Property Managers: Feel Like You Have "Residents" Breeding Like Rabbits?
A Day in the Life...
Now that it's spring and we all have seen our share of Easter rabbits, we thought it would be fun to share this crazy, true story from the book, "I Have A Complex, But I'm Managing It!".
Rabbits, Rabbits, and More Rabbits
I leased a three-bedroom apartment to a single dad who had a young son and daughter. The father was always going above and beyond to provide his kids with a happy home and was a very hands-on dad.
One spring day, he popped into the leasing office and asked me what our pet policy was on bunnies. I told him that our policy did not include rabbits, but I was curious about his question. He told me he wanted to surprise his children by including bunnies in their Easter baskets.
"We saw some at the pet store and they're just so adorable!" he exclaimed.
"Well," I said, "there's no doubt that baby bunnies are adorable, however, you aren't allowed to have them here."
"Okay," he said. "Bunnies are probably a lot more work than I have time for anyway. Just thought I'd inquire about it." He hesitated for a moment, and asked, "What about chicks?"
"Chicks?" I asked. "Oh, I see where you're going with this. Still on the Easter theme?"
He nodded and explained, "At the pet store, they've also got the cutest little chicks. My kids are in love with them and begging me for either a bunny or a chick."
There's Nothing Like Fatherly Love
"Look," I said, "I know you love your kiddos, and I can appreciate that you want to make their Easter special. But, we definitely don't allow rabbits or chicks. Why don't you go the stuffed-animal route and later get them a kitten?" I suggested. "Cats make great pets in apartments, and they're also pretty adorable."
Smiling agreeably, he stood and shook my hand saying, "Yes, an Easter kitten! That's a great idea. Thanks!"
In those days, I kept a daily journal where I recorded events and occurrences. I logged my conversation with this resident as I normally would and didn't think about it again—until I received a phone call.
"Is this Mary?" the caller asked.
"Yes," I replied. "This is she. Who is calling?"
The Mystery Caller
"I don't want to tell you who I am," the man on the other end of the line told me. "I just thought since you manage this place, you should know that we have a serious rabbit infestation going on here!"
"What?" I demanded. "Where? What are you talking about?"
"Why don't you find a reason to go check out apartment 505 and you'll see what I'm talking about!"
With that, the line went dead.
It had been a very long day, so I waited until the following morning to contact the resident in apartment 505. My former favorite "Father of the Year", answered the phone on the first ring.
""Hey, Bill, it's Mary, the property manager," I said. "I'm standing outside your front door. Do you think I can come in? I'd like to have a word with you."
Bill hemmed and hawed for a second, but then opened the front door. He had his head down, but to his credit, he invited me inside. Once I stepped into the apartment, I could not believe my eyes. There were rabbits everywhere—on the sofa, the kitchen counters, the coffee table, in the corners . . . there was even one on top of the television!
My eyes also caught four large cages with blankets and watering stations. It looked as if there were more rabbits in little balls inside the cages as well. What the heck? I thought.
Stunned, I turned back to Bill. The look on my face must have said it all because he quickly started trying to explain.
"I know what this must look like," he began. "I never meant for it to get so out of control! It's just that a few months ago, when you told me that I couldn't get my kids rabbits for Easter, I took a little poetic license and figured that bunnies were okay. You know, my little ones really wanted them, so I got them. Then, before we knew it, they started having more babies and then another batch of babies and now—well, now . . ."
I watched as he waved his hands in the air, looking as if he might cry.
"Now I just don't know what I'm going to do!" he confessed in despair. "My ex-wife has filed for sole custody, citing that I'm providing unfit living conditions for our kids because of all these bunnies. The kids are afraid to come here because there are so many of them! And, between the smell and buying all this food, and trying not to step on them, and . . ."
The Bunnies Must Hop Along
"Stop!" I shouted. "Just stop talking! This is insane. This is crazy! How many rabbits are here? Never mind—it doesn't matter! All of them have got to go! Tomorrow! I don't care how you do it or where they go. Call the SPCA, call The Humane Society, heck—call the Easter Bunny himself! But if all these rabbits are not out of here and this place cleaned up by five p.m. tomorrow, you and all of your rabbits are out—and, I'll call the health department, too!"
I took a moment to catch my breath and continued, "You cannot live this way, and frankly, I don't blame your ex-wife! What on earth were you thinking? Everyone knows that rabbits reproduce at alarming rates!"
As God is my witness, Bill looked at me with a straight face and said, "Mary, these are not rabbits. These are bunnies."
I went back to my office, still shaken by this crazy encounter. I pulled out my daily journal where I had documented my conversation with Bill several months before. Sure enough, I had told him that our community did not accept rabbits.
I sat there for a long time, wondering why I hadn't gone into nursing as my mother had always wanted me to do."
Submitted from Lewisville, Texas