When Shakespeare said, “People are the happiest at home,” he wasn’t talking about the folks who have landlords like these ones. From the terrifyingly tyrannical to the creepy, cringeworthy, and downright dangerous, all of these landlords have one thing in common—they’ve caused massive amounts of misery for their tenants.
I once had a landlord scream in my face because, in our contract, he had agreed to remediate the mold in our bathroom. I moved in and the mold was still there. He flat out said he had no intention of doing anything about it, so I told him that I had no intention of paying any rent until it was addressed. I then referred him to the relevant section of my state’s housing code.
For some reason, the jerk had the nerve to act like I was being the unreasonable one for expecting him to follow through on what he agreed to do verbally, with a handshake, and in writing.
I lived in a studio apartment above a bar in a downtown area. I had friends who had lived in that building for years, and I was pretty excited to move in. Everything was fine for the first six months, but then I started to have this strange feeling. Almost like the place was haunted. Things would end up in odd places, and I would sometimes see black shadows out of the corner of my eye.
I didn’t put much thought into it until one night when I suddenly saw a few shadowy movements in the kitchen area. I watched as the shadows tipped over my garbage can and turned on the light. They were rats! And not the cute, little ones that I used to have as pets, either. These were massive, mean-looking “don’t mess with me” rats.
From that moment on, they stopped lurking in the shadows and became extremely gutsy—until it reached a terrifying turning point. I woke up one night to find a giant rat sitting on my chest, staring me down. I turned on the light and it didn’t even flinch! I complained to the landlord every day for a week, but he claimed that there hadn’t been any other reports of rats in the building.
The rats were getting progressively more aggressive. They even tore out sections of carpet, which created a terrifying whack-a-mole type of scenario. They would pop out, take something, disappear, and then reappear on the opposite side of the room. I provided pictures of all the damage, but the landlord just shrugged it off and told me he had taken care of it.
I brought a friend over to show him how terrible it was, and when I jokingly opened the kitchen cupboards with a dramatic flourish. Big mistake. A literal squirming pile of massive rats came pouring out. That was the moment I walked. My landlord didn’t care that I was moving since I had a month-to-month agreement anyway.
I tried to get a prorated refund for the remainder of that month’s rent with my deposit. They happily gave me one…after deducting the damages to the apartment. I had to pay for new carpeting, patching the holes that were chewed in the wall, and infestation control, even though I know the owner just sent his son to go look at it.
At the time, I was just so happy to be out of there, that I didn’t care about how much I had to pay, or that I had to replace a lot of my stuff that had been torn apart.
When I moved into my apartment complex, I had to get my dog’s mouth swabbed so that the landlord would have a record of his DNA. The reason why was truly ridiculous. They claimed they would do a DNA test on any dog poop that wasn’t picked up and would then proceed to fine me for it.
I used to get medication shipped to me for a medical issue. It was a self-administered shot with a spring-loaded needle casing, and I had a safe disposal method all set up. Each month, the little coolers of medicine were delivered to the main office of my apartment building, and for the first year, everything went smoothly.
Unfortunately, my building was sold and there was a new person running the place. When I went to pick up my meds for the first time after the sale, I went to the office as I always did, and I was in for a shock. The previous people would always just pop my package into a fridge in the office that was set up for me. This woman did not.
Even though there was a massive “REFRIGERATE UPON DELIVERY” sticker on my package, this woman chose to leave it in the sweltering hot back room instead. It was pretty inconsiderate, but I could deal with it. Then when she was passing me the box, she did the thing where she mimed like she was handing it to me and then yanked it back when I reached for it.
She said, “Are these needles? Are you having needles delivered?” And I said, “That’s none of your business. Give me my medication.” She kept holding on to it and said, “Well, some of the neighbors are concerned because of the needles.” I knew this was a lie as my neighbors have never even seen my needles, and they have no clue that this is even something I need.
Yet again I told her that this wasn’t any of her business. She finally gave me the box, but every time I received my medication after that, she would give me major stink eye.
Our last landlord was a gem. He threatened to sue the raccoons that kept getting into the dumpster. He even put up a big sign on the dumpster that said it was “protected by cameras.” I don’t think the raccoons can read.
My landlady found out that I was a renovation specialist with a lot of experience in historic renovation and water/fire/storm damage. So she asked if I would do little odds and ends around the place to fix it up, and I agreed. She would either pay for the materials I needed or she would deduct the cost of them from my rent. I did a lot for her.
For one job, I replaced ALL of the doorknobs with new knobs. Each door took about six hours to complete because I had to file, sand, paint, and reset each new knob. I also replaced and refinished the front door, refinished the concrete floor in the laundry room, did some rewiring, repaired walls, and repainted the whole place.
