Landlords From Around The World Share Their Terrible Tenant Stories

Landlords From Around The World Share Their Terrible Tenant Stories

Most of us have probably had a bad landlord at one time or another, but did you ever wonder what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot? The thing about tenants is, once they're in, they're almost impossible to get out. So if you get a bad one, you're stuck with them, no matter how much damage they do - and according to these stories, they can do a whole lot! We asked landlords from around the world to share their most appalling tenant stories.

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44. The tenant with faulty wiring.

My parents rented a floor of their 2-family home to a guy who was an electrician. In return for lower rent, he did electrical improvements and minor repairs to the house.

All of a sudden, our electric bill nearly doubled. So they called the power company for an inspection and discovered that the tenant had illegally re-wired his connection so that it was drawing most of the current for his apartment from their electric meter instead of his.

They had given him a substantial break in the rent, and he abused their kindness. Dad simply said, "No good deed goes unpunished."


43. Paranoid about nothing.

I had a tenant tell me when they moved in that they worked for "THE Agency" (meaning CIA I guess?) and make all these demands once they got their key. Like that they wanted new security cameras only posted at one specific neighbor's door (because that tenant was their "mark") and when I refused they hung up obviously fake ones (made out of soda cans, tinfoil & string spray painted silver) pointed at my door. I lived onsite and he started watching me whenever I left or even got the mail. When I tried to take down his fake security cameras, he called CPS on me.

I don't even have kids.

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42. He didn't look like the type.

One tenant I had was a great handyman/construction/deckbuilding/remodeling kinda guy who by all accounts would out-work three normal people on any job site. Unfortunately, he decided to apply this same hustle to selling illegal narcotics after about a year of living there. Cops got onto him, swooped in on him SWAT style, and kicked in both doors of my house, tossed tear gas in through most of the windows, and generally messed the place up in the process of arresting him and searching the place. The cops ripped up carpet, one fell through the ceiling from the attic, and they punched holes in walls. I finally get the house fixed and rented, and some of his former "associates" came by and trashed the house looking for cash or his stash or something. The tenants were not home, but were terrified and moved out. This is a nice, quiet street in a decent neighborhood. You just never know with some folks.


41. Everyone's an interior decorator.

My landlords told me that they used to allow tenants to paint the walls but no longer did. This restriction can all be blamed on one girl who decided she wanted to paint the entire room (walls and ceiling) in dark midnight blue and then, while the paint was still wet, throw handfuls of glitter in it. My landlady said it was the biggest pain in the neck to get rid of because if you tried to paint over, the glitter would still show through. They had to scrape every surface. Now the whole house is the plainest of plain taupes.

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40. Please do not flush anything other than toilet paper.

My landlord rents the house next door to us also. Well the tenants next door were flushing baby wipes down the toilet and clogged up the pipes and since they were in the process of getting evicted they never said anything. When the landlord went into the house all the sewage was in the basement, bleh. I watched multiple workers run outside to puke, it was pretty disgusting.


39. Were you raised in a barn?

Buddy of mine owned a 3 story house. Got a call from the 2nd floor tenants that water was coming though his roof. He went to the 3rd floor and when the tenants opened the door he could see one of those blow up swimming pools in the living room. Not the little ones mind you but one of the big 24 inch deep ones. As if this wasn't shocking enough, the tenant had also removed all the kitchen cabinet doors and replaced them with chicken wire and had a dozen chickens living in them.

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38. Can't evict him for 18 years.

I have one complete deadbeat tenant. You know the drill. Completely funded by his parents. Makes tons of noise. Dumb as rocks. I tried to evict him when I caught him drawing on the walls in CRAYON, but he invoked some local statutes, in conjunction with my wife's warnings, that kept me from doing so. It's gotten to the point where my wife and I end up cooking him nearly every meal, I'm waking him up in the mornings, buying his clothes, taking him to school. He's like a child.

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37. It's a tenant's market.

I grew up in Washington, DC where my parents rented out our entire basement floor. We had one tenant absolutely living in filth. The smell got so bad we decided to evict them. That was when we learned about DC's Renters Right's laws. First, you have to prove they are not only in violation of their lease, but also that they have not paid you in excess of three months. So if you do that, you have to inform them of your intention to evict. Then, after three months, you can submit your request to the US Marshal Service, they handle evictions for DC. It is an office of six people, for a city of 600,000. So then you have to wait six months for them to process your eviction. In the meantime, your tenant, that has been living rent free for nine months, has completely trashed the space because he knows he is being evicted.

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36. A tragic two-parter.

My father had one tenant who was morbidly obese. One day, one of the guy's neighbors came to my father worried because he hadn't seen the guy in several days. My father went to the apartment and the door was unlocked. They went in to check it out, and the guy had died in his bed, probably at least two weeks prior. While they were waiting for emergency services to come pick the guy up, another one of the tenants shot herself in her apartment. They were both very nice people when they were living though.

He also had another tenant who asked if her brother could come stay with her for a few months. My father agreed without meeting the guy, and he showed up and it turned out that he was in some kind of Neo-Nazi motorcycle group. He had swastikas and even Hitler's face tattooed on him and his Nazi motorcycle buddies were at the house constantly. They were very careful never to cause any kind of disturbance, but of course all the other tenants hated them and were constantly trying to come up with complaints about them to have them evicted.

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35. Inflammatory story.

My parents had a tenant stopped paying rent. Right before they were evicted, the house burned down. Folks were just happy no one was hurt... until the cops told them it had been arson. Meanwhile, the tenants had been living in the garage - where they had moved all of their stuff before the fire. Tried to file a lawsuit saying that the house had been improperly maintained and the fire was our fault.

