Sunday, 6 November 2011

Types of Potential Renters

End of previous month/Beginning of the month: People to tend to be more cautious in life. They do not want to give notice at the current place without having somewhere to go. They make quick decisions but tend to look for places that are renovated/updated and care about the neighbours and building. These people confirm their appointments, show up early, and if they can't make it or find another place before they look at yours, they call and cancel politely. 

Mid-month: Have given notice to their current place and are looking a apartments causally. They want to see EVERYTHING that is available and they are looking EVERYWHERE....Richmond, Van, New West, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, etc...They do not make quick decisions as the do not want to make a bad one. They take applications with them instead of filling them out at the building and always say "we will get back to you". These lookers also tend to pull A LOT of no-shows. They are in no rush and have looked at dozens of place, so if they are tired after work, "fuck it, lets just sit and watch tv". These people are super annoying to deal with and always waste my time. These are the people that get back to you 10 days later and are annoyed when it is no long available.

End of Month: The desperatos!! These people will take ANYTHING! They walk in the door, stand, look, and ask for an application. They offer cash to hold it until the application is approved. They don't care about the layout, renos, neighbours, building, etc....they just want it....they NEED it! They will do ANYTHING to get it!! These people usually have shitty credit, little to no income, and have already been rejected from a lot of places. This lot also includes people going through break-ups, divorces, fights with room-mates, and people getting kicked out of their current places. The odd time you find a diamond in the rough....usually these ones are left overs from the mid-monthers who have waited to long to make a decision about the dozens of place they have already seen and now have realized, they are fucked and need a place ASAP. These people rarely pull a "no-show" and when they phone, they want to see it NOW!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

(You Drive Me) Crazy

There is a woman, and she’s a humorous level of nuts.

I met her when we took over the building, and she put in a request for a repair. Her door was a little sticky, probably because the police had to break it in. Why you ask? Oh! She was having a bi-polar spell and was reported to be throwing her furniture out of the window. She lived on the second floor, but at least the chick likes to keep her place clean.

True Story.

Then she called and mentioned that her kitchen sink was dripping. It’s not a big deal, its about a gallon every 6 hours. Then she called and mentioned that her kitchen sink was dripping. A few days later, she called and mentioned that her kitchen sink was dripping. It was about a gallon every 6 hours. A few days later, she called and mentioned her faucet was dripping. Now it’s about 1 gallon every 5.5 hours. Just a heads up-that sink is still dripping. We’re wasting water.

Think I’m being facetious? She’s programmed into my phone as “nutbag”.

That was nothing.

One day she called that he bathroom sink supply line was leaking, from under the cupboard. Now, completely unrelated to her, we both went through a phase where we did not give a fuck about that building. I was working, and didn’t feel like leaving my jobsite to go running over to that shithole-again-to have to deal with “nutjob”. This problem happened to land right smack dab in the middle of neither of us giving a poo.

So Dino told her I’d be there at 6. It was 10am.

I tried to tell them that the plumbing in the building was screwed. I know what some of you are thinking-turn off the shut off valves, right? Nope. None of them work.

She started calling every 30 minutes with an update. The water has reached the carpet. The water is now 3 inches into the carpet. She would provide estimates on the water volume. I mentioned she was bi-polar, right?

Finally Dino lost it and told her the next time she calls, she had better be floating. She called back 30 minutes later.

OK, so I gave up and went over. Of course, it was the hot water, so I had to change out a supply line with it running. Awesome. Got that fixed. Then it was, what are we going to do about the stained carpet?

I’ll get back to you.

One day she called and I had to talk to her. Her bathtub was slow in draining. She started asking if I had a tool that could go into the drain and clear it out. She didn’t know what it was called, but a long tubey thing that goes into a drain and cleans it.

Me: “I don’t think anything like that exists”

Her: “Oh, its this thing and its long, and like coiled metal in a plastic case that unwinds into the drain and clears it out...blah blah blah...”

I mentioned I do renovations right? I totally knew what she was talking about. Did I have any interest in going into her apartment to clean out a gob of her rotting pubes from her drain?

She then called 2 more times, leaving 5 minute long voice mails describing what it was. She asked her brother, and he said it was a plumbing snake, available at Home Depot. Then she went on to describe-again-in detail, what it was.

I mentioned she was bi-polar, right?

