Unforgettable Tenants

May 10, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Unforgettable Tenants

There are advantages to owning a rental property—but you should expect that there may be some downsides, too. You'll probably have some good tenants here and there—or you get someone who'll make your life a nightmare.

1. Was She Really Alone?

I had a female tenant who lived alone in a basement apartment. We regularly heard a dog barking in her unit. The funny thing is though, she didn't own a dog. She had every light on in the unit, at all times. She finally called complaining about not having any power. We went in to check it—and what we found made me burst out laughing.

She had power, it's just every light bulb was burned out. All she had in the place was a futon couch and Bibles. She had Bibles in every room, open to different pages, just sitting on the floor. We think the barking sounds were her.

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2. Mama Bear Needed A Chance

My wife and I owned a small apartment building in Brooklyn. We had a vacancy. A woman with barely enough income to pay the rent wanted the place. I was worried that she'd fail to pay and I'd have to go through the very legally painful eviction process.

I asked her why I should believe that she would be reliable. I'll never forget what she said: "On Saturday nights my child and I sleep in the tub in order to be safe from the gang bangers firing at each other, or sometimes just firing off rounds for fun. I'll do whatever I have to do to keep her safe, even if it means not buying food or walking to work instead of taking the bus".

I gave her the lease. She never missed rent.

Steve Kalman

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3. That Escalated Quickly

I own a two-family house so I rent out the other unit. One of my first tenants was a young kid just out of college. He was a nice enough guy and we became friends.

A few months later, he asked me if he could paint his living room. He chose a neutral color, so I agreed. All of a sudden, in the middle of the night, I get a call from him. He said he was having problems with the paint and asked if I could come up to help. I begrudgingly went.

As I walked up the stairs, I heard music blaring from the apartment. The door to his apartment was open and I walked in. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw inside. There he was, completely undressed with a fully exposed woody, a roller in hand, and dancing to Goodbye Horses.

I quickly exited, and told him to put some tarp down since he was getting paint on my hard wood floors.

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4. A Deal He Couldn’t Undo

I had a tenant who was getting divorced and signed over his business to his cousins so that his ex-wife wouldn’t get half. Then, he wanted us to intervene when his cousins wouldn’t give it back to him. I told him we weren’t interested in committing unlawful deceit. He was going to sue his cousins. We let him know that his “deal” with them to defraud his ex-wife wasn’t going to hold up in court other than convicting him against her. He didn’t get it. These conversations were definitely more than we bargained for.

David Loeb

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5. They Were A Perfect Match

My wife and I own a house. But our jobs forced us to move. I was complaining to my co-workers that we would have to sell. One of my co-workers asked for a lot of details. I mean, a lot of details.

Turned out she had a special needs granddaughter, and wanted a residence near a special needs school. Our house was about six miles away from one of those schools.

It took a little bit of negotiation, but what we finally agreed on was this: My wife and I would move to an apartment at our new job. We would rent out the house, and the cost of rent would cover our mortgage payments & property taxes.

The most fateful thing I told her was “Make this house your home”. She took that VERY literally.

And wow, she was a fantastic decorator! In the last three years, she painted and wallpapered several rooms; she has done a decent amount of landscaping; her furniture matched the space of the house perfectly; and when I visited, there was always the scent of wonderful cooking.

She never charged me for any of the improvements she made to the house.

Also, when we moved away, we had to leave behind some of our possessions. I could tell from the dust on them, she had never touched anything.

On the other hand, she made changes that are weird, or I even disagree with. The weird one was soundproofing. And the one I disagreed with was when she tore down our grapevines.

However, she was an incredible caretaker of my property! It will be about another seven years before the mortgage is paid off. I hope she stays there for the rest of her life.

Ivan Kalinin

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6. She Hid It Really Well

We had a young lady in our flat who stayed for five years. Anything which needed attending to or replaced, she contacted the contractor, we compared the quote and she organized the workmen while we paid. No trouble. No quibble.

We eventually realized she did this to discourage our entry.