Took another month to get them evicted. Insurance covered building a new house, though, so at least there's that.

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34. Too close for comfort.

I rented my garage apartment to an acquaintance and first night after he moved in we both went to the bar down the street. We drank for a while, and I got pretty lit, but I went home by myself, locked up the house and crashed. I woke up the next morning and someone is spooning me... I roll over and it's the guy. I wake him up with a resounding "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" He apologized and said he had gotten wasted and lost his keys, so he'd broken into through a back window of MY house, found a bed and just passed out.

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33. We can't imagine.

Real nice older guy lived in the apartment next to mine for several years. He was quiet, and I didn't notice when he had not been around for a while. The landlord asked me to go into his apartment with her, kind of afraid he might be dead inside - he had never been late on his rent before. We went in there, expecting the worst, and all that was in the entire place was a bare mattress in the living room, with an enormous stack of dirty magazines and DVD's, and a toaster. My elderly landlord quipped, "How do you think he used the toaster?"

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32. Sad viewing.

Worked for a large rental property company. A man called one of the properties and asked if they had any units available on a high floor. This was a high rise in a great location, where the upper floors had a nice view of the city, so the request wasn't unusual.

The man came to view the unit, and a leasing agent took him on the tour. She opened the balcony to show him the view, and then she went back into the unit, expecting him to follow. When he didn't, she turned around and he was gone. He jumped from the balcony onto the road below. The unit was on something like the 20th floor, so you can guess what happened to the guy.

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31. Here come the tears.

My dad rents a few houses out and about 10 years ago he was going to collect rent from an older couple in one of his houses. Let's call her Annie, answered the door and made my dad a cuppa. He was surprised her husband, let's call him Frank, was not sitting in his normal arm chair, he was quite a big man and was always there when my dad came round. So dad asked Annie where he was and she said 'He's in bed, he died last Tuesday, I'm not really sure what to do.' This was Saturday and dad asked where she had been sleeping, 'In beside Frank.' she said. So dad was able to help Annie with the undertakers and had to help them get big Frank down the narrow stairs. He got Annie sorted with a new house to rent as well. Grief can make people do very strange things.

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30. Not exactly a saint.

I had a female tenant who lived in a basement apartment. We regularly heard a dog barking in her unit. Funny thing though, she didn't own a dog. She had every light in the unit on, 24/7, until she called complaining about not having any power. Went in to check it and she had power. Every light bulb was burned out though. All she had in the place was a futon and Bibles. Bibles in every room, open to different pages. When we finally got her out for nonpayment (of course), she hired a moving company to move her belongings: the futon and a garbage bag full of clothes.


29. Think he's gonna need a bigger dog.

Had a renter who must have been on something. He got obsessed with Chuck Norris and fake karate stuff. He had two little dogs he started training to kill. Only the dogs were tiny and couldn't do much. He got really demanding and also did not pay rent for three months. I finally told him he had to leave. He got very angry and called the city. The city told me to evict him. So I did. He destroyed the place and at age 40+ his parents came to pick him and his nunchucks and killer dogs up. First of many crappy tenants.

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28. Urine trouble now.

We have a duplex that we rent out and we couldn't find anyone as a suitable tenant so we went to Lambros and they said they'd found a family for us, parents with one kid. They managed to destroy a toilet somehow but other than that it was all good. Gradually though every time we would check on their half of the duplex it was getting more and more out of hand. There would be garbage strewn about, random stains on the walls etc etc. Eventually we evicted them and as we were cleaning the place up we got to one of the back bedrooms and this horrible smell just hit us like a brick wall. They'd let their little kid pee all over the carpet for the better part of 6 months and the carpet was starting to deteriorate. We had to go in there with respirators and cut out the entire carpet and had to remove parts of the plywood underneath with a sawzall.

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27. Has some growing up to do.

We rent out our basement apartment in our house. The tenant before my current one sucked so hard. Foster kid, rent was paid by children's services. Smoked weed downstairs, when we said we didn't mind if he smoked but he had to smoke outside, smoked inside anyway. Sold weed out of the place. Moved in his skanky girlfriend, fought with her constantly, when they fought they put holes in the walls and the doors (all of which had to be replaced) One night girl accuses him of hitting her. Cops show up, we let them in, they arrest him, after getting out on bail, skips bail and takes off. Children's services stopped paying for him, so he managed to stiff me on last months rent and the damages.


26. Was not expecting that.

I own a commercial building which rents mostly to small businesses. One tenant was a "consulting firm" run by two Scandinavian girls.

Every day, men (and only men) would be coming in and out of their space. Other tenants complained that some kind of weird vapor or steam would regularly escape from their unit.

As I recall, it turned out they were running an unregistered sperm bank and the vapor was coming from a big container of liquid nitrogen used to store the sperm donations.

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25. Landlord on call.

I have had the same old lady tenant since I bought the building. She chain smokes, watches tv, and collects social security. That's it. Whenever there's an issue, even if it doesn't concern me, I get a phone call every 15 minutes, with a 30 second voicemail each time, until I call her.

Cable goes out? "Stephen, it's Janice, [complaint and threat about moving]. It's snowing? "Stephen, it's Janice, [complaint and threat about moving]. Other tenants making noise at 2pm? "Stephen, it's Janice, [complaint and threat about moving].

Over and over and over, in her raspy smoker voice. She doesn't understand the concept of "I'm at work you idiot." It's gotten to the point where I listen to the first 5 seconds of the first voice-mail and just delete the rest.


