Landlords are supposed to be responsible for various problems and mishaps that take place in their tenants residence. Unfortunately for these tenants, the landlord turned out to be the problem.
You Picked On The Wrong Tenant
“When I was 18, I was selected for jury duty.
A landlord was suing a guy for new carpet, drip pans, and even ice cube trays…for an apartment they did zero maintenance on over the 15 years the tenant had lived there.
This tenant put himself through law school and was representing himself. He had already won the initial trial and an appeal, so we had the final say.
We dismissed the suit against him and awarded him $10k for the time he had to spend representing himself, then another $50k in damages because we felt that it was a frivolous lawsuit.
This was in the early 1990s, and the man representing himself was black. The company suing him was owned by a bunch of old white slum lords. It was clearly a case where they thought they’d just outspend him. They had probably done it numerous times to others who couldn’t afford to defend themselves.
The look on the plaintiff’s face when we reached a unanimous decision in all of 10 minutes, then read the verdict, was priceless.”
Don’t Worry, We Fixed It
“I was living in a college rental from the 1800s, and the house was freezing cold. I was dripping all the faucets so pipes didn’t freeze, but in negative 10-degree weather with an interior temperature of around 50 degrees, they still froze. It took the landlord 4 days to come out, and he only came out when I threatened legal action. He fixes the pipe and says he fixed the problem with them freezing as well.
Two months of $500 utility bills later, I hear something coming from under the house. I lift a floorboard, and there’s a space heater pointed at the pipe! It had been running since they ‘fixed it.’ It was an open coil space heater that was jerry-rigged in place, next to a pipe that had burst before. One wrong move and the house would have burnt down.
Wow. Just wow.”
“In the late ’90s, I lived in a three bedroom flat in a really bad part of San Francisco. It was not the safest area, but hey, the whole place was only $900 a month, and I was poor, so my roommates and I made it work. The neighbors above us were dealers (and also probably ran a brothel), and one day, one of them went crazy for some reason and took a pipe wrench to his water main, which then burst and flooded our apartment with ankle-deep water. We had carpeting that ran down the hall, and the walls became extremely soft and soggy to the touch. The landlord said he’d send his sons over to assess the damage, but they never came, despite repeated attempts to contact them. We had to rip the carpet out ourselves. Luckily, there was already tile beneath the soggy carpeting so it worked out ok. Our walls, however, remained soft and kind of soggy for the remaining 4 years that I lived there, and we dealt with a lot of mold.
The landlord was a pretty old man, but he was actually super nice. It was his sons who were the real jerks. They constantly wanted to come in and inspect our apartment without proper 24-hour notice, which I wouldn’t allow. Once, I was home alone and heard the doorbell ringing. I was napping, so I ignored it. My boyfriend was staying over, and he woke up, claiming he heard someone moving around in the kitchen. He crept into the kitchen to discover my landlord’s son climbing through my kitchen window with a brew in one hand and a flashlight in the other! He claimed that he was searching for the source of a leak, and since I hadn’t answered, he just decided to let himself in through the window. Another time, I was woken up by the sound of something being thrown through my open bedroom window. It was a two-liter bottle full of urine! I looked out the window to see my landlord’s son beneath my window, glaring angrily at me. He was accusing me of peeing into a two-liter bottle and throwing it out of my window to the trashcan area down below. I’m a girl and so were my 2 other roommates. When I found out the place had what looked like black mold and still our landlord refused to do anything about it, I stopped paying rent for two months and used the money to move out of there. I heard recently that my old apartment goes for $5,000 a month now.”
It Smells Like Smoke
“I rented a place for a year and then decided to find a new place. In the move out process, the landlord demanded that I use a specific carpet cleaning company, so I did. They cleaned the entire carpet and I paid their $500 fee. Well, when the landlady came by to do the final check she a) smelled like a chimney (relevant later) and b) said she would have to call the carpet place to do it again because the carpet wasn’t clean enough. I paid them $500 and the carpet isn’t clean enough?!
