On Monday, labor day, I drove up to the northwest valley to check out the damage my latest tenants had left behind. The management company had already warned me that the carpet would need replacing, but I wanted to see for myself.
If you’ve ever seen one of those HGTV shows where they open the door of the auctioned home and show “oh my god!” before cutting to commercial… yeah, it was like that.
I felt like a forensics investigator in one of those CSI offshoots. I heard water running somewhere in the unit and half expected to find someone drowned in the bathtub… on this week’s episode of CSI Winnetka.
Bugs, multiple kinds, swarmed on every surface. Open the fridge -BUGS! Open the dishwasher – BUGS! Look in the bathtub – BUGS!
The list of things that were broken, bent, stained or otherwise somehow mistreated would be impossible to name. Not because I couldn’t remember them all, but because I probably couldn’t even FIND everything in my two visits that day.
Here are some of the more bizarre things I found:
– cigarette burns all over the balcony carpet, as if they’d just used the carpet as an ashtray
– every square centimeter of floor was covered in stains and dirt and grime and muck, as if they’d been raising animals for a year in the apartment. But wait, what animal poops in bright pink or blue?
– light bulbs in the ceiling fans still in sockets but with the glass broken
– a bathroom shower faucet so badly mistreated that it was still somehow running and couldn’t be turned off (the plumber was called shortly after I arrived). No dead body though, guess that’s the silver lining.
(did I mention the bugs?)
– missing drip pans and grates from the stove (hey, if you’re moving out, why not steal random appliance pieces – never know when you might need them at the new dump!)
– random giant box of old clothes completely filling the coat closet
– apparently the master bathroom sinks made a great paint mixer. The black sinks. And white paint.
– random holes going all the way through the drywall that clearly held something… but only going up two feet from the floor. Did they need to bolt their coffee table to the wall?
(there were bugs everywhere, I wanted to get a Silkwood scrubdown when I left)
– fire alarm beeping for new batteries
– random pictures of children left behind
– thermostat nonfunctioning because of dead battery (it was over 100 degrees in the valley when these people were living here… yet they couldn’t buy two AA batteries to get the AC running… what?!)
– rips in the bug screen on the bedroom windows higher up than I can reach
But perhaps the most random and strange thing of all was what I found at the wetbar: Multiple photographs of the tenant with a big self-satisfied smile on casino trophies proclaiming first place victories and five figure sums of money as his prizes. Yes, the asshole that completely trashed his apartment (why?!) was smiling right back at me with his hands behind his head and his feet up, with evidence of more money in casino wins than I make in a year.
Never mind that I’m losing money on this place every year, sometimes losing as much by keeping the condo as he makes by playing poker.
To complete this masterpiece… A copy of the Training Day DVD signed by Denzel himself “All the Best.” Yes, nothing but the best for this guy. Nothing but the best.
Luckily I didn’t have to end the day like that, a friend invited Sam and I to come have (more) BBQ dinner at their house, and wine, and grilled corn, and hot dogs, and mochi. And something called Mio, which is the only kind of Saki you’ll ever see me drink.