Thursday, May 21, 2009

Burning in Hell: Landlord and Property Manager Chronicles

I think there must be a special place reserved in hell for landlords and property managers. Maybe there are some good ones out there -- I just haven't had the pleasure of renting from them.

I have lived in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years. In that time span I have rented five different places. Usually things are fine. You pay your rent. You pay your rent. You pay your rent. Things seem to go relatively well until you need something repaired, and then all hell breaks loose. Here is one of my horror stories.

My sister and I lived in an apartment complex called Merridy Manor in Northridge (side note: Northridge is pretty much the armpit of the Valley in Los Angeles, but whatever -- these were the college years).

One day the toilet was backed up. You know -- it wouldn't flush, and water just quietly rose and swirled to the top of the bowl where it threatened to spill over. We tried the plunger trick, but it didn't work. We called the management office and told them the toilet was backed up and that we needed it fixed right away.

A couple of hours passed by, and nobody came to fix it. I put on my bitch hat and my Scary Mary voice and called building management again and told them TO GET SOMEONE UP HERE TO FIX THIS RIGHT NOW.

A few minutes later the old and grouchy property manager showed up and headed straight for the bathroom.

My sister and I sat in the living room watching tv and waiting.

A few minutes later old man property manager yelled at full tilt from the bathroom: I FOUND THE PROBLEM!!!!

Sis and I looked at each other aghast. We did not want to know what the "problem" was, we just wanted the toilet fixed.

Seconds later old man property manager came in to our living room SWINGING A BLOODY TAMPON. He shook it at us and yelled at us: YOU CANNOT PUT THESE THINGS IN THE TOILET!!! EVER!!!

We were speechless. Dumbfounded. Appalled and defenseless.

He got the last word. We did not say a thing.

If you have any doozy landlord stories, feel free to relay in the comments section. Or just post them on your own blog and link back to me, por favor.

Or, if you are a landlord or property manager and this post angers you, feel free to do a version about awful tenants. I am sure you have many a story to tell.


down and out chic said...

OH MY GAWD!!! haha, this is too funny. and yuck.

Kim said...

I made the mistake of reading this while eating my lunch:(

I am right here with you on this topic. Shaune and I only recently in the last two years have bought a house - a semi actually. Up until then we were renting and had never once had a landlord we didn't want to hire someone to kill. Our last one was the best/worst. Our alcoholic/loser landlord hung out on the property all day long everyday. Our part of the old house was ground level so we had to keep all of our blinds closed all the time or we'd have to watch him and his homeless drunk friends shirtless setting off fireworks (what??!!) or chopping up wood - for what I don't know. We found out near the end of our stay that he had rigged the hydro so that we were actually paying for his enormous shed to be heated (he often had one of his buddies living out there throughout the winter). For 3 months I didn't have any hotwater in the kitchen sink because the people upstairs hadn't paid their hydro (he had rigged it so that all sorts of weird payment plans were going on). Since the tenants upstairs were members of the Hell's Angels and in jail at the time, I had to live with the no hotwater until I threatened to stop payment on my rent check if the landlord didn't go down to the hydro office and pay the overdue bill himself. I've never been so happy as I was the day we moved into our new home. It was a nightmare and I can't believe we didn't press charges or something.

mylittlebecky said...

"i found the problem" that's the worst thing ever! but still funny :)

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Dude, at least he showed up.

NIKI said...

Im young!!! :D

Pop Champagne said...

oh man he touched your tampon?! THAT'S NASTY!

clorivak said...

Badum Ching...bahahah...too funny. That would of been slightly embarassing.

I have to rack my brains of a story. I've lived in many a rental, there must be something. Maegan said...

omg that bloody tampon.


..He gotcha-# !

That is a total girl-move-gone-bad. You just made a public service announcement to all girls who pay rent: "Respect the plumbing".

Sorry I cannot reciprocate, I have only ever had lovingly-look-after-me land lords.

creative kerfuffle said...

i found the problem! really, how gross that he not only brought it out to show you but touched it to begin w/! he could have just fixed it then said, oh, btw, don't flush sanitary products.
we haven't rented for a long time but before we got married the hubs and i rented the cutest little, OLD house. it had character but was tiny and OLD. the door from the laundry room to the back deck was wooden and the bottom part was cracking. hubs told the landlord. landlord said he'd fix it. rather than replace the door, he took two brass door kickplates and sandwiched some styrofoam in the middle to replace the bottom part of the door! i kid you not.

sexypoet said...

i really don't have horror stories about rentals. actually i have to give a shout out to rich. he was our landlord for 5 years before we bought our house. this man would show up same day to fix everything himself and, if something broke beyond repair, he'd try to replace it the same day.
this man always went above and beyond what a normal landlord has ever done. this man and his wife frequently popped over to check on me when hubby would deploy. (just to see if i was alright or needed anything)
he is an awesome human being and i was incredibly lucky to have stumbled upon one of his rentals. we are actually all still very friendly today and still go out occasionally.