She got an offer of a larger place and we tried to gain access before she left so we could conduct a viewing. All the excuses came and we went the day she left. That's when we finally discovered what she was hiding.

The front door threshold of the flat was a mass of little, circular burns.

The shower was blocked and the bathroom was severely damaged.

A cat had clawed the bed to shreds, and broken a very expensive window covering.

The mattress had a massive brown large stain on it which she told us was when her waters had burst three years previously.

The oven hadn’t been cleaned in the entire time she had been there; it took over a day to clean professionally.

Two radiators had been pulled from the wall. The carpets had never been vacuumed and were black.

The toddler had colored with wax crayons on the walls, which had to be treated before they could be painted.

I feel angry and duped. She always paid her rent and was very sweet all the while she was trashing the place. She had gained our trust so we never did an inspection.

What hurt is that she was the first tenant, and we allowed her to have a pet.

She now expected some of her deposit back and we had to get a lawyer to sign an affidavit to put in action the full refund of the deposit.

The guy who moved in is older and more responsible, but we have factored in a contract clause to visit every few months.

Grant Davis

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7. She Had To Pay For Her Studies Some How

We have a beautiful Victorian four-story home in South Wales. The ground floor is a self-contained flat. We decided that we wanted to rent out the ground floor at below market rate to people that needed a hand back up, such as, those who had recently left probation or coming off unemployment benefits. We continued to live with our family above.

A lady approached us to inquire about renting the property. She said she was an SEN support worker and was hoping to study part-time to further her skills in supporting young people with special needs.

We thought she sounded perfect. We couldn't have been more wrong.

We asked for a personal reference and we took a one-month deposit and first month’s rent and she moved in.

The second month’s rent was late, and the third’s month didn’t arrive at all. By then we had realized that she never left the flat for work and that she had numerous male ‘friends’ all in very expensive cars who visited separately, and for exactly one hour each at a time.

You got it, this four-bottles-of-booze-a-week lush was using the ground floor of our home as a house of ill repute.

It took us nine months to evict her during which time she refused to pay a single penny whilst all the time bringing clients into the house that our children were living in.

Niki Stark Devlin

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8.  The Trash And Dasher

My first house was a small stone cottage in Yorkshire. I moved about 40 miles away and didn’t have a car at the time, making visiting the cottage difficult.

My first tenant was a friend and the only problem was that he’d fix, or get fixed, problems himself. I kept telling him to call in a tradesman and send us a bill, but he never did.

The next tenant was a mature student, a woman about 30 years old, studying at a nearby cottage. The first problem here was that every month I’d have to phone her up and hassle her for the rent. She was always a couple weeks late. I hated doing it as I don’t like asking people for money.

Then she stopped answering the phone. After six weeks I contacted a friend who lived in the same village; they had a look and said the house looked empty. So, I went there myself, to check.

It was so much worse than I thought. It wasn’t just empty; she’d trashed the place.

There was sawed-up some furniture to burn on the solid fuel stove, the shower hose was broken and pulled off the wall. There was rubbish everywhere—in the middle of the downstairs room there was a pile of garbage bags, split and rotting, on a pile of rubbish. While clearing out the rubbish, we found a bottle of some lotion that was for treating pubic lice.

We bleach-cleaned every surface after that. Floor, walls, even the ceiling.

Alastair Dent

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9. A Rare Sight, When A Hoarder Abandons Ship

I had a hoarder as a tenant. She was already a tenant when I bought the property. I perhaps could have served her notice that all the junk piled eight feet high in the apartment was a fire hazard and eventually evicted her if she didn’t get rid of it. But she was old, a seemingly nice person, paid her rent on time, didn’t make a big fuss, and actually kept the place reasonably clean despite all the stuff crammed in there. Plus, hoarding is a mental illness, so I had some sympathy for her. I even held back on raising her rent as much as I could have because I knew she was on a fixed income.

One month she didn’t send her rent check. After about 10 days, I mailed her a reminder. There was still no check. After a few weeks without receiving her rent and her not returning my calls, I went to the apartment and made a disturbing realization. She was gone. To be honest, I was secretly relieved that I didn’t find her body, actually.

