Dying tenant wants to transfer to another unit

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T

59 months ago

I have a situation that I'm not sure what to do in order to make things "right" morally as well as what is best for the property I manage. I have a tenant that has been in a unit for 5 years. He's a good tenant with 5 kids. He has recently been diagnosed with cancer and his doctor has given him to about Christmas time to live. He is very weak and lives in an upstairs unit. He wants to transfer to a downstairs unit so he can come outside with his walker, he is too weak to use the stairs without assistance that is not always available for him. The problem I have is that his apartment has a cockroach problem that over the years we have tried to correct with constant pest control service but to no avail. The unit really needs to be gutted, carpet and padding removed and sprayed and left empty for a month or so in order to eliminate the roaches (so I've been told by the pest control tech). If I transfer this family to another unit in another building I'm so afraid that the new unit will be infected by the roaches and I really don't want to go there. But I also feel so bad for this tenant and want to help make his last few months of life as liveable for him as I can. I work for a property management company and I'm sure if I told my boss of the situation she would nix me moving him for the properties sake. Any suggestions?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

If you have roaches in just one apartment - then you have roaches everywhere. It is safe to assume it is the people who have the roaches - but really isn't always the case.

I am white, grew up in a very nice house in Michigan. I got my first apartment in Tampa (in suitcase city area). It was a bad area, but the complex looked okay. My apartment was infested with roaches. My neighbors told me that they always had roaches, but after I moved in, their problem seemed to go away. I had roaches in my clothes, in the refrigerator. I didn't even eat there. I moved out after four months.

If that man has been using a walker, and with five kids, he really should have never been in an upstairs apartment. So where are the five kids going to be living after? Is there a mother there?

The man has a health issue making it impossible for him to live in an upstairs apartment. Legally, he should be moved.

Another legal issue, the apartment - that whole building - is infested with roaches. Roaches use pipes, attics, and wallways for passage. The problem isn't just in that apartment.

A good solution would be to move the people to the apartment immediately below them - but then you would have to move them too. But I should think they would want to move - because there is no doubt they also have roaches.

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T

59 months ago

Actually the tenant has admitted that he's pretty sure he brought in the roaches a couple of years ago when he bought a freezer, apparently they were living inside the bottom of it. The neighboring tenants get a roach or two now and then, and allow us to spray their unit when we spray his. There is no doubt that the unit itself is infested. I don't want to cause a giant uproar in the entire building tho, and it costs way too much to have the entire building (10) units tented. I realize as well that medically he has the right to be transferred, however the roaches don't have that right. It's a catch 22. I'm sure I will allow him to transfer, I wouldnt be able to live with myself if I didnt. At this time of year we don't have money in the budget to gut the apartment, I sure hope my pest control service can do some amazing things after the unit is empty. I will have them double spray the unit he is transferring to as well.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

Do you have a small bottom floor apartment where the man can have for himself right now? - and leave the five kids where they are?

Actually, if the man only has a few months left, why isn't he in hospice?

If you had ten roaches when he brought the freezer, then you have 500 now. Those people are probably pigs. They leave food open, leave garbage (yes, garbage, in the apartment). They should have been evicted a long time ago.

Have you been inside the apartment? Is it clean - or is there crap everywhere? With five kids, I bet it's a f'g pigsty.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

You need to confirm with his doctor that he really is dying. For all you know he's telling you bs so he can move into a nice clean bottom floor apartment.

If he really is dying, how come he isn't dealing with hospice? This just doesn't even make sense.

Is that apartment clean or is it a pigsty?

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T

59 months ago

He's dying, it's obvious and very sad. His family is very nice, but yes their apartment is cluttery. The dude is croaking tho, if he was healthy I wouldnt have a hard time making the choice on what to do. Yes, hospice is coming to take care of him as well.

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Kathy in Destin, Florida

59 months ago

Mary in Tampa,I must say you are heartless. It is all about the might dollar with u Huh?
T, I say morally you must move this man and deal with the roaches as necessary.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

Kathy, you have to be kidding. Really. At least I responded to the guy. I gave him so many options to attempt to help.

Did you actually read the whole blurb?

