Are You The Manager?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Every Life Is Different

We first started managing about 4 years ago, when some family friends bought a house and offered us their managing gig. We decided to move into the unit facing the street, out of which which an elderly lady was moving. She had been there since at least 1965, with little or no repair having been done in the intervening 35 years.

The original green carpet was worn though in places, and her closets were filled with interesting examples of frugality. It seemed that whenever she or her husband found a product they liked on sale, they would stock up: multiple pairs of unworn shoes from the late 70's, still in their boxes, several brand new Remington Microscreen electric razors from the eighties, still in their original packaging. "I liked it so much I bought the company."

What did I learn from this? That old people can be crazy? No - everyone lives a little differently, and without that difference, what a boring place we would inhabit. Getting to know this lady a little better after the move was interesting. Her husband had been a traveling typewriter salesman in the 1950, they never had children, she grew to love York Peppermint Patties above nearly all else (purchased in bulk, of course).

She left behind other interesting bits and pieces when she moved - her husband's monogrammed gold tiebar - 1970s solid with bold block "MF" initials. I also inherited a tenor ukulele from her, which has brought me much joy as I attempt to interpret the songs of Jon Brion and Steve Martin.
There is a richness in every life, no matter how different from our own, if we care enough to look for it. Though I only met her a time or two, her recent death was still a sad one.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's This Then?

Who am I and why would you care?

I and my wife have been apartment managers in the Los Angeles Area for the past several years. We have both done so while holding other more traditional jobs. This will be a multifaceted collection - stories of tenants and apartment managing - ups, downs, and those things that inevitably go sideways. Tips on how to get along with your apartment manager, landlord, super, whatever.

How do you break a lease if you need to? What is the perfect tenant? What are the tenant's rights, what are the rights of the landlord? What is a good lease, and from whose perspective?

Who is the target audience? Do you rent or lease your residence? Do you own rental property? Would you consider managing rental property, either for yourself or others?

Drop me a line and I'll try and answer your questions if I can.

Welcome, and I hope you find something useful here - or at least get the occasional chuckle.

PS. While all of the suggestions and stories on this blog are true and intended to be useful, they are only my opinion and cannot be taken as legal advice - please consult a competent professional for that level of information.