From experience, having a lame landlord is a pain in the behind. But, to be fair it's got to be a pretty bad deal on both sides of the coin. I mean imagine having a bad tenant and having to rely on their (late) rent to keep the building running or getting complaints from other tenants weekly because of one bad seed. All bad. Maybe that explains why some landlords are the way they are?
Here are the stories of the worst tenants landlords have ever had. Content has been edited for clarity.
What’s The Rush?
“This was at my parent’s place, maybe 12 years ago.
They rented out the house to what seemed like a nice family with both parents, kids, and stable jobs. They paid their rent on time and never caused any issues. After a year or so, my mom wanted to drop by to see how things were going. You need to give notice before an inspection, and we couldn’t get them on the phone, so we left a note on the door.
The next day, the guy showed up at our house and handed me a cheque for next month’s rent. He told me they were leaving, so long, goodbye. Apparently, they bought a new house in a much nicer neighborhood. My parents thought this was a little odd. They went to see the rented house, thinking that there was going to be a lot of damage.
The place was empty and clean. The only sign that anything was wrong was that there were some weird seven inch wide circular burns on the carpet downstairs, some steel tubing left against the wall, and a teeny little weed sapling, forgotten in the corner.”
Making Your House A Hotel
“We rented out a room in our house for a few years to varying people. Our first two renters were great, there were no problems at all. As a result, we got over-confident.
The next tenant interviewed well. He seemed like a good guy. When he arrived with his stuff to move in, he smelled. We were a bit concerned but he stayed primarily in his room and didn’t bother us. Then he got a girlfriend who turned out to be a screamer. No one is good enough in bed to justify the level of moaning this girl produced. We were very glad when he moved out. It took two bottles of Febreeze to get rid of the smell, too.
The second girl also seemed fine and all was well for six months. Then we went overseas on holiday and she turned our house into a hotel for her relations we had never met, who she also let stay in our house while she was back home visiting her parents. My parents alerted us to what was going on as they live nearby. Once we contacted her via text to see what was going on, she announced she would move out. We got home to a house that stunk of smoke as they had used the fireplace incorrectly, wax was everywhere from candles they had burnt, and there a massive stain on our bedspread. That stain would not come out and those sheets had to be chucked. My husband still can’t talk about it without a vein bulging out of his neck.
I can laugh now, looking back on it.”
“How Am I Supposed To Wash The Dishes?”
“This one guy came in with his family. They decided to overload the dishwasher till it broke. Then, we had a guy come in to check it and he deduced that he needed to replace a part that they broke. It was only online so he told them to wait and to not use the dishwasher. He gets a call later that night and the kitchen with hardwood floors was flooded. He asked the wife why she used the dishwasher, to which she replied, ‘How am I supposed to wash the dishes? With a hose?’
There was a deep sink two feet away from the dishwasher.”
“I had a tenant pour concrete down the drains. There was no repair possible. It was literally more cost-effective to demolish, salvage what we could, and rebuild. It even got into the septic system and we had to settle with the city for damaging their infrastructure. It was the biggest nightmare ever. We sued the former tenants, but when you’re suing a scumbag, best case scenario, you might get a 1990 Toyota Tercel.
Tenants are pretty decent as a whole. But, if you have to evict, it’s worth it to just offer them a couple hundred dollars cash to move out while you’re there and can watch the whole process.”
A Very Interesting Remodel
“My brother rented out one of his three houses. It was a three-story house with a small unattached garage. Well, we heard through the grapevine that the police kicked in their door to arrest the tenants over the weekend, but they weren’t home. After contacting the sheriff’s department, he learned that said tenants had skipped the state, fleeing prosecution. My brother served an eviction notice to the residence and posted it on the door for thirty days. He got a call one week later from the tenants. They were asking him to put their stuff in storage. He went over to the house to check it out and discovered they’d gutted the house. They called back and said they’d send him a money gram to pay for the storage. He asked about the twenty thousand dollars worth of damage. They argued back and forth and the tenants said, ‘Forget it, keep our stuff.’ He never heard from them again. He talked to the city and they told him that he needed to wait one more month before he could take their stuff out on the curb.
