One Too Many

Real Estate Agent with Foster Realty, Inc.
I am a Property Manager. The owner of every property I manage is my boss. While I treat all tenants fairly and honestly, I owe my fiduciary duty to the property owner. This is not usually a problem. Usually. Joey has been my tenant for over 10 years. He's a good kid. We have watched him begin his career, get married and start a family. He and his wife just recently welcomed a new addition to their family. Unfortunately, the condo association where he lives says that baby is one too many for that unit and he needs to move somewhere bigger. A few days after this announcement, Joey asks to talk with me. He calmly and politely informs me that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He is concerned that he will be late with his rent because he has lost some hours at work in order to get treatment. He is also concerned that he will not be able to afford a bigger unit. I talk with the condo association about Joey's health and financial concerns. To their credit, they agree that this is an unusual situation and that they will not pursue the matter for the time being. However, the owner sees things differently...very differently. She has financial difficulties and has decided to sell the unit. She is not concerned with the tenant's problems. We are instructed to give Joey a notice to vacate immediately and we do as we are told. She is the boss. We locate a small unit for Joey and his family. It is a quite a step down from where he was, but he is grateful. The stress has caused his blood pressure to rise which in turn requires the suspension of his treatments. My staff requests authorization to use the company truck to help Joey move. Things go well and they are settled in their new home. The owner is informed that the tenant has vacated and the unit has been cleaned. Her response? "Good, go ahead and rent it again." When I can finally find the words to speak, I tell her that I will do as instructed. She's the boss.

Comments (6)

Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Oh Sylvia: She has you legally, as there were one too many people int he condo.. so you can't get her on discrimination and fair housing laws... but oh boy does she come close... what  a piece of.... Good luck with her and watch your step- she sounds like bad news. Best, Gay

Nov 10, 2010 12:07 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Tough story & situation.  God bless Joey & his family.  Way to go on finding something to help him out. 

Have you ever thought of firing an owner?   I appreciate that all business is important, but sometimes if an owner is dramatically different from how you handle things, I feel like we are not a match and we part ways.  

Also, please join us in the property management group!!!!  This should be posted there, and folks who all do PM would have some good thoughts. 

All the best, Michelle

Nov 10, 2010 12:09 PM
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Oh goodness, Elsie...what a story! In pidgin, I mean: "Wat kine landlord iz DAT?" On one hand, I'm happy that Joey has moved on (thanks to you and the condo association) but on the other hand, it's unbelievable how cold-hearted some people can be...even if she's your boss.


Nov 10, 2010 12:11 PM
Cathy McAlister
Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento - Sacramento, CA
Sacramento DRE#00648507

You think that will last?  You will do your job and find another tenant.  What do you want to bet the seller will be back in 2 or 3 months, having changed her mind again on selling.     As to Joey.... he may just be better off without her.

Nov 10, 2010 12:26 PM
Bill Pohl
Tetra Homes, Inc. - Loveland, OH

You did a great service by relocating Joey. It is amazing to me the hardness of some individuals like your owner. Keep up the good work.

Nov 10, 2010 12:35 PM
Laura Pearlman Broker Associate
Gold Crown Unlimited, llc - West Palm Beach, FL
Excellence Through Experience and Resourcefulness

You did good by Joey, he was lucky to have you on his side! As far as the landlord, your client...I wouldn't write what I think of her out of respect for you and your blog.... I will say KARMA..There is a special place for her....

Nov 10, 2010 12:50 PM