We've all heard of horrible landlords, but sometimes, it's the tenants who cause the problems. No matter how good a potential renter may look on paper, it's always a gamble to allow a stranger to live on your property. From irresponsible freeloaders who never pay rent on time to nagging Karens who are just impossible to deal with, these people take the top prize for being the worst residents ever.
I rented my garage apartment to an acquaintance of mine. The 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 was spooning me...I rolled over and it was the guy. I woke him up with a resounding "WHAT THE HECK?!"
He apologized and said he had gotten tipsy and lost his keys, so he'd broken into through a back window of MY house, found a bed, and just immediately passed out.
This past summer, I had a family of seven come live in my five-bedroom rental house. They paid their deposit and the first month's rent. That's it. I haven't seen another dime from them. To top it off, they didn't get the power switched to their name, so I got a $400+ power bill. When I gave them 24-hour notice so I could conduct an obligatory inspection, the woman answered the door. What she said to me made my blood boil.
"You can't come in. We'll get out when you follow all the procedures and when the sheriff kicks us out." I think they've done this before.
This happened to my friend who runs a rental property. He had to evict one of his tenants, and instead of trashing the place, the guy cut out chunks of drywall, put fish in the walls, and sealed it back up. He was a carpenter, so he knew what he was doing. My friend couldn't figure out the smell for weeks. He repainted the walls, got the unit professionally cleaned a few times, and searched endlessly.
Eventually, he realized something was in the walls, so he started knocking out holes. He was livid when he finally figured it out. I'm not sure if he pursued legal action against that tenant, but man, that must have been a nightmare.
My tenant said she wanted to get a dog and asked me for permission. I said yes, and she told me the puppy would be arriving in three months, but she was concerned about the side fence on our property. She said it would need to be replaced with a new one or else her puppy would get out. The fence would have needed replacing within seven or so years anyway, so I figured her request wasn't too unreasonable. That was my first mistake.
Then she said that the neighbors were up to no good, so the fence should be extended down the driveway to stop them from hovering near her car. I could see her point—the neighbors definitely were criminals and constantly in trouble with the authorities—so I told her I'd look into doing that as well.
The neighbors had been kicked out a few days later and social services put their house up for sale. We put the fence on hold until the sale went through. A nice man bought the house and started renovating it for his family. Great guy. I replaced the fence and he helped with the labor. However, I did not catch on fast enough. In fact, I'm a total idiot, because she then told me she was not getting that dog after all.
The dog ploy was sufficient to get the fence replaced. So now she had a shiny new fence...but that still wasn't enough for her. She still wanted that fence extension put in, but seeing as the bad neighbors were no longer a threat to her, I told her it would be unnecessary. Fast forward a few months later—she sent me a text saying that she really needed a fence extension installed because, and I quote: "The fuzz is all over and there are dead bodies in the street."
As you can imagine, I was floored by this. My rental house is on a nice street that is mostly populated by retirees. It is not, by a long stretch, any kind of ghetto. I rang the new neighbor to confirm, and he told me that no, there were no officers anywhere and that the street was quiet as usual. He questioned whether my tenant was possibly schizophrenic...God knows. Maybe.
I think it's more likely that she's just compulsively manipulative because she's got a very clear end game in all of this and she's showing remarkable dedication by coming up with complete nonsense to achieve it. But in the end, she was kind of telling the truth. Turns out, there was an accidental carbon monoxide incident that took the lives of two people nearby, and the authorities were simply on the scene.
A tenant rented an apartment that did not come with a parking space, so when an apartment in the building that did come with a parking space became available, he asked if he could have it. When I told him that it would be an extra $50 per month, he started posting propaganda all over the property about the injustices that I supposedly committed for not giving him the parking space for free.
He even tried to get other tenants to sign a petition that would make me give up my parking space on the property. Eventually, he took us to court. He lost, but he was definitely a nightmare to deal with the entire time. The most annoying part of it all was the fact that he was this self-proclaimed "salt of the Earth" hippy dude who was all about peace and positive vibes. Turns out, deep down, he was the vilest human being you'd ever meet.
My mom had some tenants in a rental property who were absolute jerks. They would live in a place until they got evicted, then move on to the next place. They wouldn't pay rent, and they would ignore urgent property-related issues without getting them examined or fixed. Long story short, after getting evicted, they waited until the very last minute to move out.
Then, they left a bunch of their stuff behind and filled a microwave with hot dogs which they left to rot. While my mom was in the process of getting a court order, the TV show Hot Bench (a Judge Judy spinoff) called and asked them to come on. Everyone got flown out to LA and my mom got her money. The best part is those jerks got berated on national daytime TV, so I suppose it worked out in the end.