I was also worried about her so I called her employer and found out she’d simply moved away. She skipped town, broke her lease, and left me to deal with her hoard. I had to pay somebody to haul all her stuff away. Plus, I was out the rent that didn’t get paid while I was unaware that she’d skipped town and while I was dealing with her hoard, but my mortgage payments for the property still had to be paid of course.

It’s things like that that turn landlords into heartless people. That, among a lot of other crummy things, is what got me out of the landlord business. On the other hand, maybe being able to walk away from a hoard like that meant that she had made some kind of progress with her condition. I hope so.

David Campbell

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10. She’s Definitely Done This Before

I inherited a building with a tenant from my mother when she passed. The tenant was always late paying the rent. She had three kids and I thought that was okay, but I came to pick up the rent once and a man answered the door.

He opened it and said, “Whatever you are selling, I’m not interested. Leave my property and don’t come back because I don’t like any solicitations”. I then said, “Oh, I’m sorry, you live here”? and he said, “Yes”! and slammed the door in my face. I just stood their speechless. Then, I went home and drafted a 30-day notice to leave and stated in the letter why she was being evicted. Being a new landlord, I had not learned the ins-and-out of the game yet.

The City of Chicago does not allow evictions in the winter if you are a parent of a minor.

It was October when I gave my tenant the notice for eviction. We had a court date. We went to court and she asked the judge for a continuance, twice, stating it would be distressing for her three children who were all minors—a statement that gave me the clue she had done this before—and it was granted.

In December, the judge ruled in my favor. Except that the Sheriff Department then informed me that evictions would not resume until March or April of next year. I wanted to scream.

So now, my tenant, her three children, and boyfriend stayed in my home for seven months and did not pay one cent in rent, or any of the utility bills due over that time.

It did not stop there, in April right before they left, a neighbor witnessed the boyfriend get on the roof of the building and drill holes. The inspector I hired verified that a drill was used to drill several holes in the roof, which when it rained, damaged the inside of my building. The water leak turned moldy, and the inspector noticed the toilet would not flush and there was no water. He said that construction grade cement had been poured down each toilet.

These were completely awful tenants that cost me thousands of dollars. If I stated everything they did, there would not be enough room. Thereafter, I had to hire an attorney and a detective to locate them as this became a legal matter.

George Johnson

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11. The Audacity

My first tenant was unforgettable.

They smoked in the apartment, even though they had to sign a contract that stated they would not do so.

They broke the washer door, and fixed it using duct tape. They also fixed a leaky sink with duct tape. They broke the garbage disposal.

When it was a hot day, they would open the freezer door and stand in front of it and smoke, which made the refrigerator a total write-off.

There were red stains on the carpet, and rotten door trim from water leaks. All of which had to be removed and replaced.

When they moved, they closed their bank account, so the last rent check bounced. They also did not pay off their utility bills.

They abandoned furniture and other stuff in the house.

Here’s the kicker: They tried to sue me in small claims court to get their deposit back!

It ended up costing me about $34,000 to fix the place to the point I could get a certificate of habitability.

Terry Lambert

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12. An Explosive Discovery

I had a tenant who, upon departure, left a tear gas grenade under a stack of trash. The cleaning person that I hired saw the “grenade” and suddenly dove out a second-story window. We had to have the bomb squad come out. It was intense!

David Loeb

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13. It Isn’t What You Think

One older feisty lady I had for a tenant with a corner unit on the ground level, planted a lovely garden. Her garden kept expanding—which I allowed as there was ample space for it. It became rather impressive. It was her thing and what made her happiest. But everyone knew not to get on her bad side and no one did as she was well-liked and respected.

One day however, an ornery fella crossed her path and made a total nuisance of himself; and when he all but destroyed her garden, he ended up on the wrong side of her! I was in the office that afternoon when I heard two shots come from across the property. I went to investigate. And there she was still holding her Smith & Wesson, wearing her sun visor and a tee shirt that read “I am well adjusted”. I kid you not.