I hear footsteps

She called one night, concerned, because she thought someone was trying to break in from the roof.

What fucking neurons are mis-firing tonight? Is there medication you can be on?

So I listen to her descriptions, in mind-numbing detail. Then I take a moment before I blow her mind for her.

“You know there is a penthouse apartment above you, right?”


“oh, well, its probably them.”

Yeah. Maybe.

I fear for the less fortunate

Another night, another phone call. I have really learned to dislike “sabotage” by the Beastie Boys(It’s my ring tone)

It was last winter during the bad cold snap we had.

She kind of knows this guy, and he’s homeless. It’s really cold outside.
Oh fuck. I know where this is going.

She actually phoned to ask if she would be allowed to let him sleep in the laundry room.

Now, I get very few tenants truly surprising me. Some shock me, but few surprise me. And this was a surprising level of crazy.

I tell her, if you are that concerned, why don’t you let him sleep on your sofa?

“Oh, well that doesn’t seem really safe. I don’t know him THAT well. “

Well, by all fucking means then! You don’t know him, or trust the homeless guy enough to sleep in your house, but let’s expose the rest of the building to the risk of having a squatter in the goddamn basement.

I said to her, I want this to be clear. Crystal clear. You are NOT allowed to have some dude sleeping in the hallways. I want you to repeat it to me. I need to hear you say it.

The next day when I was at the building, I saw that it had been broken into. My first thought when I was talking to the police was that they needed to question her about this homeless guy.

Turns out it was cokie the bear.

"Morning Train(nine to five)"

The title really has nothing to do with this other than to me. Go with it.

This was really crisis averted. Every building seems to have units that are less desirable than others. Thankfully now, we renovate our way out of these problems. Yeah, its ground accessible, but try to find an apartment that looks this good somewhere else.

She took this unit before we started that program. I painted it nicely, but the kitchen and bath was nasty. Still is actually.

So she moves in. She actually moved in right after 'Darling Vikki' from page one moves out.

A few days go by and we get this huge long, hand written letter under our door. It listed every little thing that was wrong with her apartment. That list included, but was not limited to:

1. The toilet handle jiggles
2. The ceiling fan is loud(I'll grant her this one. I replace them out as part of our new program) There is nothing I can do without ripping a huge chunk out of the ceiling.
3. There was some dirt in the bathroom drawers
4. There is a brass plate on the front door that is loose.
5. The flooring does not continue underneath her stove

There was a few more on the list that I can't remember. I ended up ripping it up in front of her.

So I get nominated to go and talk to her. I go over the list with her and she says to me, "and what recourse do I have if the work is not done to my satisfaction?"

Wrong. Fucking. Question.

So I tell her that she is not my client. When I work in condos downtown, you get to ask that. No one does shit looks pimp, but anyway.

So, I ask the big question.

"What are we really trying to accomplish here? Do you want out of your lease?"

Keep in mind, she has lived there a week.

"If that was an option, then yes, I would like to move."

We hadn't been here that long, and were kinda learning on the run, so I buy some time. We happened to be having a meeting with the owners the next day, and that meeting was vital.

We bring it up, and he says that yes, if she's going to be an issue, then my god get rid of her. Furthermore guys-you have our support. We will always back you. If you make a decision that is in our best interests, whether ultimately right or wrong, we support it.

Fuck yeah! That's a system I can work with. After that meeting, our attitude changed dramatically. Not that we went off on seeing how far we could go on that. Not at all. In fact, it almost did the opposite. When someone hands you carte blanche to run with it, the last thing you want to do is ever change that attitude. The only thing you can ever do is screw it up.

She had been pestering us with the hand written notes, and was one of those people that wanted everything done by the book. We told her that she could move, pending us finding someone to rent her apartment. She wanted everything written and signed-basically a document that let her off the hook for the apartment.

So back down I go to talk to her again.

Her mother worked for a PM company, but not as a PM and was there for my conversation. I told them both, that I'm not signing shit. Also, you can sit there saying that I need to give you 24 hours notice to show your apartment, and you are right. I can also say no, I'm not letting you out of your lease, and you can sit here and rot for the next 11 months in an apartment that you hate until you are allowed to move. I'm doing you a favor. Even more, all of this could have been solved with a phone call. You go to move in, and you aren't happy with its cleanliness-call me! I could have had someone clean it in 2 hours.