I used to have a job that involved doing minor repairs on rental apartments and houses between tenants. Usually, it was easy enough, but the ones who were evicted often made it a point to wreck the place on the way out. One particular jerk decided to pack plumber's putty into the sink and bathtub drains, then turn the taps on before he left. It was a total disaster.
The entire place was absolutely flooded with water. The owners had to get professional contractors to fix most of it, but I got to rip out a bunch of stinky wet carpet and water-damaged floorboards.
I used to work in lettings, and we had this one young couple move into a house. They were only using benefits to pay their rent, but the landlord wanted to give them a chance. Two months later, we got a call from a locksmith contracted by the authorities. Officers had raided the house the night before because the young man was dealing with substances.
They had literally smashed the front door frame out of the wall and the locksmith had been called in to make good. We called the girl immediately and she told us her boyfriend was in custody. She said she couldn't afford the rent and wanted out of both the tenancy and the relationship. We made a house visit to check on the state of the door.
It was even worse than I expected. They had a dog (in a house with a no pets policy) and it had been locked up in a bedroom. There were chew marks and scratches everywhere. The landlord agreed to let them out of the tenancy and get the house back on the market. It cost thousands to get the house right again—new front door, new carpets, redecorations, etc.
It was just about ready to be advertised when we got a call from the neighbor. There had been a disturbance the night before and he had to call the authorities. The young man, upon being released from custody and unable to get back with his girlfriend, had broken back into the property a couple of days earlier to squat. During that time, he had a visit from his supplier, to whom he owed a lot of money.
At some point, they got into an altercation and his supplier ended up impaling him. The young man almost bled out completely on the brand new cream carpets. Once we'd got MORE new carpets in and fixed the broken window where he'd broken in through, we found a new, reputable tenant. He was a nice young man who was actually an addiction counselor.
That turned out to be good because a lot of the local addicts didn't get the memo about their dealer being apprehended and impaled...so he had a lot of visitors in the beginning and knew how to deal with them.
My parents have owned properties for a while, so there are a number of stories, but the one that I'm personally invested in is that of their last tenant. They decided to rent out my childhood home and I suggested it to a co-worker. I had worked with this woman for several years and I thought she and her family were decent people. I trusted them.
Boy, was I wrong. They brought bed bugs into the place and did quite a bit of damage to the walls. They also pulled out 100-year-old hardwood trim, removed the central air unit, and sold all of them. They then proceeded to skip town after being kicked out once they found out that their wages were being garnished.
Having tenants leave behind piles of trash, messy bathrooms, and holes in the walls is common, but I hold a bit of a grudge on this one specifically.
My dad owned a property that used to be a restaurant. One day, he asked what I knew about "Kim"—she was a year ahead of me in school and she seemed reliable, so my dad rented the old restaurant to their family. Big mistake. They TRASHED it. Their two gross, big, ugly dogs went #1 and #2 everywhere, and they put holes in the walls.
They also took plates and cups that had been part of the restaurant's original collection and used them out back for target practice with their pistols. They just messed up the place in general, and it was horrible. They ended up not paying several months' rent and my dad eventually kicked them out, but not before they made the place totally unliveable.
You never really know someone until you see how they live. I just don't know how some people can be so horrible and trashy.
When I was a teenager, my family rented our downstairs unit to a small family. The mom annoyed the heck out of me. My bedroom was right above theirs and she was constantly calling my parents to complain about "noise." And when I say noise, I mean the faint sounds of someone walking down a hallway or some other non-issue like that.
My parents decided to accommodate them by purchasing a rug to line our hallway and making it a rule for me to not be on the phone or to be up and about after 10 pm. But even after all that, she still found something to call about. Like, how the heck are you going to complain about someone walking down a carpeted hallway?
Keep in mind that we've had several tenants in that unit before they moved in and none of them had ever complained about the noise. Once, I was up late in my room watching TV and the remote rolled off my bed, hitting our hardwood floor. I immediately grabbed it to mute my TV, but moments later, what do you know—our home phone started ringing at 1 in the freaking morning.
The mother called about the loud noise she just heard and felt compelled to complain about it, even though it lasted less than a second. This type of scenario happened all the time and at the end of their lease, they moved out. We then rented the unit to another family and never heard any more noise complaints. Good riddance.
I was a landlord when my girlfriend moved in with me, as she had an empty condo. The first two renters were fine, but then there was Kevin. Kevin was a single male with a good income, so he seemed like a perfect tenant. Then we got into month three and the rent checks stopped coming in. So we went to the condo to find out what the deal was.
First off, there was a nice new flat-screen TV, but no furniture other than a giant beanbag chair. We asked him where the heck the money was, and Kevin looked frantically through his bible. All he had to say to us was: "I lost the money order, sorry." Ticked off, we did a little more looking and it turns out he had a roommate—a silent muscular Black man.