“I nailed that son-of-a-beehive”! She says to me.

“Who”? I asked—seeing no one.

She said “him, right over there”— pointing to the right-end corner of her garden. That unfortunate fella was a MOLE!

Jon Austin

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14. Thoughtful People Are Hard To Come By

I had a lovely tenant who would send me a card every single month, even during months without recognized holidays. She would send me ones wishing me a Happy Spring!

Jan Bauer

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15. This Is The Last Thing You’d Want To Find In A New House

I had a tenant who skipped out on me and left his six-foot python hiding somewhere in the home. The large snake climbed into the ceiling only to be discovered three months later, slithering between the new tenant’s legs when she went to the back to turn the electrical panel on!

David Loeb

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16. Not Your Average Day On The Job

I worked for a large rental property company. A man called one of the properties and asked if they had any units available on a high floor. This was a high rise in a great location, where the upper floors had a nice view of the city, so the request wasn't unusual.

The man came to view the unit, and a leasing agent took him on the tour. She opened the balcony to show him the view, and then she went back into the unit, expecting him to follow. That was the last time anyone saw him alive.

She turned around and he was gone. He jumped from the balcony onto the road below. The unit was on something like the 20th floor.

The agent was traumatized, to say the least. May he rest easy.

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17. That’s Disgusting

We used to rent an apartment to an old man, his wife and their adult son.

Their son was useless. He was 30+ years old, lazy, unemployed and still living with his parents and spending their money.

We often had to send a repairman to fix things that they broke and complained about.

The worst discovery happened after they left. On the wall next to one of the beds was a large amount of dried, crusted phlegm! Whoever slept there could not bother to aim for a garbage bin, at least. It was disgusting!

Costas Georgi

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18. He Wasn’t So Gentle After All

The first guy I ever leased a space to ended up being a lot different than I expected. He seemed like a very gentle person. He used the space to open up a Vietnamese nail shop.

His wife went to Vietnam to visit family. When she came back six months later, she apparently told him she was leaving him because he wasn’t man enough for her and so she found a new guy.

When she went upstairs to the apartment to go to bed, he followed her up with a vengeance and a sharp kitchen utensil. Turns out, he was no longer the gentleman I thought he was. He was a literal murderer.

David Loeb

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19. One Of The Good Ones

I had some of the most wonderful tenants who more than made up for the “bad” ones. My very favorite tenant was an inspiring woman with three young children. Her husband had cheated on her so she chose to leave him and their four-bedroom home. Her dignity was more important to her than the security of a nice home and income. She was the strongest person I've ever known.

She and her children would have been eligible for help for housing and food stamps, but she was too proud to accept any of this help, choosing to set a good example before her three children.

Instead, she took on two jobs and somehow always had a smile on her face and never did I hear a complaint come out of her mouth. She was always pleasant and calm when I talked to her. She believed in God and lived the life of a Christian. She kept a spotless apartment, which isn’t easy with young children. If she needed a repair, she would always apologize as if she was causing me an inconvenience. She was such a pleasure to have as a tenant. I considered her my friend.

I can’t say enough good about her and wished every tenant had her morals and high standards. She didn’t let her circumstances stand in the way of her worth. She could have easily fallen apart when considering the position she was in, but I have all faith that she is doing just fine and excelling greatly in life. I am pretty sure her children have grown up to be fine people with her as a role model.

Jo Say

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20. The Offender Next-Door

I used to own a Duplex, where I lived on one side and my tenants lived on the other. This particular tenant was verbally offensive to his wife, especially when he was drinking. Each time I would hear him scream vulgarities at her, I would go and knock on her door to see if she needed help. Each time she would answer, her voice through the crack of the opening, she would say she was ok.

One day while she and her newborn were alone, I went over with freshly baked cookies. She allowed me in and I held her son. I explained how I had been in a similar relationship and had two sons. I told her my story and encouraged her to call out for help if she ever needed it. Her husband was afraid of me, and he knew one of my sons was now an officer of the law.