In the kitchen, I hung new cabinets and installed a dishwasher after adjusting the layout to accommodate it. When I moved in, the house sat empty for a year because it was in such rough shape. When I moved out, the place was awesome. So nice, in fact, that my landlady was able to charge $300 more per month than I had paid.
After I left, she was able to rent out my place in just four days. A few weeks later, I started to wonder where my deposit was since I should definitely have been getting it back. Nope. Instead, I got a letter saying that she was keeping it for some ridiculous list of reasons. Well, I got the last laugh. So I took her to court and her argument was basically that this is how she makes money. The judge looked like he was holding back laughter as he ruled in my favor.
I had a landlord who took his pants off to fix our toilet because he was going to a wedding later and didn’t want them to get dirty. The thing was, I was the only one in the house at the time, which means the dude basically took off his pants in front of a minor.
Back when I lived in an off-campus apartment, the landlord bought a large RV so that he and his wife could go on spontaneous road trips. One time, without realizing that my car was parked inside the garage that was included with my rent, he parked his regular car in front of my garage bay door and took off in the RV—never thinking about my inability to get in or out.
The landlord and his wife were traveling for more than two weeks and did not leave any contact information. Since I had no way of getting my car out of my garage, I had his car towed to a nearby parking spot during his absence. When he got back, he was so furious that he refused to pay the towing fees despite having blocked me in all that time.
I lived in my landlord’s basement and it was always freezing. I finally complained about the cold, and instead of turning up the heat, she gave me a bunch of old sweaters that her son had left behind. They smelled like mold.
My wife and I rented a furnished apartment that was broken into and burglarized. We lost everything, but the only thing that belonged to the landlord that was taken was an old TV. When we moved out a month later, the landlord gave us an inventory of every tiny item they said was in the apartment. They wanted us to sign it, even though no inventory was taken when we moved in.
We did an inventory for the big stuff, but we refused to count every spoon and coaster (I’m not exaggerating) and sign off even though many of the stated items had never been there in the first place. This made the landlord so mad that he took $200 out of our deposit to pay for the TV and his sister’s time to take the inventory.
The lease was absolutely clear that we were not liable for loss or damage in such a situation. After three months of threatening to sue them, we got our full deposit back with a lovely “We forgive you” written in the corner.
My boss is my landlord. Yes, I know it sucks. We work together, and I needed a place to stay so that I would not be driving two hours a day for minimum wage. Unfortunately, she started getting into multi-level marketing businesses like Pampered Chef and she keeps putting ads in my face when I am in the kitchen. Somehow, that’s not the most deranged part.
She also set up a camera in the kitchen and watches it and controls it remotely, so it follows me as I move around while cooking and preparing food. I’m not sure how I can get out of this.
In our rental, the windows in both bedrooms were sealed shut—and this was in Texas in a house with no air conditioning. We asked our landlord to unseal one window per bedroom so we could put in window A/C units. We also lived in a sketchy area and our house had old wiring and appliances, so we were worried about not being able to escape during a fire or break-in.
The landlord refused our request, so we had the city inspect the house and they determined that she had to replace every single window in our house with LEED-certified windows.
My landlord decided to replace the roof of my apartment building during finals week in college. Instead of hiring professional roofers, he just had the building’s maintenance workers do it. I live on the top floor and it honestly sounded like some fat guy was repeatedly jumping up and down on my ceiling while I was trying to sleep and study.
This went on for eight hours each day for an entire week. I called the landlord twice because chunks of drywall were falling out of the ceiling and I didn’t want to be blamed for it. By the end of the week, I counted nine nails that they had somehow managed to pound right through the ceiling. I could see the points poking through and pieces of drywall had started to crumble off around them.
If they had only waited to fix the roof just one week later, no one would have been on campus because it would have been summer vacation. In any case, I’m glad that nightmare is over.
My wife is a shift worker, and one day she called me at work, freaking out because she woke up with three people in our bedroom. Apparently, the landlord had been showing the apartment (we had given notice that we were moving out) and had never told us about it. So, I went down to the rental office and expressed my displeasure. It was quite heated.
When I told them they needed to give us 24 hours’ notice, they got all huffy and said, “What if the prospective tenant wanted to see it right then?” I said, “That’s fine, but next time there’s a chance I might be sitting there without any clothes on, and I will start playing with myself and yelling about the bedbugs as soon as the tenant walks in.”
The secretary was trying not to laugh. At least she was on my side.
I never actually met my landlord, but he was about as shady as they come. We complained about a ton of broken things that he would never fix. Being college kids, we decided to try the free counsel our university offered in the hope that they might have some options for us. Our lawyer was pretty shocked by what he found.