Okay, whatever; he can have a roommate but he could have at least told us so we could put him on the lease. Long story short, Kevin stayed silent, and a few days later, we came by to serve him papers and begin the eviction process. Kevin's no-named roommate turns out to be a serial offender who was out on parole. What made it worse was that there is a school just across the street, which violates offender legislation.
Thank God he left without much of a fight and we were able to dump the condo at a modest profit.
The tenant stopped paying rent. Right before they were evicted, the house burned down. My parents, who owned the property, were both just happy no one was hurt...until the officers 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. They tried to file a lawsuit saying that the house had been improperly maintained and that the fire was our fault.
It took another month to get them evicted. Insurance covered building a new house, though, so the joke's on them!
When I was a little kid, my parents bought a cheap house in a neighboring town and fixed it up to rent it out. Two young women moved in and they were great. They were just out of college, working entry-level jobs and kind of getting by, no trouble. Then, they called at 6 pm on Christmas Eve because there was a spider.
My dad called back when we got home from church service and asked what they wanted him to do. They said they wanted him to get rid of it. So he went out on Christmas Eve to deal with their spider. They seemed to think this was normal, like about on par with what you'd expect your landlord to do if your water pipes burst on Christmas Eve...
Not a horror story by any stretch, but it makes me laugh. He told me that I was not allowed to move out until I could eliminate my own spiders.
My landlord rents the house next door to us. Well, the tenants next door were flushing baby wipes down the toilet and they messed up the pipes. 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. I watched multiple workers run outside to puke. It was pretty disgusting.
A few years ago, in the very early morning hours, I woke up having to relieve myself. I shuffled to the bathroom and on the way back to bed, I passed by my husband in the hall on his way to use the bathroom. Suddenly, a horrible sound echoed through the hallway. It was so strong that it t felt like my heart was skipping a beat.
Also, we were adults living in the post-9/11 world, so we were immediately concerned. I even said, "That was some kind of explosive!" Car alarms throughout the neighborhood were going off like crazy. It was warm that day, so we had both our windows and sliding glass door open. I heard a guy scream, "CALL 9-1-1!!!" And the guy was so close to us...like, really close.
Turns out, some stupid idiot in our apartment complex had too much to drink on the 4th of July and duct-taped a bunch of sparklers together. He then set it down in the middle of the street and lit it, not expecting it to go off as fast as it did. The aftermath was chilling. There was wire shrapnel everywhere—it was embedded in cars parked on the street, in the walls of people's houses, and even in trees 30 feet away from the blast site.
The street was also absolutely wrecked—it looked like a cartoon with a black blast smear in the middle, right on the freaking yellow line! But the idiot who set it off got it the worst by far. The guy ended up losing his lower leg, and he had shrapnel in his right arm. He coded in the ambulance, but they managed to bring him back. I never heard if they pressed charges against him.
We had one tenant who wouldn't pay rent. We followed the protocols to evict him but he kept getting the judge to agree to an extension. He ended up staying rent-free for seven months. He also complained about anything and everything. "The neighbors are too loud," or "Someone's car alarm went off across the street," or "One of the neighbors has a cat and I'm allergic." There was literally nothing I could do to remedy those situations.
When he finally got evicted, he left the apartment in shambles. Holes in the walls, curtains stained with what I can only assume was doo doo, and the rug was littered with burns. I wouldn't wish someone like that on my worst enemy.
She brought with her three cats and drama. It was my fault for accepting someone who wanted to keep three cats. Surprisingly, none of the trouble stemmed from her pets, which she kept immaculately clean. In fact, it was the cleaning itself that grew out of control. The first few months passed peacefully, with no problems. Then, she started lagging with her rent.
This wouldn't have been a terrible issue, since I maintain a healthy savings buffer for unexpected expenses, vacancies, and late rent checks. It was when I surprised her in the middle of one of her cleaning binges that things began to disintegrate. I had stopped by to grab some supplies in the house for a minor repair. She didn't expect me to appear in the building.
She was carrying a spray bottle and rag in her hands. Apparently, this had been going on for some time. Another tenant warned me of some eccentric behavior she had noticed in her housemate but didn't go into details. I should have seen the warning signs. Instead, I just brushed it off—and I regret it. Her cleaning and reorganizing grew more intense until it transformed into hostility towards the other tenant who did not share her intense focus.
She insisted that the three of us meet to compile a schedule of how and when the other tenant would participate in the cleaning of the house. She rejected any proposals that did not explicitly set aside an hour for cleaning and include the specific cleaning tasks for her housemate. The other housemate found this absurd, and would only agree to a general description of the cleaning tasks.
Our negotiations failed to converge on an acceptable schedule, and I had to excuse myself while the Cleaner shouted for me not to leave. After that, she bullied the other tenant and patrolled the kitchen any time her housemate walked through or prepared coffee. Was it an obsession, or just a front? She stopped paying rent, and this drama might have been just a distraction to earn extra time out of sympathy.
