Have you ever wondered why getting an apartment often feels like it's more trying than applying for a job? These people are the reason why.
1/30. I had an older couple who decided to quit paying their rent, but they had pretty good excuses so I didn't evict them until after three months of not paying.
When I tried to garnish the man's wages. I was told he worked for Coca-Cola. Turns out they'd never heard of him, but after a little digging I found out they had both been arrested for selling cocaine. The officer showed me mugshots dating back to the early 80s!
Finally went down to the court house to file an unlawful detainer on them.
When we had our day in court, the female, who was usually dressed nicely, with fake nails, and an expensive weave, showed up looking like an old hag. The guy was using a walker (eye roll- this guy didn't need one). They claimed I was a slum lord and never fixed anything, but I had receipts from every repair including a new AC unit.
2/30. 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.
3/30. I had a tenant remove the kitchen island and bring it outside by the pool because they "needed an outdoor serving area."
4/30. 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 6pm on Christmas Eve because they were "having an emergency."
My dad called back when we got home from church service and asked what was wong. They said they had found a spider and they wanted him to come 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.
5/30. My mom had some tenants in a rental property who apparently were serial crap sacks and would live in a place until they got evicted, then move on to the next place.
They'd do things like not pay rent while claiming AC was broken or some other property related issue then avoid actually letting it be examined or fixed.
Long story short, after getting evicted they waited until the very last minute to move out, 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 and the crap sacks got berated on national daytime TV, so I suppose it worked out in the end.
6/30. My parents had some tenants when I was probably 7 or 8 that never paid the rent and they wound up getting evicted. My parents decided that they would save some money and we would just clean 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 dead, exotic fish. In the bedroom we found used condoms, used tampons, and used needles. Like, just laying around. Once we saw that bedroom my parents gave up and hired a cleaner but I heard what else they found.
They found a cat shoved into the toilet of the master bedroom. For those who are wondering, my parents did report them for animal abuse/neglect but unfortunately nothing came of it.
7/30. When I was in property management, we had a guy dump marbles down the drain because his sink was clogged. He said it would push the clog out. It did in a way, it pushed it further down into the city line and they had to come out and unclog it for the whole building of 30 or so units. He did not like it when we forwarded him the city bill.
8/30. I was a landlord when my girlfriend moved in with me, and she had an empty condo. The first 2 renters where fine, but then there was Kevin.
Kevin was a single male, good income, seemed like a perfect tenant.We get into month three and the rent checks stop coming in. So we go to the condo to find out what the deal is. Kevin looks frantically through his papers and is all like, "I lost the money order, sorry." We do a little more looking and it turns out he has a roommate he had neglected to mention, a large, silent, muscular man.
Kevin's no-named roommate turns out to be a dangerous sex offender who is out on parole. We were right across the street from a school, old Kevin was violating sex offender legislation. Thank god he left without much of a fight and were able to dump the condo at a modest profit.
9/30. I was subletting a room in my house to an 18yr old couple. Real nice, considerate, devout Christians. I had to leave for 2 weeks and asked them to keep the place neat and in order. I even told them I would pay them for the trouble.
Unfortunately for them, I came back a couple of days early. They had completely trashed the entire house (crack den status), moved the mattress down into the living room. They had gone through all of our stuff and incorporated it into their stuff. They adopted 2 cats after we left, and there was kitty litter on every square inch of carpet.
There were used condoms strewn everywhere, the whole house smelled like cigarettes, and they had pawned my $800 drum set and stolen most of my sentimental keepsakes I had kept in a small box since I was a child.
I called the cops, but before they arrived, these kids left with their parents who "didn't care" what their kids had done. Unreal.
10/30. My parents have owned properties for a while, so there are a number, but the one that I'm personally invested in is the last tenant.
They decided to rent out my childhood home and I suggested it to a coworker. I had worked with this woman for several years, and thought she and her family were decent people. I trusted them.
They pulled out and sold 100-year-old hardwood trim, removed the central air unit and sold it, and just generally mucked the place up.
They then proceeded to skip town after being kicked out once they found out that their wages were being garnished (show up to your court dates, kids).
11/30. I have a crazy, manipulative tenant. She looks after the place well, but I wonder if the psychological damage is worth it.
Early on in the tenancy she complained about the shower curtain sticking to her. It's a shower-over-bath setup, and since she pays her rent reliably and keeps the place clean, we thought, "Oh, okay, what the hell" and paid to have a glass screen put in.
After it's installed I get a complaint from her about how she has to turn the shower head 45 degrees to stop the water hitting the ground. I go to inspect and find that the glass is inexplicably at the other end of the bath.
Turns out she'd insisted that the installer ignore our instructions and put it in the wrong, for reasons unknown.
I told her that since she'd countermanded our instructions on something we were paying for that was now a permanent fixture in our property, that she was bloody lucky we didn't charge her for it and that she was going to have to live with the setup she'd insisted on.
