Sure, some tenets may seem normal at first. But then, you see what they do behind closed doors. These landlords share the worst thing they found out about a tenet. These tenets will definitely go down in infamy.
Don’t Rent To A First Timer
“It was when I broke the rule of ‘never rent someone their first apartment.’ That was one of my dad’s rules for his low-income apartments, and I followed it as well. Until William. William came from a bad home situation, and was about 19-years-old. My wife had watched him grow up, and she asked me to rent him a cottage. Despite misgivings, I did. William was not very worldly, and simply didn’t understand the landlord-tenant relationship. I had to let an electrician into the cottage one day to check the power before making an outside repair, and when William found out, he freaked out. He was babbling about ‘special company prototypes’ he had in there, and security breaches. I think it might actually have been the weed and the weed ‘vases’ lying around that he was concerned about. We had a few more incidents like that, and despite me showing him the lease and the state law saying I was allowed access, he just insisted I couldn’t come in. Fortunately, I had a key.
Then he moved his girlfriend in, and my wife asked me to let it slide, so I did. Then he got a dog, and I let that go as well. Then the tenants in the front house changed to a young couple (who had had several previous apartments), and William began to have beef with them. They fought over clothes in the shared washer, and over who was overfilling the wheeled trash bins, and other petty stuff. The last straw was when the new tenants found a pill bottle in the yard and left it in the utility room for William. William retaliated by going online, finding the mug shot for one of the new tenants’ shoplifting arrest, printing it out, and hanging it in the utility room. I gave him his 15-day notice, and he just couldn’t understand why.
When he moved out I found he had been growing kratom in the yard. He had nailed all the windows shut. I had to have the entire cottage repainted and the painter had to use some kind of special bonder/primer because the paint wouldn’t stick to the walls due to the weed residue. He left half of his garbage furniture behind. And, I had allowed him to keep the utilities in my name and pay me each month, and of course he stuck me with the last month’s bill.
So I say to all new landlords: don’t rent someone their first apartment. Let some other landlord give them the education they need.”
“My dad had tried his hand in renting out houses, albeit it’s only one house and he had only one renter. He’s a soft heart, and couldn’t bear to force a family into the streets when rent wasn’t paid.
The renter was his work colleague, and they were acquainted at best. This man would give every excuse in the book when he couldn’t pay his rent, all of them relating to his toddler son. Medical bills for his son, formula and diapers, birthday gifts, so on and so forth. My dad accepted these excuses, allowing his colleague to delay the payment and never once tried to deduct from the deposit.
Six months later, his renter decided to move out. Turns out the idiot bought himself a nice terrace house out in a good suburban area. He knew my dad was a patient and generous man and decided to take advantage of that. My dad, in his words, was mad but more than that, disappointed. He decided that he’ll stop renting, as he figured he would lose more than what he’ll earn. Thus, the house was sold.
A few days later, my dad approached his colleague wanting to know why he’d stiffed him of his rent money. This took place in the middle of the office, with everyone still at their cubicles or milling around.
Dad: ‘I’ve heard you’ve bought a house. If you had money for the house, why couldn’t you pay the rent?’
Colleague: ‘You know how my son keeps getting sick? Ever since I stayed at that house you rent, my son always gets a fever and is always coughing.’
Dad: ‘What has that got to do with me or that house?’
Colleague: ‘I think I know why. That house is haunted. That house has Jin (Genie, malevolent or mischievous) and Shaitan (Devil/Demon). You’re a new Muslim convert right? Something must have been mad at you for converting. Because of that, my son is suffering.’
For context, us Malaysians still hold onto some superstition, though it’s more prevalent in the older generations. Be it due to culture or religion, superstitious beliefs are still embedded here. A rented house being haunted usually means a sullied reputation.’
This, ticked my dad off. At this point, everyone had tuned into this drama being unfolded. Raising his voiced, he laid down the truth bomb.
Dad: ‘I stayed in that house for 2 years with my wife and small children. Nothing happened. You know why your son keeps getting sick? When I went to inspect that house to sell it, the whole place reeked of smoke. Every room in the house smells like smoke. Your son keeps falling sick is because you smoke illegal substances around him 24/7!’
If you ever been slammed by the truth so hard that it left you speechless, that was essentially what happened. Colleague was stunned. Mouth opening and closing like a fish gasping for breath, before turning around and walking away. My dad, having vented that, left to do his own business. Colleague not denying outright that he didn’t do illegal substances caused the rumor to spread like wildfire, with him ending up needing to do a substance test. Unsurprisingly, he failed that, which led to him being fired.
