From our experience, becoming a landlord makes someone pick one of two paths. They either become the living embodiment of wholesomeness and are so welcoming they’re practically family to you. Or… they embrace the dark side and go full Darth Vader in their quest for power, domination, and easy victims to squeeze dry. An exaggeration? Perhaps a tad. But you never really hear about the landlords that are ‘just all right’; it’s the heroes and villains that capture the imagination.
And it’s the latter that we’ll be talking about today. We’ve collected a whole bunch of stories about tenants who got revenge on their landlords by doing exactly what was asked of them, as featured on the internet powerhouse that is the r/MaliciousCompliance subreddit. Be careful how you phrase things because someone following your instructions to the letter can one-up you so badly that you might consider being less of a jerk in the future.
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Karma is real (it just needs a bit of help from our imagination, creativity, and courage), and the proof’s in this list. Scroll down for some of the best landlord revenge stories, and remember to upvote the ones that impressed you the most, Pandas. Oh, and do drop on by the comments to tell us about the relationship you have with your own landlord.
Bored Panda got in touch with personal finance expert, investor, and best-selling author Rick Orford, to get his take on how inflation is affecting renters, ideally how much of our paychecks we should be spending on rent, and his advice on dealing with difficult landlords. (Spoiler warning: good communication is essential for a working relationship between tenants and landlords.) Check out what he told us below.
#1 Our Landlord Told Me ‘Go Ahead! Call The City Inspector’ So I Did
This happened in 2018, I just moved to a new apartment. It was a three bedroom first floor apartment and it had a finished basement. It had two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen on the first floor. It also had a bedroom (with a full bath) in the basement and a bar/gaming area. It was also in a very nice area of the city. The apartment was owned by a corporation.
Honestly, we loved that apartment, until it kept having recurring issues in the basement. The carpet was wet from time to time, at first the landlord would send a cleaner to come and handle it but it keeps happening. I asked them to check and fix the issue. They did not do it, I told him I’ll call the city inspector to check the building, they laughed at me and told me ‘go ahead, call the city inspector’, so I did.
I called the city twice until I finally was connected to the right department and they sent an inspector a week later. The inspector found so many building violations. They told me they’d contact the building owner and would come again. The next day, the owner called and begged me to tell them what I know about the problem with the apartment. I told them that I sent complaints multiple times, they should check their record.
The city inspector, the owner and the property manager came two weeks after that, the city inspector was whooping their a***s. He laid it to them, it was bad. They have to deal with structural and foundational issues and some safety issues too. There were 4 tenants in that building including us, imagine it was a big colonial/multi family home divided into four apartments. They had to break the lease with all of us to fix the building. They couldn’t fix it with us being there. We were ready and already consulted a lawyer, we told them that:
1. We want our deposit back before moving out
2. They paid for all of our moving expenses
3. They paid for our deposit at the next place
They could not kick us out, they could not rent the apartment after the inspections, there were four of us and we could all sue them for placing us in a dangerous building. In the end they spent so much money to relocate us and fix the apartment.
Image credits: movingtocincinnati
“No doubt, inflation is taking its toll on American renters. Practically everything is going up in price. Unfortunately, in most states and jurisdictions, the renter is at the mercy of the landlord when it comes to rental increases,” finance expert and author Rick told Bored Panda. But things are far from grim everywhere.
“There are some notable examples where the government stepped in. For example, in St. Paul, Minnesota, its citizens voted for a rent stabilization that allows for a maximum 3% increase in rents, year over year. While this benefits the renter, it also stifles the economy. In this case, new building permits fell 80% in St. Paul, following the vote,” he shared.
Rick gave us some great insights into how we should look at budgeting. He advises following a 50/30/20 split between needs, wants, and savings.
“When it comes to one’s budget, we have wants and needs. Wants are the things we’d like to have. Needs are the necessities we need to survive. When looking at how much Americans should be spending on rent, we’d start by considering the 50/30/20 rule. 50% of the income goes towards needs—and this includes rent, healthcare, food, and whatever else you need to earn an income. 20% should go towards savings, and the final 30% goes toward wants—because, we all need to have a little fun, right?” he stressed that it’s essential to enjoy the good things in life as well.
#2 Landlord Advertises All Of Our Company’s Equipment For Sale To Our Competitors. Best Follow Our Eviction To The Letter
Tl;dr (SPOILERS) landlord gives us 7 days to vacate our leisure business from the building, he thinks we cant empty the business during lockdown, and proceeds to advertise OUR equipment for sale to our competition. We sell everything in 7 days and destroy the rest. Enjoy no rent and the loss of your potential buyers.
I work for a leisure company, think soft play, indoor soccer, laser tag (can’t be specific) Prior to lockdown, Managers and the big bosses were negotiating the renewal of the lease on one of our parks. Things were going mostly smoothly, however, the landlords were difficult to contact.
Then 2020’s shit hit the fan.
All of our sites were closed, and everything was thrown into a mess. Negotiations began to slip down the priority list; nobody thought the landlord would push an eviction for an expired lease during this period. Especially with it still getting rent, despite the sites closure, and the closure of every business and restaurant in the immediate area. We were wrong.
A few days ago we received a letter saying we had 7 days to leave the premises and take everything with us. We are reminded that anything left in the building after 7 days will become the landlord’s property! (that line is very important).
Now a lot of construction goes into installing our equipment into a new building, which makes emptying one even harder. Add a lockdown, with no staff and most businesses shut, it meant that saving much of our assets would prove to be extremely difficult.
To lose a profitable site and all of its assets is definitely a blow to our company. But here is where it gets worse;
A few days into our 7-day eviction, we find out that the landlord has been advertising our park to our competitors. But he isn’t offering just the building, he is offering ALL OF OUR STUFF PRE INSTALLED. “Ready to go, just needs re-branding.” The landlord has evicted us from the property in an attempt to increase rent and make a solid profit from our equipment installed because he thinks we won’t be able to empty the park.
We were furious.
And here is where the malicious compliance came in, we were told we had 7 days to move everything we owned out of the property. so that’s what we did. Local businesses from all around offered up free space to store our things, a few people came back out of lockdown and they all spent the rest of the week removing, selling or destroying everything that was related to us. We didn’t even leave light fittings.
In every other sight vacation we have seen, we always end up leaving thousands of $$ worth of disco lights in the ceilings because they’re too hard to get. We leave most the construction in, as well as things like the bars and kitchens that all stay intact (recognisable as what they once were) but not this building.
We ripped up the flooring we installed, tore down the walls that were not part of the original structure (Wooden walls to divide up the space) ripped apart our manager’s offices and removed all artwork, and locke
The landlord now has every new deal he has been making dead in the water, a large renovation bill to install new flooring etc. (or a company willing to do it themselves like we were).
Lockdown has been extended another 4 weeks, so he has at least another 4 weeks without rent (we were paying) and won’t have any potential buyers.
Silver lining: The assets we got out of the site (fridges, tv’s, equipment, food, tables) have all been sold, and the lack of rent and additional income has helped the business and paid staff wages.
Here is what happened next:
We handed in the keys and it was probably the quickest handover we’ve ever had. The landlord Cleary didn’t want to make any kind of conversation and there was definitely an elephant in the room, but he definitely said NOTHING about the lack of our equipment.
Complications did arise when we went to get back various deposits, But he had no case to withhold the deposits from us as the building was in excellent shape. (we had conducted much of the maintenance work ourselves, so the building was in a significantly better condition than we found it, (we also cleaned up 99% of the rubbish and dirt from our demolition crusade so he couldn’t bill us for cleaning) )
A very minor bit of pressing from our legal team meant that we received everything owed back in full!
The building is still Vacant and as of yet we don’t know of any potential buyers.
Image credits: poshbo
#3 You Would Like Me To Adhere To The Contract? In That Case I Require A Hotel Until You Resolve All Of These Issues
A few years ago, I moved back to the city in which I was a university student. As I was now ‘a young professional’, and had experienced significant issues with housemates in the past (non-payment of bills, having to do all the cleaning) I decided that I would rent a small flat from a reputable agency which specifically catered for ‘young professionals’ such as myself.
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I went and viewed the property, which was quite messy, and needed to have a few things addressed (ie the vinyl flooring in the kitchen was ripped, one of the drawers in the freezer was broken). But seeing as tenants were still living in the property, and the agency assured me that between tenants the landlord would clean the property, and resolve any small issues prior to moving in, I happily signed a contract, and wrote a cheques for the deposit, and first month of rent.