Apparently, the house we were renting had been foreclosed two months prior and now the bank owned it. We were so infuriated about this news that we decided to stop paying rent to this sleazeball while we got everything in order. About six weeks later, he stormed into the house furious that we hadn’t paid rent in over a month.
My roommate stared at him and said, “We aren’t paying you anymore, so get off this property. Now.” This angered him even more and he started threatening my roommate. Finally, my roommate said, “We know you don’t own this place anymore, and we’re going to sue you for the money you took from us.” The “landlord” shut up at this point and took off—never to be heard from again.
Although we actually couldn’t afford to sue him, we did make a sweet deal with the bank. We were able to pay the same amount of rent so that we could stay until graduation. The bank even fixed a few of the big issues since they were going to sell the house anyway. We got to enjoy our last few months of college without an awful landlord.
When we moved in, there were bats in the house. I informed the landlord, and the next day there was a bass fishing net leaning against my door. Even better, there was a note taped to the net, telling me to take care of it. A bass fishing net. The holes in the net were bigger than the bat—by a lot.
Last November I got a knock on the door of my “newly renovated” basement apartment. It was the fire department telling me that I’m living in an unauthorized unit and will be evicted in three months if the landlord doesn’t get the place up to code. The landlord kicked me and my girlfriend out in February, saying it would take “just two weeks, but we’ll say three to be safe.”
I asked if I had to move out my furniture, and he said, “No, they’ll just work around it.” I then spent SEVEN weeks living in my buddy’s basement 30 minutes away, paying rent there, and commuting to work. Finally, in April, the landlord said the place looks great and gave me the OK to move back in. I was in for a major shock.
The entire apartment was filthy. Thick drywall dust covered every surface. There were paint cans, tools, and garbage in every corner, and paint was splattered on the floor, windows, and all of my furniture, including the mattress. My wooden furniture had been scratched up and my shoe rack and shower curtain were destroyed.
I argued with the landlord for days. He finally gave me $150 for cleaning and damages, but then he upped the rent by $100/month because the “apartment is so much better now.”
This one is unforgettable for me. I lived in an apartment complex where the owners didn’t pay the power bill. It wasn’t because it was the responsibility of the tenants, and it wasn’t because they just forgot to pay or that they couldn’t afford it. They just wanted to see if they could call the power company’s bluff. Well, I bet you can imagine what happens next…
Of course, it was no surprise when the power company locked half the breakers in the building. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a riot take shape, but try cutting off the A/C and refrigeration for a few dozen Alabamians in the middle of June during a heatwave and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Yikes.
My significant other and I were looking for a place together. We finally found a one-bedroom apartment, but I had a really bad gut feeling about it. I decided to ignore it, however, since we had been looking for a place for close to three months and just wanted the search to be over. We signed the lease, got the keys, and started moving our boxes in.
Surprise, we’ve got roaches! We called the landlord about the infestation and he cheerfully said, “Oh, yeah, haha, well, this is a city so there are roaches.” I really chewed him out because this was not a roach or two, but thousands—and they were everywhere. Even the molding on the ceiling was caked with roach filth.
Unfortunately, we didn’t notice it during the walkthrough, but upon closer inspection, it was evident that the roaches had been there for a long time. I couldn’t believe that the couple before us had been living in this filth for two years. After I complained and told the landlord we were leaving, we had to deal with six days of utterly vile behavior.
At one point, the landlord’s wife called me late at night in hysterics. She kept asking why I was such an awful person for breaking the lease and moving out of their roach motel. There was a lot of screaming involved. I essentially told them to screw themselves for knowingly letting us move into their total dump of an apartment.
Over the six days that my boyfriend and I were there, we did not clean up any of the roaches we squashed. When it was time for the landlord to come and collect the keys, there were HUNDREDS of roach bodies covering the floors. There were literally everywhere. The landlord took a quick look-see, shrugged, and said “It’s not that bad.”
I despise slumlords. Most of them operate without a license and many of their properties are truly revolting biohazards. What sickens me most of all is that this landlord had children. I even asked him, “How would you feel about your daughter living in these conditions?” Of course, he wasn’t able to give me an answer.
My landlord knew I was a clean and quiet tenant who loved baking. He decided to “renovate” my apartment and removed the stove while moving the cupboards, sink, and fridge to the other wall. I couldn’t believe it when he replaced my stove with a toaster oven. He also removed my living room door. He then increased my rent by 30% for those “renovations.”
We’ve been in hearings ever since, and now he’s trying to keep my damage deposit out of spite because I hung shelves (there was no storage in the bathroom), curtains (to cover a huge window right by the toilet, which faces a busy street), and a few pictures. The neighbors upstairs flooded three apartments and still got to keep their deposit.