The guy has five kids, the apartment is full of klutter - JUNK - they brought roaches with them.

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Christellie in Glendora, California

59 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Kathy, you have to be kidding. Really. At least I responded to the guy. I gave him so many options to attempt to help.

Did you actually read the whole blurb?

The guy has five kids, the apartment is full of klutter - JUNK - they brought roaches with them.

Mary, I think you should make contact with other family too and let them take responsibilities...You cannot take this on all by yourself, we talking about five kids and a man who is very ill ...wow...where is his family?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

The original post is from T. He is the manager. I just tried to give some suggetions.

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T

58 months ago

I've given the family the paper work to sign for the transfer but discussed the roach problem with them and we have all agreed that they will be downsizing a lot of their stuff (throwing it away) and will have pest control spray their new apartment immediately after they move in to try and get a jump on the roaches. They have not returned the paper work to me (I gave it to them over a week ago)which leaves me assuming they may not do the transfer. I think the ill tenant may just be too weak to move afterall. (It's nice when things work out the way you need them to without having to enforce it yourself).
I can tell by Mary's responses that she is a very black and white manager, me, not so much. I have a pretty big gray area with my tenants and take each situation that I encounter with them and try to work things out that is best for them and the property.
I don't lord over the tenants or use my authority to abuse them.... I'm more of a negotiater which works well for me as far as tenant communication goes. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinigar. There are always a few tenants that hate you just because you are the manager and they have problems with authority figures and you can't reach them no matter what, it's a shame that they were raised that way. I manage "low income" tenants and they are a different breed than the tenants you have in a conventional property, it's a much more challenging environment.
I appreciate all of the responses to my post.
Thanks,
T (by the way I'm female not male) ;)

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

I'm not a manager at all. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. My Dad and his brother each had a black apartment complex years ago in Flint, Michigan. That area and the tenants were as bad as bad gets. Even in Flint, the place was infested with roaches - but it was because of the people.

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T

58 months ago

when I said "black and white" I wasn't talking about race. haha.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

I know what you mean. I see things "straight and to the point." - more like what the contract says. I have been in the legal field for 20 years.

I'm surprised he was put in an upstairs apartment - with five kids. And if he is dying and may be dead in a few months, he is going downhill very fast -and it probably isn't even worth it to put him in a bottom apartment because he won't be able to get outside.

On the other hand, if he dies in the apartment, you do want to make it easier to get his body out of the apartment. And if it makes his kids happier for a few months, and him, might as well do it.

I would strongly suggest you use my idea on the roaches. Use some canned cat food, add boric acid, put in in crevices, and those roaches will eat it and die.

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E.colombo in Phoenix, Arizona

58 months ago

On the contrair my fine lady of 20 yrs in the legal business roaches feast of one another yes but they also become immune to anything that killed the ancestors they are eating thats why they say they can survive a Holocaust, once you get a infestation that bad its in everything and yes its true they are in all apartments now and removal of these pesty creatures is going to be near impossible .. They will laugh at boric acid and probally wouldnt touch it with all the rest of the food ect. laying around laying around they will eat glue if they have to .. Leave him be until the aftermath and be rid of anything left over (burning it if you have to ) after the family takes what they want. Then do what the exterminator said its good advise if you move this guy and his stuff you will make the problem worse and they will keep breeding and spreading but now more mobileized in a bigger area of the complex to invade like all the surronding aptments ... I was an exterminator for 10 yrs so I hope this helps

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Tenant 101 in Los Angeles, California

57 months ago

I have roaches in my apartment. I notified the manager 8 months ago and nothing was done. I filed a complaint with the Health Department and the manager sent the exterminator last month but the roaches did not go away. The manager sent the exterminator again and the roaches did not go away. Now the manager wants to send the exterminator a third time but he wants the spraying to be done before he has to attend a scheduled hearing with the attorneys in the Health Department. I told the manager I would be able to remove my pets on Saturday but he wants to spray on Monday when I have to go to work. What are my rights?