My brother and I went over there to clean out the apartment and believe me when I tell you – they gutted it. I mean they literally gutted it. They’d knocked out interior walls on each floor except the top. They’d pulled all the copper wiring out of the walls to sell, I guess. They had extension cords running up the stairs from the several outlets they’d wired into the breaker box. The ceiling fans were gone. I assume they sold them. The bathroom sink was gone. The copper water lines were gone. Their furniture was O’Sullivan brand particle board furniture and was all bubbled from drinks being spilled on them. The mattresses were all stained, no frames, and no sheets. They just had a blanket thrown over them. The only thing we found that was halfway interesting was an old television in the third-floor bedroom. When I picked it up to carry it out to the dumpster, it was super light and shouldn’t have been. I tapped the screen and discovered they’d slipped a curved piece of plastic in where the screen was supposed to be and removed the guts. After removing the back, we found their ‘pharmacy’ and about a hundred dollars in singles. I pocketed the money and discarded the substances.
They even pulled down the kitchen cabinets that had been newly installed before renting to them. According to one of the guys across the street, who came to pick through the trash we set out, they’d sold the kitchen cabinets three months after moving in. Everyone on the block was told that they’d bought the house and were slowly remodeling.
My brother was so ticked, he just put the house up for sale and sold it as is because he couldn’t afford to fix all the damage they had done.”
“She Didn’t Get Her Deposit Back”
“My brother had a family as a tenant in one of his houses. It was a recently renovated old Victorian home in a great area right on a river. It had a massive yard and was the perfect place to raise a family.
The tenant family seemed super cool. And my brother is such a good fellow in that he really likes to help people out. This family seemed like interesting and trustworthy people, so he even gave them a bit of a deal on their rent.
The mother took in children from abused homes and I guess she would foster troubled youths. She got a little something-something from the government for her troubles. But she was passionate about helping these kids. Mostly, children in their early to mid-teens. I remember there was a trans girl and a couple hard done street kids mixed in with her own kids, one of which was a newborn. Despite a few of them being from broken homes, they were all friendly. All in all, there were maybe a total of 6 or 7 in the household. They helped with yard upkeep and loved their newly adopted family.
They lived there for over a year. My brother would regularly give them things. He got a new bbq one year and just gave them his older one which was only a year old. He would sometimes get music or movie tickets from his work and he’d give them to his tenants. He was just an all-around helpful guy and would check in on his tenants every couple of months.
Anyway, my brother fell on some hard times and due to whatever problems he found himself in, he was forced to sell one of his two properties. He gave the tenants the legally required three months notice plus an extra month just because he felt so bad. He even went out of his way to share the names of some other landlords he trusted.
The family said they understood and there was no harm and no foul done. Then after they’d moved out, my brother went to the property to find the upstairs bathroom flooded and seeping to the lower floor. There was trash scattered everywhere, holes in the wall, graffiti scribbled across the walls in giant sharpies saying, ‘forget you whiteboy’ and things of that nature. The kitchen cabinets were pulled from the wall and smashed, it truly looked like a bomb went off. There was complete, and utter destruction of his recently renovated property. But the worst was yet to come.
For the past few months that this family lived there, the mother of this group of destruction decided to throw her newborn’s excrement filled diapers in the basement. There were crap filled diaper bombs piled high, spread and smeared at the bottom of the stairway and along the walls. No courtesy bag. No tight burrito spirals. Just loosey goosey butt to stairwell poopie diapers. It was like a doo-doo-doomsday down there.
All in all, I think it all cost my brother around $70,000 and another four months to get the property ready for sale. He had taken loans from my parents and grandma and generally just hated himself for a while. He spoke to a lawyer from what I recall but was told for some reason insurance or landlord law related that he’d spend another arm and a leg going after someone who doesn’t have much money to begin with.