Finally, it happened. An argument ensued and the man became loud and violent. The tenant hollered for help.

I immediately called emergency services and ran to their unit. I unlocked the door and pushed the furniture away that he had piled in front of it. He had his hand around her throat, pinned to the back door with a hammer in his hand. The dogs were locked in the bathroom and the baby locked in the bedroom. He shouted vulgarities at me and threatened to end us both.

I warned him of the authorities on their way. He didn’t let go of her until they arrived. We were able to free the dogs and baby, and the man was apprehended and taken away.

Jane Irelan

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21. This Was Unexpected

When my mother passed, I sold her house and bought a beautiful home closer to my job. We decided to have a rental agent handle our original home. The new tenants had good references and credit reports so they moved in and always paid on time. The rental company did inspections twice a year. The people lived there almost 10 years with no problems. The agent checked the property a few weeks before they moved out and everything was fine.

The rental agent went back the day after they left. They found quite the surprise waiting for them. The tenants took all the appliances and apparently took a sledgehammer and destroyed the tubs and toilets. The water hadn't been shut off so water poured everywhere. There were tens of thousands of dollars of damage. We could not imagine why they were so destructive.

Pamela Laub

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22. It Takes A Village

Joey, along with his wife and two elementary-aged kids, moved into one of our properties about 20 years ago. Six months later, his wife ran off with another man leaving him a single father. He had moved here from out of state to take a job as the head football coach for a local high school, but with the help of some neighbors with the kids, he was able to manage.

At least until he had a heart attack that put him in the hospital for over a month. As he had no local relatives, my wife and I took his children into our home for that month he was in the hospital. He wasn’t strong enough to go back to work for almost a year afterward during which time we waived his rent. He has since remarried and purchased his own home, but our maintenance crew still refers to the property as “Joey’s old house”.

Pel Carter

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23. A Forever Haunting Mental Image

I worked in property management for a building with multiple apartments. One tenant really stood out to me. This guy occasionally came into the management office to drop off rent or request a repair. He was an enormous and unfortunate-looking man. I always find him to be a bit scary.

The maintenance man, who frequented the apartment, warned us that it was pretty dirty. When he moved out, my manager went with me to walk the apartment for the move-out inventory.

The apartment was filthy. The stove was covered in burned-on and spilled old food. The bathroom mirror was covered in splashes so you could not see your reflection. The floor around the toilet had to be replaced because it was soaked and stained with urine. It’s something I will unfortunately never forget.

Susan Morrow-Johnson

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24. If You Don’t Ask, You’ll Never Know

I had a couple living in a home I leased in the San Francisco area. As they settled in, it became obvious they were going to be ‘needy’. I accommodated requests as required. But the big one was yet to come.

Just before summer, around May, they indicated they wouldn’t be in the home for much of the summer, as they planned to use their home in the Hamptons, a common summer destination for many east coast residents, but rare for a west coaster. They wanted to sub-lease during that time using Airbnb. I said it wouldn’t be acceptable and reminded them that the lease agreement was very clear: No sub-leasing/sub-tenants, no use of Airbnb or similar, only declared people at signing allowed to occupy full time.

They were not happy and said they couldn’t afford to pay for both my lease and their summer in the Hamptons. So, they did what seemed reasonable for anyone with a second home in the Hamptons, and they asked if they could skip three monthly lease payments, because in their words, they: “wouldn’t require the home for that period”.

I suggested they call my mortgage company and ask them if I could skip three months of payments with no penalty or interest. The rental market was good at that time and challenging for renters to find properties, so I suggested they give me 30-days-notice and I’d break the lease for them.

They said that wouldn’t be necessary. They tried, and they lost. They paid the monthly rent until the end of the lease and then they went to the Hamptons.

David Fleck

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25. Babies Bring People Together

An unforgettable tenant of mine would be the sweet older couple who moved into one of our units right before I had our first child. Every once in a while, they’d email me to check in on me and the baby. They moved out a few years ago, and I actually got a call from them a few months ago! I was so happy they called me, and they were surprised I remembered them.

