Property management sounds like a pretty straight forward business, and in many cases it is. Advertising apartments, screening tenants, writing leases, neighbor issues, maintenance, managing repairs and so on..But sometimes you will find yourself in an unexpected and urgent situation .A good Management Company has to be ready to respond immediately.

This next piece is about such a situation.

Tuesday, 6:30 AM the phone rings, on the other side is a tenant from a Jerusalem apartment. He starts off apologizing for calling so early in the morning. Apparently he woke up and found that the entire apartment is flooded.  The weird thing was that he couldn’t see the source. The manager was there within a half an hour and heard a noise behind the refrigerator. 

After moving the refrigerator, he found that the water is coming out of the floor. There was a hidden pipe that was closed off unprofessionally with cement by a contractor a few years before. The problem was that even after closing the main water valve of the apartment, the water didn’t stop. After speaking to the buildings manger (the common areas are managed by a building management company) turns out that a neighbor decided that he wants to turn the water to the bomb shelter that has been closed for a few years. The water pipes were connected to the heating system, and once he turned it on, it caused pressure in the pipes and the water started to “come out of the floor”.

After consulting with our plumber and the buildings manger we decided to disconnect the link between to two systems, so the building bomb shelter has running water, but the old heating system is not connected to the cycle.

So what do we did we learn from this situation?

First, that quick response and the communication with the building’s manager helped resolved this issue quickly with no permanent damage.

Could this whole story be avoided, in this particular case it’s unlikely since the owners themselves didn’t know that the contractor didn’t seal off the pipe and that these two systems were connected.

Although this is an unusual situation, since plumbing can be unpredictable, especially in Israel where sometime the plumbers and contractors do not follow protocol. We updated our protocols in order to try and find these kinds of flues when receiving a new apartment in Jerusalem for management.