The mother is just sitting there nodding her head. She finally gets that I'm not a push over and I do actually know how to handle this situation.

And, as soon as she was a member of the building, she was gone. One of the 2 tenants that did 30 day stints.

The funny thing was, she was kind of like this dull girl, with no social life. Lived with her cat,and dressed kinda frumpy.

She kind of reminded me of my ex-girlfriend. After she left, I turned to Dino and said, "you know, as much as I'm happy she's gone, I kind of have this overwhelming urge to move in with her for 6 years."

And we laughed.

The Tenants that Jesus Brought

This is where it all began. Tenant #1. We had no buildings, no experience and a townhouse that we didn't want to live in.

Stuck with an undesired house, we became landlords.

As soon as we took possession, we started pimping out its rental. A couple came in, and they seemed nice. He was a security guard, and she was a waitress, and at $1500/month, we knew enough to know they couldn't afford the place. However, neither could we to be honest, and we didn't have a better option.

And we signed the dotted line.

When I met them, he was a talker. I have come to learn that there are two types of talkers-there are the talkers that just don't know how to shut the fuck up. I can deal with them. There are also the talkers that continually try to 'sell' you. He fit in the latter. He was going on about being a contributing member of his church, wore a cross around his neck, and eventually nailed one to his back as well. He always left the places he lived in better than when he found them. He was a saint with a check book.

I'd like to remind you that we owned this one. It was us on the line.

So off we go. A few months go by, and things seem to be working out well. I'm not paying the mortgage here, so I'm happy. Then they call that there is a problem with the washer. I go to check it out and I'm a little shocked. The dog had been trying to scratch its way out of the garage, so the door jamb is toast. The drywall by the stairs is gouged and damaged. Oh, and before they moved in, I put in some leftover teak flooring I had in the den. It was all scratched. Nice. Even though I didn't buy it, it was $7/sq.ft.

So that was one thing. But the call in February that he had lost his job and they needed to move was quite another. Oh, ps, my daughter had locked herself in the bedroom and I had to smash the door in to get to her was also nice.

In that conversation, we had made arrangements to collect cash from them instead of cashing the check on the first. We go to meet up with him, and the toe was completely different. He steps out in that Christian Audliger? look at me I'm gangsta clothing with attitude. We made further arrangements to do the walk-through on their move out.

In the meantime, we're kinda freaking on the whole situation. It just has this bad vibe. We did manage to re-rent the place, with no downtime.

So we get there on their move out day. Now, embarrassingly enough, I needed to use the bathroom, and we were about 45 minutes early. They weren't there. I broke the rules and decided to use the bathroom that we owned.

The house was a mess. I did feel partially relieved though. Then I realized that the house was a mess, and my relief was short lived. Dog hair was everywhere...floors were a mess, and in a delightful 'fuck you' someone had left a mess in the toilet. Dino and I quickly decided that this was not going to fly. And I got nominated to get that ball rolling.

We were standing in the kitchen, awkwardly, and there was this pause before I said that the place was a mess. They were supposed to replace the door, and that wasn't done. They got angry, and as we had new tenants sitting in their truck in the back drive, I went to quickly make arrangements for cleaners. It was then that he decided to start yelling and swearing at Dino! Right in front of his daughter which was nice.

Oh! I get how the door broke now. Your wife locked herself in there to get away from your rage. Right. I'm there now.

They leave and buy a disposable camera and take their pictures. Cool. We are officially going to arbitration.

Our cleaners, $350 dollars later make the place look spotless. Eastern Europeans man, can't beat 'em.

Thankfully our new tenants were awesome. Gave the situation, and that I was having professional cleaners do their thing, and they took it just awesomely. In fact, we're friends with them on facebook. They left the place spotless when they left.

Fast Forward to Arbitration

First time for Dino. She puts together a package that is supreme court level i quality. Photos and written statements-the whole thing.

We made some mistakes. We didn't send them what was left of the sec.deposit within time. However, originally, we were going to let them go if they paid for the damages and cleaning. We had to reduce the rent by $100 to re-rent it.

They sued us for everything-double the sec.deposit back. We were faced I think possibly paying $1200 to these losers.

So we went after them for everything.

Her attitude on the phone was horrible. For those that haven't been through it, usually the 'judge' asks if they can facilitate an agreement. Dino offered for them to pay the cleaning, pay for the door, drop my labor to install and paint the door and walk away.