Now, you may think that’s the end. Substance use in Malaysia is seriously frowned upon here, even if you do it recreationally. Not to mention that other job prospects usually looked into your record and reason for resigning your last job. Having being let go due to failing a substance test is an automatic ‘resume-into-the-bin’. No job means no income. No income means Colleague can’t make the monthly installments for his new house. As my dad found out, it has been auctioned off by Colleague’s bank to another buyer.
As he told me this, my dad never wanted to ruin Colleague’s life like that. He told me he should’ve just kept his mouth shut, that him knowing Colleague was doing substances in close proximity to his son was good leverage for Colleague to pay his rent. It was an ‘in the heat of the moment’ action and such. Dad never pressed to get his 6 months of rent money back. In his eyes, Colleague’s debt to him was voided.
I don’t know. Perhaps this was just karma by God for Colleague lying to my dad and stiffing him his rent money. Just needed my dad to be a pawn in His plan to punish Colleague in this life.”
“This has got to be one of the craziest Tenant stories you will ever hear about. This is about how the same person was both the best, and worst Tenant I ever had to deal with.
Let’s call him Mike.
Mike responded to an ad for a single family house, located in a very popular neighborhood. He was a single guy and had financial capability to handle the rent. He actually was a real estate investor, day-trader, and appeared quite successful at it.
The catch was my client used this as a second home. They planned on returning and occupying the home in about 6–8 months.
I made this completely clear to Mike. We signed a month-to-month lease since I did not want to even commit to the 6-months.
Everything seemed to be going fine. He was low maintenance, and paid the rent on time.
After a couple of months, he asked if he could paint one wall in the living room. My clients had painted it an annoying lavender color, and I figured it was just paint, and could do little harm. I told him to be careful and go ahead with the one wall.
By the way, I am an old-school Realtor. ‘If it’s not in writing, it does not exist’. So all this was documented in email.
A couple of months later, I get an email from him. He says he wants me to come look at the house. I was like, what for? I mean, I am not concerned about the wall you painted, why do you want me to come?
He just says I need to come over.
So I schedule a visit. I walk into this old home, and it’s been completely transformed. Repainted top to bottom, new blinds, new ceiling fans, beautiful epoxy resin coatings on exterior wood beams, and refinished, epoxy sealed concrete lanai floor. Detailed painting of exposed beams in the living room ceiling that looked fabulous. And a myriad of other improvements. All done with quality and good taste. Even those lovely switches for every light, where you give one touch and the lights fade on and off. Those switches are like $35 apiece.
Needless to say, I was stunned. Rather than be excited, I asked Mike what the heck he was thinking? I reminded him you are on a month-to-month lease, and you did not ask permission to do any of these improvements.
Mike said, no problem. The landlord is going to pay me back, here’s an invoice for all the work, and I added 15% as general contractor charge.
I think for the first time in my life I was speechless. The invoice was for about $27,000.
When I finally gathered my wits, I told him that there was no reason why the Landlord would pay you for this. Nothing was requested, and no permission given. But rather than fight him about it, I said I’ll take pictures, and let the Landlord decide what to do.
The Landlord of course balked. They had absolutely no intention to pay this guy a penny. When I reported this fact back to Mike, he of course was upset, and threatened to sue us.
That gave me a bit of a chuckle, I’ll admit. I told him to go right ahead.
So Mike then stopped paying rent, and I simultaneously gave him notice to move, as the Landlord had made their plans to come back.
He kept demanding to be paid, and threatening to contact his lawyer.
I literally begged him to please contact his lawyer. I knew the law was on our side.
We ultimately needed to contact a lawyer ourselves, and formally filed for eviction. He was indignant, and honestly could not understand why we would not pay him and were demanding he move out. So despite his abilities, he clearly was not playing with a full deck.
So during another exchange, he again said he was indeed contacting his attorney. Again, I said Mike, yes, please do.
An hour later, I got a phone call. It was his attorney. He informed me Mike was moving out, dropping all demands for payment, and promised to leave the home in perfect condition. He would pay all rent due, and would we please just give him one more month to relocate.
So in this weird case, the perfect Tenant, who turned out to be a generous soul who invested $25,000 of his own money in a house he did not own, and did not even have a long lease on. While he made life miserable in the end with his empty threats, and forced eviction, the Landlord made out like a bandit with all the free improvements.
And that, my friends, still takes the cake on my craziest-worst-best Tenant story.”
On The News
“We had a great tenant, no issues, always paid his rent on time. He lived in a unit in a 4-plex.
His lease was coming up, and we had another unit available that he wanted to move into. We agreed because he was such a good tenant, and he had a child that he was getting partial custody over, and he needed more room.
