Most tenants are responsible and respectful. They pay the rent on time, they keep the place clean …
Some tenants, however, are less than stellar. Some set up swimming pools inside their second-floor apartment. Some keep chickens in their kitchen cabinets. Some have their landlord come over and kill a spider or show them how toilets work. Others refuse to leave at all, and the only way to get them out is to remove the roof of the house.
Read on for some stories about the craziest and worst tenants landlords have ever had.
48. A Wienie Show
I own a two-family house, so I rent out the other unit. One of my first tenants, let’s call him Richard, was a young kid just out of college. He was a nice enough guy and we became friends. I have a decent-sized backyard with a grill and a pool. We spent the entire summer drinking and hanging out in the backyard. Fall comes. Richard gets it in his head that he wants to repaint his living room. He asks me if that’s okay, and I say sure. He says he will paint it himself if I buy the paint. I buy the paint he picked out, which is a nice neutral color. I’m kind of impressed that he had such good taste. He starts painting.
About a week later, I get a call from Richard in the middle of the night. I was in bed with my wife and sleeping. He says he’s having problems with the paint and asked if I could come up to help. At that point, I thought he was done the painting. It doesn’t take a week to paint a room. What the heck? I begrudgingly agree to go upstairs and help. I walk up the stairs in the middle of the night. I hear music blaring from the apartment. The door to his apartment is open and I walk in. There’s Richard. He’s completely naked with an erect wiener and a roller in hand, and dancing to “Goodbye Horses.” I got the heck out and told him to put some tarp down since he was getting paint on my hardwood floors.
47. How Do You Think He Used The Toaster?
A real nice older guy lived in the apartment next to mine for several years. He was quiet, and I didn’t notice when he had not been around for a while. The landlord asked me to go into his apartment with her, kind of afraid he might be dead inside–he had never been late on his rent before.
We went in there, expecting the worst, and all that was in the entire place was a bare mattress in the living room, with an enormous stack of dirty stuff, both magazines and DVDs, and a toaster. My elderly landlord quipped, “How do you think he used the toaster?”
46. But What About The Barking?!
I had a female tenant who lived in a basement apartment. We regularly heard a dog barking in her unit. Funny thing though, she didn’t own a dog. She had every light in the unit on, 24/7, until she called complaining about not having any power.
I went in to check it and she had power. Every light bulb was burned out though. All she had in the place was a futon and Bibles. Bibles in every room, open to different pages. When we finally got her out for nonpayment (of course), she hired a moving company to move her belongings. The futon and a garbage bag full of clothes.
45. Sleeping With The Dead
My dad rents a few houses out and about 10 years ago he was going to collect rent from an older couple in one of his houses. Annie, let’s call her, answered the door and made my dad a cuppa. He was surprised her husband, let’s call him Frank, was not sitting in his normal armchair; he was quite a big man and was always there when my dad came round.
So dad asked Annie where he was and she said: “He’s in bed; he died last Tuesday, I’m not really sure what to do.” This was Saturday and dad asked where she had been sleeping, “In beside Frank,” she said. So dad was able to help Annie with the undertakers and had to help them get big Frank down the narrow stairs. He got Annie sorted with a new house to rent as well. Grief can make people do very strange things.
44. You Gotta Push It Push It
This made me get out of the rental business. I had a tenant that was a single woman in her 40s with two small children. It was a lower-end apartment, but not in the slums. She paid for her first month and deposit.
A week into her stay, she calls me and tells me the toilet doesn’t work. I go over, and they had clearly been using it the entire time it didn’t work. I ask what was wrong, and she said it just doesn’t work. I push the handle; it flushes. I look at her, and I kid you not, she says “Oh. I didn’t know you had to push anything” and calmly walks away. How do you live in your 40s in the United States and not know how a toilet works?
43. Now, That’s What You Call Commitment
In one of my buildings, there was this one guy who had a small family as downstairs neighbors who were constantly complaining about him making excessive noise. Many noise complaints were filed, and the police were called multiple times. Neither we nor the police actually heard him making noise though, and he kept pleading that he always kept it quiet and that the noise wasn’t him. The weeks went by, and they kept arguing, taking up most of our time with complaints and attempts to negotiate an agreement, so they would stop arguing.
We later got a phone call from the man’s downstairs neighbors. They were hysterical and told us to come over immediately. When we arrived, we found that he had sawed a hole in his floor and taken a giant poop down to the neighbor’s living room.
42. “Hey Stephen, Do Something About The Snow Or I’m Leaving!”
I have had the same old lady tenant since I bought the building. She chain smokes, watches TV, and collects social security. That’s it. Whenever there’s an issue, even if it doesn’t concern me, I get a phone call every 15 minutes, with a 30 second voice mail each time, until I call her.
