If you are a tenant yourself, and you have ever wondered why your tenancy agreement contained some very oddly specific conditions, you will now find out why.
Working in landlord insurance, you hear of the strangest tenant horror stories that most would not believe. Browsing the internet for more tenant horror stories can lead you to an even stranger world where people go about their daily routine wading through 14 inches of rubbish throughout their rented home, with forgotten pets buried deep… Being a landlord isn’t for the faint-hearted. Aside from having to sometimes be the bad guy and demand rent from tenants that you know are good people in unfortunate situations, there are also the not particularly fun things you have to deal with… Some people’s disgusting bathroom habits, drug dealers, pet damage in the most bizarre of ways, and that horribly dark fear you get when you haven’t been able to get in touch with a tenant for a while.
But even when you’ve had an incredibly good landlord-tenant relationship with someone for years on end, people are often unpredictable. And it’s that aspect of human nature that landlords often have to anticipate, breeding a brand of cynicism that only a fellow landlord could truly understand.
A couple of the strangest tenant horror stories I have ever read online I came across on Reddit. I’ve taken the liberty of paraphrasing some of them due to length, but the thread was titled:
Landlords of Reddit, what is your worst story about a tenant?
The Mirror People – /u/mcivxx
The Reddit user, mcivxx, once had the dream tenant: clean, employed, pays rent on time, handyman, beautiful home decorator…. Ideal tenant. One month, the tenant says that he’s a little behind on the rent. Sometimes it happens, no problem. He pays X amount and pays the rest in a few days. The next month, same thing. Except now for HALF the rent. Two weeks later, he finally pays. However, the next month, no rent and no word from him at all. The landlord, mcivxx gives him a few days out of courtesy, but still nothing. Eventually, they decide to pay the tenant a visit out of worry. He doesn’t answer the door. So they use the spare key. The place is empty. The only furniture in the ENTIRE house is a mattress on the floor and a mirror propped up against the far wall. He’s sitting on the edge of the mattress, staring at the mirror and muttering to himself.
And then he looks up. With a crazy look in his eyes, he tells the landlord to look closely at the mirror. “See those ‘scratches’?”, he says with air quotes on the “scratches”. “They’re not scratches! It’s the people on the other side of the mirror trying to communicate. I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out what it says…” He rambles on a bit, attempting to explain to the landlord about the “mirror people” and if only he could figure out their language, he would know what they want. They slowly backed away and decided to call his adult daughter.
Apparently, the tenant has been on a drug binge for the past three months before finally suffering from a psychotic break. His daughter ended up taking him to a mental institution…
Bill Is Still Upstairs – /u/Quail_eater
The Reddit user Quail_eater’s father is a landlord. A woman, Betty, lived in one of their dad’s houses on a council estate with her very fat husband, Bill. The landlord tends to collect rent from Betty in person as Bill wasn’t particularly mobile and spends most of his time in his chair. On one of these rent-collecting occasions, the landlord noticed that Bill was not in his chair in the living room. So the landlord naturally asks out of curiosity, “So how’s Bill?”. To which Betty tenses up and replies, “There is something I need to tell you about Bill. He died three weeks ago”.
“Oh, Betty, I am sorry. When was the funeral?”
“Funeral? I wouldn’t know where to begin. Bill is still upstairs.”
This is when the landlord called the funeral directors and he, along with four other men, had to pull the obese Bill down the stairs. The landlord paid money toward Bill’s funeral, in addition to replacing the bed where Bill had been laying for the past three weeks…
The Indoor Swimming Pool – /u/oldenoughtono
Something a little lighter, perhaps, than the previous two. A landlord friend of the Reddit user, oldenoughtono, was renting out a large house in multiple occupancy. They one day received a call from the second floor tenants that water was coming through their ceiling. Upon inspection of the third floor property above where the water was coming from, the landlord found a blow up swimming pool in the living room. Not one of the little paddling pool style ones, mind you, but one of the larger, 24 inch deep ones that you can get. As if this wasn’t shocking enough, the nightmare tenant had also removed all of the kitchen cabinet doors, replacing them with chicken wire. Why? Well, to coup up the dozen chickens living in them of course!
Donny – /u/Urockstar107
Reddit user Urockstar107 once rented out his converted garage flat to an acquaintance named Donny. On the very first morning, Urockstar107 awoke to find Donny spooning him in his own bed. Donny apologised and said he had gotten drunk and lost his keys, so he thought it would be a good idea to break in through the back window of his landlord’s house and he just slept in the first bed that he found. Donny continued to live in the garage property behind the landlord for a further two years, often getting into all sorts of entertaining mischief like “Beer Can Bowling” in the patio. Urockstar107 also tells of how they awoke around 4am one morning to a strange scratching noise above their bed. Thinking nothing of it, they rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. About 30 seconds later, they hear a huge thud outside of their bedroom window, followed by some expletives… They looked out of the window to find Donny laying on his back, naked, on the floor, looking straight up.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, mmm cool. Just fell off the roof again.”
You can read the whole thread here.
Seriously, there are far too many tenant horror stories….