In the end, I had to evict her. Strangely enough, both of them left at the same time, and I think that she might have shamed her housemate into footing the bill for her next apartment. Looking back on the whole thing, I'm surprised that she didn't find more success in a job where she cleaned houses. It won't make you a billionaire, but it will pay the bills and can always be found, especially in my city.
My uncle had a nightmare family staying in a flat he owned. He had to kick them out because they caused nothing but trouble. Their son was studying for exams, so they asked if he could stay until he was finished and my uncle said yes. Eventually, he left and my uncle went to see what damage was done to the flat. He found it immaculate. Everything was clean and tidy, yet something seemed...off.
He went from room to room but could not find so much as a stain. Satisfied with the condition the flat had been left in, they exited a room and went to close the door. That's when he realized what was wrong. There were no doors, anywhere. They had stolen every single interior door.
I rented one of my houses to a gal I worked with. She was a married mother of two. She ended up being my first and last tenant ever. I was very forgiving if rent was a few days late, even though she never paid for the deposit. I was also a student at the time, and I was busy with school, so I needed someone in that house to help me with its upkeep and for additional income.
She ended up taking me for a wild ride. I had to go to court twice because of her. Thankfully, we communicated via text and I SAVED every message so I could give a copy to the judge. Also, her boss wouldn't give her the day off to go to court, so her husband (who seemed to also be along for the ride) was stuck trying to defend her lack of payment.
She tried to say I said this and that, but the proof was in the messages. Luckily, they got kicked out and not much damage was done to the property.
My family has had rentals all throughout my life. By far, the worst renters have been our own family and friends. My mom's worst tenant was her long-term boyfriend's daughter. Her apartment caught fire, so my mom let her rent an old mobile home. Not long after moving in, she almost burned that house down too. She ended up evicting her for nonpayment.
That same house was rented afterward by my older sister who neglected to notify us of any needed repairs. We had to replace the entire carpet and subfloor because it was rotting. Then, there were her last renters—they stayed in my mom's nicest unit and proceeded to ruin the brand new laminate with spills. They also broke a pedestal sink in half and they left pretty much every appliance in non-working order.
They even changed the locks without telling us. I vacuumed three rooms for 10 hours and dirt was still coming up. I don't think they ever vacuumed.
I found another veteran Marine on Craigslist named Brayden who was looking to rent a room in my house. When dealing with Craigslist, I always meet the person several times before they move in so I can get a feel for them. He was very chill and his dog was calm. I gave him the green light! I realized my mistake almost immediately. It turned out his dog has severe separation anxiety and it barked and scratched constantly until Brayden came back.
Except Brayden is a bartender and he would be out of the house for upwards of 12 hours. He would just leave the dog in the house going #1 and #2 everywhere. Eventually, I got fed up and moved the dog to the garage so I could sleep. Now, I have a big boy job. I wake up at 4:45 am to go to work, meaning I expect quiet hours to start at 10 pm.
Well, Brayden would come home from bartending at 2 am, sometimes completely hammered, and with several friends. They would blast music and argue politics. On more than one occasion, I had to pick up broken glass bottles out of my grass. The moment I lost it was when he threw a party on a Monday night—he left the door open to my house and both my cats escaped.
My wallet was also rifled through, and he got intimate with someone on my ottoman. I broke up the party with an (unloaded) rifle. I comped him his rent if he just moved out and he didn't make me go to court to get eviction papers drafted. By the way, the stains he left on my ottoman never came out.
I began my landlord career pretty young. I took out a master lease on a house and rented out the rooms individually. My first tenant in one of the rooms was apparently in town for a construction project. He said he just needed me to fill out a form and his company would send the rent cheques. I had a vacancy already, so I had him move in right away without paying a deposit. I just trusted what he said.
On the first day, I was cleaning a glass shelf in the kitchen and it shattered when I dropped it. He was in the middle of moving his stuff in at the time and he said to me, "Hey, my company is a glass-cutting company. Let me get the measurements, and I'll have them cut you a new one." I replied, "Sure, how much does it cost?"
So now, I had someone in my house who hadn't given me any money yet, and I was giving him $40. A month went by, and I still hadn't got any rent yet, plus this glass shelf was not going to happen. But it gets even worse. My other tenants began to notice that their belongings were missing. They kept coming to me asking what the heck was up.
I kept thinking they probably just misplaced their things, and I shrugged it off. Eventually, I talked to the guy, and he was not coming clean, so I really didn't know what to do at that point. I just did nothing and hoped the problem would go away on its own. Thankfully, one of the tenants just took the initiative and called the authorities.
