June 13, 2016 by phicks2012
Every once in a while, even with rental property, disasters don’t quite turn out to be disasters. I like those times!!
After spending a LOT of time and effort in April and early May getting the last of my rental units ready for a new tenant — and then dealing temporarily with the Tenant From Hell (hereafter referred to as the TFH) — I was ready for a serious cessation of DRAMA! After spending a bundle refurbishing that unit, and after paying to have a bathtub refurbished in another unit, and after paying two different plumbers (long story) to unstop yet another tenant’s toilet after someone flushed facial wipes, I was ready to STOP SPENDING MONEY for a while. But then I got a phone call on June 8th from my management agents telling me that yet another tenant had issues. AAACCCKKK!
Reports like this can be like a game of “Gossip”though. By the time the information reached me by phone the unit had “no water pressure”, the refrigerator was “broken”, and the living room ceiling was “falling in”. This was my newest tenant (other than the recently absconded TFH) and a nice person who had been paying her rent and taking excellent care of the unit. I’m very inclined to want to keep tenants like that happy — within reason of course — so I asked my agents for her phone number and called her directly to get a better idea of what actually was going on.
Her story was just a “tad” different. The refrigerator was “turning on and off”, the “shower-head” had no pressure (everything else was fine), and she said she’d heard a “thunk” in the living room and when she’d gone to investigate she’d found a hole in the ceiling and some plaster dust on the floor. I told her we’d be by the next afternoon, and rang off.
Jason and I discussed it, and the frig in the unit formerly housing the TFH (while it worked) no longer had brackets on the doors to hold items on the door shelves either in the lower part or in the freezer. They’d been there when we’d cleaned it prior to the TFH moving in, but somehow they’d vanished, so I wanted to take a road trip to a place I’ve used before (you CANNOT beat their prices) and pick up another frig. I figured we could swap out the existing tenant’s refrigerator, check out the one she had, and if we could get it working put that into the other unit — hauling off the one with no door shelves.
So on the morning of June 9th we took our road trip and picked up a replacement refrigerator — it even had an ice-maker. Then we went in to the unit with all of our fingers crossed.
As it turned out, nothing was wrong with the tenant’s existing refrigerator. Every time she pushed it back against the wall the power went in and out — because the wall outlet needed replacing and the power was fluctuating. Jason handled that in a matter of minutes when we returned with the needed part the next afternoon, but we decided to swap out the frig anyway, so she’d have an ice-maker, and to move the one in her unit into the other unit. Hey! Both units would be getting upgrades that way!!!!
There was nothing wrong with the water pressure at all. The shower-head simply needed replacing. Easy Peasy, right? In 2 minutes it would have been done, since I’d already picked one up, if only the pipe coming out of the wall had been threaded rather than being “old style” and having a ball on the end. I had to pick up an adaptor and thought to take care of that the next day too, only the adaptor didn’t work, so we’re going to have to replace the whole shower arm, but I’m told that’s simple. I hope it will be! I’ve recently discovered that some simple fixes don’t “quite” turn out that way, and don’t want to jinx myself by being OVERLY optomistic!
As for the living room ceiling, it had a hole in it that could be entirely covered by my palm, and looked as though something in the crawl space had fallen and poked through from above. Jason looked up at it, and said “This is the unit where some idiot decided to hang sheet rock in the crawl space. I’m willing to bet a piece of that fell and did that damage!” Well, that turned out to be EXACTLY what had happened, so the next day (with ladder in hand) he ascended and resecured the sheetrock — too much of a hassle and mess to pull it out through the access hatch — and then it took like 5 minutes to patch the hole in the ceiling. It does need a bit of sanding, but it’s essentially done.
We will have to go back one more time to finish everything up, and that has been slightly delayed by car trouble having nothing to do with rental property, but the tenant is pleased with what we’ve done so far, and the work will be finished soon.
So what, at the initial report, had sounded like THREE MAJOR DISASTERS turned out to be (almost) none. Yes, I wound up buying a frig (but at a ridiculously low price), a shower-head shower arm (the jury is still out on the ease of this one), and an outlet, but the actual work itself has thus far turned out to be minimal, and in the end the still empty unit will have a better refrigerator than it started out with and the existing tenant has already gotten one with an ice-maker.
Sometimes things do work out without breaking the bank, or taking days of back-breaking labor. Sometimes there ARE “Quick Fixes”, and sometimes problems aren’t nearly as bad as they sound to start off with! YES!!!!