24. That escalated quickly.

There was this one guy, who had a small family as a downstairs neighbour who were constantly complaining about him making excessive noise. Many noise complaints were filed, and the police were called multiple times. Neither we nor the police actually heard him making noise though. And he kept pleading that he always kept it quiet, and that the noise wasn't him.

The weeks went by, and they kept arguing, taking up most of our time with complaints and attempts to negotiate an agreement so they would stop arguing.

We later got a phone call from the mans downstairs neighbour, they were hysterical and told us to come over immediately. When we arrived, we found that he had sawed a hole in his floor, and taken a giant poop down to the neighbours living room.

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23. A sophisticated soirée.

I had a pair of early version millennial monster sisters renting from me back in the early 2000's. To add to this never ending joy was their unapologetic parasitic lawyer father. Regardless of how much I tried to explain to him that his daughters were the issue, he could not grasp the idea that his little princesses were actually foul-mouthed rude little nightmares. These girls complained about anything and everything including - and I'm not kidding - that the tap water didn't get cold enough and therefore they wanted "a water cooling apparatus" installed directly into the plumbing.

Well, upon the second to last day of their lease, they threw a bash. A gala that included human feces painted on the walls and mashed down into every drain in the place, the revelation of two dead hamsters, and even the remnants of a makeshift campfire on the wooden balcony planks of the third floor, no less. Total damages in excess of $45,000.

Needless to say, the photos I took to sue them were downright epic. The fathers's defense in court, believe it or not, was that they shouldn't be held responsible for the damage because even though they admitted to throwing the party, they said they left in the middle of it and didn't even return until the lease was up.

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22. Artist in residence.

I was an RA (resident advisor) for dorms in college. We didn't necessarily evict but we definitely saw some crazy stuff when we did the final inspections of rooms after the academic year was over.

In any case, one year there was this girl who had a single room (most rooms were 2 to a room) and she was SUPER quiet. I'd say hi to her in the hallways and stuff but mostly she kept to herself.

When the year was up, she signed up for a room checkout inspection but when I went in, she was already gone. That's not that unusual; sometimes things happen, but usually students will let their RA know if they won't physically be there for the inspection.

I did my usual check of stuff - ok the fridge is cleaned out, nothing in the drawers, etc.- and everything was pretty normal. Then I opened her closet door.

There was an entire self portrait mural covering her entire closet wall...painted in her own blood.

There was a lot of weird stuff I saw as an RA, but that was probably the weirdest.

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21. So bad the house had to be sold.

I moved out of my place about 15 years ago, but held onto it and rented it to a couple. I had stated in my ad that I didn't want pets to be had. I didn't want a mess to clean up after they left. I wasn't getting too many bites, but one couple did beg me to let them have a beagle. I should have known better.

The term of the rental agreement was one year, and things kept getting progressively worse. Two months in, he asked me to install a fence so he could let his dog out. I told him I wasn't going to go through the trouble.

After six months, he would always call me each month on the second (rent was due on the first) and tell me he was going to be late. I also went to the place to install a water filter, which was in the basement. He was acting fishy, and didn't want me in the basement for very long. After month eight, every check he wrote to me bounced.

Month ten, his girlfriend broke up with him. Month eleven rolls around, and there is no check. I call him up, but no one answers. 2 weeks go by, and I decided to enter the property. He abandoned it. There is dog poop, everywhere. In the carpet, the walls. Mold growing in the bathroom. Disgusting.

I go to a lawyer, and she tells me I've got a good case. I didn't have a lot of money at the time, so I decided to sell the place for a small loss to someone I knew who did restorations.

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20. They either love you or fear you.

My Dad was a landlord back in the 70s.  So... his tenant owed him three months rent. He went for what he says felt like the millionth time to try and collect some rent money. He knocked and knocked and knocked. No answer. He peeked through the windows, and noticed the TV was on. Hmmmm.

He pulled out his key, and figured what the hell. He slowly opened the door, and walked inside.

Nothing too abnormal. Messy living room. Messy kitchen. He was on his way back out when something in the bedroom caught his eye. Feet sticking out from under the bed. This lady, his tenant, was so hard up that she was hiding under the freakin' bed to avoid paying him.

He turned around and left, and realized then and there that he didn't have the heart to be a landlord.

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19. Tenants just want to have fun.

I own a 2 family house so I rent out the other unit. One of my first tenants, let's call him Richard, was a young kid just out of college. He was a nice enough guy and we became friends. I have a decent sized backyard with a grill and a pool. We spent the entire summer drinking and hanging out in the backyard.

The fall comes. Richard gets it in his head that he wants to re-paint his living room. He asks me if that's ok and I say sure. He says he will paint it himself if I buy the paint. I buy the paint he picked out which is a nice neutral color. I'm kind of impressed that he had such good taste. He starts painting.

About a week later I get a call from Richard in the middle of the night. I was in bed with my wife and sleeping. He says he's having problems with the paint and asked if I could come up to help. At that point I thought he was done painting. It doesn't take a week to paint a room. It's a little weird I begrudgingly agree to go upstairs and help.

I walk up the stairs in the middle of the night. I hear music blaring from the apartment. The door to his apartment is open and I walk in. There's Richard. He's completely naked, a roller in hand, and dancing to Goodbye Horses. I noped out and told him to put some tarp down since he was getting paint on my nice hardwood floors.

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18. Hearing voices.

My parents were landlords for a little while and definitely struck out a few times. New England house split into 3 units, my parents were living in one and had a good view of the driveway and could vaguely monitor the tenants.