Jan Bauer

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26. That Went A Little Too Far

I rented my place to a very nice, young and attractive woman who ended up getting into some dangerous substances and then used the apartment for her new gig as a lady-of-the-night. After I evicted her, I noticed there was bizarre writing all over the walls, and a hole drilled into the shower for someone to watch from the other side.

Robert Reeves

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27. Welcome To The Family

I had a hard-working Latino family living downstairs. All of their children were born there and I was privileged to be a part of their fiestas, birthday parties, Christmas, and their confirmations. It was such a wonderful thing to be a part of every celebration. Occasionally, all three children would show up at my door with something homemade and delicious on a plate. Often, they would come up and finger-paint with my granddaughter and make homemade pizza.

Judith Fox

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28. This Couldn’t Have Worked Out Any Better

Essentially this was my first go at renting out a property. I was in my teens and waiting for university to start. My parents had a small apartment unit up for rent. They put up a notice board on the apartment door and then they left for vacation.

Out of the blue I received a call from a man who was looking for a place for his sister. That call would change my life forever.

It turned out she was recently divorced by her not-so-nice husband and left with two kids to care for. She was also apparently ostracized by her family for marrying outside of her community. So, she needed a place of her own in order to start a new life.

After communicating further, I found out that the man was from an agency that helped single mothers, and he negotiated for lower rent as it was to help one of the women. I waited for my parents to call home to tell them the offer and they agreed that any formalities will only be done after they return home.

That was the start of more than 20 years with this woman, and in a way, she was more than a tenant to us. The lady was also tough in facing adversity in life, going through tragedy after tragedy including the passing of her eldest daughter due to cancer.

The lady is still renting the unit and my parents never had the heart to increase the rent. It was still a 1996 rate for as long as I could remember.

Azlan Fman

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29. Revenge Of The Evicted

My parents had rental houses while I was growing up. One tenant got evicted and, before leaving, poured wax down the drains and put used cat litter in the vents. Luckily, they had me to help clean up houses like that.

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30. That’s A Little Strange

I rented a garage to a childhood friend who is a little "different". He often didn’t pay his rent for a while, and then would show up and put a bunch of loose twenty-dollar bills through my mail slot with my name written on the bills.

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31. Equal Parts Sad and Sweet

We had some tenants that were the sweetest couple ever. They kept our large, five-bedroom house and shop immaculate. It never smelled of dog or smoke since she was strict about lighting up outside.

Sadly, midway through the lease the husband was diagnosed with a fast-moving throat cancer. They had to move to a large hospital for treatment and he passed a few months after. When they left, the house was in better shape than they found it and everything was spotless. I will never forget them.

Martha Artyomenko

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32. A Con-Artist Among The Congregation

I had a tenant who was a very professional-looking man in his late 60s. He turned out to be a convicted con-artist. He swindled people at a church out of a lot of money. He was very, very slick. The odd thing is that he appeared so wholesome. I didn't see his dark side until it was too late. He reminded me of Santa Clause, not someone who took little old church ladies’ life savings.

Robert Reeves

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33. They Made A Deal With The Wrong Guy

Our parents rented a floor of their two-family home to a guy who was an electrician. In return for lower rent, he did electrical improvements and minor repairs to the house.

All of a sudden, our parents' electric bill nearly doubled. So, they called the power company for an inspection and discovered that the tenant had unlawfully re-wired his connection so that it was drawing most of the electricity for his apartment from their electric meter instead of his.

They had given him a substantial break in the rent, and he took advantage of their kindness. Dad simply said, "No good deed goes unpunished".

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34. That Went From Aww to Eww Real Quick

I rent out a few houses. I went to pick up the rent check from one specific house occupied by an elderly couple. The woman answered the door and made me a cup of tea. I was surprised her husband was not sitting in his normal armchair as he was quite a big man and was always there when I came around.

I asked where he was. Her answer absolutely floored me: “He's in bed, he passed last Tuesday, I'm not really sure what to do”. It was now Saturday. Startled, I asked where she had been sleeping, and she said, “In my bed, beside my husband”.