Needless to say, she didn’t get her damage deposit back.”
Garbage Disposal Turned Deadly
“I was a tenant, not a landlord, and heard this story from the apartment complex’s handyman.
A new tenant who had just moved in complained that her garbage disposal was making a god-awful noise. Using his arm to prop himself against the wall over the sink, the handyman turned on the disposal. The noise the tenant described was present, but the handyman also felt a strong prickling along his arm; when he looked he saw a number of small nails sticking out of his arm. Apparently, a disgruntled former tenant had poured some carpet nails into the disposal.
Imagine if the handyman had been looking into the disposal when he switched it on…”
Her Scamming Ways Got Back To Her
“My dad was a landlord who allowed his mother to rent because she had nowhere to go. He wasn’t very close with his mother, she had a lot of husbands and had abandoned him. She had a wonderful way with words and she managed to convince my father to let her own two of the houses in the apartment.
Four years later, she filed a case claiming ownership of the entire apartment. She won the case because my dad’s deceased father who owned the apartment was still legally married to her. A few months later, our father managed to claim the apartment back because apparently, his mother was legally dead. That was twisted, she filed her name in as officially dead so that she could receive the death pension. Since she’s dead, ownership was given back to my father.”
Not Such A Perfect Family After All
“A ‘family’ burnt down my house during an illegal adult film shoot.
It is exactly what it sounds like. I leased an apartment to a nice family in a suburban neighborhood. The house caught fire, apparently from a candle. Firemen came to put out the fire so police had to investigate. They pulled out a ton of adult toys and cameras from the half-burnt down apartment. They would not have cared, except there were several reports from neighbors saying the place may be a brothel. The cops found out it was an adult film studio. The man and woman faced six months probation.
Apparently, the man and woman ‘rented’ children to pose as their kids when they met me.”
Her Fleeing Was The Best He Could Hope For
“She freaked, absolutely freaked, when I asked her to repair a hole in the wall and a door that was pulled off the hinges. She lied about the damage being pre-existing in spite of a signed condition inspection form and threatened me with ‘real’ damage if I even tried to evict her. She repeatedly came to my house to deliver verbal abuse at the top of her lungs.
Around that time, she stopped cleaning and taking out the garbage, but continued to pay rent. Non-payment of rent is about the only easy grounds for eviction in British Columbia. I figured that out, but she illegally refused me access to the house to inspect. As I was trying to get the paperwork together to evict on that basis, she disappeared in the middle of the night.
The cleanup bill was $2,000, and about another $1,000 went to repair the damage. Her damage deposit covered $500 of it. It is illegal to discriminate against welfare tenants in B.C, so that was that.”
The Crazy Neighbor Downstairs
“Our previous apartment was laid out like a house but it was an apartment with separate entrances. When we were moving out of a previous apartment, our landlord told us during the walk-through inspection that the tenant who lived below us had absolutely destroyed the place. When the crew went in to inspect and clean, they found piles of feces and vomit all over the apartment and molding food everywhere. He had let off bug bombs at a point that made the apartment stink. Plus he smoked indoors, so the smell was unbearable. My landlord said after they cleaned the place, she had to give them all the week off because every single one of them got violently ill from whatever was in his apartment.
For a little side story on this guy, it was not unusual for us to come home at night and he would be smoking while standing on the roof of his jeep. Also, he once asked to come into our apartment, before we knew the extent of his madness, to use our phone. He had been driving while in the clouds on Lord knows what and his car broke down. So, he walked home. He then realized he didn’t have a key inside and needed to call his dad to come help him. While standing in our living room, he suddenly dropped down on all fours, panicking, trying to kill the ‘bugs’ that were running all over our wood floors.
He wasn’t welcome after that.”