Turns out, the guy had a warrant out, so they had no problem paying him a visit and evicting him without the standard landlord-tenant board stuff. After he was gone, the three of us went into his room while his stuff was still there to see if we could recover any stolen goods. I wasn't prepared for what I found inside. There were a ton of substances, including prescriptions obtained with all of the stolen IDs he had hidden in a box
A bunch of door and window hardware pieces and tools clearly used for break-and-enters was found, as well as the keys to my tenant's Lexus. He had basically demoed the walls of his room and installed all kinds of wire shelving everywhere to store all his junk. He had those super strong stickers that are a pain to remove plastered everywhere.
His laptop was on when we came in and it was listening to the scanner stuff to pick up on law enforcement calls. So basically, I housed a pathological liar who took a bunch of stuff from innocent people, wrecked the place, and never paid rent. It was the worst experience ever.
My wife and I help manage her dad's rental properties. Once, I had a tenant let her sister move into her house "for a weekend visit." That Monday, the tenant moved out to live with her estranged husband and her sister stayed. After a month of normal payments, the tenant missed a payment, so I messaged the tenant, only to be told: "I don't live here anymore. My sister has a key and won't leave. Sorry."
Where I live, squatters cannot be kicked out of a house—it must go through a judge after three billing periods of non-payment, and the landlord must pay the court costs. The squatters also have a minimum of one billing period to get their items out of the house. Luckily, we have a billing cycle of one week, so we were able to get them out rather quickly.
When I moved into my apartment last year, my landlord told me about the worst tenant to ever live there. He told us that there was this kid subletting an apartment over the summer for his rather shy sister. Upon meeting her, she seemed normal and he came with good recommendations. It didn't take long to realize he'd made a huge mistake. On the first night there, the kid threw an absolute rager.
They played loud music, there were too many people, and it didn't end until the authorities needed to be called for noise violations. The next morning, my landlord came up to the apartment and told him that get-togethers were fine, but parties of that scale were not allowed. It was in the lease that he signed, and he was willing to give the kid a second chance.
Bad decision. The next time, the party he threw was even more violent, with property damage to boot. The landlord stormed up there and told him to have his stuff out of the apartment by the next day at noon. The kid was ticked off, so he decided to throw a "getting evicted" party and got about five of his friends went over to trash the place.
They punched holes in the walls, broke the lights, and smashed the windows. But he got what was coming to him in the end. It all came to a grinding halt when the kid decided to headbutt a hole in the wall—he ended up hitting a supporting metal beam and he broke his neck. The kid got charged with absolutely everything, and the girls who lived there previously were politely told to not return the next year.
The kid missed his freshman year of university and lost thousands of dollars worth of scholarships because he couldn't leave the hospital or move independently. My landlord pretty much told me that as long as I don't do anything that stupid, we will probably get along.
We had a tenant who lived in a shared apartment room for a few months. His flatmate was complaining about smells and cleanliness issues. When we checked it out, everything seemed sort of normal; very messy, but nothing extraordinary. After the guy failed to pay his rent again, we evicted him. One day, before the eviction date I sat with him and we agreed that he could leave some heavy furniture in the room to be picked up a few weeks later.
I stressed that the room needed to be otherwise cleared out and that he had to hand over the keys. He agreed that he would be able to do so the following morning. Well, the next day, he did not give the keys back in the morning and his room door was locked. I texted him and he claimed he had forgotten to return the keys. I explicitly asked if the room was cleared out except for the furniture and he wrote "Yes."
I fetched the spare key and opened the door. To my disbelief, the room was not cleared out. Only, it was so much worse than that. At first, I only noticed about eight plastic shopping bags on the ground, a lot of garbage, and dirty dishes all over the place, especially on the table. A lot of personal items were still around. It seemed that his room was so messy that he simply couldn't finish cleaning it up and had to leave after starting.
Since the room was supposed to be rented to another person a few weeks later (luckily, I already expected some troubles and postponed this), I had to start cleaning it up. Then the real horror came to light. The plastic bags were filled with plastic bottles, and in them...was urine. There were about 30 or 40 of them, each containing about one or two liters.
Upon opening the wardrobe, it was clear that he had stored wet clothes in it. The whole thing was already falling apart and the solid wooden boards were wet and just bending from their own weight. The wall behind the wardrobe was also full of mold. Then, I checked under the table and there was some spilled food on the carpet, which was moldy as well.
The same was for under the bed, on which he had apparently two king-size mattresses on. The stench was really strange, a mix of all the dirtiness in the room and some scented candles or room spray or something. It took me and two other people about four hours to superficially clean the room out. It took another few days to renew the room to its former state.
We never saw anything of the rent that was still due and that guy even had the audacity to threaten to sue us. I also found out that apparently he has very high debt everywhere, so suing ourselves would not bring us the money back. We got really careful with choosing tenants after that.
