash bags crawling with roaches, “Hopefully after people see this they’ll spray and neuter their pets.”
Yeah, right, Ms. Manager .
Where were you when your great tenants were complaining about the problem tenants?
Didn’t you pay attention to those [tag-ice]tenants[/tag-ice] who pay on time and keep their units up to standards?
Could you not smell what we have dubbed “male cat spray”? Your great [tag-self]tenants[/tag-self] could. That’s what they were complaining about.
72 cats plus a roach infestation do not occur over night.
If you receive complaints from good tenants you should at least listen to what they are trying to warn you about. Often, your tenants are your eyes and ears when you can’t be on site 24/7.
“They told me they had only two cats,” the manager said.
Hmmmm. Was one of those that mummified cat found in a plastic box?
It wasn’t until an all out war broke out among the Dumpster Twins and her other great tenants that the manager seemed to get really motivated.
Was that because the police were called? Ironically, guess who called them. Yep, the Dumpster Twins stating the other tenants were harrassing them.
Here’s our advice.
At the very first sign of a problem, get on it, stay on it, and get it solved fast. You have the right to enter the unit for repairs and serious problems. The problem tenants were wrong to keep management and the health department out.
- You must take care of it fast because you’ve got to get ahead of the roach procreation curve. They breed, mature and rebreed round the clock in all kinds of weather. It’s a race against time.
- Take all complaints about problem tenants seriously. If your great tenants are bringing something that they think is important to your attention, consider yourself warned.
- Enforce all pet policies to the letter. One of your biggest tenant problems can be stopped immediately if you don’t allow that first or second animal in the unit. As we know some people never stop collecting live animals.
The apartment manager could have prevented this serious out-of control property management problem at the very beginning had she been more vigilant and proactive. Don’t allow problem tenants and their pets to take over your properties.