He was a good tenant at the new property as well. Always paid rent on time, no big issues.
Then, one day, I’m on a local news channel on the Internet, they had reported a shooting on the block of the property that he lived in.
When I watched the video, and sure enough, it looked super familiar.
I made a few phone calls, and found out the shooting did occur at the house he resided in.
I went up there and found caution tape and had some police officers meet me there. They cleared the house and found a grow room in the basement. There was blood everywhere, one of the goriest sights I’d seen in my property management career.
The ‘story’ that was told was the previous tenant (whom we had zero issues with as well) was dealing out of the house, and the new tenant got caught in the crosshairs of an angry ‘customer’ of the previous tenant.
The new tenant abandoned the property, never to be seen or heard from again.
The tenant never returned.”
“We had a young couple with two small children that had lived in our unit for about a year. They had gotten behind on their rent at times but had always got caught back up when she got her student loans.
This time, they were two months behind and their electricity had been shut off so they were staying at her mom’s because she was pregnant with their third child. They said they would get caught up when she got her next student loan so, since she was pregnant, we were giving them some slack.
We never saw them come and go but other tenants said about once a week they would sneak in late at night, stay about 10 minutes and leave which we thought was really strange. Finally it became obvious that they were not going to pay so we told them to get all their things out and to clean really good and we wouldn’t take them to court for the money owed.
They took two more weeks and then left the key in our mailbox. We went in expecting it not to be clean because she was almost due and we knew her husband wasn’t going to clean. Well, we walk in and the place is trashed. They left everything but their clothes and maybe a few personal things. There was a huge sectional, washer and dryer, bed, a huge fish aquarium with one side broken and duct taped together, all their kids’ toys, a refrigerator full of rotting food and so much more. Anything heavy they had was left and this was a second floor unit with no elevator so it was a huge pain in the butt for us. Their kids had used crayons to write on all the walls, there was a huge oil stain in the living room carpet where apparently he had an engine or something in there, and there was one room filled with enough lumber to build a kid’s playhouse. Definitely not what we wanted to find but it’s not like we hadn’t seen other apartments in just as bad of shape.
So we got everything out except the huge fish aquarium that was in the dining area. We didn’t allow pets so we wondered what they had kept in there considering it was broken and wouldn’t have held water. There were a few rocks and a little log in there about six inches long.
So, we had been in there cleaning for two days, when my daughter’s boyfriend decided to tackle getting the aquarium downstairs. I was doing dishes in the kitchen and the dining area was about three feet away. So he gets the rocks all out and then he goes and picks up the log. He started screaming and jumped half way across the kitchen! Inside that little six-inch log was a four foot yellow rosy boa constrictor snake. He had been curled up in there the whole time! I was totally freaked out! I hate snakes! Now, it all made sense why the tenants had been sneaking in every five or six days- he was coming by and feeding it live mice. Snakes swallow big meals so they don’t need to be fed often. I can’t imagine parents that would have two small children around a boa constrictor. Seemed very dangerous.
But now our problem was how to get rid of it. My boyfriend wanted to take it outside and shoot it but since it was yellow, I had a feeling it might be worth something. It’s not easy to just sell a snake! You can’t just list it on marketplace or craigslist and we didn’t even know what kind it was. Finally after a little research, and a lot of phone calls, we found the president of the local Herpetological Society and him and his wife gave us $150 for her. It didn’t even put a dent in what we had to pay to rehab the apartment but it was nice to get a little bit of compensation for all we went through.”
“It All Just Fell Apart”
“Difficult tenants are not always born that way.
Sometimes they just develop the method as they go along in life.
I think the best example was a recently divorced man who rented a small apartment and for three years paid the rent on time and was no trouble.
Due to his impeccable record and smart demeanor, I was conned into transferring the electricity and gas accounts into my name on the pretext he was moving out.
Now I of course checked with the utilities that the accounts were up-to-date, which they assured me they were, so went ahead.
Plus I checked with his boss at a well known testing laboratory where he was a section head and they assured me he was fine.
Then it all just fell apart.
It turned out he was 6 months in arrears with the utilities but had somehow by use of false bank transfer slips convinced the companies he was up to date so now I was picking up the tab and he would not be disconnected.
Repeated visits and he would not come to the door then I discovered he had lost his job after turning up repeatedly wasted at 9–00 am.
Now then he started to really get ambitious and refitted the entire apartment with new furniture and appliances and never paid anything apart from the down payment, oh and a new car as well.
This went on for a month or so and of course he never paid the rent.
I went to the local Court and the clerk there showed me the multiple summonses for non-payment of everything and I realized that I would be throwing good money after bad trying to recover the rent and I needed to get him out.