I had a guy rent a studio in a 300+ unit high rise I managed. He seemed only semi-creepy, but when his brother arrived from Canada for a week-long visit, I realized it definitely ran in the family. The brother came out on their balcony at 6 am and started screaming that he wanted to detonate an explosive at a large nearby tech company that the semi-creep worked at. As if that wasn't bad enough, he was wearing an open bathrobe. Nothing else.
One of his neighbors thankfully called 9-1-1. We had SWAT onsite for about four hours evacuating the other residents, and setting up snipers; the usual. Basically just another Monday.
This is about my ex-stepmother. I was at work and a client came in, so I introduced myself. She recognized my last name, then asked about my ex-stepmother. Turns out, after my father's second marriage fell apart (surprise, surprise), my ex-stepmother had been essentially hopping around rental homes and she wouldn't leave them in the nicest of conditions.
I didn't dig for any details, but I learned that she took her horrible little dog demon with her and never let it outside (because she was lazy). So this woman's property was covered in her dog's mess. I honestly don't know why people kept letting her rent without payment upfront.
I own a few houses and all of them have tenants. For the most part, everyone has been fine....except for this one tenant. Important details—I pay for everything in the rent because I don't want to deal with tenants who get behind on utilities etc. It's just easier that way, all-in-one price. Each suite has a basement suite and the main floor suite.
Okay. Well, the first thing she did was get a duck. Yes. A live duck. It left its mess everywhere and squawked constantly. Due to a loophole in the lease caused by my own naivete (I said small pets with no specifics), it took me quite some time to make sure the duck was gone. Next, it was rats...except she let them breed, so there was blood everywhere. She also seemed to think old takeaway containers were a great home decoration.
She managed to set the stove on fire at least once every week, and she frequently had "family" stay for longer than what was allowed (including inebriated people who sometimes passed out on the lawn). She apparently decided to sublet my garage at the property to other people as a way of recouping some of the rent. It took me about eight months and thousands of dollars in lawyer fees to get her out, and then another thousand for professional cleaning.
The worst part of this was...she was my friend at the start.
My friend rented a flat. One day, he was chilling with his girlfriend and a couple of his mates when his front door just opened. Some guy started going mental asking what the HECK people are doing in his flat. Turns out, this guy had rented the flat out to someone years ago. He spent nearly a decade out of the country and the person he rented it out to just decided to sublet it to my friend without him knowing for a tidy profit.
No happy ending to that one. My friend had to pretty much pack up and leave.
I had a Section 8 rental property (government-subsidized housing for low-income individuals). This lady I rented to was taken in by the authorities for shoplifting. It was her sixth arrest, so she had to serve mandatory time behind bars. When she left, she canceled her natural gas service. The gas company never called me. A week later, I visited the unit and found a waterfall in the kitchen.
Multiple pipes froze, so I had a water bill of about $3,000 plus $20,000 worth of damages. Insurance paid for all except my $1,000 deductible. I sold the house immediately after, with the torn-up kitchen, bathroom, and basement. And I sold it for about $10,000 more than what I bought it for...even in the condition it was in! The new owners realized that after the contractor is finished, the house will be in a lot better shape than what it was beforehand.
In a way, that lady did me a huge favor!
My grandfather was a doctor at a Children's Hospital. He decided to rent this house to some young nurses he worked with. Well, at some point, they stopped paying rent. Now, my grandfather is the best man I have ever known—intelligent, kind, giving...I mean, he was an oncologist for children! You have to be a good person to do that. They must have pushed him really hard. He eventually told them they had to leave.
What did these young nurses do? They trashed the house and went #2 in the sinks. They tore the house apart! He had to do a lot of work afterward to fix everything. They worked with him, too... Who in their right mind does that? He called their parents and told them what they had done. I think there were also repercussions at work.
My father has some stories from the '70s that can outshine mine. For some reason, it was a crazy time! The best one was a man who lived in a studio flat—he seemed to have a few issues. He covered his entire floor in garbage bags and essentially tried to create an indoor swimming pool. He was on the ground floor, however, things got messy real quick.
The huge amount of weight from his (presumably semi-successful) plan meant part of his floor collapsed and he came crashing through into the flat below.
My grandparents rent out some extremely nice houses on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. A very young couple moved into one of their homes. They didn't have a lot of furnishings, but oddly enough, they could afford the extremely high month-to-month rent. Long story short, they had a huge dope farm in just about the entire house. My grandparents found out from a landscaper who cut their grass. Yeah.
I'm a landlord, but this was something my crazy cousin did. He built a full-on skate half-pipe ramp in his fourth-floor Manhattan walk-up. It was insane and it took up basically the entire place. I have no idea what it took to build, but to get rid of it, they just parked a truck outside and tossed the bits out the window into the truck below.
My aunt owns a huge house that she turned into an Airbnb. There was this Aussie guy who rented the place for about a week and then left without a word. He left all the doors locked which took us a couple of days to get sorted (we didn't want to ruin the nice doors). When we finally got in, we discovered that this guy cut all the power cords of most of the appliances.