So this one guy was middle aged single white guy, seemed a little neurotic but nice enough. He was bothered by a few minor dents and asked my parents if he could repair them, things like small holes in the sheetrock etc. (like when the doorknob slams into it). He did a good job and my parents were happy. He disappeared out of nowhere for awhile and was late on rent. One day my dad is home alone and the guy knocks on the screen door. Dad answers and can immediately tell something is off with him. Guy proceeds to rant and rave to my father about how the people in the sky are after him and he needs to leave town NOW, then graciously invites my father to join him. All the while he's pausing between words to make "BZZZT" noises like a radio or something. I don't know if he paid his last month's rent but they were OK with him leaving.

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17. Houseful of handfuls.

I would rent out individual rooms in a big house of mine. Everybody would share a bathroom. One guy was in his 60's and was a heavy drinker and smoker. He used to not want to walk the 20 steps to the washroom, so he put a bucket in his room and would pee in it. Then dump it in the toilet after it was full. I lived in the room across from him. One night I wake up to the sound of him banging on the attic suite's door. He's yelling "Rob, quit ringing those bells!! This is the last time I'm gonna tell you!!!" There were definitely no bells ringing and the guy in the attic was a quiet guy that lived with his girlfriend.

Then there was this 40 year-old heavy set lady living in my basement who was totally normal for 5 years. Then someone at her work must have told her she smelled like fish, so she immediately thought it was related to the basement suite. She would come up and tell me the water in the showers and sinks smelled like fish. I went down and checked... it was completely normal. It's the same water in my house and I've lived there forever. She kept harassing me, so I got a plumber to come in and run some checks. Water was fine. She then gave her notice and moved out. It was pretty bizarre.

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16. Only humans allowed.

The first time I rented out my house, I was approached by a sweet older lady who had custody of her grandkids (along with her husband) and had bad credit due to "caring for her elderly mother." And of course they didn't have any pets and they happily signed a year lease with me not requiring a security deposit (they were supposed to paint in lieu).

Well, I found out they are chronic deadbeats. Their pill head adult daughter also lives with them and the 3 grandkids and they hoarded animals. They were only there 3 months, but kept complaining about repairs and asking to deduct.

The house was awful and dirty when we got it back. The grass was so bad, I got a letter from the city. There was random broken furniture buried in the grass. Concrete blocks everywhere. I had to replace the carpets due to cat pee and I fought with fleas in my own home for 3 months due to catching them from there.

I closely follow our local Facebook rental groups and I made sure to go behind her back to contact every home she expressed an interest in. Didn't want another landlord to get stuck with that circus.

The area they're scamming in has become extremely scarce for rentals - when mine is available, we only leave the ad up for a few hours because we can't handle the call volume. It won't be long before they truly are homeless and will be driven out of the area as we are also in a very landlord friendly state


15. Like a bomb went off.

I'm not a landlord, but my previous landlord (let's call him Danny) told me a crazy horror story about one of his previous tenants in the apartment I was renting. Danny said that a young couple moved in and had a baby. Their rent was always on time (partially paid through DHS) and he never had a reason to go into the apartment. And then they moved out. When he went in there, the scent just hit him. The apartment was carpeted throughout and he ended up just pulling out the whole carpet because of the bedroom. There were this huge mass of . . . something right next to the bed. He couldn't figure out what it was and then he had a friend of his come in to clean the carpet. When the steam cleaner hit the mass and got it wet, they quickly realized that it was just a huge pile of feces. Yeah. They would just squat down next to their bed and poop rather than walk 5 feet to the bathroom. In the baby's room, diapers were stuck to the floor and walls. They left huge garbage bags filled with clothes all across the apartment (Danny assumes they must have been given these clothes and they never went through them). There were so many that he couldn't take them all out to the curb at once or else the city would have charged him to pick it up. He said he would take out about 12 bags each week and he did this for about 5 or 6 weeks. They didn't clean out their fridge (it was THEIR fridge, it didn't even belong to Danny, they just left a ton of their stuff there when they left). He said that it looked like there had been food in there for months and months, for longer than they had even been there. He ended up just putting it on a dolly and tossing it out of the door onto a trailer and taking it to the dump.


14. A bad news, good news situation.

I was trying to sell my first home after purchasing my second, but the market was crap so I was renting it to a friend in the meantime. My friend is a contractor, mostly carpentry and paint. He's pretty handy in general, so I had him do some work around the house in lieu of part of the rent. He would also take care of the yard for an additional discount.

He lived there for seven months while I had the house on the market, and always kept the living space tidy and the yard manicured. When I found a buyer, I gave him a few months notice that he'd have to leave, as someone wanted to buy the place. He started avoiding my calls, pretending not to be home when I'd stop by, and not responding to e-mails.

One day, I'd had enough. The buyer wanted to do a final walk-through with his inspector before we started the (long, torturous) process of filling out the paperwork that weekend, and it was Tuesday. I showed up, used my spare key to enter through the garage, and found out why he'd been avoiding me.

He'd been spending his free time (after working all day) framing interior walls and hanging sheetrock in my garage. He'd talked to the buyer (without my knowledge) and the guy loved the place but it didn't have a finished garage, so my buddy told him he'd finish the garage before the buyer got the keys. It ended up being one of the selling points for the buyer.

So my worst tenant helped me sell the house he was living in by finishing a garage for free. I've only ever had one tenant.

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13. Left some friends behind.

Not a landlord, but I once rented an apartment on the 2nd floor of a long 3-story apartment building with two separate breezeways. One day, we started seeing roaches in increased numbers. Now, we were next to a wooded park, and this was in Atlanta, Georgia, so we expected an occasional visitor from time to time, but the frequency increased to at least three sightings a day and this was during the winter, so I called the management company to get an exterminator out. He came, but the roaches persisted. I called again.