“The Worse Tenant Was My Dad’s Niece”
“Not me but my dad’s tenant. To make the situation worse, she was his niece, who he helped out so much over the years. She was even driving one of his cars. To start out, he said there were no pets allowed because he knew she wasn’t the most responsible. So, she got a cat and went on to ignore it. She did not clean up after it. She basically just fed it and let it pee and crap all over the house.
My father was paying for utilities and she was still too lazy to take the trash out. She would just let it pile up in the house and garage. I could rant on and on, but to cut it short, she quit paying rent when my father demanded she clean up and get rid of the cat. It ended up costing him a few thousand dollars to replace the carpet and have the house deep cleaned because it was so dirty.
The tenant’s dad was a deadbeat who left before she was born. Her mom was no better and abandoned her with my grandmother. She would only show up occasionally and ask my grandmother for money and such. My dad was just trying to help her out, he even gave her a break on rent and charged her less than half of what the house would have been rented out for.”
The FBI Was After One Of His Tenants
“Let’s see. I’ve had part of the Mexican cartel living in a unit. The feds showed up one day and busted down the door. Apparently, they had been watching these guys for months.
I had a squatter lock himself in a unit and do all sorts of illegal substances. I had to have the cops come and forcibly remove him. I could hear the crack of their nightstick hitting him from the parking lot.
I had a white supremacist threaten to stab me because I was walking around at noon. I lived above him. We kicked him out and he moved in with his mom who lived in another unit. They sold pills from the apartment and pulled a weapon on another tenant for knocking on their door.
There are probably more but that’s enough for now.”
That’s Hard To Hide
“I have a couple of good ones:
I got a call from my tenants saying there was a water leak. I arrived to find that the tap on the back of the house was pulled off the wall and leaking water everywhere. I asked the tenant what happened and she told me that it was just like that when she went outside. I turned the water off and while fixing the pipe I heard banging and saw the garden shed shaking like it was about to fall down.
I went over and had a look to find a pony ‘hidden’ in the shed. When I asked the tenant about it, she said, ‘Well, when I had it tied to the house, water started coming out.’
I had to take the bond of the same tenant as when I went in for the final inspection. I found that the lounge room floor was covered in burns from a clothes iron. When she was told that she would lose her bond, her excuse was, ‘because you are kicking me out, I got stressed, and when I’m stressed, I drink. I just wanted to get back at you for kicking me out’.
So very classy…”
Normal Wear And Tear
“A tenant had all but $25 of her rent paid for by government assistance every month and chasing that $25 was a nightmare. The day her eviction notice came due, I drove up to the house and on the front porch stood a girl, who was no more than 13-years-old. I asked the next door neighbor who she was and they said she sometimes stayed there. The power was off and the water was off. But, this kid apparently stayed there. A dog was inside the house and the tenants were long gone. The house was crawling with roaches. Have you ever opened a cabinet and you see the roaches are living inside the hinges of the cabinet? Not to mention, there was dog crap everywhere. They left mountains of clothes, mattresses, you name it. We stopped by this place on a routine basis and so did the city who funded them. They passed inspections. As we were cleaning out their mess, two large gentlemen showed up and asked why we were moving their things out. They lived there. I said, ‘Well, I own the house, who are you guys?’
‘Oh, we rent rooms here.’ OH, I SEE!
They stole and sold all the appliances and busted holes in the walls. They ruined everything in the house. Every inch of carpet was soaked with bodily discharge, there were cracked floor tiles, busted toilets, broken vanities. All worth about $7,000 of repairs.
We went to file a vandalism insurance claim, but they said it was ‘normal wear and tear.’
Yet, when someone shot a firework through one of my rental house windows, I told the window company that a firework did it. I was expected to pay for that and they honored the 100% satisfaction guarantee.
You may ask why we would do all of this still even with $7,000 in write-offs, lack of rent, etc. It just made for a lot of tax write-offs and we still were in the black for the year.”