The cable goes out? “Stephen, it’s Janice, [complaint and threat about moving]. It’s snowing? “Stephen, it’s Janice, [complaint and threat about moving]. Other tenants making noise at 2 p.m.? “Stephen, it’s Janice, [complaint and threat about moving]. Over and over and over, in her raspy smoker voice. She doesn’t understand the concept of “I’m at freaking work, you crazy.” It’s gotten to the point where I listen to the first five seconds of the first voicemail and just delete the rest.
41. A Starry Room
My landlords told me that they used to allow tenants to paint the walls but no longer did. This restriction can all be blamed on one girl who decided she wanted to paint the entire room (walls and ceiling) in dark midnight blue and then, while the paint was still wet, throw handfuls of glitter in it.
My landlady said it was the biggest pain in the neck to get rid of because if you tried to paint over it, the glitter would still show through. They had to scrape every surface. Now the whole house is the plainest of plain taupes.
40. Bzzt … Bzzt …
My parents were landlords for a little while and definitely struck out a few times. They lived in a New England house split into three units. My parents were living in one and had a good view of the driveway and could vaguely monitor the tenants. So this one guy was middle-aged single white guy, seemed a little neurotic but nice enough. He was bothered by a few minor dents and asked my parents if he could repair them … small holes in sheetrock etc. (like when the doorknob slams into it). He did a good job and my parents were happy. But then he disappeared for a while and was late on rent.
One day my dad is home alone and the guy knocks on the screen door. Dad answers and can immediately tell something is off with him. The guy proceeds to rant and rave to my father about how the people in the sky are after him and he needs to leave town NOW, and graciously invites my father to join him. All the while he’s pausing between words to make “BZZZT” noises like a radio or something. I don’t know if he paid his last month’s rent but they were OK with him leaving.
39. The Box Lady
Not me, but my aunt rented her place to an old lady who never showered, never washed her clothes and kept everything she owned in large cardboard boxes. She would open a box, use something, put it back in and tape the box shut.
We talked to her sister and she told us that the poor old lady had become like that after her husband “died” (he ran away).
38. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Our parents rented a floor of their two-family home to a guy who was an electrician. In return for lower rent, he did electrical improvements and minor repairs to the house.
All of a sudden, our parents’ electric bill nearly doubled. So they called the power company for an inspection and discovered that the tenant had illegally re-wired his connection so that it was drawing most of the current for his apartment from their electric meter instead of his. They had given him a substantial break in the rent, and he abused their kindness. Dad simply said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
37. Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Ew Ay Ew Ay No!
About 10 years ago, my parents bought a lifestyle block and kicked out the tenants and got them to take all their livestock with them. The tenants moved into town, and I started hearing stories that they had their cow living in their house, which I didn’t believe at the time. When I started dating my current wife, who was a property manager at the time, she told me that she had a tenant that had been kicked off a farm for no apparent reason. Unfortunately for her, they had brought all their animals with them, and they made a right mess of the place. They had chickens and pigs destroying the gardens, two cows sleeping in the garage, and they had ripped up the floorboards for firewood.
She eventually got them out of the house, but they had left her a present. They had left one of the cows behind and locked it in the house. Unfortunately, the cow had been sick with black mastitis and had died in the bathroom. It didn’t help that it was the height of summer, and with the animal already full of disease, the cow was rapidly decomposing. I asked her what the tenants’ names were, and yup … they were the same people.
36. “Beware Of Attack Chickens”
Not a landlord, but my dad used to read meters in the early nineties and occasionally the meter was in the basement. Well, one house came up with an alert, “Beware of attack chickens,” and he ignored it.
He went into the dirt basement and there was chicken wire everywhere. Chickens were immediately terrified and started clucking and pecking, and scared my dad. He backed up and bumped into a wire fence. When he turned around, he saw that there was a crocodile in a five-foot pit behind the wire. Apparently the chickens were croc food.
35. Two Loud Pops, Two Jerks
My dad owns quite a few apartment buildings throughout Colorado. One summer while I was in college, he was between managers for one of his 80 unit properties, so I acted as the stand-in manager until he hired a new manager. One night he woke me up at 2 a.m. saying the local police department is at the apartment on a “shots fired” report. He needed me to go check it out.