This went on for weeks and my patience eventually thinned, so I called the management company and asked what was going on and why they couldn't get the problem fixed. They told me that a tenant in the bottom floor of the other half of my building had recently been evicted. The reason for that eviction was that child social services were called when neighbors began regularly observing a five year-old child wandering the breezeway naked, covered in dirt, and crying. This apparently was going on every day. When someone came to investigate, the child, who was home alone, opened the door for the social worker, who later told the management company that there were roaches crawling all over the child, the walls, the ceiling, and the floor to the extent that the social worker was forced to involve the police, get the parents arrested, and place the child in the care of relatives. The management company evicted the tenants, bug-bombed their apartment, and the colony of roaches scattered in search of new homes, leading to our infestation. They said the exterminator promised them they would subside in a few more weeks, tops, which they did. I moved anyway.

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12. In search of a home at any cost.

I was renting a room in my rental house. It was a nice big room, house was clean, but nobody seemed to want the room. Then Lloyd showed up. He instantly accepted terms. I was wary of instantly approving him, but rent was due so Lloyd was in. When he got his "stuff", it consisted of a bedroll and a knapsack. This made me wonder.

For the next two months, Lloyd was rarely home. I'd see him more often at the YMCA than at the house. He said he was in process of patching up things with his ex-girlfriend. Everyone at the Y seemed to like Lloyd, but I was suspicious of him. Hard to pin down. He just seemed like a weasel to me.

A few days after month three elapsed, Lloyd called me from jail. He wanted me to return his portion of the month's rent to bail him out of jail. After thinking for one second, I declined. Rent needed to be paid. He got upset, but I didn't give an inch. Apparently his ex had a restraining order on him that he violated. At this point I had resolved to boot Lloyd.

He was back home in week or so. I had a sit down talk with him and explained (lied) that the house was being sold and we had one month to get out. At the end of the month he grabbed his bed roll and knapsack and left. A few weeks later, he broke into his ex-girlfriend's house and went to jail for good.

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11. Payback's just a hose away.

I am not a landlord, but I worked as a secretary for one during college. Although he was a massive douche waffle, there was one instance where I actually felt just a tiny bit sorry for him.

There was a single mom living in one of our condos with her 3 kids. After endless warnings about late payments, partial payments, noise complaints, failing to keep her dog on a leash, etc., my boss decides it’s time to evict her. Because she was (we thought) a nice woman and just going through a rough time, we had some sympathy and offered her a deal: if she moved out within 3 months and stayed current on her rent during that time, she wouldn’t owe us any more money and we would have the eviction dismissed by the court. She agreed, and we thought it was settled. A couple weeks later, she called and told us that she found a new place, and we scheduled a time to do the walk-through and check-out.

On the day of the walk through, we showed up at the condo and rang the doorbell a few times…no answer. After 10 minutes of waiting, we opened the door. I have never seen anything so completely disgusting in my entire life. The place was completely torn apart. Doors were hanging off their hinges, the basement was flooded with a hose, and every drain in the condo had hot wax poured down it. And, for good measure, there were holes punched in the walls, with raw eggs thrown in. On the kitchen counter was a handwritten note that said “You’ll be hearing from my attorney.” The keys and garage door opener were sitting neatly next to it.

He filed a vandalism report with the police and put in an insurance claim, but I quit pretty soon after that, so I’m not totally sure how it all ended. As I said, the landlord was a jerk…so while I don’t condone vandalism and what she did was wrong and totally illegal…a little voice in my head thought he kind of deserved it.

flooding-2048469_1920-300x187.jpgImage by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

10. Bad tenant, worse pen pal.

I had a tenant that went to jail. After not receiving rent on time, leaving messages on his phone, and leaving notes on his door, I finally entered the premises to make sure he was alive. A check of the home told me he was not home nor had been there a while. He had many caged pets, fish, reptiles, spiders, as we'll as a cat, and a dog.

I had one emergency contact number for him and they had no idea where he may be. I called the local police and upon research found out he had been in jail for a month and a half. They gave me information to reach him, and that's where things got crazy. He started sending me crazy letters with drawings about items I could sell of his to recoup rent while he was in jail. He wanted me to take care of his many pets, which he said he would pay me for. The crazy letters kept coming and his jail time went longer and longer. Eventually I had had enough of taking care of his pets and selling his junk, it ended up being a second job.

Doing research on landlord, tenant laws in my area I learned I could evict him for not living on the premises for X number of days. I wrote him in jail with the proper information and a date of which he had to have his stuff out if the house, with no response. One day a gentleman stopped by my place with rent and a couple extra hundred dollars, either a relative or friend of my tenant. He asked if the items could stay in the house for a few more weeks. I agreed but I moved all the belonging into the garage so I could get the house ready for viewing (pets still in the house, and I was taking care of them.)

The guy that paid for the extra few weeks came back picked up all the items minus the pets. I sent a letter explaining I would be rehomeing the pets in a week if someone didn't pick them up, no response. I started selling/giving away pets. Slowly family members and his friends started stopping by to pick up what pets had not been rehomed. Months after I thought it was all over I received a letter from him saying he was going to sue me because items of his were missing along with drawing of them, like soap, dish towels, bathroom floor mats. It was insane. I wish I had saved them all to look back on, once I found our he had no legal recourse and I shared the letters with friends I trashed them.

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9. The pets have it the worst of all.

My parents where renting out to Section 8 people (government assistance for housing.) We usually get a hit or miss, sometimes it's good people and other times not so much. Anyhow, when this lady first moved in it was her and her two kids. She seemed like a good choice, she was working full time and putting her kids into daycare/school. It went all downhill about a month after she got a new boyfriend. He was bad news and very soon she stopped paying rent (the little she had to pay, probably something like 300 a month while the government covered like 1200). She would never answer the door, and the neighbor started complaining about people coming in and out of the house day and night.

