Tenants Share The Times Their Landlord Was So Obnoxious They Couldn't Handle It
Landlords always seem nice when you first meet them, but as soon as issues start to arise, some of them turn out to be less than reliable. Why can't they just let us live in peace?
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
My landlords promised me a unit in a quiet area of the building, then held outdoor concerts outside my window all summer.
They wouldn't let me move out before my lease was over without a penalty of 2 months rent + forfeiting my security deposit.
I used to get medication shipped to me. It was a self administered shot, with a spring-loaded needle casing. I had a safe disposal method, etc, all set up. It was a medical issue.
Well, the little coolers of medicine each month went to the main office of my crappy apartment building. For the first year everything was fine, but then my building was sold to a new company and this new woman was running the place.
The first time my meds got shipped to me, I went down to get it from the office like always. First off there is a massive sticker that says "Refrigerate upon delivery." The previous people always just popped it into the fridge that was set up in the office for me. This woman did not. She left it in the sweltering back room instead. Rude and inconsiderate, but I could deal with it.
But then, when I asked for the meds, she did the thing where she mimed like she was handing it to me and then pulled it back when I reached for the box. She then asked me "Are these needles? Are you having needles delivered?"
I was like, "That's not any of your business. Give me my medication."
She kept holding on to it and said, "Well, some of the neighbors are concerned because needles usually mean drugs..."
My neighbors have never seen my needles and even if they did, you can't actually see the needle part because it's all encased in a spring loaded tube. There is no way my "neighbors are concerned" about this, they have no clue that this is something I need.
I told her again that it wasn't any of her business. She finally gave me the box, but she gave me the stink eye every time I received my medication after that.
Theresa, you're incredibly nosy, you know that?
I lived above a small insurance company and started off doing fine, then one of the brothers was going through a divorce and suddenly decided he wanted to move it. I was actually fine with that as I wanted to leave, but they started going after me for damages to the apartment, like the smallest things possible. A scuff on the floor, some scratches on the fridge. We finally went to court, blah de blah and I left.
About a year later, he runs up to me like we're old buddies. I acted like I didn't know know him, so he says "I'm Mr _________."
So I said, "Oh, right! Buzz off and leave me alone."
One apartment I rented had on the lease that my landlords would pay for the water and sewer bill. 3 months in, the water was cut off because they did not pay it. When I called them to complain, they insisted that there had been a mistake in drawing up the lease and I needed to pay it. I ended up having to pay for the water and sewer. Then when I moved out, they billed me $1500 for breach of contract.
It seems the clause in the contract stated "In the event of a breach of contract, the renter will be liable for a $1500 breach of contract fee." When I pointed out they were the ones in breach of contract they replied, "The clause has nothing to do with who breached the contract, it only states that you are responsible for the breach of contract fee." I didn't pay it.
While I was deployed in the military, my wife remained at our home in Texas. The A/C broke in the middle of summer, so she called the property managers, who told her the temperature wasn't hot enough to constitute a repair.
When she showed them pictures of the thermostat reading over 100 degrees indoor they finally said that they would send a repairman but that I needed to be there because I was the primary name on the lease although she had power of attorney. I threatened to sue. The A/C was eventually Jerry-rigged (the repair guy told her that he was paid to do the bare minimum fix) near the end of summer.
Fast forward. I'm home, it's getting hot again, and the A/C breaks again. Same story as before, claiming it wasn't hot enough. This dragged on for awhile and I finally had orders to move to a new duty station. We gave them 30 days notice and moved out. They tried to tell me that we couldn't leave the home with a broken air conditioner and wouldn't honor my military orders. I had to pay to fix the A/C, and wouldn't get my deposit back.
I once again threatened to sue and contacted the actual owner of the house. He was a cool dude living in New York and said he'd take care of it for me. He flew all the way to see me in Texas, fired the property managers, sued them himself, said I was actually the cleanest/most respectable tenet he's had and eventually paid me double my deposit for my troubles. Nice guy.
It was an apartment complex, but this one stands out still.
They didn't pay the power.
Not, "they forgot to pay the power." Not, "they were in financial trouble." They just wanted to see if they could call the power company's bluff.
The power company killed and locked half the breakers in every building.
I dunno if you've ever seen a riot take shape, but try cutting off the AC and refrigeration for a few dozen Alabamians in the middle of June in a heat wave.
My landlord found out I was a renovation specialist, with a long background in historic renovation and water/fire/storm damage. She asked if I would do little odds and ends around the place to fix it up, and then took it off the rent or paid for materials to do the work.
I did a lot for her. Refinished the concrete floor in the laundry room, replaced the front door, repaired walls all over and repainted the whole place, and a lot more.