So we continue on with the check. At one point, she mentions something about it smelling like dogs, and my husband said, ‘Maybe it’s the smoke’ (referring to how she smelled). After that, she got pretty quiet and we finished up. Later, when I got what remained of my security deposit back, she said they had to keep the cleaning ladies there longer because it smelled like smoke. We have never smoked in that house. Ever. She was being completely serious. When I asked her what she was talking about, she brought up the comment my husband had made. About her. Which I then had to explain to her. When I asked her who her supervisor was so that I could report her, she said we could take it to small claims court.”
A Man Without A Country
“I was living in a foreign country at the time.
I had this landlord who kept asking for the rent earlier and earlier each month. This specific month, he asked for it to be paid two and a half weeks before it was due on a Wednesday. I was like, ‘I can’t. I’m at the bar with my girlfriend. I will give it to you when its due.’ He responds with an okay, no problem.
Drinking till like 2 a.m. Come home. My door is wide open. All the lights are on, and we see my landlord on my bed, eating my chicken wings (that I had just bought earlier) that were in my fridge. Throwing the discarded ones on the bed. At the same time, smoking crack. He turns around. His white button-up is fully unbuttoned. He had decided to turn off the A/C for no apparent reason as it was like 90 at night in the summer. He’s sweating balls. So, my bed is drenched in his sweat and grease/saliva from the discarded chicken wings. The air smells of crack smoke, sweat, and grease. He turns to me with a straight face, just says,’Umm, can I actually get the rent now?’
I literally laugh out loud. He is a very small man. Wasn’t threatening at all. I just told him, ‘You need to leave right now, or I’m going to call the cops.’
He asks me to call the cops and gets himself one of my brews from the fridge.
I call the cops. Cops show up. Turns out to they are very good friends with the man; they went to middle school and high school together. They end up catching up for a bit and ask him about his family. ‘How is everyone doing?’ etc.
So, obviously, I get evicted that night.
It was more a learning experience about being a foreigner. It wasn’t too big a deal. I just moved in with my girlfriend. It was a bit costly as I did lose my entire deposit which was 3 month’s rent. But the whole event only took like 3 hours. I was packing my stuff up at like 5 a.m., asking myself what am I doing with my life right now.”
“I rented a place in New Orleans that was quadplex with me and my roommate on the top floor one side, landlords on the other, and an apartment downstairs next to the garage. Had some major floods happen back in August 2017 that filled the bottom apartment with 3 feet of water.
The apartment ended up needing to be renovated and that meant being completely gutted. Normal circumstances, no problem. Problem is: our landlords conveniently decided to leave the state for the rest of the year and left a family relative in charge. All this prior to failing to tell us that construction had started.
There were times when our water was randomly shut off and not turned on for hours, same with power. Deafening noise starting at 6 a.m. and continues all the way until 5 p.m. (I worked from home and had to be on the phone, so it made it impossible for some days to work, and as a consequence, I lost out on much needed money). When we brought these issues to their attention, they said that the place was not meant to be a place of business and there wasn’t anything they could do.
These guys took advantage of us until we finally left that place over two months ago. Still bitter about that one event but then there’s a bunch of other times where we couldn’t get in contact with them when things needed to be done, and when we could they acted like helping their tenants wasn’t their responsibility.”
My Landlord Is Crazy…No, Seriously
“My ‘crazy’ landlord actually turned out to be legitimately crazy. She was committed to a mental institution about a year into our tenancy. It wasn’t a surprise as she did bizarre things all the time, like show up and start gardening in the middle of the night or call to say she knew that we’d sold all her light fixtures (we hadn’t—they were all still attached to the ceiling like always). About six months after we moved out, she must have been released because she called me at 3 a.m. to scream at me for stealing a chest freezer from the garage when we moved out (there was never even a freezer there).
I am so glad to own a house and I hope I never have to go back to renting.”
“This was about 5 years ago in Illinois. The end of lease was approaching, and we informed our landlord we were not going to be able to renew. We were having trouble finding a place to stay; eventually, we found one, but it was only available 4 months after the end of our lease. It was a two bedroom, and our roommate was on his way out, so the landlord said we could stay the four months at reduced rent. He had a hard time finding a new tenant too. Good guy right? The time comes to move out; we clean meticulously, shampoo the carpet, wash the baseboards, the whole nine yards. After about two months having been moved out, I contact him about our security deposit. He claims he applied it to our rent and that there were damages in the apartment, namely, that we had broken a banister in the stairwell. WELL BUDDY, not only did I have timestamped photos before and AFTER moving, but I had a check-in and check-out form signed off on by the management, as well as a written statement by a neighbor who had seen who broke the railing (notarized). Plus, because I’m in Illinois, any supposed damages have to be repaired and a bill presented, and also security deposits cannot be used as rent in any fashion. I took that guy to court, won, got a judgment 3 times our security deposit and he ghosted. Never did see the money.”