Chessa! said...

that's is so F&$#! disgusting. seriously. I know you're not globalizing it and saying that all LL's an PM's fall into this family has been in the real estate business for over 30 years and never has there been a situation like this. Of course some tenants are no prize...those are fun dinner conversations...there are a lot of nuts in NYC...but still...this goes BEYOND!!!!!!!

Bella said...

Ohmygod!!! That's craaaazy!

P.S. Don’t forget to stop by and enter the CURRENT/ELLIOTT jeans Giveaway! Xxx

g. said...

Oy. You win!

diane said...


Kitten said...

This story does not involve any household fixture, but does involve some VERY LOUD neighbors.

I lived on the second floor of a condo complex. There was one guy who lived directly above me who had very loud sex in the middle of the living room floor. I could hear the rhythmic squeaks and creaks in the floor almost every night around midnight, right as I was trying to fall asleep. Then he and his lover would go out on the balcony and howl at the moon. You think I'm kidding when I talk about the howling; I'm not.

Then Sex Freak got a puppy. It barked all night long. And I mean, ALL NIGHT LONG. Whether it had the sexual habits of its owner, I don't know, but it was always very loud.

At this point I called my landlord. I did not tell him about the loud lovemaking, just the dog. My landlord, who was a great guy, called me back and explained that he was having trouble getting in touch with Sex Freak's landlord.

You see, even though I lived in an apartment complex, all of the apartments had different landlords. I found out, when I moved out a year later, that the apartments were once subsidized housing units which the state sold as condos, first to private owners, then the rest to a property management company. This explains why no one had the same landlord.

I own my own place now. Things, fortunately, are very quiet where I live. No horny neighbors...or dogs.

Emily said...

Have you checked out today's Passive Aggressive Post? It SOO fits with your post:

Kellie said...

Ew! He actually brought it out swinging it around? That's just nasty!

Jake Hammell said...

Well, I have a good and bad story to share.
First, when I moved in to my first apartment, about three months after living there the landlords (An, ancient, angry, eastern European immigrant couple) sent my roommate and I an angry letter stating that we were going to be evicted for having an extra person live with us.
Well, nobody extra was living there aside from the occasional friend who we let sleep on the couch after a night of heavy drinking. So we called the landlord, and they informed us that they had received an extra cheque in their mail. One without a name as to who it came from.
So naturally they assumed it was us for some reason. They didn't like me either, one time the husband came in and started calling me dishonest, and said I had something to do with “1972.” I couldn't really understand him because of his accent, and I have no idea why I was being so dishonest or what I did in 1972 (which by the way, is before I was born). But whatever it was, it pissed him off!

Now for my good story. After I finished college I lived in the beautiful town of Cranbrook, B.C. When I moved back to Manitoba I got a place with super hot landlord. She was gorgeous! Plus she charged cheap rent for a great place, was always friendly, we got along wonderfully, and the only time I had a problem (a lighting fixture fell partway out of the roof) she sent her cool husband to come fix it post-haste. I think we got along because she thought she was being too overbearing (she wasn't) and because I was so easy going, always paid my rent on time, and kept the lawn refuse free!
Plus she was super-hot! Did I mention that already?
For Christmas she dropped off a plate of fudge too.
When I moved out she seemed genuinely disappointed (I admit I was a little sad to leave too) and said that if I ever needed a reference I could count on a glowing report from her.
Before I left, to be nice, I replaced the cracked window at the top of the stairs since I knew she was renovating and trying to sell the place.
*sigh* I miss that place.

Hanako66 said...

omg...that is HORRIBLE!!!!

when Hub and I had an apartment in Fullerton, our upstairs neighbor overflowed his toilet that rained on our dining area not one....two....but THREE times! The property manager thought that a little steam clean and fans would do the trick, but I stared at the poo spot on our ceiling until I decided it was time to get out....regardless of how much I enjoyed living NEXT door to my favorite bar.

....funny thing is that part of my job now consists of being a "property manager," among other things.....all commercial tenants and mostly land, so hopefully I get to go to heaven:)

Amy said...

Gross! That is foul! I don't know any men that would touch even their wives tampons much less a strangers! Ewww!

Lynn said...

Almost as bad as Will Farrell's landlord, Pearl!

Awesome Sara said...

I'm lucky enough that the people who fix thr broken stuff are nice. but ewwwwww i cannot beliee he touched it!!!1 i dont even like touching mine!!!! EWWWWWWWW

Felicia said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! I have one story, but instead of boring you I will just say that this bitch was DUMB AS HELL. And then it turned out she was one of my best friend's old co-workers and she pretty much backed up my conclusion. And I went to school for one semester at Northridge!!

