Scary Story: The Rock

Halloween is right around the corner. What better time to share a spine-tingling tale demonstrating the horrors we encounter as property managers…?

Some time ago we began managing a condo for an investor from the West Coast. When I walked through and inspected the property I noticed a few issues that needed to be corrected. Several of these items were minor but one item clearly stood out; the wiring appeared to be very questionable.

At the time we were working with a general contractor on several properties so I asked them to stop by and take a look at this particular condo and report his findings to me.

Apparently the owner/investor had a traveling crew of contractors that he hired to do renovations for properties that he purchased outside of where he resided. On the surface, the renovations looked nice but upon closer inspection, it was clear that many ‘corners’ were cut. In looking under the sinks, inside cabinets, opening and closing doors and windows the punch list continued to grow.

Several days went by and we received the findings from the general contractor. There were numerous items that needed to be addressed in order to make the condo rent ready. One of the main issues was that the owner had hired unlicensed contractors, which in the State of Florida is illegal. Our General Contractor is fully licensed and insured.

Approximately one week later our contractor came to the office to update us on how the condo was progressing. When he walked into our office he was holding a rock in his hand. Wrapped around and taped to the rock was some extension cord wire taped on with masking tape. Everyone in the office looked at each other and asked the contractor why he brought in the wire wrapped rock. He responded that the owner’s contractors had used the wire wrapped rock as the ground for the upstairs of the condo and had thrown the rock in the back of one of the closets.

We all looked at each other a bit wide-eyed and collectively shook our heads. The rock now occupies a prominent place in our conference room. It serves as a reminder and a conversation piece for both owners and residents. We have retold the story often and even have a photo of our contractor with the rock in his hand. The story has evoked everything from laughter to eye-rolling from those who have inquired about the rock.

Needless to say that this was one of many instances where good boots on the ground made a big difference in and owners experience with rental property here in the Fort Myers, Florida Area.