“I have a live-in landlord who is one of the worst roommates I’ve ever had. He expects his tenants to do all the chores but never tells us—he just expects us to read his mind. He rarely cleans up after himself and ignores our requests for him to not have his wasted friends over when we have work in the morning, or to not leave the bathroom covered in water (and gets mad at us if we bother him about it). I noticed something that looked like a security camera in our living room a few months back, which I had always figured was just a wireless speaker. When I asked him about why it had a lens, he claimed that was just part of our security system’s alarm and that the lens was actually a speaker. I looked up the product, and it’s a full-home security system that streams audio and video directly to his phone. He turns it on whenever he leaves and turns it off when he’s home. He has never mentioned this to me or the other tenant and outright lied about it to my face. When home alone I have walked through the living room naked after showering, and my girlfriend has as well, so he’s definitely seen that. He’s been filming me now for almost a year without my knowledge. I’m reporting him to the HOA and moving out as soon as possible.”
Too Close For Comfort
“I was renting a room from a guy for 4 years with no lease. I was pretty much the only long-term tenant except for the guy renting the house. I was always on time with the rent, didn’t cause drama with the other residents, didn’t steal food from the other tenants or hog the bathroom for hours on end, cleaned up after myself. Pretty much the only complaint I ever heard about myself was that I walk like an elephant.
The landlord lived in the house he was renting rooms in and was, for the most part, a pretty cool dude.
He meets this girl, asks her to move in after only dating a couple of months. She’s cool so we become friends.
After about a year they start fighting all the time and eventually end up on again/off again. During one of the off times, he throws her out while it’s below freezing for a week and she doesn’t have any place to stay. I let her stay in my room so she doesn’t freeze to death.
They get back together. He’s fine with her staying again.
I, lacking any awareness when I am tired, fail to see a pattern forming when the next time they fight she asks if she can crash in my room. Sure, fine, whatever. This keeps happening for about three months.
One morning I am awoken by the sound of them arguing again and just get dressed and leave because I don’t want to listen to that on my day off.
20 mins later I get a text saying I am being kicked out and that if I don’t take the girlfriend with me I will be sued.
I am so done with this crap that I immediately apply for residence at every place I can afford.
Two days later I am ambushed at work by a friend of the landlord, who says that I need to get girlfriend under control and out of his house.
Three days after that, they are back together, and the landlord says he wasn’t serious about kicking me out and asks me to stay because two other tenants have already left and it would be inconvenient for him if I left too.
I got accepted to move in elsewhere. I move out of the house, into the new apartment, and go to work in the space of four hours. I have not seen the girlfriend in a couple days.
While at work, I get nasty threatening texts saying that I broke the agreement and that not only was he keeping the deposit but he was going to sue me for breach of contract.
Before I am off work, the girlfriend tells me not to worry about it because she moved out.
But they’re still on again/off again and I have to hear about it because I haven’t blocked the landlord on FB who still owes me half my deposit and thinks that I have some sort of magic power to calm down girlfriend or whatever.”
“I went out of town on a camping trip that lasted 4 days and 3 nights, during which I didn’t have cell service. At the time, I had 2 cats, so I gave a friend my key in order to come in and feed the cats for me and make sure they have water and all that jazz. While I was out of town, the landlord saw my friend walking in and out to feed the cats and immediately assumed that I broke my lease agreement and had started subletting the place to somebody. So he threw most of my stuff into the parking lot and changed the locks. Thankfully my friend was there to take the cats and what she could manage of my belongings to her house until I got back.