When I had first moved in, the place was in rough shape. By the time I moved out, the place was awesome. So nice in fact that it rented out for 300$ more a month then I had rented it for. It also got leased 4 days after I moved out. She didn't have to do anything to move a new family in.
So a few weeks go by and I'm starting to wonder where my deposit is. Clearly I should be getting that back. Nope. Got a letter in the mail say she was keeping it because of ridiculous reasons. So I took her to court and won. Her argument was basically that squeezing people out of their security deposit is a big part of how she makes money. Her properties are her only income. The judge looked like she was holding back laughter before he ruled in my favor.
I never actually met my landlord, but we nearly ended up taking him to court. We complained about a ton of broken things that he would never fix. When they did get fixed, the workers didn't do it properly.
Being college kids, we go to the free legal council out university offered, hoping we had some options to get things fixed. The lawyer found out that the house we were renting had been foreclosed on 2 months prior and the bank owned it now. Extremely pissed off, we of course decided to stop paying rent to this guy while we got our things in order (we never did get our two months rent back from when he didn't own the house).
About 6 weeks later, he comes by the house furious that we hadn't paid rent in over a month. My roommate simply said, "We aren't paying you anymore, get off this property right now." This angered him off even more and he started threatening my roommate until my roommate said, "We know you don't own this place anymore and we are going to sue you for the money you stole from us." He shut his mouth at this point and left, never to be heard from again. We didn't sue him because each of us were only out like $600 dollars (the rent was ridiculously cheap for 4 college kids in a big city).
We made a deal with the bank to pay them the same rent we had been paying in order to stay until graduation in May. We were also responsible for cleaning up the yard and they would get someone out there to fix a few big issues (roof and plumbing) since they were going to sell the house anyway. We held up our end and enjoyed our last few months of college without a horrible landlord.
I lived in a few different apartments while I was in college and all my landlords where cool except one. I lived in the first floor of the building while he lived in the second floor.
He has many "interesting" stories but there is one that stands out.
One day, all of a sudden I found small black things that looked like burnt rice through the living room floor. At first I wasn't sure what it was and swept it up with a broom. Not long after I found the same in a desk I had in the living room. At that point my roommate realized it was rodent droppings.
We called the landlord to find an exterminator, and he just told us "I'll be there in a moment". About 15 minutes later he comes down with a small carton box full of fruits filled with rat poison to put around the apartment.
I looked at him in disbelief and he just proceeded to let us know that his pet snake had died and decided to release the rodents he had to feed it as he had no longer use for them and was sure they would just go and live in the woods peacefully.
Still in shock I asked him to leave and dealt with the issue myself.
I did not accept his offer to renew the contract and left as soon as possible.
I rented a room from a guy who, a month after I moved in, got approval to sell the house. I found out when someone came in and told me to tell him the city council approved it.
The best part? He never even mentioned it was up for sale.
My landlords seemed like the nicest couple in the world when we first rented the place, they even invited us to dinner and we had a great time.
3 months in we found out that they argue quite loudly and curse like truckers, not that big of a deal. Then my wife stepped on a piece of blue glass that was on our kitchen floor (we didn't own any blue glasses).
Sure enough, I remembered that dinner, and they had blue glasses on the table. I setup a camera in the living room and over the next week caught this guy in our apartment when we weren't home.
That jerk was going through our dressers and playing with my wife's underwear. I caught him red-handed and called the cops.
He tried playing it off like he smelt smoke and wanted to investigate, and then I played back the previous week's videos of him visiting on 3 separate occasions.
They locked him up, we found a new place really fast and never looked back.
My landlord appeared to be a nice, little old lady living in Alaska; in reality, she's manipulative and unstable.
It started with a water stain we noticed in my room the day I moved in. It was a 6-week long saga of her coordinating the cheapest/slowest contractor to come repair the hole in the roof/ceiling above my bed.
Then she threatened to kick us out because we were paying her in checks instead of direct deposit, and checks were bouncing cause she was sitting on close to 10k in checks she hadn't "had time" to deposit.
She tried to kick us out again on May 31st and had a contractor come in to start to do work, even though our lease said we did not have to move until June 30th.
She also claims she never got our security deposit even though we have multiple bank statements to prove otherwise. Our lease at a new house (we are getting far away from this lady) doesn't start til July 1st and the landlord is now putting up a fight over us staying there an additional 12 hours, even though no one is moving into the new place.
Last November I get a knock on the door of my "newly renovated" basement apartment from the fire department, saying I'm living in an illegal apartment and will be evicted in 3 months if the landlord doesn't get the place up to code. The landlord then kicks me and my girlfriend out in February for "just two weeks, but we'll say three just to be safe." I ask if I have to move out my furniture, and he says, "no, they'll just work around it."
