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At Sunburst Properties, we like to share some real-world stories about how we manage properties and respond to emergencies. Today, we have another post in our Stories from the Field series, and we hope you enjoy it. Mike’s story is not something you want to experience at your own San Jose rental property. But if you do, you know we’re here to help.

Mike and a Maintenance Emergency

My name is Mike and I’m sharing one of my favorite property management stories and one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me while in this industry for over 20 years.

I received a call on the emergency maintenance line. An irate tenant was yelling that someone needed to call him and get there immediately. It was about 2:00 in the morning, but I called him back and ultimately had an awful conversation with him.

He said: “If I was home at the time this happened and I was sitting on the toilet, I would have had a snake go right up my butt.”

I was like – I don’t know what the heck you are talking about, sir but I think you need to calm down and you need to relax.

He said I needed to come to his house right away. I explained that our maintenance staff would come. But, he said: “Mike, I need you to come to my house.”

He was actually a reasonable guy I had spoken to before. So the next morning I went over to the house. I had no idea what he was talking about with a snake or sitting on the toilet. I checked his service records, and we had never gone out to this property before or had a maintenance guy there.

Not All Snakes are the Same

Maintenance guySo I go to his house and walk in the front door and I don’t see anything.

I walk into the bathroom and in the toilet right where he’d be sitting was a hole in the shape of a perfect circle right through the porcelain of the toilet. And I’m thinking – what in the world happened here?

The maintenance guy had been at the home next door, which was an apartment, and the toilets go side to side, wall to wall. Apparently, the maintenance guy took the snake (the thing you use to unclog drains, not a reptile but a 50-foot snake) and put it through and it didn’t go down the pipe but rather across into his toilet, piercing through the porcelain. He probably kept shoving the snake down further and further. It went through the bathroom and into the hallway and into the family room.

The maintenance guy hit sewage lines, so you can imagine everything that was all over the wall. There were feces on the walls, carpets, and all over the bathroom.

It was quite disgusting.

Ultimately, we found out this tenant was in the right and there was something that went wrong. We had to clean the carpet and the entire place. We replaced his towels and his toothbrush as well. So it was disgusting and gross, but surely one of the funniest stories I have had working in this business.

If you have any questions about how we can help you and keep your tenants calm when bizarre things happen, please contact us at Sunburst Properties.