When I got into town, I had around 17 voicemails from the landlord—all of her yelling at me. When I went to talk to her, she said she had to do that because giving my key to somebody else is a safety hazard for the tenants, even though it wasn’t a key to a larger building where you could then access other people’s apartments. I was on a ground level corner with my own separate entryway. I have never been so mad. She then tried to get me to move out early, and when I agreed, she tried to charge me extra. When I did move out, she didn’t give me back any of my deposit AND charged me an additional $200 for minuscule things.”
“Currently, my family and I are staying at hotels, Airbnbs, and tonight with a family friend all due to my rental house basement flooding THREE TIMES over the past month from a faulty sump pump. The last flood was 12 days ago. The landlord has done NOTHING to clean up the water damage, electing to leave it soaking under the floor. Rewind about a week after the second time flooding: Partner starts getting sick, like all of the time. She figures it’s allergies (though she’s never had those before in her life except to pets, so we think it’s the cat). Make cat start staying outside, now she’s a porch cat. Issue doesn’t get better. Sore throat, headaches all the time, and her period comes early by like 10 days and is SUPER heavy, then happens AGAIN about 8-9 days later. We think something is up. House floods again. This time we tell the landlord to get a professional to look at it (he’s the DIY EVERYTHING type, which is fine for small stuff but big stuff like gas, major plumbing, etc should be handled by bonded and insured professionals). Plumber says he’s using the wrong sump pump. Landlord changes the pump finally. Leaves.
When the weather starts warming up, we notice a really bad smell from the basement. We call renter’s insurance, and they tell us to check for mold. We talk to the landlord about potential mold, tell him we are calling mold inspection. He says he’ll take care of it, asks for their number. Hires inspector, results come back and show mold, but he refuses to give us the report. Agrees to get remediation done, finally. Fast forward to today. Landlord’s wife emails us twice in the past week trying to stir up dirt on us being crappy tenants (overdue water bill that I lost the paperwork for, waiting for update from city as there are 3 water companies and I can’t remember which one we fall under, paid immediately and setup auto-billing; complaint about the yard not being mowed (haven’t been there to take care of it since we can’t stay) and a neighbor complaining that we were rude — only encounter with them was to ask them to stop parking in our driveway since they were blocking us in). Obvious petty attempts to paint us as poor tenants, despite being really really cool about ALL the SNAFUS from them. A remediation company is supposed to come tomorrow. We are sick and broke from paying May rent + all of the hotel costs. Daughter acting up all the time from not getting her naps, not eating at regular intervals all because of this situation.
The landlord has been silent about everything. We tell them we want our May rent returned, our deposit back, and the lease to be nullified due to constructive eviction. Still haven’t heard back.”
Looks Can Be Deceiving
“I rented an upscale apartment in an expensive complex. The creepy property manager was sneaking into all the apartments when tenants were gone to shower/eat/sleep. The downstairs neighbor was cooking speed, and the hall neighbor was abusing her grandson. I reported it all. Creepy guy wanted to evict me for making waves. Lost that battle. He started claiming I had a dog when I didn’t and bullied my cats in an attempt to evict me. Tried to hike my rent up. He also refused to fix a damaged ceiling and then tried to sue me for damages, which he lost. He was later fired and arrested for the above-mentioned sneaking into apartments thing.”
When The Property Manager Goes Rogue
“Didn’t happen to me, but it very well could have. The property manager of my complex went to all of the tenants at my apartment complex except for me and asked them to pay the month’s rent in cash. I assume that he didn’t ask me because I typically pay my rent in checks and I’m either asleep or at work at all times. He then made off with all the money (I’d say about $8000), and nobody has seen him since.
I was completely unaware of this until next month’s rent was due when I asked my landlord why I hadn’t seen the property manager in a couple weeks. He was visibly surprised that I didn’t know and told me the whole story. He ended the conversation saying, ‘So yeah, if you see him, call the cops.'”
“We started renting a house and the garage was mid-construction, so we didn’t mind paying because we knew we would have a garage soon, no worries. The garage wasn’t built for almost 2 years which means we didn’t have a backyard because it was all construction stuff. Finally, the garage was built and the landlord tried to raise the rent for it. We said no way and moved out as soon as possible. We paid rent for a house that was supposed to have a yard and garage, we didn’t get either of those things for two years, and now you’re raising the rent? NOPE.”