Renting is never an ideal situation but in most cases, landlords are decent people who work hard to make life good for their tenants.
Unfortunately, in some cases, they don't. These landlords appear to have gone in the opposite direction, actively working to make their tenants as miserable as possible.
Oh, and one of them turns out to be a murderer. Seriously.
(Content edited for clarity.)
The Landlord Wins Creep Bingo!
“I and two friends were moving into a house together. Before we moved in, the landlord wanted to meet us to sign the paperwork, etc. He set up a meeting for 3:30 at a Golden Corral about 25 miles away from the rental property. We were already pretty annoyed at having to take off work to be there and having to drive so far.
One of my roommates is black, and he showed up to the meeting about 10 minutes before myself and the other roommate did. He entered the restaurant, told the hostess he was looking for the table with Ward (the landlord’s name) and was direct to the table. He introduced himself to the landlord and took a seat. The landlord immediately excused himself to go to the bathroom, then went and sat in his car until I showed up. When I did and saw him in the car (I had met him previously), he was quite upset that we didn’t all show up together and kept saying, ‘Was I just supposed to sit there with a person like that until you arrived?’
He then spent the rest of the meeting making thinly veiled racist comments towards my black roommate. Things like, ‘Are you moving from an apartment? I don’t want you bringing roaches and gangs with you.’
To cap it off, when we were leaving, he spent about 5 minutes telling the teenage hostess how beautiful she is, and that he got her schedule from the manager so he will be sure to be there every day she is.
As horrible a human being as he was, there was one significant benefit of being his tenant. The reason we met at a restaurant 25 miles away from the house is because that was close to where the landlord lived (ie, not close to the house at all), so we never had to see him. We moved out the next year.”
If It Ain’t Broke, Break It
“We had a new management company take over the complex after we’d lived there for three years. They fired all the staff that had been there for years and replaced them with people that didn’t know what they were doing.
When we first moved in, if something broke, the first company would come right over to fix it either the same day or the next and they’d call to confirm it was okay to enter the apartment. They’d leave a note to say what they were in the apartment for and exactly when.
The new company wouldn’t fix anything in a timely manner. Our air conditioner broke during summer when the average temperature outside was 105F. It took 4 phone calls and threatening legal action to get them to do anything. A week later, we came home to our door unlocked, all the lights on (even in the bedrooms) and an absolutely freezing apartment. So cold, in fact, the air conditioner froze and it burned out. It took another week to ‘order parts’ to fix it. They left all the lights on and the door unlocked again when they finally fixed it the second time.
A month later, the bathtub broke. The hot water wouldn’t turn off; it was on full blast. They said it wasn’t urgent since the water was draining down the tub. They waited 3 days to come fix it. The hot water made our room super humid and it was loud, so we closed the door. They got mad because the door split from the moisture.
One day, I stayed home from work because I was sick. I was taking a nap on the couch and when I woke up, there was a man standing in my doorway. I screamed, ‘Who on earth are you? Get out!’ He said, ‘Umm…maintenance.’ I stepped out and called my husband and he was really angry. The guy was gone when I got back but he propped my front door open. I closed and locked the door and called the leasing office and they acted like I was being unreasonable. They gave no notice they were entering the apartment and the guy was standing there watching me sleep. They said ‘We didn’t think it was necessary since he wouldn’t be actually entering the apartment; he’s just painting your front door.’
The last straw was we were required to give 60 days notice if we were moving out but they waited to give us the new lease terms until 29 days before the current lease expired. When we got it, they raised the rent $500 per month. We didn’t renew the lease, gave them notice, and moved out. They decided to file for eviction instead.”
“I had to move in a hurry so I took the first available flat I could find. Really regret it now. Here’s a brief list of all the stuff the landlord did at that time:
- Sent his brother to do the initial viewing and negotiating. When I accepted and started to move in, the landlord finally showed up and quoted a much higher price for the rent. I was stuck at this point so couldn’t do anything about it.
- Refused to produce a tenancy agreement until I withheld rent.
- Said tenancy agreement clearly stated that payment included all bills. IE: landlord would collect rent and bill money together as one lump sum. This will be important later.
- Would routinely enter my flat and rummage through my stuff. I later discovered that a silver pocket watch that my mum bought for my 18th birthday was missing…
- Entered the house every day and stole the mail before anyone could read it.
- When told that the house was totally infested with rats and cockroaches, said that ‘this is normal in India.’ This isn’t India pal…
- Turned up every other week to collect money for ‘additional bills.’ Would not specify what these bills were or provided a breakdown of what each tenant owed. When I refused, he changed the locks until I paid.