When I was about 13, a family of squirrels moved into the space between the ceiling and roof above my bedroom. I could hear them scratching and running all the time. Eventually, they scratched right through the ceiling and left a few small holes. I lived in constant fear that they would drop down into my room and attack me.
To make matters worse, my ceiling started leaking whenever it rained. First, it was just in one area, but eventually, it would leak all along a beam that ran across the entire ceiling. Our slumlord refused to fix anything even though the house had already had an electrical fire caused by a leaky upstairs bathroom.
We had to set up buckets, and I would fall asleep to the music of raindrops hitting the different containers. The sound of water hitting the carpet would wake me up in a panic, as I knew I’d have to empty a full bucket. But then, my worst nightmare came true. One night, while I was—thankfully—staying at a friend’s house, the entire ceiling collapsed directly over my bed.
Not only did all of the soaking wet drywall land on my bed and desk, but the entire family of squirrels was also released into my room. They hid in my closet and under the bed, and it took three days to finally get them all out. The despicable landlord took another week before sending someone in to “fix” it, and even then it was only his useless son, who had zero experience fixing anything.
One summer, I subleased a room from my friend while he did an internship. His roommates were also out of town for the entire summer, but they still paid rent and their portion of utilities. At the end of my sublease, I cleaned the house, moved my stuff out, and turned in the key. Three months later, to my surprise, I was served with a lawsuit for over $5,000.
I couldn’t believe it. They claimed that I had left behind excessive damage, so I sent them a letter demanding an itemized list of all the fees I was being sued for. When I got the list, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was absolutely fabricated. For example, they charged me a $500 “chandelier cleaning charge,” a $300 “chandelier maintenance fee,” and then a $700 “chandelier replacement charge.”
So, $1,500 to clean, maintain, and then throw away a chandelier? Nope. They so obviously fluffed their expenses, even charging me $25 to replace a lightbulb and $750 for two hours of “lawn maintenance,” which was in the lease as the responsibility of the landlord! It turns out they filed separate lawsuits against each of us.
They were suing us for $25,000, which is crazy because there couldn’t have been more than $1,000 in expenses—and this would have been easily covered by our security deposit. But there was something about me they didn’t know. I work for my city’s housing department, so I sent them a response on my office letterhead. In my letter, I told them that I refuse to pay for the ridiculously exaggerated damages they claimed.
I said that they could come and get me if they wanted to try. I never got a response, but they did drop the suit. I promptly advised the city to deny them any future contracts.
When I was 19, I lived with two of my friends. One day our landlord, who lived next door, decided she wanted to come check out how we were living. But instead of knocking, she broke the lock on the front door and started walking around our apartment. My roommate was asleep in her room and woke up when the landlord came in. She screamed, and my landlord ran out.
About two weeks later it happened again, except this time my roommate was in the shower. I stomped over to my landlord’s house and lost it on her. I went as far as to print out a copy of the New Jersey tenants’ rights and taped them to every window on the front of the house. I guess she wanted to see if we were doing drugs in there, which, I mean, yeah, we were, but…come on lady.
We spent some time in South America, and one day our landlord attempted to raise our rent. We kicked up a bit of a fuss, so he backed down. But then he tried again under the guise of having someone in every week “to clean cobwebs off the outside of the windows.” He wanted an extra $150 a month for this—the same amount he was trying to increase the rent by.
Of course, the windows didn’t have cobwebs on them in the first place. Anyway, in that house we used to get stray dogs coming by to say hello. We are dog lovers and we would feed them if they looked skinny and give them belly rubs. The landlord didn’t like this, but we couldn’t stop the dogs from coming into the garden through the many holes in the fence.
One dog started coming every day, and then she just stopped leaving. She would stay outside our front door all the time, waiting for food or to be stroked. She was such a sweet little thing. The landlord noticed her and started complaining. We told him she never came inside and she wasn’t doing any harm. We also pointed out the holes in the fence.
One night, when my husband was out at his regular gym class, I heard the landlord’s car pulling up. I was already in bed, so I assumed he’d knock on the door and realize I wasn’t going to answer, but he didn’t. I heard him open the gate, scuffle around a bit, and then leave. In the morning the dog was gone. We never saw her again.
My landlord charged me and my girlfriend $1,100/month to rent a room in his house. Over the next little while, he started saying things like, “I’d like it if you spent more time downstairs” and “It’d be nice if you were out of the house more, so I could have the place to myself.” Basically, he wanted to charge us rent, but he didn’t want us around. But he didn’t stop there.
He also downgraded his Internet package, so it was extremely slow. The last straw, however, was when he decided to rent out his spare room as an Airbnb. This made the Internet slower than ever, and now there were all kinds of strange people in the house. Thankfully, we have found a new place and are in the process of moving out.