When I arrive at the apartment, the place is lit up like Christmas with squad cars; there must have been 20 officers at the scene. What prompted the call? The idiot tenant and her bimbo friend were walking back from the bars hammered. They heard two loud pops and decided someone was firing at them. What actually happened? Two guys launched a bottle rocket from a nearby balcony. Also worth noting that this happened on the 4th of July …
34. They Don’t Do Those Tasks
My sister moved to Washington D.C. for school and rented a place with six other people. All six of her roommates were the rich, foreign type (two were French, three were German, and one was from Spain), and she said they were all incredibly dirty and sloppy. They would buy tons of fruits and vegetables, then never eat them and let them rot to sludge in the fridge, which wouldn’t get cleaned until my sister got fed up with the stench and did it for them. They never did laundry, opting to buy new clothes when the old ones got dirty, and they also threw regular dishes and silverware away like they were disposable. Her bedroom was the only one that ever got cleaned, and one of them bought a cat that they let poop and piss all over the house.
When my sister tried to get them to clean up their own messes, they laughed at her and basically told her that if she wanted the messes cleaned to do it herself, because people of their “stature” don’t do tasks like that. She decided to not clean their messes and moved in with her boyfriend’s parents to avoid being in the house until the lease was up. So yeah, they were basically rich, spoiled brats who had someone clean up after them for their entire lives, and would rather live in filth than stoop to doing “poor people work.”
33. Not The Ending I Expected
I own a commercial building which rents mostly to small businesses. One tenant was a “consulting firm” run by two Scandinavian girls. Every day, men (and only men) would be coming in and out of their space. Other tenants complained that some kind of weird vapor or steam would regularly escape from their unit.
As I recall, it turned out they were running an unregistered seed bank and the vapor was coming from a big container of liquid nitrogen used to store the seed donations.
32. Including The Door Locks
My older sister and her boyfriend rented out their house when they moved out west for work. After several months of non-payment, the young adult male and female tenants were told to move out.
Right before leaving, the smeared feces on the floors and walls, removed every light switch and electrical outlet cover, destroyed the bathroom, and removed the locks on the doors, and left the doors wide open.
31. What The Cluck
A buddy of mine owned a 3-story house. He got a call from the 2nd-floor tenants that water was coming through his roof. He went to the 3rd floor and when the tenants opened the door he could see one of those blow-up swimming pools in the living room. Not the little ones mind you but one of the big 24 inch deep ones.
As if this wasn’t shocking enough, the tenant had also removed all the kitchen cabinet doors and replaced them with chicken wire and had a dozen chickens living in them.
30. I Bet His Dogs Are Chihuahuas
I had a tenant who started doing drugs. He got obsessed with Chuck Norris and fake karate stuff. He had two little dogs he started training to kill. However, the dogs were tiny and couldn’t do much. He got really demanding and also did not pay rent for three months.
I finally told him he had to leave. He got very angry and called the city. The city told me to evict him. So I did. He destroyed the place and at age 40+ his parents came to pick him and his nunchucks and killer dogs up. First of many crappy tenants.
29. Piss In The Hole!
My dad owns a lot of lower-income houses. Growing up, I was often his help in cleaning up after a tenant moved out. Most of them were pretty gross but not in a way that makes you question humanity, just generally dirtier than I would like to live. But one stands out. It was summer in Indiana, not the hottest place, but generally in the low-90s and high humidity. We go to clean up a house and the house is as dirty as every other house. Except for the smell. After just a few minutes we left to get stupid paper masks in a futile effort to make it tolerable. We end up working for two full days cleaning up the house. Because of the smell, we immediately open all windows and doors and leave them open the whole time we’re there. We have the house basically cleaned out … but the smell is still there. It’s clearly unlivable, and my dad is ready to call in a professional. We go to lock up because we had given up … and one of us finds the hole.
The hole was about four feet off the ground and just looked like a 10″ x 10″ hole in the drywall directly behind the front door. A little more inspection reveals that it’s full of kitty litter. We realize that the wall from stud-to-stud, about four feet deep, is full of kitty litter behind the drywall, and the drywall was replaced. We think that they just poked a hole initially a few inches off the ground and filled with kitty litter. When it was sufficiently pooped and pissed in, they “fixed” the hole and made another one a little higher on the wall. The next stud-space over was entirely filled about four feet high and completely closed up. That was a pretty bad experience. But also very innovative.
28. It Was Like A Jigsaw Puzzle
This is nowhere near the worst thing that happened but definitely the farthest out left field. One property I rented out at a discounted rate to a family for three years, and when they moved out after the first year, their cousin moved in and never told me. Rent checks and everything came from the same name, bank, etc. Then I got a complaint and had to show up one day and find a different person living in the house. So I called the previous tenant, and they thought that their cousin could continue paying the discounted rent $800 from $1,350, and I told them this wasn’t going to happen, and they have to leave, or I will make things nasty. They were being very disrespectful about the whole situation. That’s where the threat came from.
