Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Dead Guy in the Apartment

The Dead Guy in the Apartment

My brother-in-law and I own some properties together which we rent out.  In the course of several years we have encountered various renters who were or are truly characters.

One of the rental units is in a building on A1A in Fort Lauderdale.  It is a converted hotel and has all studio apartments, half of which have little kitchens.  The hallways are drab looking and the place used to be filled with transients who were less than desirable.

Barbara and I had to go there once and were accosted by an older woman carrying a bottle of liquor, wearing a long blouse that came down to her thighs and was basically unbuttoned, and no panties (don’t ask).  She asked if we were interested in a party and nearly floored us with her alcoholic breath.  Barbara quickly left the building and I went into our rental unit to collect some rent.  

It has gotten better over the years, although we do have one couple who consistently come home drunk and have fights.  The condo management has sent us surveillance pictures of the husband dragging the passed out wife by her feet into the elevator. 

In another building we have 5 units, and at one time there was an older lady leaving there with a heavy, black, southern accent.  She would pronounce my name as “Shirley”.  She would call the office and ask for “Shirley” and be told there is no-one here by that name.  After a while we learned to recognize her call.  She was very demanding of certain things and once called to complain the tenant in another unit didn’t say hello to her.  What was I supposed to do?  I’m not the guy’s father.

We had a tenant who was a dancer/escort, who hated men, a guy who thought he was a musician and insisted on practicing all day and into the night (we evicted him), a guy who would troll the bus station looking for naïve out of towners; offer them a place to stay the night and then lock them out and steal their stuff (also evicted).

There were and are many other “characters” who we have and are renting to.

The one tenant who stands out is the one that died.

I first met him when he answered our ad.  The first thing he asked me was “do you want to see my teeth?”  I was a little taken aback by that, but pressed on.

He next informed me he was an “Official Police Informer” for the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol, and he had a little card printed which stated that.

By this time I was becoming very leery of him and felt there was something a little off.   

He did have rent and security and we had guarantee’s from his mother and brother back in Pennsylvania that they would pay the rent. They were probably glad to get rid of him. We rented him the studio in the building on A1A.

Everything went along well for the first two months.  The rent showed up and we had no complaints about him from the management.

Towards the end of the third month we had a message left on our answering machine that said “I have been attacked in my apartment, I am going to the hospital, the police are here and I have contracted Aids”.

We called the building management to see what had happened.

It seems a young girl had come home drunk about 3 AM; she got off on the wrong floor and attempted to open our tenant’s door with the key to her apartment.  This woke him up.  Instead of looking through the peephole or asking who was there, or keeping the chain on when he opened the door, he flung the door open.
The girl pushes past him and thinks he is in “her” apartment trying to attack her.  She proceeds to attack him.  They fight, rolling around, and in the scuffle, she bites him (thus the Aids comment).  The police are called by some other tenants and the girl is arrested.

Our tenant while not really hurt, goes to the hospital, thinking he’s infected with Aids.

We speak with him that afternoon and he seems fine, or as fine as he gets.

A few days later we get a call from the tenant’s brother. He tells us he can’t get a hold of his brother and wants us to go investigate.

We tell him we can’t go today but will tomorrow morning.

Bob, my brother-in-law goes to the apartment, knocks, gets no answer and opens the door with a key.  He finds the tenant dead in his bed.  He calls the police.

The police and coroner come and take away the body.  They think it’s an overdose of prescription medicines, they have found a virtual pharmacy of prescription drugs. We think it may have been deliberate since he was worried about AIDS.

We are informed we have to hire a special bio disposal company to take way the bedding and mattress.  It’s rather expensive.

We get a call a few days later from the brother of the tenant.  He implies it’s our fault his brother is dead.  He ignores the fact the brother died 2 days before, and that he and his mother sent the brother to Florida to get rid of him.

Never the less we agree to help pack up the brother’s stuff and load his car and meet a transporter who will take the car and contents to Pennsylvania.

We do all that. 

A few days later, the brother calls again. We are expecting a thank you for our help in getting the brother’s stuff and car.  Instead, he asks if he can get back the 5 days rent remaining in the month. 

We are speechless and hang up.    

A new development just occurred and I have to add it to this blog.  

We got a call from the building manager at the A!A property.

The police called him at 3 AM to ask if someone lived in the building.  It seems our newest tenant was found wandering on the railroad tracks at Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale STARK NAKED.

He had no recollection of how he got there or where his clothes were.  The police brought him back to the apartment where they found the door wide open.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.           

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