Landlords Shared The Wildest Things That Have Ever Happened With Tenants, And Honestly, I'm Cringing

    "We opened up the crawl space and found six lifelike deer mannequins riddled with arrows. It was the scariest thing I'd ever seen when our flashlight lit it up."

    Whether you like them or not, landlords have a tough job. Landlords have to maintain their property, handle tenant concerns, foot the bills for insurance, taxes, and utilities, and replace appliances that get broken or worn out. Basically, it's no easy feat. But their jobs become *extra* tough when dealing with people and situations who just make the experience a living hell.

    So we recently asked landlords of the BuzzFeed Community to share the wildest things that have happened on their properties. Here's what they had to say:

    1. "Property manager for an office building here. One place had an employee who was apparently too lazy to walk the 200 yards to the restroom. The janitors would come in each night to find garbage cans full of pee under the desk."

    2. "We had a tenant in the late '90s who seemed pretty nice. My parents had just started renting, so it was new to us. One day, the CID (that’s the FBI in India) came knocking on our door. Apparently, this tenant’s job — and we knew he was a recruiter — entailed a lot more than we knew."

    "He would take money from people and promise to take them overseas to find them jobs in the USA/Canada. He would take over a lakh ($1,300–$2,000 USD) and keep their passports and say he’s looking for a job for them. So my mom took the cops over to the rental, and by now the tenant had abandoned it. We obviously had no idea. One of the drawers in the rental had passports from eight different men — all of whom were robbed of their money. The tenant’s girlfriend was arrested and taken in for questioning. My mom was also taken in for questioning. It was wild. To this day, as far as I know, this dude hasn’t been arrested. He’s probably living abroad off of the money he stole."


    3. "We had two young women from our hometown split the rent in one of the apartments. One of them got married after a year and moved out, and the other couldn’t afford to pay the entire rent, so my mom asked her to pay half for three months — which should be enough time to find a new roommate."

    4. "We bought a large house that had been split into a duplex. My husband, our baby, and I moved into the small one-bedroom apartment in the back while we renovated and then rented out the larger apartment."

    "There were two garage bays: one we gave to the tenant, and the other I used to store some things that didn't fit in my very tiny apartment, like my lovely kitchen table that I had bought before I was married. Our tenant let her grown daughter and boyfriend move in with her — not really a problem — but then this boyfriend asked my husband if he could use our garage bay to park his car for a few days while he did some repair on it. No problem, my husband said, because we still had plenty of room there. One afternoon while I was washing dishes in my apartment, I heard some strange noises from the garage. I looked out my window to see this man doing the deed with an unknown woman (not his girlfriend) in our garage bay, with the door open, ON MY KITCHEN TABLE. Really soured renting for me."


    5. "I moved out of Maryland a few years ago and decided to rent out my house. I had a tenant who was great the whole time they lived there. After a couple of years, the tenant decided to move out a few months before the lease ended. They claimed they were closing on a new home purchase and had to 'move fast.'"

    6. "The husband and wife seemed perfectly normal when they moved in. A few months later, the police raided the place. Turns out, they were white supremacists and members of the KKK. They spray-painted swastikas and racial slurs all over the walls."


    7. "A tenant burned down our rental house. He fell asleep and dropped a cigarette onto an alcohol-soaked carpet. The house went up like the best bonfire ever built."

    8. "We had a very religious woman stay for a couple of years. Once she vacated, my mom and I went to check the place, and I was amused to see the random Bible quotes printed out on papers and stuck all over. Like behind the main door, by the window, on every wall, etc."

    "I spent the next hour ripping off and scraping off the paper from various places."


    9. "My parents had to rent out our newly built home when my dad was transferred overseas for a while. The home had only been a few years old when we left, but when we moved back in 10 years later, the hardwood floors looked a hundred years old."

    10. "I'm not a landlord myself, but I know a couple who used their inheritance to buy a house in Southern California and rent it out. The tenant stopped paying rent around six months before COVID, and these landlords, who had been trying to be understanding and give her time if she needed it, were starting to consider evicting her."

    "Then COVID and the eviction moratorium hit. This woman has not paid rent in over two years. The homeowners can’t even get mortgage pauses or anything on their end because in order for the government to help the landlords out, there needs to be evidence that the tenant suffered a COVID hardship. But the tenant can’t fill out that paperwork because she didn’t; the tenant has had the same income this whole time. So she has lived completely rent-free for no reason for over two years, while the landlords are hemorrhaging money and unable to get help from the government. And on top of all that, she’s letting the pot farm next door use huge amounts of water and electricity on these homeowners’ dime!"


    11. "I had a nice older couple apply for my apartment. Apparently, at the place they currently lived, another tenant was cooking meth all day long, thus making her sick, and nothing was done about it."

    12. "The daughter of my grandpa's former tenant kept coming to the property and breaking into the locked pool gate to throw parties at night with random friends — even while my family tried to sell the property after my grandfather passed away unexpectedly. It confirmed my dad's desire to never ever ever become a landlord."


    13. Lastly, "As much as I love animals, I have a pretty strict no long-term pet policy for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, one of my tenants thought it didn't apply to him, and he got a cat. His other roommates never saw it because he kept the poor thing locked in his room all day."

    Landlords, what are your best tips for managing rentals and working with tenants? Share them below!

    And while you're at it, check out some of our other personal finance posts.