The building’s water bill was $800 more than usual so I was instructed to go into every apartment and check for drips, leaks, or running toilets. This is not my favorite task, especially in an already packed weekend, but necessary. I hung up signs alerting tenants that I would be coming by and immediately received an email from one of the five lawyers who occupy units in my building. He is a particular stickler on advanced notice though in this case the landlords are deeming this an “emergency” and thus, rendering the advanced notice unnecessary.
The thing about these walk throughs is that I get to see how all my tenants live. And I don’t particularly want to know that. Some of it is downright scary. Like the kid with the apartment that looks like a tornado hit it- clothes, mail, fallen stacks of books, stray sock, just the contents of his apartment strewn about his floors so that I can’t see the carpet. And his bathroom looks like he has never once wiped it down in the nine months he’s resided there. Or the other tenant who didn’t answer my knocks and when I unlocked the door thinking he was not home, he called out from the bedroom. Dude. You had notice I was coming by. I’m certain the pungent smell of marijuana has something to do with your memory problems.
The Music Man and I have successfully avoided one another since the landlords told him he was not allowed to contact me unless it was an emergency (meaning, there is a flood or there is a fire). On Saturday as Finn and I were putting the ladder away in the storage room across from his apartment, he opened his door to take his dog out for a walk, took one look at me, startled and alarmed and backed into the apartment and closed the door. I said hi and tried to be nice. At least I had a Finn buffer. Phew! I was anxious to have to go to his apartment with the walk thru but tackled that floor first to get it over with. He was in his darkened bedroom with his dog who now barks at me when before would run up and lick me. I am no longer a safe person to the dog. I get it. It’s a crappy situation all around and yet I am grateful for the distance. Not having threatening calls on my voice mail is my preference.
Not all of my tenants are slobs. Many have very cute apartments that are well kept and decorated. The hoarder came by the night before to let me know she’d checked her faucets and there was no need for me to come by. I’m pretty sure that’s because her house is likely worse than the last time I was there.And that was grounds for being the subject of Hoarders.
You can tell what people’s priorities are: the couple with the barca-type loungers in front of a massive tv with video game components and stacks of movies; the girl with the musical theater posters decorating her walls; the two apartments where clearly the tenants moved from a larger place into a smaller unit but never downsized their belongings since they are bursting with books and furniture to the point that you can barely walk around; the minimalist where everything is in its place; the guy who clearly has his girlfriend and three cats living with him even though that’s not technically on the lease. After an hour of that, I walked into my tidy, well-decorated apartment and breathed a sigh of relief.
I didn’t find a leak or drip or running toilet anywhere. In the words of Finn, “what the heck?”