Two months later, I moved into the property, and was welcomed with the following issues (note, I just happened to stumble upon the list I made at the time when clearing out an old hard drive a few days ago):
The entire property had not been cleaned
Fire door wouldn’t close (breach of fire regulations)
The previous tenants had left much of their belongings behind, namely clothes and bedding
General waste was present in all rooms (bins had not been emptied)
Batteries had been removed from all of the fire/smoke alarms (by law, they were meant to be hard wired in rented property)
Half of a lightbulbs had been removed from the property
Mains supply & circuit breaker ripped from wall (incredibly dangerous)
Slats on bed broken (so would not have been able to sleep on it)
Mattress torn and ripped
Vinyl floor ripped up
Window jammed closed
Faecal matter on light switch
Toilet had not been cleaned (still had faecal stains in
Shower door broken off hinges
Vinyl floor torn up
Washing machine broken
All draws in fridge freezer absent or broken beyond repair
Gas cooker, missing burner caps and pan rail (therefore unusable)
Two cupboard doors hanging off
Vinyl floor ripped up
Curtain pole ripped down
It was very clear that two things had occurred here. The first being that the previous tenants had done a bit of a number on the property. That they had not respected the property, and had left quite a lot of damage in their wake. They did not even have the decency to empty the place of their contents, and at bare minimum, take the rubbish out before leaving. The second issue however, is that the landlord had evidently not made any significant attempt to bring the property back into a habitable state prior to me moving in.
Being the reasonable guy that I was, I called the landlord and asked if he could resolve these issues immediately. Primarily as the property was genuinely in a dangerous, and non-inhabitable state. I did not want to be a dick about it, however, at the bare minimum, the flat should be safe to inhabit.
The landlord dismissed all of my complaints, and stated that his wife (he was on a business trip to Dubai) had inspected and cleaned the property a few days before, and all was fine (a blatant lie). I told him that I was extremely unhappy with the situation, and he told me to ‘adhere to the contract which I had signed’. He subsequently put the phone down. Any sympathy I had for the landlord evaporated at this moment. He was happy for me to live in a dangerous property.
So I went through my contract line by line, and found two key pieces of information:
If a property is deemed to be in breach of fire regulations and/or is deemed uninhabitable by a suitable representative, it is the responsibility of the landlord to resolve such issues immediately
If the landlord cannot resolve such issues immediately, it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide alternative accommodation to the tenant until the property is returned to a habitable state.
Fortunately, a close member of my family at the time was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Within the hour I had a formal letter stating that the property was uninhabitable, and dangerous. I had this emailed to the landlord (address helpfully listed on the contract). Within 10 minutes, I had a call from him arranging emergency accommodation at a local hotel until he returned from his business trip, 3 days later.
On his return, he drove directly to the property from the airport, and returned the cheques for my deposit and first months rent to me, and asked me to move out. Which I gladly did. Unbeknownst to him, a copy of the letter had been sent by my family member to the Housing Ombudsman, and the local authority. The last thing I heard is that this bloke ended up being investigated, heavily fined, and had to sell the house.
TLDR: Landlord rents me dangerous property, and tells me to adhere to the contract. I adhere to the contract, and get a weekend in a hotel, all of my money back, and he is heavily fined and sells the property.
Image credits: low_myope
Maintaining open lines of honest communication can help avoid a lot of issues with landlords. And while many tenants believe that their landlords might be worse than the devil, the fact of the matter is that they’re usually Pandas like you or us: they have their own goals, dreams, worries, and expenses to deal with as well.
“When it comes to difficult landlords, renters have to remember that landlords have expenses too. Their mortgages have to get paid. So does all the maintenance and upkeep. So, if you feel you have a difficult situation, try and speak with the landlord in a calm and understanding manner,” investing specialist Rick explained.
“Explain why you believe the increase is excessive. And, if you can’t come to an understanding, consider alternatives to renting, or, barring any local regulation, you’ll have few choices other than moving.”
To say that some people are freaked out by the current economic climate is an understatement. It feels like the situation is getting worse for tenants across the board. Even people living in rent-stabilized apartments are feeling the squeeze.
The New York City Rent Guidelines Board has opened the floodgates and allowed landlords to increase the rents on over a million rent-stabilized apartments. Rates for one-year leases will rise by 3.25% and by 5% for two-year leases, according to CNN.
#4 “As Per The Lease” We Owe You Late Fees?! Let’s Check That Lease Again…
So this happened in college to me and my friends.
We moved into a house from some small rental company based in the area after signing a year long lease. House is great, no problems, but we were told a week or so after moving in we would have to send our rent checks each month by the 5th by mail to their new office in the town 120 miles over. Whatever, barely a problem so we just go with it. So for the next 6 months or so we both mail our rent checks at the same time by the 1st of each month, and never had any problems.
Then one day my friend receives a call from the landlord saying we owe 100+ dollars each in late fees becuase 2 months our rent checks came in the mail a day after they were due. They were DEFINITELY postmarked AT LEAST 3 days before that, but thats not the point. So he says, “per the lease you each owe 50 dollars for each month it is late and so that is 200 dollars total” and we said well it was definitely postmarked multiple days in advance and its not our fault the USPS didn’t deliver it on time, and that we had no way to know that it wasn’t delivered on time, so how could we be accountable for these fees? He responded with, “Go read the document, per the lease your late fees are stated clearly, you have until next month to pay” then he hung up.
We pulled up our lease, and just as he asked us to do, we read it. He was right – based on all we knew we each owed them 100 bucks – damn. But, in a section regarding payment, CLEARLY stated, we were to HAND DELIVER our rent checks to their office which was still addressed to their OLD office in town, and the address we were supposed to deliver them to WAS NOT the one they had us sending our checks to. So we called them back, “we looked at the lease, and per the lease, we are not required to send checks to that office but to this office insert old office address so we will be bringing our checks there from now on and will not be paying any late fees because we technically never even agreed in the lease to mail our checks. The landlord flipped saying we were being children, that this was unfair, and he was going to get our parents on the phone (he literally said that, despite the fact both our parents were obviously on our side and we were 20ish year old people). We just said “well if you want your rent money we will bring it to the location described in our signed lease, since as per the lease you need it delivered there and we don’t feel comfortable mailing them to unknown locations”.
Inevitably he buckled, he knew he was at fault, and dropped the late fees and said we wouldn’t owe any more late fees ever so long as the envelope was post marked on the right day. Every month after that we waited until the day before to mail them out, ensuring they wouldn’t receive their money until at least a couple days after it was due. We stayed in the house the next year (aside from this instance, they weren’t too bad compared to some other college town landlords) and they changed the lease so it couldn’t happen again.
Image credits: suan213
#5 Sure, I’ll Reimburse You For What The Carpet Is Worth!
This is a story that I was told conversationally at a camp.
Guy telling me the story: N His brother: B Landlord: L
So this guy (N) had a brother (B) who was renting a home. He was one of those long-term renters who stayed at the same location for 10+ years. B was moving out, and the landlord (L) was trying his best to get every penny out of B that he could. L looked around the house and tried to charge him for every little thing: stains on the wall, the cupboard that was broken before he moved in, etc. The biggest, most expensive offense was the carpet.
The carpet was not pretty. Stains everywhere, a big hole where a cigarette was dropped, threads showing, etc. The carpet was clearly old when he moved in, but B wasn’t very prepared and didn’t think to take pictures before he moved in. N devised a plan to help his brother out. He knew the law pretty well, and went with B to sign the final paperwork.
I don’t know why the landlord thought he could charge the renter beyond his deposit. Maybe they had an agreement that he left out of the story, or the laws were different when this happened? Regardless, he was going to have to pay for all of the brand-new carpet because of the one hole he caused.
So the landlord smugly pulled out the paperwork to have B sign. N took one look at it, smirked, and told B to sign it. They got done with all of it, shook hands, and the landlord started bragging about how much he was going to make off of B.
Then N dropped the bomb. The paper said that he had to reimburse the carpet “for what it was worth.” According to the law that he had a copy of in his pocket, carpets are worthless after 10 years of use, which his brother alone fit as a qualification. The landlord was flabbergasted. Apparently he ended up just using some leftover carpet that he had in storage to replace the square where the cigarette burn was located, instead of replacing the whole carpet.