But the biggest problem is that Section 8 is near impossible to evict, so we couldn't do much but just watch as things went from bad to worse. When me and my dad got in one day we saw/smelled 5 or so people laying down all sweaty and nasty. Carpet was so gross and the walls were caked with some residue. Her poor kids, near the end the kids didn't eat anything as the neighbor told us they would come over and ask for food. The final stage happened when Child Protective Services came down on them, went through the house and said the only thing edible in that house were the ice cubes. They had no food whatsoever, the mom had been passed out for nearly 2 days when they came. It was even put in the newspaper because they took her kids away and arrested her.

When me and my dad finally got into the house after they arrested her, it was so bad we trashed the carpet. Painted everything, but the area where those people were laying down out was the worst. I painted the walls 3 times. It still smelled, then I primed the floor nearly 2 times and then painted it over to finally get the sweaty smell out of the house. The kids beds had stains all over. Found a baby turtle in the kids room still alive but very malnourished, fed it my banana (lil dude ate half the banana!) brushed him with a tooth brush then put him in the this creek area a little ways up the road. Little guy saw the pond and took off......only good part about the story........the rest sucked!!!!!!!!!

turtle-1531367_1920-300x225.jpgImage by Bethany Wallace from Pixabay

8. What's behind door #9...

I did property management at 100-unit complex through college. It was a pretty awesome job, rent was covered and all I had to do was fill out paperwork and manage the maintenance staff.

I had a pretty even mix of tenants, a lot of college kids along with some rather depressing older single folks. One of those depressing older folks was a guy who had no family around and was on disability. He kept to himself, I saw him make a walk to the convenience store once or twice a week and that was it.

Around June of my second year there, I get call from the tenants in his building that there was a funky odor in the building. I went in, and it smelled faintly like someone had yakked in the hall. Seeing as there were a handful of college kids in that building, I figured that's exactly what happened. We had the carpets shampooed the next day and I figured that was the end of it. A few days later, and I get calls from 4 of the other residents about the smell, they say it's worse. Much worse.

As I'm about to go figure out what is going on, my phone rings. The guy I mentioned above, this was his daughter. She lived in Texas (this is outside of Detroit), and hadn't heard from him in a few weeks and he wasn't answering his phone. She asked if I could go and check on him.

As I'm walking, I put two and two together. Bad smell in the building. Guy who hasn't been heard of, who lives on the top floor, in the middle of good will come from this day.

I grab the maintenance guy and tell him about the call. He goes from his usual chipper self to a rather stoic man who is trying to prepare himself for what is behind Door #9.

So, we go into the building and sure enough...the smell hits us like a brick wall. We go to the door, the smell is much stronger, and much worse. Knock a few times, no answer.

We open the door about a crack...all you can hear is the buzzing of flies and all you can smell is death. We promptly slammed the door and left the building to figure out how to handle it. Police were called first, coroner and ambulance and police all show up.

The guy died from some sort of natural causes probably 3-4 weeks earlier. By that time, the temperature was regularly in the 90s outside, so in an apartment without A/C on, it was cooking this guy at about 100-110 degrees. He was practically a puddle by the time we got to him.

The cost to recover the apartment was close to 30 grand. It was stripped down to the studs. Every thread of carpet, every appliance, every cabinet, every hunk of drywall...all removed. There are actually special companies who handle a lot of this stuff, and they aren't cheap.

Even after that, there was always a faint odor in the apartment and I had a hard time re-renting it.

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7. No electricity? No problem.

When I purchased a small 3 story house the original landlord lived on the second floor so I needed to get a tenant in there. After reviewing everyone I choose a couple that had 2 really young kids.

They payed for 2 months then stopped paying. Took them to court and since they had 2 young kids the government pretty much payed all the rent owed and offered to send us checks to help them with rent and they would pay the difference. They didn't pay the difference and the government checks kept getting smaller so took them to court again and eventually got them evicted.

Messed up part is they weren't even paying for electricity for the last 2 months they were there. They were stealing electricity from the main lobby. I called the police but they wouldn't file a report even thought electric theft is a FELONY. They were using the oven and the stove to heat up the apartment, which is a fire and health hazard. They also had candles on top of doors and on the floor for light. My third floor tenant called me saying there was a lot of smoke one time when they almost burned the building down. When the sheriff came to evict them she told me she'd never seen anything like this. There were HUGE burn marks all over the walls and the roof because of the candles. All in all it took me 2.5 years to get them out.

Oh, also they water bill literally went up like 150 dollars since they came in. My lease forbid having a washing machine but they put one in anyway. They eventually took it out when I took them to court first time, but who knows they probably put it right back. Landlording is really mentally draining.

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6. The den of filth.

My mother had this one tenant couple who swore that they would not bring anybody else into the place. Young girl about late teens/early twenties with a guy about mid 30's to early 40's. My mother was skeptical, but she let them rent out the basement, which only had one room, a small bathroom, and a kitchen connected to the living room. As time went on, we continued to see a couple of men, some young children, a couple of women, and a tiny dog, but she let it go.

They blasted music for hours into the night, while a baby was crying. Heard kids punch the walls and screaming at midnight. They were constantly having the lights on and flushing all kinds of random things down the drain. Constantly late on rent and arguing against my mother, berating her about how she's unreasonable with the rent and shouldn't be complaining about a thing. As they argued, you can see their dog pooping all over the steps as they keep him outside, tied with a leash regardless of the season; constantly barking at everything. The dog was all bones, no meat.