- And the crowning glory of this walking sack of terribleness: didn’t pay the council tax.
As I said, he collected money for all of the bills along with the rent but apparently failed to actually pay this money on to the council.
We (the tenants) were taken to court, sued and lost in our absence. When we failed to pay the entire outstanding debt and court costs, bailiffs were sent to collect.
This is the first time any of us knew that there was a problem. I convinced the bailiffs what had happened by showing them my tenancy agreement (which no one else had) and got them to back off.
Tried calling the landlord and his cell phones were both deactivated. When I finally got through to a member of his family, they said that he had moved to India and was never coming back.
The absolute jerk.
So, at this point, most of the tenants disappeared except for myself and a student, who was exempt from council tax. At this point, I approach the council to explain the position and was told in no uncertain terms that:
- This happens so frequently that the council no longer accepts the tenants as innocent parties.
- The landlords in these cases vanish without a trace.
- As the only person connected to the address who was eligible to pay, the entire debt was dropped on my head.
It took three years to pay off. If I ever hear of this landlord resurfacing, I will find him and I will end him.”
The Poisoner From Above
“The house was terrible and falling down, plus there was a mouse infestation. Landlord heard somewhere that cat litter keeps rodents away. I enter the laundry room one day to discover 2 inches of scented cat litter everywhere. She (perhaps fortuitously) didn’t realize that it’s used cat litter that keeps away mice, not clean scented stuff. It remained there for a year until we moved out.
The same landlord attempted to drive to Ikea. Closest one was in NJ, about an hour away. She lived upstairs and after a few days, I realized I hadn’t seen her in awhile. Turned out she got lost in NJ, couldn’t find her way out after hours, and ended up just booking a hotel and staying for 2 days until someone came and got her.
She believed that the house was overrun by squirrels and would illegally enter our apartment to look for them. She also had all of the blooming trees (the only nice plants in the yard) cut down because of ‘squirrels.’ Still not sure what was going on there. Any time I did anything she didn’t like, she’d accuse me of letting squirrels into the house.
Back in the laundry room, I overheard her teaching her son how to do laundry. She warned him to never ever mix bleach and ammonia because it makes a toxic gas. She then proved this by purposely mixing the two. They instantly started choking and gagging and abandoned the laundry room to run back upstairs. And get this – she was a mental health professional!
There are many more stories. It was a good day when we moved out. I tried my best to warn future potential tenants by leaving mouse traps and Drano prominently around the apartment. Hopefully, it worked.”
Living In Fear And Squalor
“My uncle owned a house and we needed a place to live. My dad had just landed a job with a trucking company, and we needed to relocate for the said job.
We were very very poor at the time, and my uncle knew this. So he let us move into the house… the house was literally an abandoned piece of junk infested with cats and other animals.
After moving in about a day or two later, he brought over a refrigerator and stove for us and installed it, claiming to be doing us a favor. A few days later, my dad left for work and would be gone for several days.
My uncle knowing this kept coming over and trying to get my mom to make him dinner, wash his clothes, and just be like a ‘side wife.’ Then he came on to my mom after drinking in our backyard, and my mom asked him to leave.
He got furious and started getting violent and stormed off after my mom threatened to call the cops. The very next day, he showed up to the house again with two other dudes, barged his way in, and took the stove, threw all our groceries on the floor, and took the refrigerator back. Then he said he would kick us out.
This was before cell phones, so there was no real way to get a hold of my dad. Long story short though is we never got kicked out, as my mom filed some kind of complaint with the city.
He would drive by every now and then, and like just sit outside for no reason. It was annoying that I was in Kindergarten and couldn’t do anything to protect us.”
Revenge Is Sweet
“I was moving across the country to move in with a friend from college who was already leasing a house with a few other people. He got me in touch with the property management company’s employee who was in charge of that house.
I spoke with him and filled out the application, my mom filled out the cosigner’s app, and he gave me the approval to move in. Everything was great, except the property management guy stopped responding to me about halfway through my 3,000-mile road trip.
I get to the house and less than a month later my friend’s original roommates tell us that they’re moving out. I call the property management company to figure out what our options are and get this lovely surprise:
I was never put on the lease. I was never approved to move in. My dog, who I was told was allowed on the property, was not. The guy I spoke with and got approval from had given his two week’s notice and just ‘yepped’ me into moving 3,000 miles away from home because he couldn’t give a fig about his job anymore.
We ‘rectified’ the situation and they moved my friend and me into another one of their rental properties.
Three months later the house is covered in mold and we’re being told that we need to leave for our ‘health and safety’ but that we’re still responsible for paying rent, and because we didn’t keep the house at a certain temp (there was no thermostat in the house!!) the mold was our fault and we were responsible for repairs.
