We have been sharing some stories from our talented San Jose property management team to demonstrate how we work and what we do for our owners and tenants. Today, we have another post in our Stories from the Field series, and we aren’t sure if you’re going to enjoy it, but you’ll surely learn from it. Mike’s story is not something you want to experience at your own rental property. But if you do, you know we’re here to help.

Mike and a Maintenance Emergency

My name is Mike and I’m sharing one of my favorite and funniest property management stories. I’ve been in this industry for more than 20 years, and this story will always be one I tell to potential owners.

An irate tenant called our emergency maintenance line in the middle of the night, and I was lucky enough to get the call. He was yelling that someone needed to come over immediately.

What he said wasn’t what we normally hear from tenants:

“If I was home at the time this happened and I was sitting on the toilet, I would have had a snake go right up my butt.”

I was like – a snake – what?

He said I needed to come to his house right away. I gently told him that our maintenance staff would come and handle it. But he insisted.

This was a tenant I knew and liked, and we had a good relationship. So, the next morning I went over to his house to see what he was talking about. I wasn’t sure what I’d find. When I looked him up in our records, I noticed this tenant had never called for help or maintenance before.

Not All Snakes are the Same

Maintenance guyAt his home, I walk into the bathroom and in the toilet right where he’d be sitting was a hole in the shape of a perfect circle right through the porcelain of the toilet.

He was right – but what had happened?

Slowly, we pieced the story together. A maintenance guy had been at the home next door, which was an apartment, and the toilets go side to side, wall to wall. Apparently, the maintenance guy took the snake (the thing you use to unclog drains, not a reptile but a 50-foot snake) and put it through and it didn’t go down the pipe but rather across into his toilet, piercing through the porcelain. He probably kept shoving the snake down further and further. It went through the bathroom and into the hallway and into the family room.

Unfortunately, sewage lines were hit, so there was an enormous and filthy mess in the house. We found feces on the walls, the carpets, and all over the bathroom.

It was unfortunate and disgusting.

Clearly, this was not our tenant’s fault, and we needed to repair and replace everything we could. We cleaned the place thoroughly, including the carpet. We replaced his towels and toothbrush.

It was terrible. But now I can look back on it and laugh.

If you have any questions about how we can help you and keep your tenants calm when strange and disgusting things happen, please contact us at Real Estate Connections.