Every time I get to a point where I think I have heard or seen everything, I am proven otherwise.
Recently I had a tenant that no longer wanted the hired pool company to service the pool where he lived. He didn't like the fact that they would stop by between 9-4 and instead wanted a 30 minute window. When dealing with big pool companies this is a tough request because they have so many pools they need to service daily on their route. If they have one or more delays it could cause a ripple effect which is why the give such a huge window.
I explained this answer to the tenants and then they offered a separate solution. They would like permission to maintain their own pool in exchange for the cost of monthly pool chemicals (usually 20-30 bucks max). After speaking with the owner we agreed to this but under the condition that they send us a copy of receipts monthly for our records.
After 5 months not receiving any receipts from the tenants, one of the tenants called our office and asked us where their money was. We again explained that we never received any receipts from them, and therefore, we never mailed them any reimbursement checks. Her response was that they lost all the receipts and we should just take their word for it. Obviously in this business we cannot do that because it is irresponsible for our clients.
A few days later I received a phone call from the other tenant saying that the he had the receipts and would send them over. 5 days later I finally received the receipts. The funny thing was that each of these receipts had a similar mark on them from the printing process. As I took a closer look they are were the same receipts with exactly the same info on them. The only difference was that it looked like someone just erased the days and wrote a new date in it.
This is where my detective skills came in. I immediately called the pool store and questioned them about the invoices. They asked that I send the copies over to them for review. When I called to get the result….SURPRISE.... they were indeed the same receipt that had just been altered by someone. They also said that the chemicals listed on the receipts should clear up the dirtiest pool in the world and that if one person was using these on a monthly basis it would be “scary”.
I called the tenants to report my findings in the most sensitive way possible. They vehemently denied everything I was saying and just kept saying that they wanted their money. I explained that after consulting the owner we would only pay for part of each bill. Only then did the tenant reveal the truth. The tenant finally admitted that basically he felt that I should give him the exact amount we paid the previous pool company which is why he altered the chemical bills. According to his bills I would be paying him $5 more per month than I was paying the professional company.
Needless to say, we declined to pay for anything more and insisted that a professional company be put back on schedule to service his pool.
I know this does not reflect every tenant, but it is a funny story of how people try to take advantage anytime you give them a chance. In this business your guard always has to be up, and it is a good idea to go through each bill you get with a fine tooth combs. Sometimes it may just be an innocent mistake, but other times it could be a similar situation to this where people have nothing but bad intentions..
Realtor, Property Manager, New Blogger