Sued them real fast, got a couple grand out of it.”
What Happens When You Have Even Less Privacy Than You Believe
“In the ’90s when I was a teenager, my then-girlfriend and I decided to get a place together. We searched for weeks until one day we saw a small bedsit advertised in the local paper. Rent was reasonable and we arranged to go and view it that evening.
The building itself was of the three-story Victorian type common in the North of England. The landlord who looked very sketchy must have been in his 70s and you just knew by looking at him that he was one of the proverbial ‘Dirty Old Man’ types but as the place was clean, dry and cheap, so we decided to take it anyway.
After we moved in, we realized that the Landlord lived on the top floor with just one other tenant and had let all the rooms on the ground and first floor. All of the other tenants were of the same age as my girlfriend and I, with the exception of the one old man who lived next to the landlord’s place on the top floor.
So everything went well for a few weeks until we started noticing some things weren’t where we left them or that ashtrays had been used. Oftentimes there was that general feeling you get when you come home and you just know someones been in your home.
Fast forward a few weeks and I noticed one day that some photographs I had taken of my girlfriend topless on holiday had disappeared. Needless to say, I grew more an more suspicious and changed the locks on our apartments front door.
Two days later the Landlord said that he had needed to check the electric in our flat and couldn’t get in. He demanded a key and, not having any good reason why I shouldn’t let him have one, I gave him a spare. About a week or so after that I came home from work and found that he had installed smoke alarms in our apartment. Good enough, I thought, at least he’s taking care of the tenants.
Cut to a few days later when I was taking a bath and happened to notice a smoke alarm in the bathroom. I remember thinking that it was pretty odd to put a smoke alarm in the bathroom, so I decided to take a closer look at it. Most smoke alarms in the UK are hinged, in order that the battery can be replaced. This one though wouldn’t open at all. I had to get a screwdriver to force it open. Inside there was no sensor or battery or any sort of circuit board, all I could see was a hole about an inch in diameter going through to the flat above.
Within a few minutes, I guessed why the hole was there and opening the other alarms, I found the same thing. At that point, I telephoned the police and not long after the landlord was arrested.
In the end, the police discovered over 200 pieces of female underwear that he had taken from tenants, tons of videos that he had taken of himself pleasuring himself in their beds and many other stolen photographs including the ones of my girlfriend.
He confessed to the police that the smoke alarms were a new idea that he and the other old man had thought of after I changed the locks. After hearing that, the police decided to question the other old man. Long story short, it turned out that he had 71 videos of my girlfriend and other female tenants changing clothes, bathing, etc, as well as many other items of stolen underwear.
To this day it still makes me feel ill and I know that my then girlfriend is still affected by it.”
They Were Friends Alright
“I rented a 500-acre ranch with an old ranch house from a 95 yr old man. He lived in town (small hill country town in Texas) where his live-in nurses cared for him, and the ranch was 5 min outside of town.
I was very thankful because the ranch was really pretty and peaceful and the rent was only $400 month. The house had 4 large porches and the rooms were huge; I felt so lucky.
I was in my 30’s and I visited the owner in town to show him pictures of what I was doing to the house. I was allowed to do anything as long as it was an improvement. I planted a garden, some trees, laid slate tile, etc/
I seriously thought we had become friends, like grandpa-style, because he acted so dang happy to see me. My boyfriend and I would take him meals from Whataburger, we took him to eat in town, our families sang Xmas carols to him, etc. This man was old but he had full use of his facilities.
So when I moved out and went to tell him goodbye, it was sad for me. I was almost crying.
That man looked me straight in the eye and seriously said, ‘I gotta have ya. At least once. I want to make love to you.’
You can not believe how shocked I was. The man was 98 by then. ‘Mr. Oldie!! I have a boyfriend!!’
I walked straight out the front door. His nurse was sitting there outside having a smoke.
‘I……I……..I………can’t believe what just happened…..I can’t even say it…….I’m not positive it could be true….’
She said plainly, ‘Did he try to have intercourse with you?’
Of course, I said ‘Yes?!…..’
Then she told me that every time people came to visit, she had to wrestle with him to put his pants on. And that part of her duties was to return the various toys that he ordered.”
He Was Really Keen On His Cash-Only Rent
“I moved into this new building close to the city center with a guy called Eric who I got on well with. I barely knew the landlords, but I got to meet them both separately within a few months. One was an older gentleman, grey-haired and nice enough but easily forgettable, and the other was a weird guy, a lot younger, obviously gay, we knew him as Steven. Eric and I used to speculate about how on earth they met and bought a house together…
One day Steven said they wanted the rent in cash, which I wasn’t too sure about, but did as he asked. Turned out Steven hadn’t told the other one about the cash rent situation so we ended up having a bit of a ding dong with the old guy, but it all worked out, so we didn’t have to pay twice for the same month.