TL;DR – Landlord wanted tenant to replace the carpet for what it was worth. He did just that, because the carpet was worthless.
Image credits: nudist_reddit_mom
#6 He Wanted It Painted. They Painted It
My grandfather was born in 1943 and was sailor in the 60s. He subscribed to a very tight honour code when it came to taking care of one’s friends and community.
So when a little old lady who had lived in her house as long as anyone could remember had her rental lease passed on to a new owner, no one was pleased when he evicted her, after higher rent.
My grandfather, however, offered to help with the exit maintenance, and the landlord requested a new paint job.
So paint it he did, in one day, with all his sailor mates. Every interior wall, floor and roof with black ship paint. You know, the stuff that’s supposed to withstand being at sea.
My grandfather said he was irate, but couldn’t do anything because all he had requested was a paint job with no other stipulations, and that’s what they had done.
Image credits: [deleted]
Probably nobody has any illusions that living in NYC is expensive. However, rents in The Big Apple have been rising for four consecutive months. “Median rent for an apartment in Manhattan climbed to $4,000 a month in May, surging 25% from a year ago,” CNN reports, referring to a report compiled by brokerage firm Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants.
The Legal Aid Society, the nonprofit legal aid provider, condemned the NYC Rent Guidelines Board’s vote (5:4 in favor of hiking rates) as “shameful” and “one which was likely predetermined, to increase rents on our most vulnerable neighbors.” This change will likely impact communities that were already barely scraping by due to the pandemic and inflation the most.
You can never really tell for sure if someone’s going to be a good or bad landlord, however, it’s important to trust your gut. If you feel like something’s way too good to be true, it probably is. Have a chat with the property’s current or former tenants and see what the issues with the home and the landlords might be. You can also do some snooping online and check out some reviews.
#7 Landlord Tries To Keep Security Deposit… Ummm, No
About 10 years ago, my at-the-time girlfriend (now wife) and I moved from the area we went to college to an apartment near where we planned to start our careers. I say it was an apartment, but it was really the basement of a house that the landlord had walled off to create 2 “apartments” to rent. The place was kinda crappy, but the rent was cheap for the area, and we were close to work.
Everything was fine for a few months, but the only parking for us was on the street out front – the couple that rented the upstairs “apartment” had rights to the garage and driveway (they paid more than we did). Suddenly my car got a couple BS tickets for parking on the street – I’m guessing some ass-clown cop needed to meet their quota – and my girlfriend’s car got sideswiped in a hit & run. This crap had to stop, so we emailed the landlord (her preferred form of communication) to ask if there’s anywhere safe for us to park. She replies, “Park anywhere you want.” We had noticed that our upstairs neighbors usually eschewed the driveway to park in the front yard (they were horribly lazy), so we figured that would be a good spot for us too. We parked in the front yard the rest of the year.
We figured that would be the end of it. We finished our lease, left the place in better shape than we found it, and requested our $1500 security deposit back. After a couple weeks, we got a check for $700… WTF!?!?!? Since there was no explanation, we asked the landlord for one, and she replied that the deducted amount was to “re-sod the lawn”, claiming that parking on it had damaged it.
Now, I was the one who cut the grass at this house while we stayed there, so I was well aware that the lawn was more weeds and bald spots than grass – picture the African savanna in mid-summer. No one had ever lifted a finger to landscape any part of the property, but the landlord wanted to sell the house once the leases were up, and she figured she could get the renters to pay for a nice, new lawn. I complained to the landlord: didn’t care. I put in a complaint with the local housing department: didn’t care. I threatened to take her to court: didn’t care. So, that’s what I did – took her to small claims court.
I had never sued anyone before, so I was going in prepared! I took pictures of the entire front yard – the area that we “damaged” was actually one of the best patches of grass, though it did have a small rut that my tires made when the yard was muddy in the summer. I got testimonials from our upstairs and across-the-street neighbors. Most importantly, I printed out the email where the landlord told us to park anywhere.
We were suing for $1800 to cover court costs and us both missing a day of work on top of the full security deposit. In mediation we said we would settle for $1400, but she must have thought she was in the right because she refused to offer a penny more than the original $700 check, which we never cashed. When we got in front of the judge, it was pretty clear that she had no evidence, hadn’t prepared anything, and just assumed that us “kids” would fall on our faces. We did not.
We put everything we had in front of the judge and made our claim (he was impressed). He stopped us when we showed him the email to ask the landlord, “Did you really tell them to park wherever they wanted?” When she said “yes”, the judge replied “Then what are we even talking about?”, and that was that. Judgement in full for us, and that b***h had to pay to re-sod her own damn lawn.
Next time you tell someone to “park wherever you want”, you’d better mean it. Or at least don’t try to f**k someone over when they comply with what you said! If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
Image credits: Clintosaurus_Rex
#8 Tell Me I’m Not Allowed To Make Any Unauthorized Repairs On My Residence? Fine By Me, It’s Your Problem Now
It’s about seven years ago. I’m living in a trailer (like, legit trailer, not a double wide) in a trailer park because it was my own place and it got me the hell away from my parents and didn’t cost me an arm and a leg for rent. Cramped? You bet. But living on my own was a freedom I can’t understate.
That price came with its own price, though: The landlord was…kinda lazy. Hell, I didn’t even get a tank of propane when I signed the lease, I had to pay for it myself! But rolled into the rent was all utilities besides electricity, which, oddly enough, the landlord was responsible for adding that to our rent every month. (This led to some interesting issues that eventually got resolved but that’s not within the scope of this sub.)
Other than that, landlord paid everything.
My trailer already had issues, mostly parts of it breaking from just old age. But one of the bigger things was the outdoor lighting. You see, there was this very small step that went up to the concrete platform my trailer sat on, and it was small enough that I have no idea why it was put there but big enough that you’ll easily trip over it. The landlord had put down those cheapo solar lights to keep it lit, but those had since died.
I brought it to the landlord’s attention. Promises it’d get fixed. This went on for weeks.
Finally after a particularly bad day at work, I decided I had enough once I tripped over it for the umpteenth time. Went to the Homeless Despot and picked up some better solar lights and stuck them where the old ones were. Finally, bliss and not having visitors and myself trip up on their way to my front door.
…or so I thought. Couple days later I come home from work, my solar lights are (crudely) ripped out of the ground and tossed aside, and there’s a notice taped to my door that essentially said RESIDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE THEIR OWN REPAIRS OR MODIFICATIONS TO ANYTHING ON THEIR PROPERTY, IF YOU NEED ANYTHING PLEASE CONTACT $LAZYLANDLORD
(For those curious, for the entire year and a half I lived there, no, they never replaced the lights. I did, however, stick a directional light on the one outdoor light I was allowed to replace, and aimed it right at the offending step.)
This becomes relevant later. I just sighed angrily, and went about the rest of my day.
Now, remember when I said things were breaking on my trailer from old age?
A few months later, I come home from work to hear running water near my trailer. I round the corner, and notice that the big water hose feeding my trailer water had basically disintegrated from being old and worn, and was spewing water everywhere. I also remembered that 1. The landlord pays the water bill, and 2. They were lazy and never did anything, and 3. When I did try to correct for their laziness they went HAM on me for daring to make my life somewhat better.
So I turned around, went back to my car, called my mom, and asked if I could stay the night at her house, to which she agreed.
Sure, I knew exactly where the shutoff valve was for the water line going to my trailer. Could I have engaged it? Sure. But seeing as the last time I did something good I was screamed at for making “my own repairs”, nope. Landlord was going to pay for ALL that water. And her laziness too. (Seriously, that hose should have been swapped LONG ago, and wasn’t.)
The landlord did try to hassle me over it (the irony is she lived directly adjacent to my trailer, so her not noticing the GUSHING WATER is next-level laziness), but I pointed out that she specifically told me I’d get a paddlin’ if I tried to do anything on my own again, and figured I’d leave water issues to the “professionals”. And maintenance of the water system was never spelled out in my responsibilities to the property.
She eventually got relieved of her job a couple months after that whole thing went down. Her replacement was much better about things.
Image credits: Kolbentine
#9 I Should’ve Read The Lease? Well You Should’ve Read The Law!
