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This Resident Left A Disturbing Surprise Behind For Management

A Day in the Life...

I’ve always said that if you’ve worked in property management for even one day, you’ll have a story to tell. The book,

'I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It!" is a collection of these wild and wacky tales, contributed by management professionals from across Texas.

Here’s one of my favs about a little somethin’—somethin’ one unpopular resident left behind for the management team to find.


The Thing

We had a resident who was a real pain. Whenever he complained about something, we responded as quickly as possible; but it was never fast enough. He was always dissatisfied with the way our maintenance man Chuck would do the repairs.

Often, the resident would stand over Chuck, watching him and instructing him on how to fix the problem “the right way”.

This guy was exasperating, and we cringed whenever he came into the office. When he gave notice and moved out, we were all elated! The day after he vacated his apartment, I added his unit to the walk-through for Chuck.

I was busily working on our budget when Chuck called me. “Hey,” he said. “I’m in Mr. Cranky’s (okay—sorry, but that’s what everyone in the office called this unpopular ex-resident!) unit and there’s something here you need to see.”

A Piece of Chilling News

“Look,” I said. “I’m super busy. Whatever it is, just tell me later. How does everything look in there?”

“Oh, everything in here looks spic and span,” Chuck replied, chuckling mysteriously.  “There’s just this one thing . . .”

“What thing?” I asked, growing tired of the conversation.

“Well . . .” said Chuck, drawing the word out for a couple of beats. “I don’t know. I personally have never seen anything like it. It’s weird. I called Amos (another guy on our maintenance team) over to see it, too. I’m not sure I want to touch it!”

I froze. Knowing the history we had with the former resident, I wouldn’t have put it past him to leave something behind that might be harmful to us.

“Okay, whatever it is—do not touch it,” I told Chuck. “I’m on my way.”

I shoved all my budget paperwork aside, grabbed a jacket and was heading out the door when my assistant manager stopped me.

“Where are you going in such a rush?” she asked.

“It seems Mr. Cranky left something strange for us in his apartment and Chuck is freaked out about it. He wants me to come and see it,” I answered.

“Well, I think I should go, too!” she said. “After all, I’m the one who’s been the target of his many complaints for the past couple of years. I want to see what this weirdo left.”

“Hey! I’m the one who leased to him,” piped up Melanie, our leasing consultant. “I want to see, too!

Off To See “The Thing”

We locked up the office and the three of us drove together to Mr. Cranky’s ex-domicile. When we walked in the front door, Chuck and Amos were in the living room. They were squatting, surveying an object located in the middle of the room.

As we walked toward the men, I made a mental note of my surroundings. The apartment was indeed vacant and smelled of cleaners and disinfectant. There were vacuum trails in the carpet.

It appears that Mr. Cranky put some effort into cleaning this place, I thought, wondering if the guy was hoping to get his security deposit refunded. Any shot at that went out the window when I saw The Thing.

I was the last to join the small circle surrounding the object, following suit and crouching alongside my co-workers.

“What the heck is that?” I asked the group.

“I just don’t know,” answered Chuck, scratching his head. “It doesn’t seem to smell bad, but it sure looks disgusting!”

I couldn’t argue that point. The Thing was a little larger than two bowling balls stacked on top of each other. It was brownish-gray in color and had a mucous-looking sheen to it. It appeared to be oozing and looked slimy to the touch.

There’s no way I’m touching it! I vowed to myself.

An Alien Pod?

“It’s like Mr. Cranky just left this horrid thing here in the middle of the living room for us to find! What a creep!” exclaimed Melanie. “I mean, what is that?”

Chuck pointed at the center section of The Thing. “If you look closely, you can almost see a heartbeat or something on this side. Maybe it’s alive? Maybe it’s like . . . an alien pod!”

I looked at Chuck’s face, hoping he was joking, but he was completely serious. He was really shaken up about The Thing.

Okay, Mr. Cranky! You’ve accomplished what you set out to do! I thought. This has gone on long enough!

“All right everyone,” I said. “Show’s over! This crazy guy left this horrible—whatever it is, just to be a jerk. He must have known that none of us liked him and this is his way of letting us know he didn’t like us either!

I took out my phone and snapped a couple of pictures of the disgusting object, then informed everyone we were leaving.

The next day I went with Chuck to the apartment. I wore a pair of rubber gloves and he brought a big, black trash bag. I picked up The Thing and threw it in the bag. It was surprisingly lightweight. Chuck and I walked together to the dumpster where he tossed the repulsive item inside. He returned to his work orders and I returned to my budget.

However, before I did, I drafted a letter to Mr. Cranky that included a photo of The Thing. I informed him that he would be receiving only a partial security deposit refund because we were deducting a large amount for “heavy cleaning and sanitizing” of the living room carpet.

Contributed from Houston

From the book "I Have a Complex, but I'm Managing It!"  Stories from property managers compiled by Monica E. Simmons.

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