Tales From the Rental

local landlords share their odd and horrific tenant stories

V1 Staff

Lord of the hoard.
Lord of the hoard.
  • I once rented to an elderly nun who was living outside of the convent. She moved into this duplex where another single elderly person lived, so I figured it was perfect. No parties. No damage. Just two people living quietly. Well soon the nun started complaining about noise coming from the other renter. One night I went over to the place four times between 11pm and 3am. The thing was, I couldn’t hear anything. And she could not be convinced that there wasn’t noise. She said it sounded like they were vacuuming 24-7. It got so bad that she started calling the police on the other renter, and doing things like putting her vacuum next to the wall and letting it run. It turned out that she had a form of dementia that was creating these sounds. It was both frustrating and sad, because she was such a nice lady.
  • I had one where they were growing marijuana. There were three-foot plants all over the house.

 They rerouted the heating ducts to make an emergency exit for underagers. 

  • There was one that used to have parties in the basement, and they rerouted the heating ducts to make an emergency exit for underagers so they could escape if cops came.
  • We were installing linoleum in the kitchen at one place, and when you do that you have to take out the baseboards, let the linoleum settle, and then put the baseboards back in. Well by the time we came back to put in the baseboards, we found out they used them for a bonfire. 
  • There was one place where they put up a partition wall so they could rent it out to more people. And the parents helped them do it!
  • When they were moving out we went to the basement and when we opened the furnace it was filled with empty beer bottles and plastic cups filled with urine.
  • Tenants had a pet Ferret they let run free. It completely destroyed the apartment; ate holes in the floor, walls, cabinets, chewed the electrical, nested in the fridge ... We had to completely redo the apartment and the tenant complained about not getting their deposit back.

  • Years ago I entered an apartment for a general inspection and found a car motor fully assembled in the kitchen. I asked the tenants, “How did you get that in here?” They said they couldn’t get it inside to rebuild it, so they took it apart and rebuilt it in the kitchen. There was oil and dirt everywhere. I asked, “How are you getting it out?” It turned out they did it without thinking that far. They had to take it apart and get it out, just to put it back together again. They were nice people. They just weren’t thinking.
  • Fill in a check-in sheet accurately and completely. Don’t misrepresent the condition of the place. Be fair. Two years ago we rented a brand new apartment to a nice individual. The tenant filled out the check-in sheet stating that every surface, every appliance, every counter, every window, everything was trashed from the prior tenant. Dirty, broken, filthy. This was a brand new apartment and had never been lived in before. The tenants intentionally misrepresented the condition of the apartment so when they moved out, they had a record that it was trashed.

 They were both accusing each other of being druggies and using meth.  

  • One of my residents lived above the other, and there was a balcony so they would fight and argue. The tenant above dropped a cigarette onto the balcony one night, because he was being careless and didn’t like them. It was a windy day, and the unit burned down. 12 people lost their homes and a dog lost its life.
  • Some tenants ditch during the middle of winter, general uncleanliness and damage that has cost up to $4,000 per unit, unauthorized pets, and hoarders that make it so that you have to walk a one-foot path cleared of stuff in order to show the place. It’s a bit scary.
  • A neighbor lady in her 80s got mauled by a pit bull that was one of my tenants. Her insurance company tried to have me pay for damage to her clothing, etc. There’s nothing that says I’m responsible for their actions. 
  • One time I had a mix of boys and girls in a house (two and two) and they were both accusing each other of being druggies and using meth.
  • One tenant shot his deer rifle in the house and through the neighbor’s house. Nobody was hurt.