Well that turned out to be easier than I thought and I found the apartment keys in the mailbox in the lobby one day and a nicely fitted empty apartment.
Now under our law the landlord has possession of fittings even if not paid for, so I had a slight plus.
However, when I added it all up, I was still several $1,000’s out of pocket.
Another lesson learned the hard way.
Like all lessons, you still get the next idiot tenant and the next one really took the biscuit, but that is for another day.”
“About 2 years ago, I lived in a single story apartment. The apartment had an enclosed courtyard that required a key to get into. That was one of the driving factors that drew me to that particular complex, the security.
My neighbor across the courtyard, was a somewhat disheveled man, named ‘Bob’, however very friendly, quiet and never caused any trouble. That all changed about a year after I moved in.
I began to notice strange people using the Community laundry room that we had, people who weren’t tenants, washing what appeared to be a month’s worth of dirty clothes. I then noticed a lot of different people coming and going from Bob’s apartment, and I noticed that the courtyard doors had been propped open with rocks to allow non tenants without keys access.
It turns out that Bob was using his apartment as a makeshift homeless shelter for the local transient population. Bob spent time at a local church that also doubled as a homeless day center where meals were served, and this is where he was befriending all of these people. It wasn’t long before his new house guests began sharing their illegal substances with Bob. Bob then began to behave very strange and erratic. For example, he would pace furiously back and forth across the courtyard, one of his strung out female guests began causing disturbances that resulted in the local Police showing up to kick Bob’s apartment door in. Bob managed to turn a nice quiet complex, completely ghetto and trashy.
Bob failed to pay rent for about 6 months, because he claimed that his guests were stealing his money (which was probably true, but he was also buying illegal substances with rent money). Because Bob was on SSI, it was very difficult for the property owner to evict him, and there are laws in place to protect disabled people from evictions, no matter what problems they cause.
My landlord had to spend an additional SIX months in court to remove Bob and his squatting friends.
It then took about 3 months to repair and clean all of the damage that had been done to Bob’s apartment. I now live in a quiet home out in a semi rural area, and it’s wonderful!”
Not So Nice Mother
“We had these tenants on the first floor of our house. It was a couple and their eight year old daughter. The lady was of my age and her daughter was of my elder daughter’s age.
The lady was a very soft spoken and polite person. While she spoke one had to hear attentively, as she spoke so softly. She used to run an institution of designing. Her husband looked like a decent person although not as cultured as his wife.
I used to chat with this lady sometimes. Our children studied in the same class but in different schools. So we used to discuss about their studies. She told me that her daughter was a topper in her school.
One day we heard someone shouting and screaming on the first floor of our house (rented portion).
On listening carefully, it was clear that this lady was shouting. We thought that the couple must be fighting. We didn’t interfere as we thought that it was their personal matter.
After a few days again there was loud screaming and shouting. Again the lady was so loud that anyone going on the road could also hear her.
This time we could hear the girl also saying, ‘Please mummy, please!’ We could hear that much only.
We became concerned now. Many things came to our mind. Was the couple fighting and their daughter trying to meditate? Or was the lady shouting on her daughter?
We couldn’t hear the man at all.
It was so surprising to hear such a calm and composed woman scream out like a mad person. What was happening? Interfering in their matter still seemed wrong but we were concerned.
One day our tenant (the husband of this lady) told my husband that his wife gets really furious when her daughter scores less marks. It was clear he wanted to remove our doubts. He even mentioned that he tried to control his wife but she didn’t listen.
This was a shocking revelation for us. Such a decent lady could speak so badly with her daughter for only a few marks.
I also came to know that she was sending her daughter to a private tuition where children spend about four to five hours after school. At that time I used to help my daughter in studies after my office. She used to study for an hour or two only and performed well in studies. I felt sorry for that little girl.
Now I couldn’t control myself. I directly talked with this lady about this matter (I was such a fool). I lectured her not to put so much pressure on her daughter. The lady listened to me calmly (Thank goodness) but didn’t respond much. I could see my lecture wasn’t of much use.
Shouting and screaming continued.
Fast-forward a few years later.
Our tenants had shifted to another house in the same city.
My daughter and this girl, the previous tenant’s daughter, attended some common private institutions.
My daughter told me that this girl wasn’t as brilliant as her mother used to claim. Either she was never brilliant (what my daughter felt) or now her interest had declined in studies.
One day, I met this lady (previous tenant) in the market. I asked her about her daughter. This time, she wasn’t praising her daughter. She said that her teenage daughter didn’t listen to her much.
One thing was clear, that the shouting and screaming of the mother had made the daughter a rebel.”