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T

57 months ago

I would say if you want the roaches gone you should comply with the manager. After waiting 8 mos you should be more than ready to have them do what is needed. It costs more to have pest control come out on a Saturday, if you were paying for it you would want them to come out on a weekday. I would comply due to the fact that if it could be proven that you brought in the roaches you may have to foot the entire bill. Empty your cupboards, take your dog to the sitter and let pest control spray on Monday.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

57 months ago

E Columbo is right. Once those people leave, get rid of everything in that apartment - like furniture, drapes, carpet. They lay eggs. Take it outside and burn it or take it to the city dump.

I once worked for a sole practitioner. I was cleaning out my desk. I had a bag (empty) of orange stuff (like Tang). The inside was plastic and the outside a cloth. They had ate the cloth. They ate the glue off the envelopes.

Boric acid is supposed to make their stomachs explode because they can't digest it. But if they don't eat it, then it doesn't work. I guess it is possible they will also become immune to it.

The moral of the story: The more crap someone has, the dirtier they are, the less they wash the dishes - the better a home you make for roaches.

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HUDMANAGER in Sacramento, California

46 months ago

So what your saying is that he has requested a "reasonable accomidation"? YOu have to transer him period. YOu have to make his life a bit better. If he requested it, then you have to do it since it sounds like a reasonable request.
YOu can require that befor all furniture is moved they must bomb with all stuff in the apartment and take each peice of furniture, box, toy etc and make sure that their are no cockroaches.

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HUDMANAGER in Sacramento, California

46 months ago

So what your saying is that he has requested a "reasonable accomidation"? YOu have to transer him period. YOu have to make his life a bit better. If he requested it, then you have to do it since it sounds like a reasonable request.
YOu can require that befor all furniture is moved they must bomb with all stuff in the apartment and take each peice of furniture, box, toy etc and make sure that their are no cockroaches.

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HUDMANAGER in Sacramento, California

46 months ago

Hello! Cockroach investation is not cureable. They will never completely go away even if the owner tented it. Being clean will help to keep them away. Gecko's love coackroaches! If the management company sprays hard chemicals every month it can make u sick. INvest in some gecko's or move! But then you'll take them with you.
Just keep your unit clean at all times.

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SheilaV in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas

42 months ago

1st of all, on the roach issue, that needs to be taken care of whether the man moves or not. All openings from walls, floors, ceilings need to be sealed off with an expanding sealant/insulation. Pipe areas or imperfect contruction areas are the first place to start. The next area to concentrate on are the electrical outlets. Roaches can live inside of large appliances also. This is the 3rd thing to check. You must get rid of the eggs also. Sometimes roaches come through the roof through ventilation fans and they also come in through ch&air ducts. Especially a problem if there are trees nearby (especially Palm Trees). Eliminate any fault of the unit in the roach infestation.

Then the family will need help with any personal roach infestation such as inside their television, small kitchen appliances, boxes, or piles of junk. Roaches love to hide under cardboard flaps of boxes.

Roaches smell the scent of other roaches and follow their trail. This is where some Mr.Clean Ammonia comes in. Dilute 1/4 part ammonia to 3/4 parts water, and wearing gloves and ventillating the area, scrub every spot of cupboards, counters, walls etc (usualy the corners and along the baseboards, as well as doorframes) with the ammonia solution.
This removes the oil traces left behind by other roaches and will help eliminate attracting more into the unit.

I have found the roach hotels to be excellent also. They have to be checked and disgarded once there are a couple or three roaches, then put new ones in place. It will be a lot of work, but for the protection of the health of the tenants and for maintaining the property this should all be done.

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tommy28 in Louisville, Kentucky

42 months ago

Really the right thing to do here is move them downstairs as they wish. However, that would be subject to an inspection of their apartment. If the apartment, looks over worn, then I would not be inclined to re-rent to them soley on the fact that the previous apartment was kept in abhorent condition. I would offer to let them out of their Lease because he is handicapped, however, I would indicate that I am not willing to re-rent to them based on the condition of their existing apartment condition. I would provide an appropriate rent reference for their new landlord as requested. However, I never feel obligated to rent to people who have not taken good care of my property. If however, they have taken good care of your property and you wish to re-rent to them, then I would accommodate their needs. Just because someone needs it, doesn't mean you have to provide it. However, I would document through photos and communique's why I was not re-renting if that twas the case. Don't get hung up on the Roaches. This is about the apartment condition. If it looks like a mess and hasn't been kept up, then you don't have to re-rent in my book. But if it has Roaches, then you haven't done a good job of getting rid of them. You should have worked harder to get rid of the roaches. The only reason why you may have not gotten rid of them is because his apartment is a mess. And, if it is a mess, I wouldn't re-rent to him. Can I be any clearer????