These people lived in rancid conditions, roaches crawling all over the furniture and in the refrigerator, trash sprawled over the tile floor, and the walls scribbled on by their demonic kids. Took us about a year and a half to get rid of these people, they left their mattress and furniture, the fridge ruined by a roach nest and rotten food, and the walls busted with the insulation decaying from the humidity of their filth.

I hope that the children of those people grow up knowing that their parents were complete disgraceful, disgusting, horrible people and that they do not become them.

cockroach-70295_1280-300x180.jpgImage by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

5. Not so handy, handyman.

I managed low income housing and had quite a few interesting tenants.

One of the worst was a family with three small kids. They had been living in a campground and were desperately looking for a place. They had no security deposit but the only apartment that I had available was one that needed some repairs, and the father claimed he was pretty handy. The worst part was a big hole in the floor in the living room.

He agreed to fix it and be the handyman in exchange for not needing a security deposit and a deduction in rent. Fast forward a month later and the guy and his family have just disappeared. After a few days of not being able to get a hold of him I put up a notice to enter the property.

After waiting another couple days I go in and it looks like they've abandoned the place. As I'm walking out the guy and his family pull up to the apartment. He goes ballistic and starts screaming at me for going into his apartment. He tells me that they are going to move out that day, that he can no longer live in a place like that (apparently they were on a waiting list for housing and had just gotten a place.)

After they move out I went in to clean the place. He had removed the repairs he had done, including putting the big hole back in the floor and had left filth and crap everywhere. The refrigerator had nothing but rotten food in it.

I also had a tenant banging on my door at midnight demanding we put him up in a hotel because his power was shut off because he didn't pay the bill.

Another lady moved out, locked her keys inside the apartment and had all 4 burners of the stove on high.

The final straw was the owner coming to my work one day threatening to kill me because my wife told him that I had taken the rent in, while I actually forgotten it at home. He had a lot of anger problems...

handyman-3546194_1920-300x200.jpgImage by bidvine from Pixabay

4. It doesn't get any worse than this.

When I was a kid we had a single mother living in our basement suite. Her baby was less than a year old. Soon after she moved in she started dating one of her friends and he would be around a lot, even babysitting for her so she could have some alone time with her friends. My mum mentioned that a couple of times a week, her baby would have these awful crying fits that went on for hours and hours. She started to wonder if maybe there was some way she could help so she talked to her about it. The woman said "Oh, that's because when my boyfriend watches him, he doesn't like to go to bed. He'll come around."

Well a few weeks go by of this progressively getting worse. the tenant just kept insisting there was no problem, that her baby just wasn't used to the guy yet. Then one night my sister was in her room. The wall of her bedroom divided her room from the tenants bathroom. She heard the baby crying and eventually heard the boyfriend bring the baby into the bathroom. Suddenly there was a thud against the wall and an ear piercing wail and my sister screamed for me to come into the room. Before I could get there, there was another thud and then silence.

Cue police, ambulance, fire. The baby was alive but had some head injuries and I believe brain damage, but they don't know the extent of it. Long story short, the boyfriend eventually admitted that the baby crying made him upset. In an effort to quiet him he would hurt him to try to teach him who was boss. On this particular evening, he reached a breaking point and decided to try holding his head under water. When that didn't work and the baby wound up kicking him, he threw him into the bathroom wall until he was quiet. Then he called 911 and said that the baby had started randomly having seizures.

He wound up in jail for eight years and the mum and baby moved out. We never had another tenant after that.

prison-553836_1920-300x200.jpgImage by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

3. Cleaning up a pig sty.

My father and mother got a few small houses when the housing bubble popped a few years back and have made very well for themselves renting them out. This was when I was in my undergrad and was pretty removed from the situation. While visiting home one weekend my dad asks for help in cleaning up after a tenant recently moved out. He told me it was bad but I wasn't really sure what to expect. We get to this place and holy crap. These people were living like animals in my opinion.

There were cigarettes put out on the wall; beige carpet turned grey or black from dirt and filth; many carpentry nails stuck all over the wall (like too many to have been hanging things); carpet vastly stretched out in all rooms; sharpie and crayon all over their kid's walls and the hallway; a refrigerator full of food and meat that they unplugged before leaving (a little over a week before we got in to clean); clothes, dishes, furniture, CDs, DVDs, electronics and so much more just abandoned; and the final thing that I recall was the two or three milk crates of dirty DVDs. These people had a library of it. Plus the adult toys we found all over. They obviously weren't trying too hard to hide them from their kids.

Now, my father is a pretty combative and confrontational guy. He likes his property taken care of and hates the bum mentality or when people live like animals. Turns out, he knew were the woman worked after learning the boyfriend skipped town. He goes to the gas station and tells her to clean her stuff out (hence the week and half delay in getting there to clean). After that he goes to talk to her again and is told by the boss she hasn't shown up since and is presumed to have skipped town as well. I guess we'll never know what happened to them.

If you're wondering, in cases like this we sell what we can of what's abandoned to compensate for the repairs and costs of cleaning. Clothes, dishes and the like get cleaned and donated usually.


2. An unconventional solution.

Alrighty. I was subletting in a 3 storey apartment in the east end of Toronto. Our roommate worked with the owners and lived there so myself and my gf and him turned into the middlemen(woman) between the landlords and the rest of the tenants for communication. Our landlords were Indian and had trouble communicating in English, so our help communicating really improved smoothing things out when necessary.

