Manager VS Love Triangle: Resident, Crazy Girlfriend, and an RV
A Day in the Life...
This true story presents a scenario that all property managers can learn from: how to handle a domestic disagreement between tenants that gets a little "out there". We thought it would be fun to share this crazy story about lost love, unlawful residents, and a motorhome from the book, I Have A Complex, But I'm Managing It!
“What’s the deal with that big motorhome?” asked one of my favorite residents on his way through the leasing office one day.
“What motorhome?” I asked him.
“That big, dirty thing. It’s been parked behind my building for the past couple of days. The thing is an eyesore,” he replied.
“Hmm,” I mused, “Well, this is the first I’m hearing about it. I’m surprised Alan (our maintenance man) hasn’t said anything to me. I’ll go check it out.”
“You can’t miss it,” remarked the resident. “The thing takes up like twenty parking spaces!”
“Twenty?” I asked laughingly.
“Okay, maybe just ten, but it’s a monster!” he told me.
“I’m on it!” I assured him as I locked up the office and hurried to the golf cart.
We had an extensive greenbelt at the back of our property. There were plans to convert the space into a dog park. Facing the grassy area were also about twenty parking spaces. These were a pretty good distance from the nearest buildings, so our residents seldom used them.
As I zipped around our last building, I saw the R.V. It was actually quite large and extremely dirty. Parked lengthwise, the thing monopolized several parking spaces.
I’d turned off the golf cart and got out to survey the imposing vehicle when I noticed something was amiss. There was a long, green extension cord running through our parking lot.
Correction! There were several green extension cords—one connected to another. The incredible series of cords seemed to originate on the back patio of one of our units, snaking its way to the R.V.
What the heck? I thought. I wasn’t sure where to go first—to the front door of the filthy R.V. or the front door of the apartment where the cord was attached. I chose the latter, thinking that at least I might know who answered the door.
I left the golf cart where it was, trekked over to the apartment (regretting this later because I was wearing two-inch heels), and knocked on the door. A tiny woman with bleached-blonde hair and unbelievably huge boobs answered the door. I’d never seen her before—surely I would have remembered her.
“Hello,” I said. “I’m Sarah, the property manager here.”
“How may I help you?” asked the woman, all business-like.
“I need to talk with the person who’s on the lease here,” I told her.
“Oh yeah, well, they don’t live here no more. This is my place now,” she replied.
“Who are you?” I asked, starting to feel like we were playing some kind of game.
“Oh,” she said sweetly. “I’m Sally. It’s real nice to meet you, Miss Sarah.”
No Time To Visit
“Was there anything else you needed, Miss Sarah? Because I’m right in the middle of making my dinner, and I really don’t have the time or inclination to visit right now,” she informed me as she started to close the door.
“Wait!” I shouted. “What the deal with the R.V. out there? That vehicle is not authorized to park here. There’s an extension cord running from this apartment to that motorhome. That is not allowed. I need some answers.”
“I don’t know nothin’ about no R.V.,” Sally told me right before slamming the door in my face.
She slammed the door in my face!
I schlepped back to my golf cart as fast as my high heels would allow me to schlep, the entire time planning what I’d do next. I climbed back on the cart and was putting it in reverse when I found myself suddenly putting the brake on again. I got out and marched over to the motorhome, and pounded on the door with my fist.
“Hello,” came a muffled male voice from inside. “What do you want?”
“Management!” I shouted loudly. “Open this door! Now!”
Sidebar: Looking back on this, I probably should have had our on-site police officer with me, or even Alan the maintenance man. But, I’m an in-the-moment kind of woman and I was not a happy camper. Besides— I was still bristling from having Sally slam her door in my face.
I gave it a few minutes, and when the guy didn’t come to the door, I went around to where the R.V. was connected and pulled the plug from the outlet. I then went back to the front door and banged on it again.
“Listen you!” I snarled to the guy inside. “You are outta here! I am calling the police and a tow truck now.” I’d started to walk away when I heard the door to the motorhome open with a loud creak.
“Hold on!” a man’s voice called out.
I turned and looked, recognizing one of our residents standing in front of the motorhome, motioning me to come back.
“Okay, okay,” he said. “I’ll move it! I just didn’t know where else to go. Sally kicked me out of the apartment, and I thought it would be all right to just hang out in my R.V. for a couple of days. No one ever parks back here. What’s the big deal?”
I’m sure I rolled my eyes when I replied, “Oh, I met Sally a few moments ago. She’s a real piece of work!” Taking a couple of beats to compose myself, I continued, “You, not your girlfriend, or whoever Sally is, are responsible for the apartment lease. You need to get this thing out of here now!”
The man gave a nod of agreement. “Okay,” he said meekly.
“Then, you need to go get Sally out of your apartment if you two can’t get along. But, if this Sally person is going to stay, you need to add her to the lease as an occupant. The bottom line is you need to follow the rules. You’re breaking several of them as we speak and it will not be tolerated!” I warned.
Blinking at me a couple of times, the guy then turned his head and spat onto the parking lot. Finally, he admitted, “That woman is bat-sh*# crazy! I mean, she ain’t right in the head. It’s a scary thing, and I ain’t dealin’ with her no more and neither should you. Don’t worry, I’m leavin’!”
With that, he went back into his motorhome. I heard the engine rev up a couple of times, then watched as it lurched slowly forward, lumbering out of our property. We never saw the resident or the filthy monster R.V. again.
As for Sally, she must have finished her dinner and split as well. By the time I returned to the apartment, it was empty and completely trashed. There was a greasy pan on the stovetop and the remnants of what might have been fried chicken. Nothing of value was left behind and it cost our management company a small fortune to turn it for the next resident.
Although it was a pain to deal with, I have to admit I felt sorry for our poor ex-resident. Sometimes I wonder if he’s still driving around in his beat-up motorhome, looking for a safe place to park where Crazy Sally won’t find him!
From the book "I Have a Complex, but I'm Managing It!" Stories from property managers compiled by Monica E. Simmons.