Anyways, they left, and I came back a few days later to take a walk through the house and get it rented back out, and the guy that left removed every piece of trim from the house and left it lying in the middle of the living room. I kid you not, there was a massive stack of trim from every floorboard, window, door, etc. in the middle of the living room. It was a three-day jigsaw puzzle figuring out where to put all the trim back …
27. The Monster Princesses
I had a pair of early version millennial monster sisters renting from me back in the early 2000s. To add to this never-ending joy was an unapologetic parasitic lawyer father. Regardless of how much I tried to explain to him that his daughters were the issue, he could not grasp the idea that his little princesses were actually foul-mouthed-blow-huffing-brats. Anyhoo … these girls complained about anything and everything including–and I’m not kidding–that the tap water didn’t get cold enough and therefore they wanted “a water cooling apparatus” installed directly into the plumbing. Well, upon the second to last day of their lease, they threw a bash. A gala that included human feces painted on the walls and mashed down into every drain in the place, the revelation of two dead (killed) hamsters, used tampons and menstrual blood baked on the lighting fixtures and even the remnants of a makeshift campfire on the wooden balcony planks of the third floor, no less.
The total damages were in excess of $45,000. Needless to say, the photos I took to sue the crap out of them were downright epic. The fathers’ defense in court, believe it or not, was that they shouldn’t be held responsible for the damage because even though they admitted to throwing the party, they said they left in the middle of it and didn’t even return until the lease was up.
26. Even The Pest Control And Junk Removers Can’t Handle It
I had a two-bedroom unit rented to two women in their twenties. Pretty quickly, they started to complain that they had roaches. I thought that was weird because the previous tenant had no roach problem, and we had the place thoroughly cleaned before they moved in. Nobody else in the building was having a problem, so we thought maybe one of the girls had brought them along with them.
Fast forward a few months and the two of them up and skipped town. We get the key and check the unit and it is trashed. There were open ketchup bottles on the counter, glasses, plates, cutlery, clothes, shoes, food just all over the place. And roaches … lots of them. We called junk removers–they don’t remove junk unless it’s roach free. So we called pest control; they advise us to call and get the junk removed before they can get rid of the roaches.
25. Playmates’ Little Secret
My dad rented out the top half of a two-family home. I played with the upstairs family’s kids and knew their parents. I thought we were all friends. One day, right before they were about to move out, I went up to ask the kids to come to play, and they weirdly wouldn’t let me in even though I’d been in there a ton of times. I didn’t think anything of it.
The next week when they’d finally moved out we realized why they didn’t let me in: they took all the appliances that my dad bought for the place to make it more attractive, and sold them. They didn’t want me to see that and tell my dad.
24. Stolen Items Storage
Our first tenants ever were this old man and his mother. He was a super nice guy who said he just takes care of mom and they were just low key people. Sounded perfect! The first odd request we got was like a week before they were to move in they asked if it would be okay to store some of their potted plants on the front patio. We obliged. The next day, we go by the house and there are literally 20-30 potted plants there; we just figured it was odd and thought nothing else about it. About a week into their lease, we get a call from the landscapers saying the police had just run them off the property, and something was going down. We get over to the rental, and this 90-year-old lady is very upset and says the police took her son, and she doesn’t know why. We help her get into contact with the family to come over from another state to help this woman.
Well, after speaking with detectives, we find out the truth. They’ve been going to every single Home Depot, Fry’s Marketplace, etc. and stealing tons of items. All those potted plants were just taken from the front of Home Depots and Fry’s! It ended up being this whole theft ring, and they’d stolen like $130,000 worth of goods and had it in our rental and storage facilities!
23. Something’s Fishy
So this guy gets evicted for non-payment. But instead of trashing the place like most people do, he cut off chunks of drywall, put dead fish in the walls, and sealed them back up.
The new tenants couldn’t figure out the smell for weeks. They got the place professionally cleaned a few times, searched endlessly. Eventually, they figured something must have died in the walls, and figured out what had happened.
22. She Has A Serious Problem
My family owns a three-family apartment building in New England. We had a tenant who I could talk all day about. But the best story was a cold morning she went out to her car to warm it up before bringing her kid to school.
In this process, she locked herself out of her apartment. So she did what any reasonable tenant would do, call the fire department. They came and broke the lock for her. They were not amused that her middle-school-aged son was inside asleep the whole time.
21. A Complete Mess
My dad is a landlord and I used to help work on the houses when I was a teen. One time he evicted a tenant and we went to go clean the house out with some other workers.