A tenant moved into the basement downstairs, a 1 bedroom apartment, a late twenties-baby mama from Toronto's first people's (native) community. I don't judge people based on their ethnic background, but our downtown core does have a disproportionate amount of low income native Canadian citizens with substance abuse problems. And she did. About a week into her living there her boyfriend started visiting from Thursdays to Sundays, and would assault her relentlessly. They both had bruises or black eyes when we would see them, they'd be up from 4am to 7am physically fighting in the street or on our driveway. Police were of course called and her baby, which we found out was under 3 months old, was taken away by child services.

These fights, the boyfriend being in and out of jail, and the constant substance abuse lead to us having the police place conditions on the boyfriend that he wasn't allowed to come near the property any more. He had also come after my girlfriend with a bottle in the middle of the night. Sadly, the wrong address was put on the orders (he had orders not to come near a house in the middle of renovations with nobody living in it on the block south of us instead). We found out about a month after he'd still been coming by. The landlords were afraid to get into the legal battle to evict them but eventually the downstairs apartment was raided one night while there were 3 different families sleeping on the living room floor. The found smashed windows and walls from when the boyfriend broke in overnight one time, and an illegally owned gun. I'm assuming the fact that the boyfriend's mom now having possession of the child and the gun in the apartment is the reason why she couldn't escape her abusive baby daddy troubles.

Here's the kicker. Our roommate was under the impression that he was the cause of the police raid and this downstairs tenant leaving. He talked to himself at night on the porch at night and left the door wide open so raccoons would come into his room. One night I went to chase them out with a broom (for his sake) and found a shrine in the corner of the room. He'd been collecting stuff from around the property, erected this little doll, made offerings, had candles burning everywhere and then admitted to us that he practiced black magic and had been doing so to rid the property of the downstairs tenants. He was south American and had been going on vacations pretty often, but we never realized it was to practice black magic and meet with mediums.

So it turned out our roommate was a witch doctor and successfully voodoo'd them away.

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1. Nice turned naughty.

I grew up in a 2 family house. My parents lived there for over 30 years. Most of their tenants were fine (they were quite lucky in that regard) but a few we had over the years stuck with me...

They had one tenant, "Ned" who was a super-smart R&D engineer. He got the place because he worked with my dad. For about five years he was a DREAM tenant - quiet, paid his rent on time, really nice guy who helped with the shoveling/repairs, great to us kids (he introduced me to Zork - can't quibble with that!). Then.... he met this woman. There was just something "off" about her, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. They dated, they married. She moved into the apartment.

Things were OK for a few months, but then this young, pretty hot blonde guy would come stay with her while Ned was traveling. Since the setup of the apartment was such that we could see who was going in and out of the apartment (my father built the house that way on purpose), she knew that we knew he was there. She introduced him to us as her "nephew." I thought it was pretty ballsy. Even as a 10-ish year old kid, I was like "Yeah, right." But they kept quiet, minded their own business and my parents just let it go, since Ned was still a good tenant, had a valid lease, paid his rent on time and things were quiet. She figured Ned and his wife would sort out whatever it was.

Well, things then started getting a little crazy. Ned's wife and her "nephew" started doing some pot and some 'shrooms and, let's just say, it was evident to us what was going on with Ned's wife and her "nephew." Their discretion decreased over time. Well, at the same time Ned's (and my father's) company was sold off. My dad lost his job, unfortunately, and Ned's job was relocated to another state. So, Ned ended his lease and he and his wife moved out of the apartment, rather quickly, since Ned needed to get settled before starting his new job. When we were readying the apartment for new tenants, we found SO MUCH POT tucked in various hiding places and corners of the apartment. Of course, my parents jettisoned it all and I was still too young to know better. I'm thinking his wife had to be high when they moved out to have left that much behind!!!

The only other really bad tenant we had was our very last one. We usually found tenants through word of mouth - our neighbors or a family member knew someone looking for a place, one of my parents' co-workers needed a place, etc. For whatever reasons, they came up empty this time around. So they went to an agency - BIG MISTAKE. They ended up with someone who seemed like a very sweet 19 year old girl, recent high school graduate, had a job. She said her boyfriend would come visit "once in in a while." Well, we come to find out that meant her 43 year old deadbeat boyfriend was LIVING with her (he'd stay for 2-3 days and then leave for a day or two and come back, so it technically wasn't his place of residence). My parents were willing to overlook that as they were quiet, paid rent on time and he didn't raise the utility bills too much.

However, when her pregnant sister, boyfriend and their THREE kids also started coming to stay at the apartment (now, mind you, this was a VERY small 1 bedroom apartment - maybe 900 sq ft, at most). That was the last straw. My mom decided at first to give her the benefit of the doubt (against my father's VERY strong wishes) and talked to her. She came up with some story about how her sister had fallen on hard times, was pregnant again, etc. My mom said fine, they have 14 days to find a place of their own. Well, that came and went, and no change.

So, now, the tenant was in complete violation of her lease (this is why you get a signed lease, folks) and eviction proceedings started. This young woman who was normally sweet and nice became a dragon lady. I honestly don't think it was her - I think the boyfriend and the sister were pushing her to it because their gravy train was now leaving the station... So, my dad eventually changed the locks and had lawyer friends of ours write her a strongly worded letter on their letterhead basically telling her the lease was null and void, never come back again and we're keeping the security deposit (they apartment was gross when they left and repairs FAR exceeded the security deposit) and had it delivered, registered to her work, so we know she got it. She called a few times looking for her security deposit back (found out later she was pregnant with her deadbeat boyfriend's baby and really needed the $), but we ignored her calls and had the lawyer send another registered letter. We never heard from her again.

My parents decided they were DONE with being landlords after that. The apartment sat empty for about 2 years and then they sold the house and bought a single family home. Lesson learned!

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