I then spent 7 weeks living illegally in my buddy's basement 30 mins away, paying rent, and commuting to work. Finally, in April, landlord gives me the ok to move back in, saying the place looks great.
When I got back, the entire place was filthy. There was thick drywall dust on every surface, paintcans, tools, and garbage in every nook, and paint splattered on the floor, windows, and all of my furniture including the matress. Some of my wooden furniture had scratches in it, and the shoe rack and shower curtain were destroyed.
I argued with him for days. Finally he gave me $150 for cleaning and damages, then upped rent by $100/month because the "apartment is so much better now."
When I was a kid, our landlord refused to fix anything that broke in our house or do any preventative maintenance. The house had already had an electrical fire from a leaky upstairs bathroom, but he refused to fix any further leaks.
When I was about 13, a family of squirrels moved in to the space between the ceiling & roof in my room. I could hear them scratching and running all the time. They eventually scratched through the ceiling and left a few areas with small holes. I was always afraid they would drop into my room and attack.
Then, my ceiling started leaking when it rained, first in just one area and then gradually across the entire beam that ran across the ceiling. We set up buckets and I would fall asleep to the music of raindrops hitting different containers. The sound of water hitting carpet would wake me up in a panic and I'd have to find another bucket to catch the new drips.
One night while I was staying with a friend, the entire ceiling collapsed directly over my bed. All of the soaking wet sheetrock (?drywall?) Landed on my bed, desk, etc. And the entire family of squirrels was released into my room. They hid in my closet, under the bed, everywhere, and it took three days to get them all out.
That friggin' landlord took another week before sending someone in to "fix" it, and even then, it was only his son, who had zero experience/skill fixing anything.
We had a huge storm blow through, tons of rain, tornado warnings, the whole 9 yards. It turns out that the storm drain was clogged in our parking lot so we had about 10 inches of standing water in our parking lot. Nobody could drive their cars in or out of the lot.
We called our landlord who berated us about not telling them earlier. The same landlord also took several days to fix our heat in the middle of winter. And also accused us of mold growth in a closet the day after we moved in.
We spent some time in South America, and our landlord there decided he'd been charging us too little rent, so he attempted to up it. We kicked up a bit of a fuss so he backed down, only to try again under the guise of having someone in every week 'to clean cobwebs off the outside of the windows'. He wanted an extra $150 a month for this - the same amount he was trying to increase the rent in the first place by. The windows didn't have cobwebs on them.
In that house, we used to get stray dogs coming by to say hello. We are dog lovers and used to feed them if they looked skinny, give them belly rubs and so on. The landlord didn't like this, but as there were holes in the fence so we couldn't stop them coming in the garden. One dog started coming every day, and then one day stopped leaving. She stayed outside our front door all the time, waiting for food or to be stroked. She was such a sweet little thing.
The landlord noticed her and started complaining. We told him she never came inside, and wasn't doing any harm. We also mentioned the holes in the fence. One night when my husband was out at his regular gym class, I heard the landlord's car pulling up. I was already in bed so I assumed he'd knock on the door and realize I wasn't going to answer... but he didn't. I heard him open the gate, mooch around a bit, and then he started his car up again and left. In the morning when I went outside the dog was gone. We never saw her again. We left that house as soon as we could.
We had termites. My landlord refused to believe me. Didn't send someone out for a month to check it. Sure as daylight, Termites start eating up the furniture. 3 months later it was finally fixed.
I had never had termites, so I didn't know how fast they worked, and my upstairs neighbors were, judging by the vibrations in my apartment and thuds everywhere, giant people chucking bowling balls across their apartment all day. I was worried they would come crashing down thanks to those termites. I really hated that place.
I subleased a room from my friend one summer while he did an internship. His three roommates also were out of town the entire summer but paid rent and their portion of utilities for the summer.
At the end of my sublease, I cleaned the house, moved my stuff out, and turned in my key. Three months later, I get served with a lawsuit for over $5000, alleging excessive damages and cleaning fees. I sent them back a letter demanding an itemized list of all fees I was being sued for.
When I get the itemized listing, it's absolutely ridiculous. For example, they'd charge me a $500 "chandelier cleaning charge" to clean the dining room overhead light, then a $300 "chandelier maintenance fee," and then a $700 "chandelier replacement charge." $1500 to clean, maintain, and then throw away a chandelier? Nope.
They also obviously fluffed their expenses, charging me $750 for 2 hours of "lawn maintenance," which was the responsibility of the landlord in the lease anyways! It turns out they also filed a separate lawsuit against each of us, so they were suing us all for $25,000 total for what couldn't have been more than $1000 in expenses (covered by our security deposit).
