RICHMOND, Va. — Metro Properties, Inc, a local property management firm notorious for their shady practices, took a bold step yesterday after subletting the half bathroom of an already occupied Grace Street row home.
Jason Mendelson, who rents the row home from Metro Properties, returned from a weeklong vacation to find a man, Mike Chapman, occupying the bathroom located underneath his stairs.
“As I walked through the front door, I heard the Harry Potter theme blasting from my half bathroom,” Mendelson said. “I thought my friends were playing a joke on me.”
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Mendelson opened the door to find a man sitting on the toilet watching “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and eating a grilled cheese sandwich. Thinking Chapman was an intruder, Mendelson immediately left and contacted the Richmond Police Department.
Chapman was interviewed by officers and was let go when he produced both a key to the front door and a lease agreement for the half bath. He told officers he rented the 5-by-3-foot bathroom from Metro Properties for $600 a month including utilities, a hot plate, and a roll of Charmin Essentials toilet paper.
“The lady from Metro Properties told me the other renter was totally cool with it,” Chapman said. “I play the harmonica in a jam band. I’m on the road a lot and don’t need much space and the price fit my budget. I really don’t want to leave. I already put down the first and last month’s rent.”
Marlee Hall, the agent who rented the property to Chapman did not understand what all of the fuss was about.
“Other than the dropping of an occasional deuce, nobody ever uses that bathroom, so it seemed like a good opportunity to collect some extra rent,” Hall said. “We’re having a sales contest and I’m trying to win a trip to Cancun, damn it.”
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