It was refused. The judge asks her, 'are you sure?" Remember, the judge has already seen the evidence.

"I'm sure."

OK-did you steam clean the carpets? "No." When you have a pet, you are responsible to clean them.

"Did you damage the door?" "yes."

Did you sign a one year lease? "yes"

Her photos-the ones SHE took to prove the place was clean, had clumps of black dog fur. Dino didn't refer to the photos we took. She used the other parties evidence. You are supposed to make 3 copies of the evidence package, so everyone can refer to the same photos and letters. She mis-labeled some of them, and conveniently forgot to send some to us.


Ultimately, we had to pay them $120 because of the time issue on sending back the sec.deposit and we didn't know that we had to file to keep the deposit if they didn't agree.

We took that as a win, as these guys were fucking flat ass broke and hoping for a pay day from us to pay bills.

We then searched him out on google, and found a bunch of notices regarding an auction of his car for unpaid storage/mechanic fees and he was just screwed.

So for $120, we learned A LOT about dealing with white trash and the RTA.

Super Marion

You know, if you ask certain people around here, she was a fucking saint.

Did you know she’s walk around every evening and tidy up trash in front of the building?

Did you know she’d always be wiping down the washing machines for people?

Did you know she’d vacuum every goddamned day?


And she was the fucking rock star of building management. Everyone loved her. She was so cheery-so pleasant, and just a great manager. Everyone misses her.

That was the perception that we heard every day.

In reality, the paperwork was a mess. We couldn’t find anything. The leases, condition reports, notes and letters were in a huge pile. Rent had never been in on time, and the building was notorious for being unable to be collected on a timely basis.

For the record, we had:

-5 apartments fixed and rented in 1 ½ months
-rent in on time on the 2nd month on the job
-average rent, credit score, median rent have all increased dramatically in the last 2 years.

It wasn’t until we were talking to a tenant that the first crack in her armour was spoken, when out of the blue she said, “I couldn’t stand her. I think it had something to do with her getting railed next door by mystery men while I’m trying to have my morning coffee.”

But one other tenant continued to talk about her like Mother Teresa was a step down. Nothing we could do was right. We didn’t clean enough, do enough or possibly care as much as Super Marion. Dinosaur was on her hands and knees scrubbing the stairwell during renovations-renovations I might add that weren’t even discussed until a guy started running the building that did renovations, and she started complaining. Super Marion would be on top of this. All those questions at the top? They came out of her mouth.

One night there was a knock at the door, and this weird looking woman presents herself like I should already know her name.

“Hello.” She says, “I am Super Marion.”

She’s got red dye #5 hair, and is wearing a pure white, fake fur coat and matching hat. I find it hard to focus on people with a mad looking lazy eye, but I did my best.

And we talk for a bit. The story that comes out of her mouth that really catches my attention, is when she mentions Toothy from page 1. There was a manager here for 3 months between ourselves and Super Marion. He was a fat prick, threatened to remove the front doors of people that didn’t pay on time, and was generally not liked, nor respected.

Toothy I guess had reached out to Marion and talking about how different it was with him there. I mentioned to her that Toothy had moved, and she says, “oh, I remember telling them to hold on a little longer, that a better manager would be there soon. Oh! They were so nice.”

I’m sorry, um what?

They smoked pot, they didn’t pay rent and Hastings meth heads actually had a better set of teeth. What do you mean, hold on. Get the fuck out!
She still to this day occasionally floats around visiting some of the tenants. She basically leaves us alone, as I really don’t think she can recognize the changes to the building, or manage to look like she belongs anymore.

Parking Wars

We had a tenant that we had to evict on our first month doing this job. He arranged to have some storage units dropped off because he was going to couch surf for awhile. He asked where they should be put. I think the easiest place would be the parking spot closest to the door. This is an outdoor parking lot, with no numbers or lettering to assign parking.

No numbers. In any way. Nothing to indicate where you would park. Just want to be clear here-its a blank piece of asphalt(with a few weeds)

Anyway. It so happened that he parked his storage unit where this guy usually parked, and was told by the previous manager was 'his' spot.

So he calls all angry. To be honest, he has one of those. "even when I'm happy I sound angry" accents. I think its a result of dictatorship rule.Someone should author a study. He can't park in his spot! The world is ending.

