Bad Things Happen To Bad People

So we're driving home this evening. Along the way, there is a house littered with vehicles and construction equipment from a local maintenance company. They used to be our maintenance company, but they were shat upon by a fiery strata council member. In response, they withdrew their services. There was talk of whether an apology could placate them. I suggested to people on the strata council that we were done paying these chuckleheads and that I would be pleased to convince as many of the property owners to retain their strata fees until a new property management company was found. Translation: lampreys detach themselves from bloodless victims.
Anyways, as we drive by, I noticed something: a bevvy of "For Sale" signs. A backhoe was for sale, a cube van was for sale. I can't be sure, but I think there was a bag of sugar, a bag of flour and two containers of front teeth proferred as well.
It turns out that after doing a crappy job on our fence building (see photo), they also turned at least one other property into a lunar landscape. After ruining that property, they tossed out most of the tenants and left the property abandonned for several months. They were paid to "manage" the property. Ironically, if you manage something to the point where you do not have issues, it looks like you're doing nothing at all. If you create absolute bedlam and ruin, two things occur: 1) the management is needed to get past the crisis; 2) to get out of bedlam, almost any amount of cash will be offered up to right the situation. Here's some quick math to show that not only can these guys not swing a hammer, they cannot punch the buttons on a calculator:

$1000 : old rent on an unimproved property
$1700 : new rent on an improved property (I call this the "lipstick on a pig" concept)

Evict someone and leave the place empty for 3 to 6 months. (loss: $3,000+)
Put in the renovations: ($10,000 for a kitchen + $3,000 for sundries)

Assume that you rent out the place and the tenants are ideal and you can up the rent by 10%/year. How long does it take to pay for the pig's lipstick? Twenty months. That's pretty good. Oh, wait. Did I mention the Apollo program? They tore up the landscaping, they cut down trees. Saruman did less of a job on Isengard. They probably racked up another $50,000 in damage that they had to reverse. So, add a few more months to recoup that cash. Now, what if you have less than ideal tenants? Stretch out the timeframe. What if someone who couldn't cut a straight line to save his life was tasked to do the renovations? Well, on a shoddy fence, it means children and pets end up with splinters. In the lunar estates, it means that a cupboard could come down on you, or a window could fall out, or wiring could catch alight. So, here's to hoping that these do not happen in the first 20 months after the suites are renovated.

Meanwhile, there's a fire sale on Shelbourne Street. While they wait for overpriced construction equipment or yet another cube van get sold, I can take solace in the idea that they are holding the bag on the loan payments to pay for these items. If they had learned to do their job, everything would been swell.
A good friend likes to remind me of the "min-max" concept: minimum expenditure for maximum gain. Here's what happens when you push the min-max concept past the breaking point. They provided too little for too much money. Now, they have a driveway full of junk and a dwindling list of clients.


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