We opened the door and cockroaches fell onto us. Inside was the vilest scene I’ve ever seen. Dirty diapers were strewn about. Poop literally smeared on the walls. Cigarette butts and soggy pizza boxes everywhere. The room where they kept a dog (and never let him out) had a massive pile of accumulated dog feces in the corner. Piss stains on the walls. A crib with cockroaches crawling around and piles of trash everywhere that made it hard to see the floor. One of the guys ran outside and vomited the smell was so horrible. It disturbs me to this day how a person could live like that.
20. The Strange Sound
I had a couple who lived on the third (top) floor of one of my buildings. They were very quiet, always very nice, always paid on time. Sounds good, right? Well, the tenants in the building weren’t very friendly with one another. They didn’t fight or have problems really; they just didn’t get together or really even converse at all. So, they didn’t know one another. One day, the second-floor people heard a loud crash coming from upstairs. I get a call from them and they say that it sounded like a dirt bike revving, tearing through the house from one end to the other, a scream, and a loud crashing sound. This is at 3 a.m., mind you. I think someone must be hurt because I’m calling them repeatedly and no one is answering.
I go over to check it out and find out they had gotten a new home theater system and their cat, by some freak chance, had stepped on the remote and turned on the system, mid-action movie. I’ll tell you, I was super relieved.
19. Forceful Eviction
I am not a landlord but I witnessed a landlord horror story about eight years ago. I was renting a terraced house and on one side, the neighbor’s windows were all smashed, the back yard was 6 feet high in household rubbish. I thought no one lived there and the property was derelict. There was indeed a guy living there. He would have takeaway delivered every night and watch dirty videos really loudly. His backyard attracted rats which eventually got into my basement and I had to move out temporarily until they had been exterminated. His ex-wife would frequently show up to the house with other men who would start fights with him in full view of the whole street.
Another neighbor told me that the property was rented, and that his poor landlord had tried a few times to get him out. The guy had not paid rent for years. No idea why the landlord didn’t go down the legal route, but he didn’t. Instead, he had builders remove the roof of the property while the guy was still living there which forced him out. I never saw inside the property, but the landlord had it gutted and renovated.
18. This Guy Shouldn’t Breed
I managed a six-unit apartment building at one point, and the person who moved in on the third floor was an absolute nightmare. He stopped paying rent pretty quickly and knew the laws for eviction, so there were several months I couldn’t get access to, and none of the other residents ever saw the guy. They knew he was up there because of the noise, and more importantly, the smell. Eventually, I got him out. When I went in there, the smell was almost overwhelming. Turns out, he was breeding huskies in the apartment. Five months, breeding huskies, never taking them out, never taking the garbage out. There wasn’t an inch of the floor that wasn’t covered in feces. When I moved the poop-covered mattress, that was the only spot on the floor where I could see the actual carpet. I ripped up the carpets, cut out the floor, bleached every surface and closed off that apartment.
When I took the jerk to court, he showed up and tried to press charges for defamation of character based on me referring to him as a jerk. I told the judge that I stuck with that assessment and showed photos. The judge laughed at him. Never got a dime from that worthless jerk. I never took care of residential apartments again.
17. Spider Alert!
When I was younger, my parents bought a cheap house in a neighboring town and fixed it up to rent. Two young women moved in, and they were great. Just out of college, working entry-level and kind of getting by, no trouble. Then they called at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve because they were “having an emergency.” My dad called back when we got home from church service and asked what was wrong. They said they had found a spider and they wanted him to come to kill it.
Being far too kind-hearted, he went out on Christmas Eve to kill 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–the least he could do given the situation. Not a horror story by any stretch, but such a weird occurrence. After that, my dad told me that I was not allowed to move out until I could kill my own spiders, because … I mean, seriously.
16. Who Are They Renting From?
The tenant had all but $25 of her rent paid for by government assistance every month. Chasing that $25 was a nightmare. The day her eviction notice came due. I drove up to the house and on the front porch stood a girl, maybe 13? I asked the next door neighbor who she was and they said she sometimes stayed there. The power was off, the water was off. But this kid apparently stayed there? A dog was inside the house. The tenants were long gone. The house was crawling with roaches. (Have you ever opened a cabinet and you the roaches are living inside the hinges of the cabinet?) There was dog poop everywhere. They left mountains of clothes, mattresses, you name it … We stopped by this place on a routine basis and so did the City who funded them. They passed inspections. As we were cleaning out their mess, two large gentlemen showed up and asked why we were moving their things out. They lived there. I said, well I own the house, who are you guys? Oh, we rent rooms here. OH, I SEE! They stole and sold all the appliances, busted holes in the walls, ruined everything in the house. Every inch of carpet was soaked with piss and crap, there were cracked floor tiles busted toilets, and broken vanities. It was $7,000 of repairs.