So I ask, "well, can you park next to it?" In the blank, wide open space adjacent to the storage unit.

"That isn't my spot. This is."

Awesome. The logic runs deep in this one.

I finally talk him down from the ledge and convince him that maybe next to the storage unit would work given its 10pm and I don't give a shit.

I'm getting in my car the next day, and I hear some strange sounds coming from the rear parking lot. Its this guy, dragging some old furniture out of the covered parking.

So I yell down, "hey dude. What up?"

"Well, I can't park in my spot, so I'm going to park here."

So, just to paint a portrait here. Parking next to the offending storage unit is too easy. Instead, we'll drag the crusty furniture out, where it will become wet and crusty furniture and you will now take that spot, which just so happens to be destined to become MY parking spot.

So i tell him no. Put the furniture back where it was, and I tell him I don't care what his issue is, he can park next to the box, or on the street.

And I can feel it coming. I see it before he thinks it. It's getting closer. And he says it.

"you know, you don't care about my issue because I'm black."

And for a second, I actually pause to consider the professionalism of my response, but its too late. My mouth has opened:

"dude, its not that I don't like you because you are black. I don't like you because you are a prick."

First month on the job, and I've already opened myself up to be fired. Or promoted as it turns out. My employers get my sense of humour. The conversation kind of ends on that bombshell.

Then on christmas eve, he decides to steal someone else's parking spot. Dinosaur had to go and mediate that one at 11pm.

Then, after the storage unit went away, several others parked their cars in his spot, and he took to blocking them in. Once, at 2 in the morning, we had an all out fight in the lobby, involving me calling tow trucks, to which he sat in his car and played chicken. Another time, he had blocked another girl in and at 7 in the morning I had to fight with him to get him to move the car.

Finally, I ended up filing for eviction, but managed to break him enough to finally understand the issue and then he moved. My file to support the eviction was thick by the time we were done with him.

It actually worked, that after coming very close to kicking him out, we managed to become 'friendly'.

Besides, this wasn't the only problem we inherited from the previous manager...

Miss 20%

We had just taken over the building. Usually, it takes a while for a building to fall into line. We operate fully on the 80/20 rule. For those that don't know, the 80/20 rule means that 20% of our tenants cause 80% of the problems. So, at a new building, the sooner people nominate themselves to the 20% group, the better.

No one in our experience had nominated themselves faster to the 20% club than this crazy bitch.

We get a call that there is a fight at the building. The crazy bitch forgot her keys, and starts knocking on windows and buzzing everyone in the building to get in. Another tenant comes out and tries to find out whats happening, and she busts past him and runs to her apartment. More chaos ensues until she finally gets back in and the other guy goes home.

A little bit about our little sweetie. My mother would describe her as "gomeless" She's british, I work with it. Basically, she looks at you like she's struggling to understand your words. She's younger, but works at a shit job and contributes nothing to the world except being a prime customer for the local drug dealer.

And she just made a blip on the radar.

We check the mail slot in the office one night, and the tenant that unfortunately let her in, has given us a letter. It actually contains the letter that he witnessed her sliding under his door from his car.

It contains racial slurs, tells him to fuck off, go back to x country you stinky fuck. Your typical hate speech, sprawled in angry big block letters.

You'd almost ask, "why u mad bro?"

It becomes time to introduce ourselves to them, through a monthly inspection!

And that's when we hear from the charming boyfriend. He calls us, and immediatly starts yelling about why we are inspecting their apartment. Dinosaur(my partner, for those just joining us) stays incredibly calm on the phone. They were told before by the owner that they need to clean their unit and we're following up.

He starts yelling and swearing, and hangs up, then calls back to get angry again.

"he says, "I'm going to deny entry. You can't come in."

And Dinosaur, in classic fashion, very simply says, "you can be there, or you can not be there. You can block entry to the door all you want, but our situation will be that much worse at the end of the day. I'm not going away."

So we decide to both be there, for a little back up.

Their apartment is a disaster. Little miss is standing in the middle of chaos and clutter looking like she belongs.

Then we discuss the cat. Its a no pet building, so by definition, the cat in this mess shouldn't exist. She says that they paid a pet deposit, so the cat shouldn't be an issue. We ask her to look for the receipt, and we'll check at the office.

Oh, someone is also squatting in the dining room.