The TV, sound system, kitchen appliances...The jerk just cut them all off and probably took them with him. We never found it.
As a tenant, I once found a human jawbone in an old plastic margarine cup up on a ledge in the cellar. It looked very old; no teeth in it. I just put it back and forgot about it until now, 35 years later.
This is a story from my uncle. An Asian family moved into his building, and they owned a restaurant. Sometime after they moved in, the apartment directly below them was complaining about water damage in their ceiling. My uncle went to check it out and sure enough, much of the ceiling had water damage. He couldn't find any broken pipes, so he went upstairs.
He explained the situation to the Asian family upstairs and said he just needed to investigate the water problem. At first, they wouldn't let him in. He realized why the second he walked in the door. They had built a FARM in the living room. They literally boarded up the living room, filled it with dirt, and were growing crops. The water damage was basically from them having to water the plants.
I purchased a property last year that had seen 20+ years of deferred maintenance. Mandatory repairs were done as cheaply as possible, usually by the tenant who was given a discount on their rent to do so. Two sets of questionable tenants there. One was an elderly man with multiple issues living in a basement that flooded. He was taken advantage of quite a bit and had a number of people living with him.
The week I purchased it, he passed, and by some stroke of luck, everyone mooching off him decided to just leave. It still took me nearly a month to get rid of all of his stuff that wasn't picked through and stolen. The other tenants were an absolute nightmare. They rented a small house on the back of the property, and I had to call the authorities on them three times in the first two weeks I owned the place due to theft or possession of stolen goods.
They were well-known thieves in the neighborhood, having multiple arrests, and they single-handedly caused at least half the 9-1-1 calls in the neighborhood. On top of that, they were dumb; always getting caught on video. They caused the previous owners a huge number of issues, and the city often slapped fines on the property for various nuisances they caused, which included running bike chop shops in the backyard as well as noise violations.
They had a large number of associates visiting the place. The main house is a Victorian-era house split into multiple units. They tore down the house's original garage after "accidentally" setting it on fire, but that apparently wasn't a problem because they built this "really cool two-story shed" that they rented out to the homeless.
Upon purchase, we gave them a 90-day notice of eviction. They immediately stopped paying rent. During that time, they broke into another vacant unit that we were remodeling and they took all my power tools plus a ton of building materials. They went to court and played all the laws they could, getting two 15-day extensions and various other tricks so it was 150 days before they were finally evicted by the Sheriffs' department.
I also had to keep all of their stuff in a storage unit for 45 days after that point since they never came to take it away, and they never made arrangements to get it. Upon entering the unit, I found a large number of illicit substances, plus all the stuff they had stolen over the years. During the 45 days, they broke into the house three times to pull their stuff out, or just to spend the night, attempting to burn it down at least once.
When I finally got to the point that I could get rid of their stuff, it took a 40-yard dumpster and three days of work to fill it. Not to mention all the stuff that I gave away on free-cycle and let neighbors and employees of nearby businesses just take. It cost me over $5,000 just to get rid of them and their stuff. Making the house habitable again will be another $15k and it still needs a lot of work, most of which I'm doing myself.
I still have stolen bikes appear in the backyard occasionally, along with addicts looking for a supply and homeless people looking for a place to sleep.
This one guy had a really weird roommate who ended up sealing his room off from the rest of the apartment so he wouldn't have to deal with everyone else. He had a sliding glass door to his room and a private bathroom, so he rigged something up to be able to lock and unlock the sliding glass door from the outside. Apparently, the roommate descended into madness on the other side of the wall.
When he finally went back over there, it was a freezer experiment gone horribly awry.
My dad was a landlord when I was young. I don't really remember many details, but there was one tenant whose rent was well overdue, so my dad had to evict them. My dad doesn't typically build good relationships with his tenants, but that was especially evident with this guy. He must've been high or something when he left because he ended up setting fire to the place. Fortunately, it was covered by insurance, but it was shocking, to say the least.
My uncle used to clean out low rent (Section 8) apartments when the tenants either moved elsewhere or were kicked out. Aside from all the nasty and petty stuff one might expect a ticked-off ex-tenant to do to an apartment, he encountered one unit where they hid—wait for it—live rounds inside the heating elements on the stove.
If he hadn't spotted them while cleaning underneath the coils, those bullets could have seriously hurt the next poor folks who moved in and fired up the stove for the first time.
My grandparents owned 68 rental houses at their peak, and while they're too old for that now, they have plenty of stories. This one is my favorite. Dateline, mid-80s: One of their longest-standing properties was a long structure containing five flats alongside each other. In #5, there lived a young couple with a toddler who was a little bothersome, but they paid their rent on time and never caused significant trouble.