Later Steven was on at me to give him cash again which I argued against – I was about 21 and wasn’t keen on carrying £350 in cash through town at night. He started shouting at me, and then went very quiet and said, ‘You so faaat…. You so fat and uuuhgly.’ Cue eye roll.
I moved out not long after. A few years later, Steven murdered a friend for cash and chopped his body up and dumped it in a suitcase.
So there’s my murder-nightmare landlord story!”
Living In Judgment Is No Fun
“We had a live-in landlord that we rented a room from. He was patronizing, dismissive and rude towards me but not towards my partner. He repeatedly mentioned that his sister-in-law was a ‘bad wife’ because she argued with her husband. Just an all-around bad attitude towards European women who he considered to be too difficult. We live in a western country so basically, he doesn’t like any women here.
He often talked about how we ‘live in sin’ and did other things that would not be considered acceptable in his country. I should point out that we were not throwing raging parties or behaving anti-socially, we were just normal tenants who were too westernized for his liking.
Aside from this, he would generally make us feel uncomfortable. There was a significant language barrier so we never really made it past small talk, but this was not particularly a problem for us. What really made us feel uncomfortable would be the way he would stand behind us when we were watching television. He would not say anything and if we spoke to him or asked him if he wanted to join us (not that he needed permission, we just thought he might be waiting for an invite) he would walk away.
We put up with this for several months because we didn’t want to make the living situation worse. After around 6 months my partner and I had an argument. It was not a raging one with us screaming and shouting, just a heated disagreement in the privacy of our own room. We opened the door to give us a bit of space from one another and our landlord was stood on the other side of our door listening to us. He asked if we were arguing and I told him, politely but firmly, that this was a private matter. We apologized if we made him feel uncomfortable but he never spoke to us in person again after this argument.
One month after this he disappeared without telling us where he was going and sent us an email saying we had to leave the apartment. We disputed this as he didn’t give us the period of notice required by law and when he got in touch one week later, it was with rude and abusive messages saying that we were absolutely wrong and that, because it was his apartment, he could do what he wanted. These emails were directed to me only, he sent polite emails to my partner even though he had received the same emails from both of us. Though we were willing to fight him on the notice period and already had been seeking legal advice about this, we found somewhere better to live and decided it would be easier to just leave and not have to deal with him anymore. It’s much better.”
When The Best Thing In The Deal Is A Fraudster
“The house I lived in last year was in a constant state of disrepair, partly from the strain of having eleven people in, and partly because of the mismanagement of the property owners.
When a shower stopped working, I walked into my room one day to find a very tiny elderly Chinese man who spoke absolutely no English (and I speak no Chinese) attempting to patch a two-by-three-foot, irregular hole in the drywall. He had apparently cut it open to access some plumbing but didn’t find what he wanted. I ended up covering it with a poster and hoping they wouldn’t come back.
When the roof started leaking over the winter causing water damage in my closet, the solution was to have a crew (including the same man that cut the hole in my wall) nail plywood over the top of a section of the roof and shingle it. It took them three weeks.
Our heater also stopped working in November. It was an oil furnace that ran out of fuel despite being purportedly filled in September (which we paid for). It never actually started working properly again, so it was a rough winter.
The landlord also refused to get a plumber to fix our kitchen sink, which was completely unusable for three months because of some fault that was never explained to us. I suspect one of my roommates clogged it with his nasty cooking.
Midway through the lease, our actual property manager (effectively the landlord, the company’s ‘liaison’) was arrested for fraud and fired. We went through two temporary agents before getting a new one, who immediately ignored us and every request we submitted. At least the fraud guy was nice.”
When The Library Becomes Your Home
“Moving internationally, I took a red-eye flight. I was exhausted, edgy from a very turbulent flight and going through customs, and carrying all my worldly possessions in two of those giant duffel bags. I had paid my first and last months’ rent two weeks before, and my landlord assured me the apartment would be ready. He knew exactly when I was arriving.
It wasn’t. He wouldn’t even let me crash there while they finished working. I had to go hang out at the local public library for 10 hours while he got his act together. I also managed to lose my cell phone that day and had to take a cab to the mall to get a new one.
That was on April Fool’s Day 2014. I’m not terribly superstitious, but I’m unlikely to try any international moves on April Fool’s Day again any time soon.”