We went to file a vandalism insurance claim. They said it was “normal wear and tear.” Yet someone shoots a firework through one of my rental house windows, I tell the window company that a firework did it and I expected to pay for it and they honored the 100% satisfaction guarantee. You may ask why we would do all of this still … $7,000 in write-offs, lack or rent, etc. Just made for a lot of tax write-offs and we still were in the black for the year.
15. Robbing For Rent
I once received a phone call from a cop asking me if I was the owner of a house that I have tenants in. I said yes. He then asked me if I could meet him at a coffee shop and chat about something. “Did I do something wrong?” I asked. He said no and insisted it had nothing to do with me, so I agreed to meet (I’m mostly law-abiding). When I met them (two of them pulled up in an undercover ghost car in plain clothes) they put a large envelope in front of me. “Open it and have a look,” the main cop said. I opened it to see a grainy photograph taken from a security camera at a bank–of one of my tenants robbing an HSBC bank. The same tenant that I had been hounding for a week to pay me all the back rent and bill money he owed me–who had also just paid me that morning with 20 dollar bills stuffed into an HSBC bank envelope. I indicated that it was my tenant.
Needless to say, I didn’t see this tenant around for a while. However, his roommate told me that he still came around on welfare day to collect his check straight from the mailman (before they put the letter through the mail slot)–so I mentioned this to the cops. The next Wednesday (welfare day) the cops set up a sting and nabbed him right in front of my house while he was talking to the mailman.
14. Party And Run
When I was a kid my grandma had a trailer she rented out. a couple moved in and after six months they had a freaking wild party and disappeared. They partied all night then were nowhere to be found by morning. The place was trashed! Broken toilet, broken appliances, empty bottles, cigarette butts, and ash everywhere, burns on the carpet and counter tops.
The most screwed up part was that they took a chainsaw to the outside wall. There was a giant hole cut with a chainsaw through it like some drunk jerk just stood there with a chainsaw in the living room and did this.
13. Growing Plants On The Carpets
I had tweaker tenants dump dirt right down on the carpet (3rd floor unit) and grow plants directly on top of the carpet, then sell out of their unit. We found out when their downstairs neighbors started having lights flickering and water coming in through their chandeliers. When we tried to evict them, they filed a Human Rights Commission claim, protesting that we were discriminating against their “disability” of unspecified, undiagnosed chronic pain and anxiety because they had a medical plant card.
After we evicted them, they sued me for $400k via a wrongful eviction lawsuit based on not giving reasonable accommodation for their disability. We settled in mediation for a low five-figure sum (basically their moving costs and first/last/sec at a new place). My wrongful eviction insurance paid the settlement, and it was worth getting them the heck out of my place. It was a rent-controlled unit, too. so those idiots lost paying $650 on a unit that now rents for $3,550.
12. The Hoarders Finale
I had a tenant that rented out a small studio with full bath+kitchen, was actually pretty decent at first, but then they started getting messier. It was like an episode of hoarders was going on in there. I told him to try and keep it a little more clean. After about two months of dealing with bad smells, messes and constant loud noises coming from the studio we asked him to leave. He takes out his stuff over the next week. I come into the empty studio to find that they had painted all over the walls in the kitchen and bathroom in this really crappy silver/blackish paint (first we heard of it). The living room, kitchen, and bathroom all had maggots everywhere and they were even crawling out from under the floor. I was furious.
I told the now ex-tenant I was keeping his deposit for damages to the studio … and let’s just say he wasn’t too happy about that. He totally cursed me out. Like she couldn’t understand that leaving the place like that was not okay. At least he paid his rent … 5 days late exactly … every single month (to be fair it may have had to do with when his job paid him).
11. Who Said Landlording Is Easy?
When I purchased a small 3-story house the original landlord lived on the second floor so I needed to get a tenant in there. After reviewing everyone, I choose a couple that had two really young kids. They paid for two months then stopped paying. I took them to court and since they had two young kids the government pretty much paid all the rent owed and offered to send us checks to help them with rent and they would pay the difference. They didn’t pay the difference and the government checks kept getting smaller so took them to court again and eventually got them evicted. The messed up part is they weren’t even paying for electricity for the last two months they were there. They were stealing electricity from the main lobby … I called the police but they wouldn’t file a report even though electric theft is a FELONY. They were using the oven and the stove to heat up the apartment–which is fire and health hazard–they also had candles on top of doors and on the floor for light. My third-floor tenant called me saying there was a lot of smoke … they almost burned the building down.