I worked nights for a while, so if someone knocked on my apartment door, I never answered. I had a white noise machine and blackout curtains to help me sleep. One day when I got up to pee and get some water, I came face-to-face with someone in the kitchen. I was groggy and confused, so I panicked and grabbed the nearest thing I could.
I gave the guy a good, hard jab with a broom before I realized that it was my landlord sneaking around without permission. This happened in the early 2000s, so webcams were not that common yet, but I wish I could have known how many times he had been in the house while I slept. It was so creepy! We ended up moving because of it.
A week before Christmas, our heater broke down during one of the coldest winters on record. The landlord said, “Nope. I’m not fixing that now. You can wait until the New Year. Oh, and don’t call me again, it’s Christmas.” Well, we paid rent through an estate agent, so I called her first to find out what my options were.
The shocked agent said that she’d take care of it, and that very afternoon, a worker showed up. He took a look around and asked if we were aware that our bathroom was not up to code. We weren’t, but the next day he got us a new toilet, bath, and shower. That was nice, but so was hearing the landlord freak out when the agent told him about the costs that he was 100% liable for. Merry Christmas to me!
Growing up we didn’t have much money, so we lived in an old trailer out in the country. Our landlord was a horrible person all around. There were a million different times that he did terrible things, including neglecting his animals and taking our mail, but the last straw was when he broke into our trailer. We had been at a wedding all day and when we got home, the door wasn’t closed right.
I remember seeing overturned chairs and a basket of laundry that had been scattered all across the living room. The landlord had put holes in our TV, and he had broken my dad’s guitar into three pieces and smashed my grandpa’s upright bass. As soon as my parents saw the inside of our place, they made us get back in the car and wait there.
I remember sitting in the back seat of our Blazer with my sister as my dad stood on the front porch crying and screaming, “You animal!” It was terrifying. We stayed at a friend’s house that night and then at a motel for the next few weeks. When I was in high school, I would see our landlord around town from time to time, and he would always give me this creepy smile.
It would never fail to make my heart start pounding and I’d get an overwhelming urge to run away. Thankfully, I no longer have to see him because I moved away and rarely visit my hometown, but sometimes I still have nightmares about everything that happened.
One day, all of a sudden, I found some small black things that looked like burnt rice on the living room floor. At first, I wasn’t sure what they were and just swept them up with a broom. Not long after that, I found more of the same in my desk in the living room. At that point, my roommate realized they were rodent droppings.
We called the landlord and asked him to find an exterminator, but he said, “I’ll be there in a moment.” About 15 minutes later he came down with a small box of fruit that he had filled with rat poison. Apparently, we were supposed to put the poisoned fruit around the apartment. All I could do was stare at him in disbelief. But then it got even more ridiculous.
He proceeded to tell us that his pet snake had recently gone to snake heaven, so he just released the live rodents that were to be fed to the snake. He idiotically said that he thought they would just go and live peacefully in the woods. Still in shock, I asked him to leave and dealt with the issue myself. I did not accept his offer to renew the lease and got out of there as soon as possible.
My girlfriend and I have been renting the house we live in for a little over a year now. Last summer, the landlord came to our place and stayed in a blocked-off area next to our kitchen for 10 days! I get that it’s her house and everything, but that doesn’t mean she can use it as her vacation property while we are living here.
To make matters worse, she’s quite the hoarder. She keeps loads of useless stuff in the basement, so we essentially have zero storage space. Also, during the summer that we moved in, she had a bathroom installed in the basement by some shady contractor. A few days into this bathroom installation, there was an electrical fire in the basement at 2:00 a.m.
The water pump seized up and the breaker never tripped, which filled the entire house with smoke. On top of that, the smoke alarms didn’t go off because the batteries had been put in backward by the last guy who lived there. Granted, I should have checked those, but we had only been living there for a few weeks. Luckily, our dog woke us up.
Anyway, the fire department found scorched wires near a soldered pipe and said that was probably what caused everything. So, I texted the landlord to let her know what happened, and she called me asking if her stuff in the basement was damaged. She never even asked if we were OK. This weekend she’s coming to stay for another 10 days—we’re dreading it.
I couldn’t believe it when my landlord threatened litigious action over a $15 lampshade that I accidentally broke—and replaced. He even went so far as to demand a bank statement, so that he could take the money I’d already spent on replacing it out of my deposit. Lord, am I glad we’re done with him.
I rented one side of a duplex and my landlady lived in the other half. She was a cat hoarder who had turned three of her bedrooms into giant litter boxes. She even covered the beautiful hardwood with garbage bags and dumped several hundred pounds of cat litter onto the floor. She would go weeks without cleaning these “litter boxes.”