After a little over a year, they paid their last month's rent and moved out. A week or so later, my grandfather went in to make sure the place was ready for new tenants. He couldn't believe his eyes. They. Took. Everything. The usual suspects like the fridge, oven, stove, washing machine...but also the kitchen and laundry sinks and taps. All the lightbulbs, all the curtains...they even pulled up and removed the carpet.
They took the light switch fittings on the walls, and not just the doorknobs, but also the doors. They even managed to dismount and remove the freaking toilet. Just about the only thing they left was the drywall, windows, and front door. They avoided contact, but upon being summoned to court, they seemed to genuinely believe that they, as tenants, were entitled to take whatever they wanted with them since they'd paid for the place over the previous year.
They'd already installed the dang toilet in their new place. The court battle effectively resulted in #5 being completely refurbished at the ex-tenants expense.
I once walked in on my friend moving out of their big apartment. They were all in prone positions taking turns knocking out the windows with BBs. I asked my normally well-adjusted friends what they were doing and their response was face-palm-worthy: "The landlord is keeping our security deposit anyway." The craziest part is, that they were not being vindictive.
They just assumed from the damage from all the parties, that they'd be losing their deposit. Might as well get target practice in?
My landlords told me that they used to allow tenants to paint the walls but not anymore. 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.
A buddy of mine owned a three-story house. He got a call from the second-floor tenants that water was coming through his roof. He went to the third floor and when the tenants opened the door, he could see one of those inflatable 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.
I was subletting a room to a young couple. They were really nice, considerate, devout Christians. I had to leave for two weeks and I asked them to clean the house so we could get the security deposit back (and in turn, pay them for the trouble). I ended up coming back a couple of days early. When I walked into the house, I couldn't believe my eyes. They had completely trashed the entire place.
They moved the mattress and our TV down into the living room. They went through all of our stuff and incorporated it into their own stuff. They also adopted two cats two days after we left and there was kitty litter in every square inch of carpet. But the worst part? They pawned our $800 drum set and took most of my sentimental keepsakes I had kept in a small box since I was a child.
The authorities were called but apparently, they were in the green legally. They proceeded to pack up whatever they wanted (including our stuff) and left with their parents who didn't care what their kids had done.
My parents had some tenants when I was around seven years old and they never paid the rent. They wound up getting evicted as a result, and my parents decided that they would save some money by cleaning the place up ourselves. That was their worst idea ever. I didn't know what a lot of the stuff I saw that day was until much later in life.
The first thing I saw when we walked in the door was a fish tank full of lifeless, exotic fishies. In the bedroom, we found used rubbers, used feminine hygiene products, and..."sharp objects." Like, just laying around. Once we saw that bedroom, my parents gave up and hired a cleaner...and that's when the worst discovery was made.
They found a deceased cat in the toilet of the master bathroom. It was terrible.
I was renting out a room in my rental house. It was a big room, but nobody seemed to want it. Then, Lloyd showed up. He instantly accepted the terms. I had a BAD feeling about Lloyd, but the 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, and when I spoke to him, 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. It was just a feeling I had deep down. He just seemed like a weasel to me. A few months later, I received a disturbing call from him.
He was calling from the local precinct and he wanted me to return his portion of the month's rent so I could bail him out. After thinking about it, I declined. Rent needed to be paid. He got upset, but I didn't give a dang. Apparently, his ex had a restraining order on him that he violated. When I discovered that, I resolved to evict him.
He was back home in a week or so. I had a sit-down talk with him and lied to him, saying that the house was being sold and we had one month to get the heck out of here. At the end of the month, he grabbed his bedroll and knapsack and left. Then, a few weeks later, I saw him on the news—apparently, he broke into his ex-girlfriend's house and took her life. He was later convicted and sentenced to 25 to life.
I felt horrible for his ex-girlfriend...but it did feel good to go back to the YMCA and explain to all those bozos why I wasn't a big fan of their pal Lloyd.
This one couple decided to quit paying their rent, but they had pretty good excuses, so I didn't evict them initially. Then, after three months of not receiving a dime from them, I finally went down to the courthouse to file an unlawful detainer on them. We had our day in court. Then they showed up, and my jaw dropped. The woman, who was usually dressed nicely with fake nails and an expensive weave, showed up looking like an old hag. Her partner was using a walker, but he didn't need one.
They claimed I was a slum lord and that I never fixed anything, but I had receipts from every repair I fulfilled for them, including the new A/C unit that they asked for. After I got the judgment against them, I tried to garnish the man's wages. He told me he worked for Coca-Cola Co., but it turns out, the company had never heard of him.
After a little digging, I found out they had both been put behind bars for selling substances...you know, the other kind of Coca-Cola...The officer showed me mugshots dating back to the early '80s! I couldn't believe I had let criminals into my property.
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