It was coming up on renewal time, and my landlord had just sent renewal paperwork with a big rent increase. Knowing I could find a cheaper place nearby, I sent in my written notice to vacate, which was required 60 days before my move out date. The landlord rejected my notice, and told me that if I read the lease I would know that notice to vacate was required 60 days before the first day of the month that I wanted to move out, not 60 days before the move out day itself. As a result, they were going to force me to submit a new notice the following month and pay an extra months rent (at the new higher rate).
I was offended by their attitude, but accepted that they had won – at least until I checked the lease against local rental law. While they were right about the required date of my notice to vacate, they had failed to send me notice of rent increase on time, because I was supposed to have a minimum of 2 weeks AFTER receiving their notice of rent increase to put in my notice to leave at the end of my original lease term!
I wrote back to them with a screenshot of the relevant city law and said “while you are correct about the due date of my notice to vacate, you also failed to send me timely notice of rent increase. You can’t require me to send you notice to vacate at the end of my lease term before knowing how much you will be raising rent! So how do you plan to remedy your breach of the lease?”
After what must have been a tense call with their lawyer, my landlord agreed to accept my original notice and let me move out on the day I planned. Since I had already paid my last months rent, they never got another cent from me!
Image credits: FatCats2fat
And above everything, make sure to have a proper contract: read it thoroughly, know what you’re agreeing to, and see if there are any major things missing from the document. Make sure that there’s nothing ambiguous there. For instance, if something breaks or needs fixing, you have to know who’s responsible and who’ll cover the costs.
Also, don’t be afraid to speak up if the property you’re visiting looks nothing like the pictures in the ad. There might be some repairs that need doing. See how the landlord reacts to this sort of discussion. Oh, and if they pressure you to pay your rent only in cash, this might be a red flag that they might be avoiding taxes or trying to scam you.
The way to a landlord’s heart (if they have one and it isn’t ice-cold, of course) is by maintaining regular communication, taking good care of the property, and making sure that you pay your rent and utilities on time.
Not all tenants are the angels that might like to be seen as. For instance, Bored Panda showed a landlord’s perspective a while back by featuring just how little regard for any cleanliness some tenants have. The pics are nightmarish, and these types of people probably come from the same demonic realm as those landlords who refuse to fix the hot water for months and months.
#10 You Want To Follow The Lease To The Letter Of The Law? Let’s Dance
So, about 10 years ago my husband and I were renting a house while we tried to buy a place. The landlord seemed so nice, and it was a great situation. When we found a place to buy, we gave him our forwarding information along with the keys. It took about two months to get our deposit back, and we were shocked to say the least. He had taken $400 out.
He had an enclosed porch that had screens with no glass. It had outdoor carpeting that was gross, and we bought a remnant to cover the carpet since we had little kids and it was questionable (no doubt due to the year round screens – including rain storms, etc). It wasn’t ideal, but it was a rental. When we left, we rolled up the carpet and threw it out. Anyway, the landlord stated in his letter that he was taking out the $400 because we had broken the lease by having a dog – and his proof was the condition of that carpet. We did not have a dog, and that carpet was gross when we got there. We tried to explain that, but he was having none of it and would ignore our attempts to reach out (plus, how do you prove the absence of something?).
Cue malicious compliance: you want to follow the lease so carefully as to make up animals? Well, perhaps you should read the laws a little better. According to our state, landlords have exactly one month to send the deposit back. He took two. According to the law, you can be held liable for three times the amount (1800, in our case). So we sued. We no longer wanted the $400 back; we wanted $5400.
While it was somewhat painful (he dodged attempts to serve him, he had out of state attorney friends try to intimidate us) he eventually had to hire an attorney, and we settled on $2000 (in addition to the $1400 we got back). We filed with the help of a friend so we didn’t owe an attorney – just filing fees. He ended up paying $2000 plus attorney fees instead of our $400 for a phantom dog.
Know your rights as tenants!
Image credits: leigh10021
#11 Dealt With A Lying Landlord By Threatening To Run Up Their Bills
I had a landlord in the past who slipped a 90 day notice requirement into the rental contract after I had signed it. I was house hunting, so at the end of my lease I asked to go to a month to month lease to make it easier to leave when the time came. Landlord and I agreed on a higher monthly price to compensate them for the lack of security, and I signed the contract at the office of a business they also owned downstairs. Landlord wasn’t actually present, but one of their employees handled it. So, contract is signed and they go to make me a copy for my records, but are “having an issue with the copier”. After a few minutes they ask if they can text me when they get it to work. I naively agree, and head upstairs. 30 minutes or so later, they text me saying they got the copier to work, and I come pick up my “copy”. I didn’t think to double check everything at the time.
So, for the next few months I just pay my monthly rent while I look for a home. Finally found the right place, and the closing date was about 4 weeks out, so I immediately notified my landlord that I would be leaving on said date. Landlord responds that it’s nice I found a home, but I would be responsible for the next 2 months rent after that as well due to the 90 day notification requirement in the contract. I’m totally confused, so I go check my copy of the contract, and sure enough, there is a stipulation in there about that. I also notice that my initials from the top and bottom of each page, verifying that I have read that page, have somehow mysteriously shifted to being doubled up at the top of the page after this stipulation, with none on the bottom of that actual page. This was because they had inserted 2 lines of text detailing the 90 day reporting requirement, after I had already signed the paperwork. They didn’t notice the formatting error it created, which was a dead giveaway of what was going on.
I inform the landlord of this, and notify him that this is not a legally binding contract due to this issue, and state that I will not be paying any further rent beyond this month, and expect my deposit back without penalty. Unfortunately he persists with stating that this is a legally binding contract, and he will pursue it in court in addition to withholding my deposit if I fail to pay, blah blah blah… I know I am legally in the right, but I don’t want to have to deal with courts to settle it as that takes forever, so I come up with an alternative plan.
The one thing he hadn’t thought about was the fact that the contract included all utilities, as the unit didn’t have separate meters, and did not have any language forbidding excessive use of them. It just so happened to be a particularly cold winter, so I informed my landlord that if he wanted to persist with his demands, I would be inclined to leave all of the windows open, crank the heat as high as it would go, open the refrigerator door, run the water 24/7, etc, and if he entered the apartment without my permission to turn any of these items off, I would report him to the police.
I got confirmation that he would not pursue the extra month’s rent or security deposit within 20 minutes. 🙂
Edit: Just so everyone knows how the story ended, this happened around December of 2016 if I remember correctly, and I did get my security deposit back, etc. Didn’t pursue legal option because I didn’t think it would end up being worth the time and trouble, though I understand the sentiment.
Image credits: feeshta
#12 “Guests Cannot Spend The Night At My Property.”
Back when I was in college, I lived in a 2-bedroom apartment with a nice German student.
He was a nice guy, and he would often have his friends over. I didn’t mind it at all because I just moved to the are and needed new friends anyways.
Our landlady though, she was a nightmare. She was this small grumpy lady who would complain over the smallest things. She doesn’t live with us, but tries to control everything – the color of our sheets, the scent of candles that we light, where we put our stuffs, etc. Needless to say, we hated her.
We pay for our electricity and water, so it doesn’t matter if we have our friends / family stay over once in a while because whatever they consumer more of we will foot the bill ourselves anyways.
My sister visits me once a month for one night, just whenever she’s in town. One day, my landlord found out and got so mad she wanted to call the cops on us for not respecting the rule of “guests cannot spend the night” at her property.
The only reason she does this is because she feels if a guest would stay a night they would have to pay her the full rent for the month. THE MONTH.
But que malicious compliance…
When one of my German roommate’s friends was laid off from his main job, he was left homeless with only a grave shift part-time job. He asked if he could stay with us for about a week or two. I told him I didn’t mind but my landlady might mind. They told me not to worry.
And she was fuming when she found out (easily, the day after he decided to stay with us because she checks on us unannounced every other day, and has security cameras outside our door). She threatened to call the cops on us again, and all my roommate said was:
“But you told us explicitly no one can spend the NIGHT at your property. He is never here at night because he’s working, so there’s no rule broken here.”
She had nothing to say and left. We could hear her screaming from inside her car that was parked right outside.
Edit: I had to pull my copy of the contract out, and we didn’t have a specific clause on overnight guests, nor do we have a clause on visits. It did say at the end though that whatever isn’t explicitly stated, when questioned, will pivot on California state laws. So this was totally illegal. My roommate and I were just young, stupid international students who let her get away with it. But it definitely makes for a fun story though.