Then we run into them in the hall, all 3. The friend is staying "for a few weeks", and we ask about the receipt for the pet deposit, and they tell us, "we got rid of the cat". OK. Tough love. The boyfriend, the entire time has the look of hate on his face. He does his best work on the phone. In person, he's short, and doesn't have the balls to get into a confrontation.

Out of the blue, Dino gets a call from her, and she starts going off about the pet deposit. We've stolen it, and she's going to get a lawyer and sue us. Dino starts laughing and 'click', hung up on again.


I thought they said they got rid of the cat?

Everything always comes to a head at the beginning of the next month. Writing a check to people you hate always motivates change, I guess.

They moved. The squatting friend is going to take the apartment. This is the solution we get on the phone. Dino says, "well I'm not accepting rent from someone I don't know, so I'll evict him for squatting." And he returns with "well, then I live there." To which Dino says, "well then I evict you for breach of peace" And he actually says, "but I moved out"

So this kid is trying to out smart us? WHAT?

Here's what his mind produces for logic:

The cat's an issue. I don't have the cat. But you stole my pet deposit, which would entitle me to have the cat

I'm an issue. Well I don't live there. My friend lives there. We don't want him either. Then I do live there.

Finally, as bizarre as this story started, it ended. They all abandoned the apartment.

No more contact.

We go inside and discover....

They were growing weed in the bedroom! Not huge amounts, but enough that it would be a pain in the ass to have to move it all for an inspection. Enough that I'm sure it made him angry to do so. Angry enough to lash out.

And finally, they decided that it was easier to move to some other place and start all over again.

And so, this just reconfirmed for us; if you give someone enough rope, they'll hang themselves.


These two are classed in "so not what we were expecting".

Dino showed them, and I signed the lease with them. As I was signing the lease, I had a bad feeling that I didn't like them. Dino had agreed to allow them to paint the unit, as I didn't have time to do so. He kept asking questions about being reimbersed for paint and the entire affair left me with an uneasy feeling-like I was getting scammed.

A little time goes by, and they fall off the radar.

Then we walk past their unit, and pretty much slow down like watching a car accident, we witness the abomination. When Dino was showing them, she was sure to emphasize "neutral, rentable colors".

What we got was greek restaurant on crack. Bright blue on the walls and ceiling, dark blue trim and fuscia accent walls. All painted poorly.

So we start trying to contact them, but they hadn't actually moved in yet. And we decide that we are certainly not paying for this shit. So we know there is a battle coming.

The battle came at the end of the month. Their first month. Their only month. They summoned us for a meeting. They open the door and hand us a paper(ransom list?) of issues, receipts totaling $400 for paint and supplies and tell us they are moving. Today. They also tell us they have bed bugs-which is apparently my fault.

The conversation takes a slightly negative tone as we just say no. You aren't walking out on a minutes notice and with a check for $400 for bright blue and pink paint.

He starts to annoy the shit out of me. He starts telling us exactly what our rights are in the RTA(a real annoyance) and putting words in our mouth. I told him when signing the lease, that because he mentioned that he is sensitive to environmental allergies, that if he needed to leave the building, that we would look at ending his lease for him. How nice am I?

The list on his manifesto of environmental allergens was:

-The lawn guys use gasoline powered lawn mowers, and the exhaust gives him headaches
-The light in the kitchen is flourescent and causes headaches
-dining room light is hanging precariously, falling apart
-cleaners used in hallway causes headaches and smells like bleach(it was Pine sol)
-unable to open dining room window because its next to the laundry vent and causes what? Headaches. I didn't move that, so it was totally there when they looked at the place

The entire manifesto is written to mitigate issues that I'm going to have, telling me I should have no problems renting the apartment in its current colors.

As we are talking, we are getting nowhere. Anything we say is immediately cut off by him, and "but it needs to be this way".

We go away for awhile and try to decide what to do. We are leaning heavily towards just taking him to arbitration, but in that case, he keeps the keys and continues to have access to our building. At this point, we have no idea what he's capable of.

So we try for a negotiated settlement.

I can usually "break" people. I find if you can get someone to at least admit that your position is reasonable, not right or wrong, but at least reasonable, then its not a huge jump from reasonable to being in the best case for us all.

I have no luck. He stares at you with a blank expression. No. The girl on the other hand, who we not so nicely nicknamed squeegee, is a bit more reasonable, and Dino goes for her in a woman-to-woman conversation, relaying between us, the "unreasonable" men. I play it up, being unreasonable and loud, letting Dino be "good cop".