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35. Not Cool, And Not Uncommon

I rented an apartment to a couple who fostered a mentally-handicapped girl. They did it for the money. Apparently, you get more money for fostering a handicapped child. They basically kept her locked in a back bedroom. I called many different authorities but nobody did anything. The mother was always dressed in expensive clothes. She had a nice purse and jewelry, while the girl was living in her own urine. Unfortunately, this happens a lot in foster care.

Robert Reeves

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36. I Can Feel My Nose Burning Reading This

I was putting veneer on cabinets for a tenant. I was wearing a respirator. She walked into the unit asking where "it" was. I thought the odor was too strong and apologized. She went right for the bucket and started taking deep breaths. My buddy and I both said “nooooo”, in what seemed to be slow motion. But she didn’t stop. She enjoyed it. It wasn't her first glue rodeo, so you can imagine how fried her brain already was.

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37. Didn’t See That Coming

I own a commercial building that rents mostly to small businesses. One tenant was a "consulting firm" run by two Scandinavian girls.

Every day, men would be coming in and out of their space. Other tenants complained that some kind of weird vapor or steam would regularly escape from their unit.

As I recall, it turned out they were running an unregistered sperm bank and the vapor was coming from a big container of liquid nitrogen used to store the sperm donations.

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38. Hobbies Of The Over 40 Club

I had a tenant who started doing illicit substances. He got obsessed with Chuck Norris and fake karate stuff. He had two little dogs that he started training to fight. Only the dogs were tiny and couldn't do much. He got really demanding and also did not pay rent for three months. I finally told him he had to leave. He got very angry and called the city. The city told me to evict him. So, I did, but he got his revenge.

He destroyed the place. He was easily over 40 and had his parents come pick him up, along with his nun-chucks and tiny dogs. It was weird.

Unforgettable TenantsPexels

39. How High Did He Get

My tenant was a young woman, and she had her baby daddy come stay with her. One time he got high and got undressed and was dancing outside in the street in the middle of the night. The authorities came, tasered him, and took him to the emergency room. He walked back home the next day in his hospital gown.

Unforgettable TenantsPexels

40. He Increased His Own Rent

Back in the 1990s, I had a medium-sized place to lease that was decent and modern. My first tenant was a university professor and his wife. They loved it.

They were wonderful tenants. After the first lease, the professor-tenant offered a rent increase by letting me have all of his rental allowance; and I didn’t object.

We had a friendly relationship. When the premises needed refurbishing, we agreed that he and his wife would live in a hotel at my own expense, during the renovations.

I have no complaints about this couple. In fact, I have mixed feelings. When he finally bought his own place and delivered vacant possession, he said he felt sad to leave. I drove him to his new home to say goodbye.

Peter Cheung

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

41. It Pays To Be Patient

I rented my moderate-sized house to a young couple that were the best renters. They were quiet and friendly, but being young they kept to themselves. I lived next door and hardly ever saw them. They paid on time, always with cash. They moved out after about five years and I was sorry to see them go. I never suspected anything of an unlawful nature. Was I ever wrong.

I decided to move into the rental house as it was smaller but large enough for a single guy, and my expenses were less. About four years later my old tenant came by for a visit. He told me he had been in prison for illicit substances. He asked if he left anything in the basement. I let him go have a look, and he came back with nothing. It made me wonder.

A year goes by and he comes back and wants to look again. This time he says he thinks he hid some money somewhere in the basement. I let him look but he couldn’t find anything. After he left it was on. I was in that basement every day looking everywhere. Weeks went by nothing and my interest waned.

Eventually, luck was on my side. I ended up finding thirty-one $100 bills. The bills were very old, from 1996, and crumpled up, making me believe they had been there a long time. I decided to keep quiet about it and waited for a knock on the door. It was the kind thing to do, as I knew he really must have needed that money. A week goes by, nothing comes of it. So, I kept the money and spent it however I wanted.