Image credits: justgnnathrow
Recently, Bored Panda spoke about landlords with redditor u/movingtocincinnati, who’d got in touch with the city inspector after they couldn’t get some major structural and foundational issues resolved. The inspector really let the property owner and manager have it. The internet user told us that it feels good to fight back and win without just gritting your teeth and dealing with the unfairness.
Some landlords see that their tenants are desperate and act accordingly. “This is so true in so many cases. Some tenants may be far away from home, have no support system, in a tight budget, need to stay in a certain school district, etc.,” the redditor said.
Right after talking to the city inspector, the redditor spoke to their lawyer. “At first, they were just telling us to move out. I asked a lawyer what we were entitled to and he explained it to us. I would say cover your bases and know where to complain,” they told Bored Panda. It just goes to show that justice really can win out in the end. Especially if the law, not just morality and common sense, is on your side.
#13 Landlord Wants A Professional To Install My Smoke Detectors? Ok
Whenever I move into a rental, I replace the smoke detector with a brand spanking new one, and usually add a second battery operated one as well. I leave them in the units after I leave, but for my piece of mind, and because I have grown up with fire safety drilled into my brain, I want to be sure they will work properly, and that they will not fail.
One landlord I had told me a certified fire protection company had to install the battery operated smoke detector I bought (wtf, it is 2 screws) AND that an electrician had to replace the other hardwired one. (I tried getting the maintenance guy to do it, but he wouldn’t.)
Finally my dad (who owned a fire protection company at the time) came and installed it, not before asking if that was the detector installed in all units. When they said yes, he brought down the wrath of the fire inspector. (The smoke detectors were over 40 years old and beyond life expectancy). After that, they never asked me to get a professional to do anything. (I wonder why…)
ETA: for clarification, an electrician is not required for an install since no new lines were being run, so no permits needed to be pulled. Also, a professional did not need to install it, since it was being installed in a residence. They are only required if it is in a commercial area.
I tried to explain, and show them the codes, but they would not listen. So my dad the professional installed it for me free of charge, and then reported them.
What happened was they got fined, and had to replace every smoke detector. Funny how when head office got the report and stuff, they bought all new detectors and had the maintenance guy install them since no permits are needed.
Image credits: tdlm40
#14 I Made A Point To Print Out A Dozen Copies Of The “Landlord Tenant Act” Of My City, Highlight All The Areas She Had Tried Scam Us Over
As I was moving out of my duplex, my landlord looked in the window – saw a mess of boxes, bags, papers and shipping supplies and told us we were “messy” and she was raising our rent $200-300 more a month. She said we could pay that or leave.
I told her we would be out by the end of the month.
Come the end of the month, we are out and even shampoo’d the carpets (didn’t have to).
The landlord dragged her feet and said she was keeping our deposit because of a laundry list of damage to the duplex.
I emailed her back with a slew of photos of said damage on the day we moved in and told her that if I didn’t see my security deposit, in full, I was taking her to court.
Got it 2 days later.
I made a point to print out a dozen copies of the “Landlord Tenant Act” of my city, highlight all the areas she had tried to screw us over (the last few years) – then I took those booklets, looked up her properties online – and gave a copy to each of her tenants.
Image credits: Disorderly_Chaos
#15 ‘give Us More Money Or We’ll Evict You’ Go Ahead
A few years ago my best friend and I rented a tiny 2 bedroom flat together. This place was kind of terrible; my friend’s room had a hole cut into the wall so the last foot of the bed would fit (this became a ‘mantlepiece’ in the next room), the kitchen was the size of a child’s playhouse kitchen and the upstairs neighbours spent all ours of the day and night screaming at each other or having loud sex. BUT, we were mostly happy because we were over living with 6+ other people. We paid £75 a week each + bills for this place, which was pretty standard for a 2 bed flat in our area.
Then 6 months into our 1yr contract the landlord sold the terraced house our flat (and 5 others) was a part of to a middle aged married couple who were first time landlords. They were the kind of people who thought they were smarter than everybody else and I got the impression they thought property management was going to be the easiest thing ever.
We had no problem throughout the sale process, we were assured nothing would change, we didn’t interact much with the landlord before anyway. Then 2 weeks after the sale we got an email from the couple saying that we owed them £20 each more a week. Basically, in our contract it stated our rent was £75 each a week about 10 times, but there was one typo where it said our rent was £95 each, so they said they could legally charge us £95. We laughed at this, but when it became clear they were serious we reached out to the letting agent and got them to put in writing that it was a typo, our rent was always £75, and they even gave us the original advert for the flat with the correct rent on it. We thought this would be the end of it. We were wrong.
The couple insisted on coming to our flat for an in person meeting. When they got there they said that they asked the old landlord about it and he was shocked that we’d not been paying enough for 6 months now and the rent was always £95. I didn’t buy this because they had nothing in writing, but I made the argument that OF COURSE he would say that because he wouldn’t want it to seem like he sold under false pretences, and if we’d been underpaying by a total of like £160 a month why had he never spoken to us about it?? They said that he was a busy guy with too many properties, then the husband spent ages condescendingly explaining mortgages to us. Then they declared that if we did not start paying them the higher rent, they would evict us and we had 24hrs to pay or 30days to get out and they left.
Honestly I think they saw two 22yr old girls and thought they could scare us into paying more money. What they didn’t know is that my friend and I are very pleasant until you piss us off and we become vindictive motherf*****s. We decided that night that if they wanted to evict us from this shit hole we were gonna make them do it properly and if they were so pedantic about contracts and rules we were going to stop letting ANYTHING slide.
The couple woke up the next morning with an email from our lawyer (my flatmates brother, a bored lawyer with time on his hands) requesting a formal eviction notice in writing and laying out a record of last night’s conversation. Thing was they didn’t actually have legal grounds to evict us because even if we went to court and a judge favoured their interpretation of the contract (we were advised this was unlikely) we still didn’t owe them more than a month’s rent, which would have been their only legal way of evicting us because we were otherwise great tenants. By 9:15am they were ringing us, but we ignored them and emailed that our lawyer had advised us to only communicate in writing.
We then sent an email informing them that the fancy new front door they just installed could not be unlocked from the inside without a key, which violated fire safety laws and unfortunately if this wasn’t rectified ASAP we would have to report it. We then sent texts that showed them repeatedly entering our flat with less than 24hrs notice, and did they know that this was illegal? Maybe we should talk to the other tenants because if they’re doing this to everyone then this could be quite a problem…
After about 3 days of this we received a very nice email saying that they don’t agree our rent was supposed to be £75 each a week, but they would graciously allow us to finish out our contract at that rate. By this point we’d found a flat triple the size for £80 each a week and wanted out of that hamster cage, so we offered to move if they signed mutual surrender forms. They eagarly agreed.
The best part was that they stubbornly tried to rent that flat at the higher rate, despite us telling them it was a terrible idea, and the flat was empty for over a year. And because they had agreed to end our contract early they got stuck paying the council tax, not me!
Image credits: toastisuseful
#16 Reason Required To Move Out
This happened a long time ago. I was young and had just come back from traveling in Europe. I wound up renting an apartment that I was not happy with, but it was in my home town, and was affordable. I was hoping to move out, and was able to do so once a better opportunity came along. The apartment was generally depressing, so I was looking forward to moving out.
I talked to the landlord and building manager about moving out, and to see if I could move out mid-month to save on some rent. They said that was not possible, and I would have to wait until the end of the month to move out. Fine not a big problem.
The building manager says I need to fill out some forms before I can move out, so I go to his office and do so. He was not a very friendly guy, but honestly I had not had any interactions with him prior to this, and had no hard feelings about him. One of the questions on the form was “Why are you moving out”. I left it blank. What business is it of anyone’s why I am moving out. The building manager handed me back the form and said “You have to fill this in”. I told him that I didn’t feel like giving a reason that I am moving out, and didn’t understand why it was mandatory. He insisted that I “HAD” to fill it in or he would not process my move out paperwork to end the month to month lease. I said OK fine, and filled in “I do not like the building manager”. He was shocked when he read it. I told him I didn’t want to put anything down, but rules are rules.
Image credits: FuriousLafond
#17 Landlord Demands Building Be Restored, So Air-Con And Fine Reception Is Ripped Out
A long time I was working at a well respected and expensive consulting business who were renting an office. They’d spent good money installing air-con and making the reception area pretty decent and other work like interior walls, shelving, high quality decor etc.