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T in Modesto, California

42 months ago

Thanks for the input, but seriously people that post is over a year old, the tenant since passed, we allowed him to stay in his original unit because he decided thats what he wanted to do. After all the stuff was moved we fumigated his and the adjacent units and the apartment has since been rented and no roaches.

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Sharon in Huntsville, Alabama

37 months ago

I would like to know if these apartments are based on income? If they are, there's so many other things that come into play like, fair housing, privacy act. If they are based on income all you have to do is get the proper form and send it to the doctor that they do need a downstairs unit. They don't have to give you any information concerning the illness. These days you have to be so careful as not to cause a lawsuit. A lot of times it's a lot easier to run it over with your management company and if they tell you to let them transfer then do it. If they tell you not to then you can place the blame on them. That way you're not making the decision. Kinda gets the monkey off your back. If they are not based on income and they are just straight rent you have a lot more leniency. Hope this helps.

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Michelle in Mount Laurel, New Jersey

37 months ago

I would say in a situation like that I would explain the situation. Say that you will try to take care of the pests and then give him the option to move into the unit with full knowledge of what is there before he makes his own decision. I have lived in several <a href="realestate.al.com/alabama/madison-county/huntsville/for-rent">Huntsville apartments</a> and I wish that I'd had a landlord as kind as you seem to be.

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sonnie in Lincoln, Nebraska

36 months ago

T said: I have a situation that I'm not sure what to do in order to make things "right" morally as well as what is best for the property I manage. I have a tenant that has been in a unit for 5 years. He's a good tenant with 5 kids. He has recently been diagnosed with cancer and his doctor has given him to about Christmas time to live. He is very weak and lives in an upstairs unit. He wants to transfer to a downstairs unit so he can come outside with his walker, he is too weak to use the stairs without assistance that is not always available for him. The problem I have is that his apartment has a cockroach problem that over the years we have tried to correct with constant pest control service but to no avail. The unit really needs to be gutted, carpet and padding removed and sprayed and left empty for a month or so in order to eliminate the roaches (so I've been told by the pest control tech). If I transfer this family to another unit in another building I'm so afraid that the new unit will be infected by the roaches and I really don't want to go there. But I also feel so bad for this tenant and want to help make his last few months of life as liveable for him as I can. I work for a property management company and I'm sure if I told my boss of the situation she would nix me moving him for the properties sake. Any suggestions?

If possible,I would move him but I would do what could be done to go to the goodwill or salvage army and get different furniture. Check the furniture thoroughly. the only solution to this, to prevent roaches in other areas of the building is to get rid of all their furniture, appliances and start over. Take the bed outside and spray the mattresses, box springs and bed frames. Make sure all their clothing is shaken out before being moved. The tenants obviously know they have a problem with bugs. If they are not clean people no amount of spraying will help.

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red raspberries pest solutions in Elmwood Park, Illinois

33 months ago

Roaches are not bedbugs....it's easy to get rid of them so move him to another unit. Bait for roaches (no spray) around sinks (roaches need water) and you'll be roach-free is 1 week, max. Try Advion gel first then re-apply 3 days later something else. Make sure where you pply is no dust! No other chemicals necessary. Remember...roaches equal water, bait never equals sprays, dying tennants get what they want and if your boss is complaining...tell him about karma...

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Linomsa in South Africa

21 months ago

People say that there is no one who can get rid of cockroaches but its not true i have got a chemical that i and my brother make that we use from domestic commercial and industrial that has broken a record in southern Africa it has a guarantee of more than two years no mater your neighbors has cockroaches it become effective 3 days after it has been applied i wish i where closer

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