Awesome Sara said...

I KNOW I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU!!!! Droll and awesome sitting in a tree,
B-L-O-G-G-I-N-G!!! Shoot, no lezzy stuff with me, va-jazzies scare me!

thereddeer said...

Ya gross. But you can't put them in the toilet - they do clog up the pipes. Stoopid bloody women's products!

bearer of three said...


Elizabeth Marie said...

1. I'm back to with two functioning eyes.

2. That happened to me! And the maintenance guy was SO HOT. He like yelled at me! I wanted to die. I moved quickly thereafter.

3. love to love to love ya love yaa love yaaaa

sherri said...

and where are you supposed to dispose of tampons? we had a landlady who was a total freak and lived next door (never a good set-up) and she kept her poor cat tied to the stoop outside her front door every day with a short leash of twine.

Pyzahn said...

Yeah, I've had a lot of crappy landlords, but right now I'm fed up with the hillbillies next door. I swear the guy has an IQ of an omeba...and that's an insult to the protozoa family.

I have a tall hedge of shrubs growing at the back of my property so I don't have to look at the likes of him and he continues to throw his trash in the bushes. Over and over and over again. I call him on it. He reluctantly cleans it out. Then he does it again because he's too lazy to walk 30 feet to the dumpster. Laziest man I have ever met.

Their property looks like a spin off of Sanford and Son. He plays this rave techno "music" ALL the time. And he yells obscenities at his kids.

Now I've gone and got myself all worked up.

Lianne said...

OMG Lynn -- I absolutely adore Pearl. Funniest landlord spoof ever. Too bad they aren't that funny in real life. My first place in Vancouver was a tiny, ground floor studio. The winter of 1990 was a cold one. When I complained to the landlord that I had no heat -- and hadn't had any for three days he told me to just turn my oven on and open the door. Voila -- heat. He never did turn show up.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I can't believe the guy actually picked it up much less bring it out to show you! Uncouth to say the least!!

I had a landlord come in to fix the oven that just didn't seem to light. It was a gas oven and I guess the pilot light was out and I was not about to figure out how or where to light it. Guess what the smart guy did? Opened the door, lit a match to find where to light it and POOF...singed his eyebrows! Oh, yeah...loved it!


I would think of you the next time I buy Tampons & strawberry jam or even ketchup!...hehe*

E.K. said...

Ha! What's your bitch hat look like?

Maria Killam said...

Years ago I had the exact same thing happen to me except that he at least put it in a baggie before showing it to me. Nice.

And I loved your Scary Mary voice expression, I am stealing that for myself as I also can put on a bitch hat as fast as the best of em!

Great post!
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Penny said...

That's a good one!LOL,it actually happened to a friend of mine,but while she was still living at her parents' house.Awkward!

I've only rented 2 places,the one I am in now,and the place I lived last year.I only lived there about 4 months when winter came,with lots,and lots of rain.The little house I lived in was in the lowest part of town,with a canal running about 50 yards away from it.One morning I woke up,with my place completely flooded,water up to your calves.After I moved out,at first temporarily,I asked my landlord what they were going to do to make sure the canal wouldn't flood into my place again,and she said nothing really,they are just going to paint the place over again.

So yeah,I stayed moved out after that.The places' tiles were all damaged from the huge amounts of water so they would break like little sticks when you walk on them.Not very nice.

erin@designcrisis said...

I've actually always been lucky with landlords, although once when we lived in Hawaii with my mom our married landlord (whose initials were KKK) had a crush on my mom, and would not stop stalking her! Creepy to da max.

Scary tampon story, btw. Sadly, I have also learned the hard way not to flush them. Bummer.

Diana said...

in other parts of california, renter's insurance is required. la and oc are the only place where they don't have it and i believe it's because of stories like this!

Janelle Mentesana said...

My sharehouse had the same problem. Our inside toilet was breaking all the time. The landlords sons would come over all the time to fix it, then a week later it was broken. The landlord was so stingy he wouldnt get a real plumber out to fix it. After 1 yr it got fixed. BUT we once had a massive party and our outside toilet got blocked. It was filled with everything you could think of...spew, shit, wee, tampons and toilet paper. The toilet was FULL. We called our landlord and he got out his sons to fix it, they said "there is no way we're fixing this", and they left. Then the plumber came and said the same thing. My housemate had to put a hose down the toilet and it overflowed into everywhere. gross story.

p.s who flushed the tampon down the toilet?

Denise said...

Hahaha, I have to agree with Pop Champagne!
how embarrassing, but still a pretty hilarious scene you can laugh about afterwards, i suppose? ;D

La Belette Rouge said...

Really, like you, I am now speechless. HORRIBLE. That is a man a little too comfortable with feminine hygiene.