When the tenant company wanted to move out, the contract said they had to restore the building back as it was, but they asked the landlord to allow them to walk away and not return the building back to the more basic shell it had been, which would have meant leaving the aircon in and not having to remove the fancy reception area, (re)move walls, partitions, shelving, etc. This would have been a win-win for both parties.
For some reason the landlord said no, and despite attempts to persuade them, they were adamant. The tenant said OK, and ripped everything out including 10’s of 1000’s of aircon, leaving the landlord with an empty shell again which proved harder to rent out and attracted lower rent. The building was empty for quite a while.
About four years later I worked there when another company had leased it. The building was horribly hot in summer because of the lack of air con, and the reception looked cheap and nasty, nowhere near as nice as it had been. The offices were carpeted but obviously the cheapest stuff was fitted.
I told my new employer that the building had been much nicer and with aircon and they were stunned that the stupid land lord had wasted the opportunity!
Image credits: speculatrix
#18 You Illegally Remove A Bike Rack In Front Of My Home/Business, Just Wait
I live in the same building that I work in. I manage a sandwich shop in a heavily urban area. The landlord of the building is an angry old man, who we all love, but can be crotchety at times. He took upon himself to remove the bike rack in front of my building, illegally. His thinking was it would cut down on people leaning on it to smoke cigarettes. So I emailed the department of transportation, stating that if they continue to be removed, we’ll potentially miss out on business from cyclist, on the theory that if they have no place to securely lock up their bikes. My landlord is on vacation, when he comes back on Wednesday, there will be a brand new 20 foot bike rack installed directly in front of the building, courtesy of the city.
Image credits: fatheraabed
#19 My Own Special Passive Aggressive Revenge On Our Landlord
My own special passive aggressive revenge on our landlord after everything he put us through… was depositing our rotten Halloween pumpkins in the mulch of the beautiful tree he cut down… I’m gonna let him deal with the giant pumpkin patch in the front yard
Image credits: _FizzeePop_
#20 Make Him Repaint For No Reason? You’ll Love The Result
My friend had a long-term lease on a home (5 years) which stipulated that he has to repaint every room the day he moved out. So he found popular neutral paint colors, hired a handyman, and had the place freshly painted the day before his moving truck showed up.
Well, his landlord showed up waving their contract, yelling. The wording said the DAY he moved out, not the day BEFORE. The landlord was convinced that the movers would scuff up the walls. He wanted the house left pristine. He really was ready to take the case to court.
My friend was crushed. Between painting, moving, and the deposit on his new place, he had no money to repaint or to go to court.
I was furious with this landlord. I went to the house and saw the paint job was fine, not scuffed.
My friend and I met that night at the old house. Per his contract, we repainted every wall. SOLID BLACK. We even did some ceilings. (Would’ve done them all if we had time.)
I don’t know if it’s just me; I have a fascination with hidden images. I took clear glow in the dark paint and illustrated demons in the closet walls and in shadowy corners. (They were all pretty shadowy by the time we left.)
We left a copy of the contract for the landlord. Walls freshly painted the day he left. He never specified the color. We also had before and after photos printed out.
EDIT: This was over ten years ago, and there was no fallout. The same letter-of-the-law mentality that would’ve allowed the landlord to take the renter to court also allowed us to get away with this. The glow in the dark paint was fun, but didn’t work very well- so the pictures are just a really ugly black apartment.
TL;DR: landlord made my friend repaint a day after he painted because of some specifics in the contract. We painted the house black with hidden glowing demons.
Image credits: RandomRavenclaw87
#21 Tenant Asking Landlord (Me) To “Be More Professional”
I am a small-time Landlord, with just 4 tenants. Earlier this year, I had two sisters that didn’t respond to my requests to add of the gal’s husband to the lease, though he was living with them. Not a BIG deal… but did I mention the pit bull they also brought home, without permission? I DO allow pets, and had previously approved their other dog. I asked nicely in person and by email in the months leading up to the malicious compliance…
They also did not respond when I asked if they were happy there, and wanted to renew their lease for the following year. I asked again… Then I emailed them notice that I would start showing the unit 2 days later.
I try to be a nice Landlord… I do. They had a newborn, as well, so I scheduled all of the showings within a 2 hour window on the same night so I could be in their space as little as possible. Also, because they had not responded, and it was now serious “crunch time” for getting another tenant and my spouse worked all the following two weeks during evening showing hours, I had the delightful inconvenience of bringing my 2 and 6 year old children with me to the showings. Because I’m not a corporation – I’m a small-time family Landlord with kids.
Try to imagine how difficult it is to conduct business meetings with 2 kids, right? Then imagine staggering showings every fifteen minutes, with prospective tenants who are also bringing their own kids. Just to further clutter your imagination, this is an 800 square foot 2 bedroom apartment with a cozy entryway. So I arrive with my two kids, to find that my tenants are still at home, along with the husband, the newborn and the other sister’s boyfriend. So that’s 7 people in a small kitchen already. Then the first prospective tenants start arriving. Husbands, wives, with kids, and some showing up early so there’s two sets of them. That’s 14 people in a small kitchen…
And I’m a mom. I have magical powers. So I’m holding my toddler, my daughter is safely under the dining table coloring, and I’m chatting with the prospective tenants and directing traffic while my actual tenants prepare to depart. If you didn’t know this already, it’s common practice in the US to leave the premises during real estate or apartment showings. This was their first apartment, so I actually emailed them ahead of time to let them know what is generally expected at showings (e.g. a relatively tidy apartment, and that they can leave, for their own convenience).
They do eventually leave, after the boyfriend tells a prospective tenant that he, in fact, ALSO lives there. And I carry on with an exhausting scheduling of showings. And have my new tenants all picked out and lease signed by the next day. Awesome, right?
The next night, I get a voicemail from the husband (who is NOT my tenant). I saved it, and just listed to it again, because it still gives me that same delightful shiver of malicious compliance.. In his voicemail, he told me how awful it was that MY children touched HIS infant’s things (they didn’t, because I keep my kids entertained with magical mommy toys, but prospective tenants also brought children), and how they had to sterilize everything to keep their infant from being sick, and how inconvenient it was to have showings with only 2 days notice, and how very unprofessional I was to bring my children, and asked if I could just be more professional in the future.
You can hear it, can’t you? The deep shiver of malicious compliance vibrating through my offended being.
The next morning, I started issuing professional Lease Violation Notices. One for the extra residents of the unit (hubby and boyfriend). One for the extra dog. And a few additional ones for building concerns I noted during the showings.
They ignored the violation notice, which I sent by certified mail and, thoughtfully, also by email. I decided to be even more professional 30 days later, and issue a 5-day notice to vacate. And I called their mom, who is their emergency
Image credits: nygibs
#22 “Stop Complaining About Your Neighbors!” Okay. Sure
Now, that story is VERY recent, and the “told you so” effect is never as sweet as this was.
I have moved in an apartment with a roommate last summer. When we first came in, the biggest part of the sale was the fact that the apartment was freshly renovated, and soundproof (This one is important, and you’ll see why), so when we got in, my roommate immediately fell in love with it, and I was too. When we moved in, we were very careful not to bother anyone, as we wanted to quickly have a good relationship with our neighbours (“Oh, did you see the new neighbours? They only moved during the day, they don’t make sound during the night, what nice people!” kind of deal) and we can safely say it worked.
What we did not know, however, is that we were only three renters when we first came in; us on the floor, another family upstairs on the opposite side, and another one on the 3rd floor, with one empty apartment between us. Turns out the ‘soundproof’ statement was accurate, but only in regards to the inside-to-outside situation. When our upstairs neighbours moved in, it was a goddamn nightmare. Sound from 5am to past midnight, five days in a row, dropping stuff, speaking loudly, yelling or walking in their apartment with shoes on.
Out of frustration on the fifth day, I walk upstairs and meet my neighbour, at midnight. I ask them to cease their activities for the night. I have work in the morning, and I cannot be kept up all night. I understand they were freshly moved in, and they might have had a tight schedule, but midnight was too late to be moving stuff.
He didn’t reply and closed the door on me. I go downstairs, and the sound starts over again.
I notify my landlord, and he tells me he’ll handle it, and apologized for the situation, explaining to me my neighbour was just moving and that he probably didn’t understand what I was saying because of language barrier.