Next, she asked if she could put a cat flap in the back door. We agreed, on the provision that she pay for it herself (see, we're learning) and that it be a proper cat flap, not some home-dodgy version.
She puts in a rubber-flap cat door, which I personally wouldn't have gone with but whatever. She's happy. We let it go.
After the first Winter in the house, she emails us copies of her electrical bills and says that the house needs better heating because her bills are too high.
Looking at the bills, we agree that the house must need better heating, and we invest in a new $7,000 furnace.
She tries to tell us where to put it and we tell her that the installers have designated spot X as the most effective, and that we're not open to alternatives. We instruct the installers to refuse to shift the unit (learning!) to another location unless they deem it to be superior, because she's not paying for the damn thing, we are.
After the installation, the installer says to us, "Hey, just to let you know, the reason her bills were so high last year is that she pulled the cat flap into the 'open' position and left it hooked up that way all winter."
Yes, she created a deliberate hole between inside and outside, left it fully opened for an entire season, then complained that her heating wasn't effective, all so she could score an expensive new heater that wasn't required.
At this point, I started thinking, "Is she really that manipulative? Would anyone deliberately freeze themselves just to make me fork out thousands of dollars for new heating? Is it really that important to her to screw me over for no purpose? Surely not."
Then she pretended she was going to get a dog and talked us into replacing her fence. Then she "cancelled" the dog.
Lately, she has started texting us about putting a fence in her front yard because there are "police in the streets and dead bodies everywhere".
Think I'm gonna take my chances with a new tenant.
12/30. 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.
13/30. One day we were served a notice that one of our tenants was taking us to small claims court. Why? Because her in-unit washing machine was not working. Had she reported the problem to management? Nope. The maintenance man and I entered the unit that afternoon to fix the washing machine. The problem? It was unplugged.
14/30. 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. 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 5 ft pit behind the wire. Apparently the chickens were croc food.
15/30. One night a neighbor called to say that my tenants had a horse in the back yard. At first I didn't believe her, since she had a history of complaining about my tenants, but I recieved another call a few days later from a friend who drove by, and he told me the same thing. I went to check it out, got suspicious, and ended up calling animal control.
They showed up and led a horse/pony out of the house. Then some goats. And a pig. And dogs. And chickens. And cats. And a smaller pony. Turns out they had turned their basement into a stable of sorts. The animals weren't in terrible condition but it was still crazy. There had been an absolutely horrific smell coming from the house but we assumed it was all the dog poop in their yard.
16/30. I was a property manager for low income housing and senior living buildings for a year and a half.
I once had a lady call up saying she had a spider trapped under a house fan in her bedroom and asked me to come kill it. I told her I couldn't come out and kill a insect in her apartment. (It sounds mean, but if I did it for one person but then didn't for another, that opens the door for a discrimination lawsuit.)
Anyway she tells me her kitchen sink is also clogged. Well that I agree to come up and fix. I finish up some paperwork and head over to her apartment. Her sink is draining slowly but it's a pretty quick fix and she begs me to come deal with the spider. I agree thinking it's been an hour there is no way that spiders still "trapped" under this fan.
I WAS WRONG.
This spider was the size of my hand. 4 years of Marine Corps infantry training and a small wad of paper towels was not enough to handle this monsterocity. Luckily for her, I have two kids and I knew if I didn't survive it would be coming for them next. I managed to get it into the toilet and flush it.
It's the citys problem now.
17/30. 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 am 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...
18/30. 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 sitting exams so they asked if he could stay until they were 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 he exited a room and went to close the door. That's when he realised what was wrong.
There were no doors, anywhere. They had stolen every single interior door.
19/30. I used to have a job that involved cleaning and minor repairs of 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 guy decided to pack plumber's putty into the sink and bathtub drains, then turn the taps on before he left. They 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.
20/30. When I was in property management we had a guy dump marbles down the drain because his sink was clogged. He said it would push the clog out. It did in a way, it pushed it further down into the city line and they had to come out and unclog it for the whole building of 30 or so units. He did not like it when we forwarded him the city bill.
21/30. One family rented out a big old Victorian style house in a nice neighborhood. On moving out they left literally a foot thick pile of clothing covering the entire basement floor. That would have been fine if the pipes weren't also leaking, so most of the clothes were sopping wet and molding.
They also left dirty diapers everywhere, some wrapped up in old shopping bags, but a giant pile of them left sitting in the closet of what was obviously the child's bedroom.
22/30. A Vietnam vet moved in. I never knew his real name, but g/f always referred to him as "Krusty" because he bore an uncanny resemblance to Krusty the Clown. He got in trouble multiple times for climbing out his window trying to install surveillance cameras on the ledges of the building. He was insanely paranoid, and police were called once because he was crawling around the front lawn of the building with a loaded shotgun.
23/30. I was at the store getting some booze, and I get a hysterical call from one of my tenants that opened with, "Our building's on fire." I rush home and... yep, the whole building was on fire.