When the sheriff came to evict them she told me she’d never seen anything like this. There were HUGE burn marks all over the walls and the roof because of the candles … freaking nightmare tenants … and all in all, it took me 2.5 years to get them out. Landlording is really mentally draining. Oh, also they water bill literally went up like $150 since they came in. My lease forbids having a washing machine but they put one in any way. They eventually took it out when I took them to court the first time … but who knows they probably put it right back.
10. From White To Black
Upstairs carpet was ruined with fertilizer because they grew pot in there, wallpaper ruined by pouring ashes from the stove behind the bed, downstairs wooden floor ruined and needed to be sanded, window smashed, one door had a hole in it made with an ax, rent unpaid and loud parties in the yard. Needless to say, we went to court. One truck driver’s family, on the other hand, managed to turn a white bathroom sink and tiles almost black, an accomplishment in itself. Not to mention not paying the rent.
Multiple tenants over the years, from the past 15 years I can count exactly one who paid rent on time and kept the place in good condition. One. I would sell the damn place tomorrow and quit being a landlord, but I’m not the only owner so it’s not exactly up to me.
9. Master-Slave Relationship
I had two students sharing a room at my house. When they arrived one seemed to be the “slave” and the other was the “boss.” The slave would carry the boss’ bags, clean up, all that crap. One day, the “slave” noticed that he didn’t have to be a slave anymore. They had a big fight and the master decided to sleep in the living room.
Also, none of them would shower. I think they cleaned themselves using wet towels or something, flooding the bathroom every day. When they left I found dozens of cheap liquor bottles hidden in their room. It was crazy.
8. She Literally Burned The House Down
My parents were landlords, and they rent out the houses they own. But anyway, they had rented out their old house we lived in for a few years that they had owned since 1992, and we had rented it to a lady and her boyfriend in 2004. A few months later, she had accidentally burned it, and the whole entire floor was burned while the basement was fine, but the windows had busted out from the heat. She had all these crockpots and these flimsy extension cords, and it had started a fire. My mom wonders if she was making drugs. But anyway, she had no renter’s insurance, and she expected my parents to give her money for all the stuff she had lost. She even tried to guilt-trip them: “But my co-workers said you guys will give me money if you’re decent people. I lost $30,000 of my stuff,” and my mom said, “and I lost a $200,000 house.” She was even mad when she came by the house and saw it had all been cleaned out.
She had never come back for her stuff to see what she could salvage, so we had to clean it out and haul to the dump, and some stuff we kept like cookie jars we found, and we salvaged the toilets, but we had to clean the smoke off and replace the parts and the flusher. The clothes that were not melted and burned had smoke damage, so they had to be tossed. I also found a cassette tape that survived the fire.
7. Guilt Tripping
I once had two tenants, an older couple, renting from me for about six months before they stopped paying rent. I showed up there and talked to them at the door after they had been ducking my calls for over a week. Really I’m a pretty lenient guy, not quick to evict–I just wanted to know what was going on. They told me that their only child died–and that the funeral costs a lot. I was sympathetic and told them hey–do what you can. Sorry, that happened, just try to get it together. They don’t pay rent for three more months and keep ducking my calls. I show up there this time and they get crappy with me–like it’s somehow my fault when I’ve already been so nice about this. The conversation ended with them slamming the door in my face. The next week I get a call from the police. They raided my tenants’ and found felony quantities of pills, and told me if they have another incident with one of my properties they’d shut it down for public nuisance. I wrote up eviction papers that day. They ignored the 3-day notice. I had the lawyer send a server for the court date, they didn’t show, and were given another 30 days to move. They didn’t move. I sent another server for the next part, they didn’t show again, and I had to pay $600 to have sheriff forcibly remove them and store their stuff in storage. I get in the house; they tore out the drywall, stole all the fixtures, used thousands of staples on every door frame and window, broke the refrigerator, stove, faucet, left a huge water leak in the basement ($1,800 bill), tore up the carpet, and finally booby-trapped the yard with uncoiled springs.
It was devastating financially and nearly cost me the house. Total costs, just materials as I did all the labor myself taking nearly three months, was around $4,000, plus the nine months I didn’t collect rent, the lawnmower I busted … The total was somewhere around $10,000. I documented everything and sent it off to collections; it’s been over a year and I still haven’t seen a penny of that–nor do I ever really expect to. The screwed up thing is this lady, after her husband was in prison and I was in the throws of repairing the crap they did, had the audacity to text me and say crap like “I hope you’re happy, I live in a tent now” and all sorts of other garbage like I could ever feel bad for her. I text her back and told her I hope her tent burns down.
6. It Took 6 Months To Get Rid Of The Smell
Three soft-spoken foreign exchange students rented my three-bedroom house. At the time, I had a soft spot for helping exchange students. Turns out, they were some of the most entitled vile scum on the face of the earth.