The neighbours were extremely loud. I know a lot of Karen will use that as an excuse to shower their neighbours with hate, but when I say loud, I mean it. There was no stop to their loud noises, it seemed like they couldn’t be bothered to hold something without dropping it, or jumping up and down on the floor, or purposefully banging the bed frame against the wall when having sex.
I recorded the event, and even install microphones in my home jacked to my computer, activating and recording every time there is strong vibration in the house. Over 98 events on monday February 14th. I was livid. I send that to the landlord and explained this cannot continue. First the apartment was poorly soundproofed, which meant we were hearing every damn sound at all time. Second, we had notified the neighbours about the situation, and they have ignored it. I have notified the landlord to awaken them to our situation.
I report the issues several time, and even advise my landlord that there were very heavy sounding thuds coming from upstairs, which worried me. He answered with “Stop complaining about your neighbours, already! I have other things to do!”
I have answered. “Understood, sir. Please be advised this will be my last communication and action to help you in that regard.”
You know when I said I head loud bangs? Turns out our upstairs neighbour was doing bench-press lifting in his living room, and the heavy thuds I kept hearing was him dropping his weights on the ground. I had warned my roommate about removing anything she didn’t want broken from the living room, and lo and behold; four days later, the first crack appeared. Then another. The floor was giving up. I moved the couch out of the way, and moved the TV and consoles into the bedroom. Fast forward to three days ago; after another series of loud bangs, I head a loud crack, followed by a “OH FUCK!”, followed by very loud noises.
I went to the living room, to see my neighbour on the ground, with several actually gruesome injuries due to the fact he just went through the floor and brought his bench and weight rack with him. I called an ambulance, and the police. The police asked me if I reported the issue with my landlord, which I could confirm, due to my communications being made via email. I sent everything, and I am now, of course, filing to break my lease due to uninhabitable dwelling.
The landlord came in yesterday, and just proceeded to explode. Told me I should have made him aware that my neighbour was doing dangerous things, to which I answered I had notified him about the very loud sounds and he never investigated, and that he also ordered me to stop complaining about my neighbours. It was not my responsibility to go out of my way to protect his assets if he is unwilling to cooperate with me.
My neighbours, roommate and I are now residing in a hotel until we can find a new place to live. We are now also looking towards adding a bit more salt to the injury by maybe filing for criminal negligence against both our landlord and the neighbour, the first because the apartment was apparently having some flaws and the latter for endangering us (had I not caught up on what caused the sound earlier, me or, god forbid, my roommate could have been under that.)
Anyway, it was a fun week. And I do enjoy the accommodations of my hotel. Never went to a four-star spa-included hotel before. Turns out the chocolate on the pillow is a lie and I am very disappointed about that.
TL;DR: My neighbour was a noisy bastard that went through the floor with his weightlifting equipment, and my landlord ignored me when I complained about the noise.
Edit: As I have advised to a few commentators, I followed up with my roommate, and she did not take pictures of the event. She got a bit mad I asked considering what just happened, and questioned my priorities. I then explained that our reddit story got a lot of attention and some people in the comments requested some visual proof. I will spare you her answer.
I will just add that it’s okay not to believe the story based on my word alone. If people actually didn’t question it, I would be worried. When I posted this story, my only intent was to share my experience and I though “huh, malicious compliance, neat”. If there was a “horrible landlord” “bad neighbour” reddit I would have found prior to submitting this story, probably would have went there instead.
I will also add that I am not an expert or an engineer. How and why something like weights and the like would cause part of the floor to collapse, I cannot say. Was there a structural damage prior? Was there water damage that never was addressed, just covered-up? Was the structure just not as sound as I believed it was when I got in? I cannot say. I understand some of you might have worked in construction and never have experienced such an event, or have actual reasons to suspect a lie due to personal and professional experience. Once again, you can, and should, question anything on the internet. I just hope you also apply that kind of skepticism (and I mean wanting proof or the opinion of an actual expert prior to making a decision) to more than just Reddit posts.
For those who made us laugh and those who have spoken to us, who have been encouraging and constructive, people who actually gave us advice, I thank you very much. It was very nice of everyone, and I wish you the best.
My brother has agreed to take the case and look at the options. We are not feeling very vindictive and our insurance are going to cover most of the costs, so we might file for negligence. I’m not a lawyer myself, I don’t know the terms in english, but basically; the landlord should have had his building inspected before renting, which was apparently not done.
Landlord has apparently calmed down after the events and has apologized for everything. He has scheduled a visit from an inspector to check the integrity of the apartment and the cause of the damage that would have allowed a human and exercise equipment to go through the floor and ceiling.
In exchange for not pressing charges, he has agreed to reimburse all the money we have invested into the rent, our stay at the hotel and a little extra as an apology, and the guarantee to either repair the apartment and soundproof it properly or, if it is not an option to go back, he will relocate us onto another of his building (which are a lot better than what we had), reduce our rent quite significantly for as long as we stay (with papers to back his offer up) and a full year of free rent.
This is actually quite generous, in the current rent market. I’m leaving the final say to roommate. On my end; I was not injured, she was not, and this could have been just a freak accident. Yes, the landlord is a bit of an ass, but let’s be honest, we all had worse, landlord wise. Plus, even if we take him up on his offers, the upstairs neighbour might be looking for some severe reparation (he DID get injured, after all).
But we would be happy to hear about your opinion; what would you say? Take this further or just take the refund, plus the full year, rent-free year and then low rent for the years to come?
LAST UPDATE: (04/09/2022)
After a long time deciding what to do, we have opted to take the landlord’s offer. However, we made it clear that we could not live under the same people if the soundproofing was not at the very least improved. We went to my brother’s office and met with a colleague of his who multiple documents for us to sign. One of them for the promise of low rent (Landlord wanted to offer 250$ off the market price, we negotiated it up to 300$) to be applied on all our leases. We have also agreed to the reimbursement of six months of rent, which will cover us for the next year and then some, plus the free year. We received about 5000$ each, and the landlord has agreed to cover all the costs of the hotel we and our parent had to pay.
We might be moving back into our apartment by the end of the month. It’s a bit disappointing, as we kind of wanted to try another place, but from what I understand, there is a very good chance our neighbours are not moving back on their end, so it might just be back to the ideal scenario. There will be very heavy renovation done and a thorough inspection of the structure before we move back in.
Image credits: TheAngryArcanist
#23 When Trying To Get Your Deposit Back From Your Landlord
Landlord makes living conditions s****y so he offers me an opportunity to move out. I convince two others to move out as well. He ghosts me when I ask for my deposit so I take him to court. I win $650 so he appeals the court’s decision. In the appeal, my award is tripled to $1800. He refuses to pay up so I get the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to go to his bank, freeze his account, and seize his money.
Image credits: cyberchief
#24 Nothing Beats Scummy Landlords During Covid Shutdown
I hated my old apartment, needed to desperately get out and right when I was looking for rentals last year, coronavirus hit and everyone shut down. With less than a week on my lease, I had to jump at the first available home. Didn’t even get to inspect it.I ended up with equally horrible property managers.
I didn’t have a key on day one, had to break in to move in, they didn’t tell me about the German roach infestation (it’s okay, I used to do pest control so I managed) and so forth.Right when I lost power during Christmas (also okay, I live in the south, I didn’t get too cold) I tracked down the original property owner and asked her if I could get out of the contract and just pay her directly. We investigated many options and the best way to get out of the contract was to just pay for the last remaining months and write a 30 day notice.
They call me and tell me that I have to write them a notice, signed and sent and received on the exact date 30 days from the leases end to be accepted or I will lose my $1,000 security deposit. They really stressed it had to be mailed and definitely on time or they won’t be able to accept it.
Cue my pettiness.
I wrote a template letter, with a generic “this is a [number of days till lease end]- day notice …. I’m writing to terminate my contract and to receive my security deposit as stated…”.I sent one out on my 103 day notice. Then another one on 89 day notice. Then another one on 73 day notice and so forth, basically whenever I remembered about it, I would change the date around, print it, sign it and then mail it.
They call me saying this is very unnecessary and that they got my message loud and clear. But they sounded pretty rude about it so I sent some more.
I then received some passive aggressive emails that they will honor the contract and leave me the $1,000 deposit as I have sent them a 30 day notice. But they can be tricky and as I haven’t technically sent them an exact “30 days” notice, I have some more letters to send. Plus again, they sounded pretty rude over e-mail.
