Buckets Full

Real Estate Agent with Foster Realty, Inc.

I manage a second floor unit in a three-story walk-up.

The tenant calls and is hysterical.   She pleads with me to get over there right away.  When pressed for specifics, the only thing the tenant will say is that she has buckets everywhere. 

Sounds to me like a water pipe has busted upstairs.   While jumping into my car, I call the Resident Manager to get more information and to ask that the water to this building be turned off until I know what is going on.   No answer.

Within ten minutes I arrive on scene to find an ambulance racing away and the Resident Manager and police in front of the building.   This must be one heck of a water leak.

My tenant is sitting on the stairs outside and she looks up at me with her pale and sad face and says that there is blood, lots of blood.

I dash upstairs and into my unit.   I feel as though I just entered a horror movie.  There is red water running down the walls of the bathroom, the adjacent kitchen, the hallway and the bedroom.  It has filled the light fixtures and is overflowing out of buckets on the floor.  It has saturated the carpeting and is all over the tenant's personal belongings.  

There is a cop talking behind me but I don't hear a word he is saying.  I am walking around the unit in total astonishment.    My brain is telling me to get out of there, but yet I am fascinated at the same time.   What has caused this?  Where is it coming from?  I need answers.

Soon I am able to focus again and the policeman tells me that the guy upstairs destroyed his unit, including his toilet plumbing, and then attempted suicide.   What I was seeing was the result of a large plumbing leak mixed with blood.   I was amazed by the amount of blood you can lose and still live.  Yes, unbelieveably this guy survived. 

I dreaded making that phone call to the property owner.   "Hi, how are you?  There's blood all over your unit."  There was a big sigh and he said that he knew I would take care of it.   I have permission to do what I have to do.  

The unit is of course uninhabitable and is declared hazardous.  The tenant is relocated and the restoration begins.  Everything in the property must be removed including the walls and the floors.  Does the unit upstairs have any insurance?  Of course not.  

And so another day in the life of a Property Manager begins.

Comments (4)

Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Property management is one job I just don't have the stomach for.

You're a trooper.


Dec 29, 2010 03:59 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

This is SO FUNNY * I had the same thing happen to me in a property Pearl City 30 years ago...Calling the resident manager ON HIS cel phone would have been my first course of action before jumping in the car and the resident needed to get OUT of the apartment maybe she would have learned what was going on.

I've actually had a resident DIE in the tub and we only learned when the FD broke in the door when the downstairs tenant reported no answer when they knocked on the door.

AHAA!!! The JOYS of property management!  Challenges and opportunities!

Dec 29, 2010 04:39 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Oh my this sounds like something you would find in a horror movie.  No thanks!

Dec 29, 2010 04:49 AM
Christine Hooks
Pino Agency - Pennsville, NJ
Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate!

This is awful!  I hope you are not too stressed out!

Dec 29, 2010 05:05 AM