They did every single thing prohibited in the lease (as if they were checking them off!), including not putting utilities in their name, making alterations (like changing ceiling fixtures), smoking in the house (making cigarette burns everywhere), having parties multiple times a week (including late-night barbecues with loud music), working on cars at all hours of the night (including revving them), inviting around 12 people to move in with them, parking about 15 cars all over the place, etc. I don’t know why, but I kept trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I talked to them about this stuff a few different times, to no avail. I feel terrible for what my neighbors had to deal with. Some are still upset years later.
After just 45 days, the fire department had to come out and save the house because they burned down part of the deck (due to smoking). I finally evicted them at that point. Of course, they refused to leave peacefully, expecting me to store their stuff while they went on vacation. So, I changed the locks. Unfortunately, they broke in causing more damage. I should’ve seen that coming from such entitled trash. The security deposit didn’t even come close to fixing everything or covering lost rent. But what really freaking sucked was smelling their stink in the house afterward. It literally took six months, 50 pounds of baking soda, and three visits from professional cleaners to get their freaking body odor and cheap cologne out of our brand new carpet!
5. One Word: Hoarder
There was an old lady tenant who sort of lost it after her spouse passed and began to accumulate piles and piles of garbage and other disgusting refuse in the apartment. By the time she got evicted, the room became a small corridor surrounded by inner walls of stacked trash. A couple of doors were bursting under the pressure of garbage. The bathroom was covered with a foul black sludge.
Eventually, we tried to call in the cleanup company that was featured on those hoarding TV shows that were on at the time. Now get this: the company denied the job because it was just that bad to the point where it was unsafe. Eventually found guys who would do it, but they came in FULL HAZMAT GEAR and were still gagging underneath the masks.
4. Yup, Friends Can’t Be Trusted Sometimes …
My mom bought a double-wide trailer home and rented it to her friend and his girlfriend (who my mom hated). Well, after a particularly ugly blowout between her friend, his girlfriend, and his best friend … my mom evicted them. The friend moved his BFF in without her knowledge and then his BFF stole my mother’s (who’s in a wheelchair) HANDICAPPED VAN. So when we get the house back, it is TRASHED. The house smelled like pot, the whole house was filthy with trash from parties they threw every night. The one-bedroom had no wall and I found a shrine to ICP … it was so nasty.
Then to top it all off there was a mountain of trash on the back porch so high I needed to hire pros to come to get it all cleaned … I ended up moving and a month later I was still finding crap… from razorblades to used needles… and a baggie of crack. He’s in jail now for selling drugs.
3. Living Insanity
I rented my house to two adults with two kids. They stopped paying their rent so I had to sue to evict them. Once I got the place back it was completely filthy. There were beer bottles, food containers, and cigarette butts littering every room. They had flushed so many tampons down the toilet that the sewage line was backed up.
On top of that, there was dog feces on the carpet, and the place was infested with mice. I believe I caught 18. And to add insult to injury, they stole my dryer. I don’t get why any sane individual would choose to live like that.
2. Flushing Rubbers
Lady whose very first rent check bounced. She yelled at me or avoided me for three weeks, then found a job and started paying rent. Six weeks later the check bounced again. This happened a couple more times. By this point I’m out over $1,500 in rent and the sewer suddenly backs up everywhere.
I talk to the neighbors and they are pretty sure she has been turning tricks out of the house. Rubber contraceptives are found to be the cause of the blocked sewer. The Johns had been flushing them down the toilet and destroyed the septic pump. $2,000 repair. Total losses are $5,000. Finally did get her out and almost rented to someone good.
1. Never Again
My grandparents were getting too old to look after themselves, so they moved in with my uncle. We rented out their old house, and it needed some repair work–coincidentally, we found a tenant that did such work! For the first two months, everything was peachy. He showed us how he was helping repair some of the damage from the settling of the house as partial payment and rent wasn’t a problem. And then they missed a month. And another. So we stopped by, came inside. Dog feces everywhere. They took what was a living room and turned it into a bedroom for one of their children (in the center of the house, mind you), and painted the whole room black. Not gray, not a dark blue-black, like seven coats.
We began the legal process of evicting them (which is a completely screwed system in and of itself). It took weeks to get them out, despite them not paying us and the damages inside the house. Once we finally get them evicted, we have someone inspect the house. They determined that the guy did nearly $20,000 in damages to the home in his “repair” work. We got a judge to garnish his wages, but it doesn’t work unless he gets an actual job –he and his family moved to the other side of the country, and he continued working “for himself” by doing fix-it-up work for others … basically meaning he didn’t have to pay us anything because there was no paperwork to his work. Will never have a tenant again. Period.