What they didn't know is that I work for the Housing Department of my city. I sent my landlords a response on my office letterhead saying that I refuse to pay for the damages and that they could come and get me if they wanted to try. I never got a response, but the suit was dropped and I promptly advised the city to deny them any future city contracts for what I alleged was extortion of a college student.
Who's in charge now?
My sketchy landlords tried to bill me $350 to repaint a room that had well over a hundred nail holes in the wall when we moved in (according to THEIR walkthrough), and $850 to refill a tank of home heating oil that was empty when I moved in (again according to THEIR walkthrough).
I couldn't even believe it when I read that.
My landlord had a maid she used for 40 years that came to our house once a month. My roommates and I split the bill of $120 bucks and paid it directly to our landlord.
My roommate told the maid one day, "You are well worth the $120 we pay each month." It turns out the maid gave the landlord a considerable discount of $80 to clean our house and the landlord was pocketing the other $40 for about 8 months. This led to the maid quitting on the spot.
The landlord still stops by our house once a week to blame us for the maid quitting. She has also refused to honor any of the maintenance requests we put in. My roommates and I are very ready to move out come the summer.
My father's landlord is the worst. He doesn't care whether it's 80 degrees or 35 degrees in my apartment. He has lived there for about 8 months and has had two leaks which look forever to fix.
But here's the kicker. At the time my father signed the lease (a 2 yr contract) he was smoking, and asked "my smoking won't be a problem right?" The landlord replied: "no, no, it's fine."
A woman moves in upstairs, and complains about the smoking. The landlord immediately told her to SUE MY FATHER for $6000 (how much it would cost her in losses to move).
It's not a smoke-free building.
So he wasn't actually the landlord, but I rented a room from this dude for a month and he was a nightmare.
For starters he basically sold it to me as "mi casa su casa," I could do what I wanted provided I don't go in his room or touch his truck. He said I could use what ever was in the house, be it his dvd collection, the bow flex, kitchen tools, provided I don't mess with his truck or go in his room.
He then slowly started to put things off limits:
"Hey it's not a huge deal, but could you not sit in that chair, it's my chair, I don't let other people sit in it."
"The weight machine makes too much noise, there's a gym down the road."
"The microwave is using up too much electricity, I don't think you should use it."
I was basically relegated to my room. He also asked me to front him $100 for his child support, said we'd call it an advance on rent.
I got out of there when he decided I was using the stove too much and made a vague threat about the fact he had a criminal record.
There was literally one handicapped parking spot in the entire town-home complex. The landlord parked his jet ski in it.
After five years of renting I discovered my place didn't exist on paper. The city only knew it as a pigeon coop. No building permit, no renting permit, nothing...
All the money I paid in these years went directly to the guy without the government knowing he was renting something out. Oh right... of course the fact that there is no way to get insurance for something that doesn't exist. (He always reassured me insurance was totally fine).
My landlord knew I was a clean and quiet tenant who loved baking. He "renovated" and removed the stove while moving the "kitchen"(cupboards, sink and fridge) to the other wall. He replaced the stove with a toaster oven. He also removed my living room door. He increased my rent by 30% for those "renovations."
We've been in legal hearings ever since, and now he's trying to keep my damage deposit out of spite because I added some stuff to the bathroom, hanging shelves (there was no storage in the bathroom) and curtains (there was a huge window almost to the floor right next to the toilet, which faces a busy street). The neighbors upstairs flooded 3 apartments and kept their deposit.
They put a flyer on our door stating that we were going to have an apartment showing. Well, we were three months into our second lease on the apartment and hadn't said anything about not wanting to stay in the unit. Plus when we got the flyer it was too late in the evening to call them.
So we spent the night cleaning the apartment and freaking out. I called first thing in the morning when the office opened. "Oh, oops, wrong flyer. You were supposed to get the one that said 'pest inspection.'"
Or there was the time they accidentally sent the maintenance guy to our apartment instead of to the neighbors next door. We just ignored it, figured someone had the wrong apartment. Then the door opens and a dude calls out, "Maintenance!" Freaked me right out.
A week before Christmas our heater went out during one of the coldest winters on record. The landlord said, 'nope, I'm not fixing that, wait until the new year and don't call me again, it's Christmas.'
Well, we paid rent through an estate agent so I called her first and asked her what my legal options were. She said, "He said what? OK, it'll be taken care of". That very afternoon a plumber showed up to fix it. He took a look around and asked us if we were aware our bathroom was not up to code. It's not? The next day we got a new toilet, bath and shower. Hearing the landlord arguing with the plumber and estate agent lady and then freak out at the cost that he was 100% legally liable for? Priceless.
Merry Christmas to my horrible landlord!
Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....
Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.