Halloween may be over, but our love for the candy and the amazing CRE Property Management Horror Stories that were shared will never subside.

These stories contained several out of the ordinary scenarios that real-life property managers and building engineers faced while in the line of duty. Never before have risk management, tenant service, and maintenance skills and procedures been put to such extreme tests.

You’ll be amazed at some of the things your peers have experienced!

We’ve shared a few more of our favorites below, but if you have any of your own, please let us know by tweeting us @BuildingEngines on Twitter, or by writing us a line on our Linkedin page.

The Winning Entry

Submitted by Debbie:

“I had to deal with one of our tenants employees as he stepped directly outside of their suite, knelt down, and began to light a fire. As it turns out, this practice was a ritual based on their religion.

Can you imagine if the fire had gotten out of control? I immediately phoned the tenant and advised them that (with all due respect to their religion), we cannot condone starting fires on the property for the safety and protection of all the proprietors and their patrons.”

Other Astonishing Stories

From Shannon L.:

We had received multiple complaints about a tenant employee who was doing inappropriate things in the fitness center restroom stall. We figured out who it was, and sent an email that addressed the entire building stating the rules and policies for building facilities use. That way the employee didn’t realize that we knew it was them, and there was no awkward confrontation. Solved the problem immediately.

From L. Barker:

I got a call at 2:00 in the morning once, with my Maintenance Supervisor telling me that we had a sewer line that backed up. Sewage was coming up out of the sinks! He had called in a specialist for assistance, but when I arrived on site there was already about 3 inches of sewer water flooding the floor. We had to evacuate the units and relocate everyone, but they lost everything due to contamination. And to make matters worse, there was a gentleman that had open diabetic wounds on his feet, and he did not think to cover them. He wore sandals through the sewer water! He ended up losing his foot due to the contamination and sued us! It took five years of court battles to settle that case. A nightmare!!

From Al:

The closest thing to a horrifying property management incident I’ve come to in 15 years has to be when we had a tornado in the area, and we had to try to keep tenants calm.

From Ashley B.:

When I worked at a senior citizen property, one of our residents came into the office to inform us that another resident was going around to the common areas and threatening everyone. The resident stated that this individual was telling people he was going to “get them,” and had his hands in his pocket with a gray end sticking out – resembling a gun. We had had continuous problems with this resident in the past, and did not take the threats lightly. We contacted the police and because of the gun threat, they sent in a SWAT team. Within 5 minutes we had them storming the building, running up to the resident’s apartment, and busting down his door. About 20 minutes later the captain of the SWAT team came down to inform us that the resident did not have a gun, but rather a plastic toy! That was an interesting incident report to write!