So What Do Fleas Have To Do With Good Property Management?
So this week I met a couple of our team members at a house to help them do a walkthrough in a rental where we are turning over a tenant. The house had a few issues that I was willing to overlook, but there were a few things that I felt we should charge against the old tenant’s security deposit refund.
After seeing the house a few weeks before the tenant moved out (the back yard looked like a junk yard, boxes were stacked floor to ceiling and I stepped in a pile of dog poop in the basement), I was actually very surprised at how well the house looked for our walkthrough.
Since this meeting was really a training session for a new employee, the three of us were spending a little extra time discussing things during this walkthrough. So I was still remembering how I stepped in dog poop a few weeks earlier (while wearing sandals by the way) as we walked down to the basement that reeked of a strong dog smell.
While down in the basement discussing if we should charge for new carpet or just try to clean the dog smell out, I felt that little tingle on my leg that I’ve unfortunately felt many times before. Then before I could even register what was going on, I felt a few more little taps on my legs…
Yep, I looked down and already had about 30 fleas on each of my ankles. As we ran out the front door beating our legs and doing what looked like an Indian rain dance in the street, I made my mind up – we were charging for new carpet in the basement.
Before I decided to meet these team members at the house, the property manager had done a quick drive by and was so surprised with how well the place was cleaned up that she was leaning towards returning the tenant’s deposit minus a little cleaning fee. After spending more time there and having three people assess the house and give their different perspectives, we decided that it was not fair to us to return that deposit.
This learning experience would have been good enough without the fleas, but I’ll tell you that those pesky little bugs added to the experience. This was not only a good teaching moment to show that tenant turnover walkthroughs need to be more than a 30 mph drive by of the house, but it was also a funny experience for us to share together that will be a memory that we’ll laugh about for a long time to come.