It turns out that one tenant, Johnny, was pissed about a rent increase, so he had lit a trashcan full of paper towels on fire, and now half the building was engulfed in flames. They rescued all of the pets from the building, and did what they could to contain the fire, but in the end, the majority of the apartments were destroyed, and the building was condemned until further notice. The Red Cross paid for hotels for us until we could figure out a new living situation, and they were amazing as far as the immediate response went. I can't ever thank them enough for the little bit of stability they gave us during that time.
As for Johnny, he was arrested and thrown in a psych ward, went to the state supreme court for trial, found guilty due to mental defect, and will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental ward.
24/30. She brought 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'm tolerant of a few days late and 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, or for a monthly inspection. She didn't expect me to appear in the building, and 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, but brushed it off at that moment.
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 cleaning of the house. The Cleaner rejected any proposals that did not explicitly set an hour and minute along with 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.
25/30. A tenant of mine rented an apartment that does not come with a parking space. Right after he moved in, an apartment in the building that did come with a parking space came available. He asked if he could have it. I told him it would be an additional rent charge monthly for the spot.
He then started posting propaganda all over the property about the injustices that I supposedly committed for not giving him a parking space for free. He tried to get other tenants to sign a petition that would make me give up my parking space on the property. He then took us to court. He lost, but not without a months-long nightmare of harassment.
26/30. First day I moved into my apartment last year, my landlord told me about the worst kid to ever live there.
He told us that there was this kid subletting an apartment over the summer for his rather shy sister. No problems, the sister was normal and he came with good recommendations. However on the first night there, he threw a rager of a party. Loud music, too many people, didn't end until the police needed to be called for noise violations.
The next morning, my landlord comes up and tells him that, get togethers are fine, but parties of that scale are not allowed, it was in the lease he signed, and he was willing to give the kid a second chance.
Bad decision. More violent party this time, with property damage to boot. Landlord stormed up there and told him to have his shit out of the apartment by tomorrow at noon.
The kid was pissed off, and decided to throw a "getting evicted party" and got about 5 of his friends in there to trash the place and break everything they could find. They punched holes in the walls, broke lights and smashed the windows. It all came to a grinding halt when the kid decides to headbutt a hole in the wall and hit a supporting metal beam and broke his neck.
The kid got charged with absolutely everything, the girls who lived there previously were politely told to not return the next year and the kid missed his freshman year of university and $10,000 dollars worth of scholarships because he couldn't leave the hospital or move independently.
27/30. 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 6AM and starts screaming that he wants to blow up a large nearby tech company that 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 911. We had SWAT onsite for about four hours evacuating the other residents, setting up snipers, the usual. Basically just another Monday.
28/30. I work in property management, I used to work at a high rise in downtown San Diego. I had a resident who would constantly complain about things that were out of our control, and then ask for a rent credit for his "inconvenience." These complaints included: too many homeless in the area, the restaurant across the street smells, tired of the dog next door barking when the owners come home (barks for only a couple minutes) etc.. My personal favorite (where I just went off on him) was when he was parked in front of our building (a designated loading zone) and he received a parking ticket. This is a public street, mind you, so the only personnel that can give out tickets in this area are the meter maids with the city. He comes in barking at me about this ticket and asks us for reimbursement and an additional credit added to his account due to the emotional stress. I explained to him that it was the city and we have nothing to do with it and that your request is absurd. People will ask for any sort of reimbursement for the stupidest things.
29/30. One brought bedbugs into the apartment building (4 apartments total) then called the health department to complain about bedbugs. Another person walked through the grass to go for a smoke while dragging the oxygen tank, tripped, fell and sued. Another person vacated her apartment, left the window open in the middle of winter, water pipe in the ceiling froze and cracked by the time we got to the apartment 1 hour later; whole ceiling collapsed.
Sometimes, I hate being a landlord.
30/30. Perhaps the saddest case of severe PTSD i've ever witnessed firsthand. He was a seemingly normal guy, though REALLY tall. He was lanky, and easily 7' or more.
He'd walk all around the block smoking those cheap King Edward mini cigars, and was generally really friendly, but something about certain types of vehicles "triggered" him. He'd go into an animalistic fit, running around on the busy four-lane avenue we lived on, barking and screaming nonsense at cars and waving his arms.
Amazingly enough, we figured out that all it took to snap him out of it was walking up to him and happily saying, "Hi, Randy!" If you approached him and said that with a smile, he was instantly back to normal, completely unaware that he'd nearly avoided being hit by a city bus seconds earlier. He seemed to be in his mid 50s or so, and had a brother who was there frequently looking after him. He eventually was put in a home due to his mental issues, and we were tasked with cleaning his place out. We walked in, and found knee-high garbage covering the floor of every room of his two-bedroom apartment. It remains the only time that real-estate company (who owned numerous buildings in this city) paid for outside cleaners to handle an apartment, it was basically a biohazard at that point.