Dhinesh Kumar

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

42. Keeping Things Interesting

I had one tenant that did one-off trade show novelty pieces. One was a ten-foot-tall guitar. They also built larger, more functional projects, including an RV trailer that folded outward into a gaming room.

One of their more innovative products was a vending machine that dispensed an iPad if your key fit. I also connected him with a locksmith to have 2,000 keys available to hand out at the door of the event. They even made the custom desk legs I designed for my current office desk.

It was fun to visit them to see the projects under construction. They were one of my favorite tenants.

Martin Sommer

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

43. This Is Why You Don’t Rent To Family

My boyfriend’s sister asked if I could rent my downstairs apartment to her, her husband, and their 18-month-old daughter. Against my better judgment, I agreed.

They moved in and things were going good until her husband was laid off from his job. I didn’t see rent for 3 months, but, because of the family relationship, I let it go and told them that they could make it up each month once he was back to work.

We suddenly started hearing rumors from neighbors that they were planning to move. We asked, and they denied it every time. They continued to tell us that they loved it there.

Until one day, a truck showed up, and off they went. When we went to check the apartment, we were horrified at the condition they left it in. It cost thousands of dollars to clean and repair, and they never did pay us back for all the rent they missed.

Alicia Szot

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

44. A Cat Lover’s Appreciation

I rented out a room in my house on a website that is specifically marketed to travel nurses.

My tenant was a great all-around tenant, but the best part of her stay was Christmas. I gave her a very, very modest token gift, and she was a bit embarrassed that she hadn’t bought me anything. 45 minutes later she sent me a digital painting of my cat that she’d just whipped up in an app on her iPad.

And it’s the very essence of my cat—every detail is perfect, from the set of her ears to the whiskers and the RBF. In addition to being a skilled nurse, she’s also an extremely talented artist! And I’ll keep this print forever.

Steven Kan

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

45. This Takes Obsession To A New Level

My dad had a younger woman tenant that painted the entire inside of the​ house different shades of pink – the walls, the trim, everything. She also always kept exactly three pink cupcakes under a glass dome on her dining room table.

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

46. She Probably Goes Through A Lot Of Tape

I once rented my place to an older lady who didn’t have very good hygiene, and she kept everything she owned in large cardboard boxes. She would open a box, use something, put it back in the box and tape the box shut immediately. She lived like this for years.

We talked to her sister and she told us that the poor old lady had become like that after her husband ran off on her.

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

47. There’s More Than One Tragedy Here

Our tenant burned down our house. Apparently, the husband would intentionally hurt his wife by throwing gasoline on her arm and then setting it on fire. We only found out about this when one day he had had a lot to drink and doused his wife's arm with gas—along with the carpets and the curtains—and set a fire, burning about 80% of the house.

Unforgettable TenantsWallpaper Flare

48. Who Doesn’t Take Advantage Of Included Utilities?

I rented out a house and included the water bill in the rent. Big Mistake! The new tenant decided to take advantage of the free water and run a carpet-washing company in the house. She ruined the laminate flooring by drying the carpets over it and accumulated a massive water bill.

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

49. This Got Weird, Fast

I wasn’t a landlord myself, but I acted as an assistant to the landlord in the place where I lived. There was a really nice older guy who lived in the apartment next to mine for several years.  He was quiet, and so I didn't notice when he had not been around for a while.

The guy had never been late on his rent before, so the landlord asked me to go into his apartment with her. I was kind of afraid I might find a body.

We went in there, expecting the worst, and all that was in the entire place was a bare mattress in the living room, with an enormous stack of distasteful magazines and DVDs, and a toaster. My elderly landlord quipped, "How do you think he used the toaster"?

Unforgettable TenantsPexels

50. Wow, That Took Commitment

I evicted a pregnant tenant who was set up with the rental house by her married boyfriend. A few months after the eviction, the Department of Justice contacted me. I learned the seven-month pregnant belly was fake and she was wanted for various charges, including identity theft.

Orin Mccammon

Unforgettable TenantsShutterstock

Sources: 1

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