She would also put cans of wet cat food and tuna in the backyard for the feral cats. The food would go bad and the smell of rancid cat food and festering cat pee was too much to handle—but the final straw was yet to come. That happened when she took in a cat that had the extremely contagious feline parvovirus. It spread like wildfire and took the lives of 23 of her 78 (!) cats.
Unbeknownst to me, several sick cats had puked, peed, pooped, and died on our shared porch. Because we were unaware that there was a Parvo outbreak next door, we tracked the virus into our house and it killed our favorite cat. My then-fiancé was incensed at our landlady. We ended up moving out a few weeks later. RIP Max.
For some reason, our former landlord would rent to wealthy foreign exchange students attending the local community college, and he would let them do whatever they wanted. We had a group of five of them living below us and it was total chaos. They would blast music nonstop and would have insane parties that lasted until 6:00 a.m. on weekdays.
During these crazy parties, they would puke and pee off the front porch. Expensive vehicles from out of state would pull in and park for 10 minutes while one of the passengers would run into the house. It is my guess that they were definitely doing something shady. They would often leave several bags of trash on their porch in the hot sun for days.
Whenever we would try to talk to the students about our issues with their behavior, they would just shrug and say, “I don't care!” in broken English. We even filed several complaints with the landlord, citing the specific lease clauses as well as the local laws that they were breaking—with evidence—and he would do nothing.
In desperation, we did some searching and found the name of the regional manager who worked for the property company. We filed a formal complaint and turned over everything we had. The property company eventually evicted them, but it took about nine months from when they moved in until the sweet day I saw the sheriff serving them.
After I had been living in my apartment for a year and a half, out of the blue, my landlord decided to remove the new appliances that had come with the apartment, so that she could put them in a house that she was working on refurbishing. One day she just said, “Hey, I’m going to be taking your appliances on Thursday.”
I was surprised when she told me, but I was shocked when she actually replaced my nice appliances with some old and beat-up ones from her storage unit. They were missing parts and she hadn’t even cleaned them! She even had the nerve to say that they’d been sitting in her storage unit for years, so she didn’t know how well they worked.
Even though I live in an urban area, a family of possums started living under my back porch. My landlord kept going back and forth about whether she should leave them alone or call animal control. I didn’t care too much either way—at least until they brought a flea explosion. My dog ended up crawling with fleas. You could sit on my couch and watch fleas jumping on your arms!
The landlord told me that she’d get her exterminator in, but then she didn’t do it. Then it got even more infuriating. She finally had me contact him to set it up, which I did, but then she vetoed it. She backtracked and said she didn’t tell me to do that, and she wouldn’t pay for it—especially while the possums were still there. But then she wouldn’t do anything about the possums! This catch-22 lasted for one very long month.
Our landlady, who lived in the duplex below us, decided to sell the place and move out of state. So for three months, she would knock on my door every day and ask me to help her prepare. I pulled weeds, cleaned the basement and garage, and washed the windows, but she never really acknowledged it—just asked me to do more.
On her last day, she asked me to help load the moving van. Just before she left, she gave me a bottle of wine as a thank-you for all of my work. There was a picture of a frog playing the banjo on the label, but, hey, it’s the thought that counts. An hour later, the realtor showed up and gave me the exact same bottle! It was just like the one he gave her…that she obviously re-gifted to me.
Our landlord was an old dude who refused to pay anyone else to fix things. One time, when our toilet broke, he wrote us—a family of four—a note telling us that we would have to poop in a bucket until he was able to fix the toilet—a week later.
My significant other and I were renting a room from a 72-year-old woman. She was very passive-aggressive and made terrible life decisions (e.g., she married a 32-year-old man and cashed in her entire 401K to buy him a Corvette, only to get divorced six months later). Despite all of that, her home was beautiful and the rent was a bargain.
She ended up kicking us out because I would not sign a legally binding document that would allow her to treat my significant other as a literal housekeeper for zero pay. I told her that we would only clean up after ourselves and that we would be seeking a new apartment immediately. She did not like this plot twist. Our landlady went absolutely insane with rage, called law enforcement, and faked a heart attack—but that’s not the craziest part.
Some of the best quotes from this incident came from the first responders. The EMT who was checking her for a heart attack said, “Ma’am, your vitals are perfectly fine. There’s no sign that you’re having a heart attack.” And the officer said to her, “Ma’am we can’t arrest them for hurting your feelings.”
One time my landlord just walked right in on my girlfriend and me when we were getting ready for the day without warning us. She didn’t have anything on and I was in a bathrobe. He then spent 20 minutes fixing our door while making loud tutting noises. He told us the doorknob was loose because we didn’t know how to pick up a screwdriver.
He then left without fixing the giant crack in the wood that we had originally complained about.