Hot damn! I love our job.

So, they come to a conclusion. We gave up a little and they gave up a lot.

She continued to say things like, "well that's the law" We'll give you the keys back at midnight, because "that's the law". It drives me nuts. In fact, I was in back breaking down a box as she comes to talk to me and I get so mad I start destroying the box and tear a strip off of her.

So. We still had bed bugs right?

We have our pest guy come and take a look, and he immediately calls bullshit. They have one in a jar. We tell them that they will come back with a dog at 11 the next day(the day they are moving) and check further.

We have a terrible nights sleep. The next day, Dino knocks on their door at 10:30am and she opens the door and yells, "its not 11am yet!" and Dino and her end up yelling so loudly I hear her 2 floors up.

He has so nicely taken the time to already write us up in the bed bug registry. One in a jar and apparently I'm infested.

They have all their items bagged up on the balcony, I'm assuming to contain the infestation.

We have an awkward final meeting when they return the keys. We had to have a long drawn out letter stating the circumstances of how and why they were leaving, which for their benefit had to be signed by all parties. He then made us write in how many keys were returned.

No bye. No, "I'm sorry this didn't work."

As they go to just turn and leave, I put a huge smile on my face and say, "thanks guys. Have a nice life!"

They pack their meager shit in the cab like they are evacuating Beirut and tear off.

The dog inspects the unit. Not a single bed bug. Nothing. No droppings, no eggs, nothing.

I think they did have bed bugs, and I think they brought them in. They then bagged up their shit and took them right back out.

It was either that, or they jarred one for show and tell.

We learned a lot from them. Once again, that first instinct is the best instinct.


This chick was fun from our first day on the job. She was horribly late with rent, so we gave her a reminder letter. Still nothing. The next day we gave her a 10 day pay to stay notice-plastered to her front door, right next to our apartment.

Still nothing. On about the 5th or so, basically right before the eviction takes affect, she knocks on my door, with a wad of cash in hand.

So we're talking, and she starts selling me a story that all the previous managers have been cool with the fact that she's sometimes late with rent. I'm just nodding my head listening.

Then its my turn.

I should mention that her apartment constantly smells like weed, the hall outside my door also smells like weed and I hate the smell of weed. Her husband also looks like he's on america's most wanted.

So basically, I ain't gonna like this woman.

So I tell her that I don't care what other managers have done, I want money in on the first. Basically, I hate fucking around, and we decided before we ever started this, that we aren't fucking around.

So she says, "well, I'm pretty close with the owner's father, and maybe I'll talk to him"

Also known as, "I'm just gonna fly over your pretty little head"

My response, verbatim was classic, "feel free to talk to him. I will warn you that I don't operate in a vacuum, and everyone is fully aware of the situation. I'm also going to warn you that while you may be close with him, I'm the one making his benz payments these days, so I'm a little closer to him than you are"

And that is how we came to have rent in on time for the first time in 6 years.

Patricia the Strippa

This one wasn't my building, but a rental condo a building owner client of mine asked me to repaint.

It was a little weird to begin with. First, it was that damn Infinity tower in Surrey which in my mind is cursed.

She also insisted on being home. She had to go out of her way to take time off so it had to be as fast as possible.

Her broken laptop and tiny ass tv didn't look like a great grab to me, but whatever.

She was very surrey. She was a llittle bigger, but dressed a little smaller. You know that classy "things aren't sitting where they are supposed to be" look?

She was friendly to us and kept to herself.

We were working, and she had left briefly, and I said to my worker, "dude, I don't know why, but I have this feeling that she's selling it" We had a good laugh and went on with our work.

I had no idea what gave me that impression. I asked later what she did and her answer was "just a secretary. Nothing too exciting."

I guess it was a vibe, but nothing concrete. On the outside, she looked like a slutty surrey chick.

So a few weeks later, I'm talking to my client and he brings up that apartment, also says its cursed, and says that her and her room mate have turned it into a brothel. Building security had notified up the chain that a lot of guys were showing up and leaving an hour later. She apparently couldn't really deny it.

And that is how I learned to trust my first instinct.

