The Lighter Side of Condo Living

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” – Lord Byron

These words from a 19th-century poet still ring true today. And if you live in a condo, you’re bound to come across some amusing stories. So in the interest of “good health,” we present a handful of stories which we hope will make you chuckle. It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that many of the anecdotes pertain to resident complaints. Here are a couple which were told to a partner in a Duluth, GA CPA firm:

“A resident was continually complaining to the property manager that he was hearing ghosts moaning at night. Turns out it was a faulty toilet valve in the condo next door.”

“During a board meeting, a resident was yelling so loud that his false teeth flew out of his mouth and hit the board president in the head. No assault charges were filed…”

But believe it or not, some condo residents don’t complain enough. Seriously. Just listen to these stories from a management company representative in Stoughton, MA:

“I once received a call from a young couple who were new to condominium living and felt sorry for me because of my heavy workload. They vowed to live their lives quietly by the rules and not ‘bother me.’ On a particularly cold day in the dead of the New England winter, the couple called. They were extremely apologetic about disturbing me, they said, but they desperately needed my assistance with their heat because the superintendent was on vacation. I immediately visited their first-floor unit, only to find that condensation was literally frozen on the windows, and it was so thick at certain locations that you could not see through it.

Further investigation revealed that the heating unit had not been properly hooked up during construction of the new building, and the system was in fact, completely inoperable. Needless to say, we made an emergency call to the HVAC team and warmed their home. I made the couple promise to call me in the future regardless of their worries about my workload!”

Some of the funniest stories aren’t reported by people who work at the properties, but by real estate professionals. Several realtors submitted stories to LinkedIn:

“I hosted an open house where the tenants had obviously partied the night before. The guy left with the dog during the open house but the girl couldn’t get out of bed and slept throughout the entire open. It was a 500 sq ft condo and there must have been 40 groups. We were literally stepping over the bed with the girl sleeping under the covers.”

Finally, we bring you a mystery tale courtesy of a Boston community association manager.

“There’s no limit to the assortment of odds and ends that appear in the common areas of high-rise condominiums, so it was nothing unusual when a staff member came across a fresh banana peel on the pool deck one morning. ‘Just a piece of trash,’ he thought. When a peel appeared the next day, and then every morning for a week, he became increasingly puzzled and reported, ‘I’ve been watching to see who’s been eating bananas out here, and there’s no one. It’s got to be coming from one of the balconies overlooking the pool.’ Naturally, there were dozens of balconies from which the banana peels could have been tossed. The staffer was obsessed with the problem. ‘Make sure you pick it up every morning before someone slips,’ I told him ‘and let me know if you find out anything more.’ Months went by, we picked up our daily banana peel, and life went on. About a year later I looked in on a retiree. As we stood making small talk in his kitchen, I looked to the left and saw them. Lined up, stuck to the wall in a very precise configuration, was row after row of Chiquita banana stickers. They stopped me dead in my tracks, and as I reached my conclusion, I looked over at the resident and saw him watching me. He looked at me, then at the Chiquitas, his eyes lit up and his lips drew back in the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face.

We never found another banana peel on the deck.”

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About Author: Chris Martin