One Friday, I came home from work, walked into my only bathroom, and found the roof of the building more or less filling the room. Workers had been re-roofing the complex, and either someone fell through my ceiling or the roof just collapsed. I never did get a straight answer as to which. The bathroom was unusable, and NO ONE THOUGHT TO INFORM ME OF THIS FACT or make arrangements.
A gaping one-meter-wide (three-foot-wide) hole was open to the sky, making me very uncomfortable about leaving my possessions in the apartment while I went elsewhere. Also, the person who fell in must have walked around looking at things, or someone else came in later to assess the damage and dragged the dusty, nasty contents of the attic through my apartment on their shoes.
The rental office didn’t normally open till 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and, as was often the case, it didn’t open at all this weekend because the manager was “out of town.” I left multiple messages on the answering machine and with the service, but they were ignored. I ended up loading my valuables into my car and driving to a relative’s place for the weekend.
The final straw happened that Monday when the manager eventually got around to returning my calls—and it was pretty frustrating. He just said, “Oh right, we’ll try and get that fixed this week.” He had no sense of urgency, no apology, no explanation, and no offer of recompense. Obviously, I moved out of that dump shortly thereafter.
I was a bit behind with the rent one time due to some health problems with a family member. So, when I wasn’t home, my landlord came into my apartment and ripped everything out, and put it on the street. Did I mention that I was only six days late with the rent? I was in college at the time and lived on a road bordering the campus.
That night, my peers, neighbors, and random people driving down that road got free access to all of my possessions. But I got my revenge. Long story short, I sued the landlord and won. He tried to keep it a secret from his wife early in the litigation process but in the end, the check my lawyer got from their lawyer was signed by his wife. Screw you, Dale.
Our landlady had a shrine to all her former animals in the backyard. She also had a sickly cat who was covered in matted fur. The poor thing would use the whole basement as a litter box. This litter box situation was so bad that it was the main reason my dad’s girlfriend couldn’t live with us—it triggered her allergies.
I was in dire need of a place to live, and I found this old couple who had two rooms for rent in a really nice house. It even had a big pool, and I could walk to work in five minutes. Everything seemed fine at first, but after two months I discovered that they love to swim sans clothing and would lock me out whenever they were skinny dipping.
They basically treated me like I was a guest in their house—and not in a good way—even though I paid rent. Eventually, it got even worse when they started making up a whole bunch of insane rules, so I decided it was time to move out. I ended up crashing at a buddy’s house for a week while I started to make my escape.
During that time, I slowly and quietly moved almost everything out of my old place. One night, I finally told the couple that I would be moving out the next day. We got into a huge fight. The next morning, I got my officer friend, who was on duty, to go to the house with me so that we could retrieve my bed and a box of stuff because they had locked my room.
Our landlord threatened to evict us because there were always endless piles of Tootsie-Roll-sized dog poop on our lawn. To clear our dog’s name, I filmed dozens of people letting their tiny dogs poop all over the grass. Did I mention that we had a Great Dane and we cleaned up her Everest-sized piles every time? There’s no way we could have gotten away with leaving them—they were massive.
Since I’ve only ever had one landlord, I can only complain about her (AKA the ol’ bat downstairs). This landlady was a wino and we would call her “The Bobblehead” because when she was inebriated, which was 24/7, her head would bobble all over the place. To make matters worse, we had to talk very quietly because she could hear EVERYTHING.
If we talked about anything having to do with traveling, she would come up mid-conversation and ask when we were planning on telling her.
Boy, do I have a story. The apartment we lived in had a sewer issue that caused the apartments on the first floor to flood with sewer water. This happened to us multiple times, some were more damaging than others. We complained, complained, and complained some more but the owner wouldn’t admit to it, so nothing was ever done.
At one point, the people across the hall from us lost everything. Then, a month ago, the sewer backed up so badly that it flooded our bedroom, living room, and kitchen with disgusting poopy water. There was poop all over the floor, and one apartment even had ham bones come up into their toilet! We were losing our minds.
At this point, we demanded to have everything professionally cleaned. The owner said, “Nope” and told us he was going to have his usual cleaner wash it with bleach. My boyfriend decided to call the health inspector who condemned our apartment and another one on our floor, and then he demanded that the owner get an actual cleaning service in there.
The owner ordered us to move out immediately, and when we said we had until the end of the month, he proceeded to convince everyone who worked at our building to try to kick us out. When we were leaving, we were shocked to find out that the people across the hall from us were still sleeping on their sewer-drenched mattress.
My boyfriend and I gave them our clean mattress.
After we moved in, a gym opened up directly below our apartment. The TV at said gym was located right under our bedroom. Throw in the total lack of any official hours, and you get people working out at 3:00 a.m. with the television blasting so that the gym-goers could hear it over the noise of the machines. Our useless landlord didn’t even want to listen to our complaints.