Cokie the Bear

I have to start with this guy, because he was as crazy as it gets. When we took over the building, we were told about his issue. He was living with his mother, who was a long-term tenant. Everyone was aware of his issue, but had done nothing to solve it. He was a heroin addict. He had a gaunt look, and a thin frame and had been using heroin for a long-time.

Tenants had made phone calls and written letters about hookers sleeping in the stairwells and the door being pinned open.

One day he asked dinosaur if we had any issues with renting to someone on welfare. She looked at him straight in the face and said, "we don't have an issue with that in this building, but I do have an issue renting to drug addicts." Boom! Let's put our cards on the table early.

She continued by telling him that she was fully briefed on his story, and with some other vacancies to fill, hadn't made it an issue...yet. But that time was coming.

A few months go by, and we receive word that something tragic had happened. His mother passed away.

Although sad, its something like this that motivates change. We were always left with the option that to get rid of him, we really only could get rid of her, a well, dying old lady on oxygen.

So we checked the papers for her obituary looking for other family members to assist as allies. And we found a name. It was a name I recognized.

His brother was a high profile politician.

I really couldn't believe it when I read more on his bio. It was his half-brother and their stories couldn't be more different. Full scholarship to UBC law. Worked at a high profile law firmand then started a successful political career.

He sad that he'd take care of everything. He'd pay a month's rent, and then cokie would be on his own. He'd pay to clean and leave the unit in good condition and all to protect the name of his beloved mother.

Two months later, that had changed somewhat to "I've done my part, you are on your own."

He squatted in that apartment for 3 more months until we finally got him out. We found a garbage can full of needles, and arterial spray all though the shower, and some on the closet doors.

The end result is I can't believe that a politician lied to us.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Darling Vicki

Were there signs? Yes.

1) constant flow of people. Normal people do not have that many friends showing up all the time
2) they were constantly fighting
3) music complaints
4) they broke up a few times and every time it was "we need to move" "we made up, can we stay"

So this was the way it went for the few months leading up to the party.

Annoying, but not sound the alarm annoying.

At 2am, we get a call saying the front door was broken, and there was someone loose in the building. I swept the building down to find what the issue was, while J went to the front door to deal with the situation there. It didn't take me long to find the commotion in the hall outside Darling Vicki's unit.

I walk into the section and see 10 people hauling a half nude chick out into the hall. She wasn't really half nude by choice, but when someone is being resistant to the move on a carpeted floor, their pants have a tendency not to go along for the ride. I yell out that anyone that is not a tenant of the building has about 5 seconds to vacate. Do not look at me, I'm telling you to leave. Immediately.

That clears the hall. Check.

I tell Darling Vicki and partner to leave the drunk chick alone, as the police are on the way.

That puts the fear of god on their faces. Check.

I went to survey the damage to the lobby. It looks a little like downtown Jerusalem. Glass everywhere, and people standing there with a dumbfounded look on their faces.

The police come and deal with our little drunk friend. Seems she was a rap sheet as long as my arm. It also seems our local police are toothless. No charges. No handcuffs. She gets delivered to the drunk tank and home.

We are cleaning up the glass when Vicki's boyfriend comes down to talk. Hat in hand, and head held low, he knows that he went way past the line.

I get in his face and lose it. I can't even remember what was said. I do remember the theme of the conversation was "it's been quite a ride". Like a good little tenant, he stood there and took it. I stopped mid sentence and stormed out. That's when J took over.

No yelling.

No swearing.

She goes up to him and simply says, "I am going to accept your letter to end tenancy tomorrow morning. You are going to date it for the 1st. You are then going to spend the next 2 weeks avoiding all contact with us."

We didn't get to bed until 4am, after the glass company came and repaired the window, as we sat in a freezing lobby as he came, broke the glass he brought, went back to the shop and came back again.

And that's when we learned that references lie.

Darlin' Vicki-A parody of Prince

I knew a girl named Vikki
I guess you could say she was sleazy
I met her in my apartments lobby
signing a minimum one years lease
and she said anytime she pees it hurts
and I knew
another tenant we should find

one night she had a party
and I just couldn't believe
my eyes
one of her friends had smashed a window
and was nude in the hall tellin lies
the cops told her the rights
took her out in the night
and lil Vikki well,
she was now in a bind

The night turned really long
and we rolled in bed til 4 in vain
I can't tell you what the bill was
but my bank will never be the same
Her parties will kick your behind
she'll show you no mercy