This happened at my first apartment out of college. When I toured the place it was filthy, but I could tell it would be pretty sweet when cleaned up. The landlord explained that it was so messy because it had been occupied by an older man with health issues. That was understandable. The landlord assured me he’d get it cleaned up before I moved in, which sounded good to me.
Red flag number one: On move-in day it was clear that nothing had been done with the place. It took me and my poor, sweet grandma two days of scrubbing to get everything clean. After about a week, everything was looking really good. One day, however, I was putting stuff away in a cabinet and I made a disturbing discovery. I found some bed bug spray that had never been opened.
At this point, I started to get nervous, but I had been there for a week and hadn’t felt or seen any bugs, so everything should be fine, right? Wrong. What followed was the most miserable two months of my life. I was constantly fighting with the landlord over taking care of what was an increasingly worsening bed bug issue.
First, he told me he was “fumigating,” but the next day I found the same cans from Target that I had found earlier. Every night, I would go to bed crying because I could feel the bugs all over me: crawling on me, biting me, making me feel disgusting. I was a basket case on zero sleep and the landlord was doing absolutely nothing about it.
I wish I could say I sued him. I should have, but I had nothing left in the tank. I would spend my nights at the laundromat, scratching myself raw with a crazed look in my eye. I finally moved back with my parents and spent the next two months still feeling the bugs all over me, scared sick that I had carried this nightmare to their house, too.
While I was deployed, my wife remained at our home in Texas. One day in the middle of summer, the air conditioning broke and the landlord told her that the temperature wasn’t hot enough to require the repair. When she showed him pictures of the thermostat reading over 38C (100F) indoors, he finally said that he would send someone.
What a relief right? Well, apparently I needed to be there because I was the primary name on the lease. Since that was not an option, I threatened to sue, and the A/C was eventually jerry-rigged just as summer was ending. Also, the repair guy told my wife that he was paid to do the bare minimum fix. Too bad things didn’t end there.
Fast forward to when I’m back home. It starts getting hot and the A/C breaks again. The landlord gave us the same story as before, claiming it wasn’t hot enough. This dragged on until I finally had orders to move to a new duty station. We gave our 30 days’ notice and moved out. The landlord tried to tell me that I had to pay to fix the A/C or I wouldn’t get my deposit back.
I once again threatened to sue, and this time I contacted the actual owner of the house. I couldn’t believe his reaction. He was a cool dude living in New York and said he’d take care of it for me. He flew all the way to Texas, fired the landlords, sued them himself, and said I was actually the cleanest and most respectable tenant he’s had. He even paid me double my deposit for my troubles. Nice guy.
The lease for my apartment stated that the property owner paid the water and sewer bills. However, three months in, my water was cut off because he didn’t pay the bill. Instead, he insisted that the clause was put on the lease by mistake. I ended up having to pay for the water and sewer, but then when I moved out, they billed me $1,500 for breach of contract.
It seems that there was a clause in the contract that stated: “In the event of a breach of contract, the renter will be liable for a $1,500 breach of contract fee.” When I pointed out that they were the ones in breach of contract, their reply knocked me off my feet. They claimed, “The clause has nothing to do with who breached the contract, it only states that you are responsible for the breach of contract fee.”
When we first rented our place, the landlord and his wife seemed like the nicest couple in the world. They even invited us to dinner and we had a great time. Three months in, we found out that they argue quite loudly and curse like truckers—not that big of a deal. Then my wife stepped on a piece of blue glass on our kitchen floor, which was strange as we didn’t own any blue glasses.
Suddenly, I remembered that dinner we went to at their place, and they had blue glasses on the table. I decided to set up a camera in the living room, and over the next week, I caught this guy coming into our apartment when we weren’t home—but that’s not the worst part. That pervert was going through our dressers and playing with my wife’s underwear.
I caught him red-handed, gave him a nice beating, and called law enforcement. He tried to play it off by saying that he smelled smoke and wanted to investigate. That’s when I played back the previous week’s videos of him visiting on three separate occasions. They locked him up, and we quickly found a new place and never looked back.
When we were moving out, our landlady did a walkthrough and agreed in writing that there was no damage to our property and we would be getting all of our deposit back. She took custody of our keys and then walked us out of the building. Unfortunately, two weeks later we got a letter stating that she was keeping all of the security deposit.
Apparently, someone had become inebriated, destroyed a screen in the window, gouged a hole in the wall, and dented the refrigerator. This occurred two days after we moved out. Turns out our landlady used the property as a place for her in-laws to stay during Thanksgiving, and she fully expected us to pay for their damages because our name was still on the lease.
The judge was really hung up on why other occupants would be in our apartment without our knowledge or consent if the landlady’s position was that it was still our apartment and therefore our liability.
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