Cue the final 15 day countdown till my 30 day notice letter. I upped the ante. I now have one letter per day to send and I have changed the fonts on each letter ranging from Papyrus to Jokerman to Comic Sans. My favorite one is the one where it’s all bright yellow and barely legible. It jsut hurts looking at. Oh and better yet, I got the last batch sent as certified mail so I get an email that they received it AND that they had to sign it.
On my 34th day notice letter (now probably the 20th letter I’ve mailed), I received my cashiers check back. No message or anything.Fortunately I have four more letters to send. The best $43 on stamps I’ve ever paid.
TL:DR I spam the lease office with 30 day notices till they gave up on holding to my security deposit
Image credits: ccomplishedWardrobe
#25 Electric Bill Still In Our Name After We Move Out? I’ll Make Sure We’re Not Charged A Cent
We moved out of an apartment 2 months early (school housing contracts, blegh). Since we couldn’t get anyone to move in for only two months, we were on the hook for the 2 months of rent which was a fortune to poor college students. We were told by the on-site manager (also a poor college student being paid in free rent) that we’d be responsible for the electricity bills in the apartment over the next two months despite already doing our official move-out. No, they can’t be changed back to the landlord’s name.
Fine. I’ll pay the electric bills, but I’ll make sure they’re zero. So when we left I turned off all the breakers.
I still had the keys because we were supposed to mail them back to the property owner (at our expense) since I guess he lives far away and only comes in to town at the beginning and end of each semester. A few days later we realized we had forgotten some items in the bathroom, and since the apartment was on my way to school I decided to swing by and grab them before mailing the keys back. When I walked in, I was startled to find someone inside. It was the property owner with a box of tools looking very dirty.
Apparently the hallway lights weren’t working (and in violation of building safety codes) and he couldn’t figure out why. The security system also seemed to be non-functional. It looked like something had tripped all the breakers, he said.
I said yeah, that something was me since the electric bill was still in our name. He pointed out that not powering the hallway light was a safety concern, and also that having the power off would ruin the refrigerator. I pointed out that I couldn’t care less about the safety of an apartment I didn’t live in, I already had a signed move-out document saying all the appliances were in good shape, and also that him being there was technically a landlord violation since we were still paying rent and he hadn’t given us notice that he’d be entering the apartment.
We looked at each other for a few seconds. I was wondering if I was technically trespassing or not since I had already signed move-out documents. He was probably thinking about how much time he had wasted for something like 13 cents worth of electricity, and how he couldn’t really stop me from simply dropping by any day after school to turn the breakers off again. Finally he said he’d take the electric bill out of our name.
I grabbed my loofah, left, and didn’t hear anything about it ever again. Most importantly, I never paid another cent (except, of course, the two months of rent, but small victories!).
TLDR: Was being charged for the electricity in an apartment I no longer lived in so I shut off the power, putting the landlord in violation of safety regulations and making him drive in from out of town to investigate it.
This happened over a decade ago and I’m now a homeowner several states away. I’m not going to pursue any legal action. I’ve been relatively successful in life, and my time is worth more than I’d ever get out of it.
I was surprised that the outside hallway light, which was a public area, was affected by the breaker inside the apartment. It definitely sounds like that’s illegal or at least against standard wiring practices.
I did my final walk-through and sign off with the on-site manager, not the property owner. I’d actually never met the property owner before.
We were moving to a newer, much nicer apartment on a long-term lease where we didn’t pay for electricity. We actually never ended up having an electric bill in that state in our name again.
I’m not actually sure if the electric bill was in our name, or if they were just going to deduct any electric charges from our deposit, or some third option I don’t remember. I just remember I was going to be charged for electricity after we moved out and I thought it was stupid.
There were multiple items left in the bathroom, including a towel that was part of a matching set. I just remember the loofah most distinctly, and it made for a great sentence.
Yes, I could have just propped the door to the fridge and freezer open to prevent mold, but I didn’t think of that. I’m also not sure what I would have propped them open WITH, since the apartment was completely empty.
Image credits: Erik_Withacee
#26 Hoa Won’t Let Us Fly Our Modest Pride Flag, So We Just Follow The Rules
Due to some neighbors flying BLM flags, Thin blue line flags, and other opinion flags, our HOA decided last month that we’re only allowed to fly the USA flag, and nothing else. They day after the decision, we receive an email that someone reported our Pride flag (that we had in our house since 2016), and that we needed to take it down. We complied and removed the flag. Looking through our new rules, we noticed that removable lights are permitted without restriction so… we bought 6 colored flood lights, and we washed our house in pride colors. A little less subtle than our simple flag. A lot more fun for anyone complaining about the flag itself and what it represents.
*edit to point out that the flag was displayed on the front porch, not inside the house. It was a typo when I wrote “we had in our house…”)
*SECOND EDIT: JUST CLARIFYING THAT I DON’T HATE MY HOA, I DON’T THINK THEY CHANGE THE FLAG RULE TO ATTACK ME PERSONALLY, AND THAT I DECIDED TO DO THIS TO SHOW MY INDIVIDUALITY WHILE STILL FOLLOWING THE RULES.
Image credits: memon17
#27 You Like Building Codes? I Love Building Codes!
My lease is ending soon and my landlord has been showing my apartment to anyone with a pulse, non-stop, for months. During a couple of these showings, my bedroom door was locked. The landlord got mad about this and told me he was coming to remove my bedroom door handle and replace it with a handle with no lock. He said city fire codes do not allow locks on interior doors and he wanted everything up to code for the new tenants.
I responded that getting everything up to code was a great idea! I offered to schedule an inspection from the city so they could get all their maintenance done at once and really be sure things were ready for the new tenants. Best to do the whole building, I think I saw signs of rodents in the basement…
Suddenly building codes weren’t so important. My bedroom door is now locked during all showings.
edit: Guys look, we’re famous!
A huge thank you to Newsweek for giving me something perfect to tape to the apartment door before showings!
Thanks to everyone here for all your ideas and words of support!
Image credits: conandy
#28 Read My Lease, You Say?
Apologies if there are any formatting issues since I’m writing this on mobile.
Anyway, this grudge has been simmering for almost a year now and has only just come to fruition. It began with my nextdoor neighbor leaving me a passive aggressive note for having trash outside my door while I was cleaning my apartment. Two important points here:
I was deep cleaning because the landlord sent a note saying the adjoining apartment (my neighbor’s) had roaches. I needed to clean so the exterminator could see if my apartment was infested as well.
The trash was by my door for 30 minutes at most. I was trying to save a trip to the dumpster and doing a final sweep of the apartment before heading down.
Now, prior to this incident, this neighbor had already pissed me off by constantly blaring their loud music to the point where my apartment walls vibrated. Fortunately for them, I prefer to avoid confrontation so I never called them out on it. After the passive aggressive note calling me a pig though, all bets were off. She wrote that I should “read my lease” since I left my “nasty trash” everywhere. Ok bitch, it’s on.
I read my lease like I was snorting coke off it. Every time they played their music loud, I filed a noise complaint. When I got a whiff of pot coming from their apartment, I filed another complaint. The lease says tenants must comply with the state’s drug laws or risk eviction so, hey, another win for me. Finally, they brought a dog into the apartment despite the no pet policy’s exception only being for service animals. This was obviously not a service dog since it howled day and night betraying no semblance of training. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who complained after that final stunt since my landlord said the noisy dog problem was being taken care of through litigation and my next door neighbor’s lease would not be renewed. Guess she should have read it. 🙂
Image credits: hrghprgh
#29 Awful Landlord Wanted His Apartment Painted At The End Of The Lease
Sorry for any typos, English is not my native language.
This actually happened a few years to my mom’s neighbor. I talked to her this Friday and was amazed how people can be assholes.
A few years ago she and her husband wanted to rent an apartment, as a newlyweds and somehow new in the country, they didn’t have lots of money so they ended up renting at a s****y town. The landlord wasn’t very nice to begin with, but the price was reasonable and the place looked OK.
After negotiating about the price and terms they signed a contract with him. They’re good independent people so they thought they wouldn’t need to be in contact with him.
Time has come to move in, they tried to meet him so he’ll give them the keys, but he avoided them for a few days, until one day he told them that the keys are in the mailbox.
They got in and they were in shock. The a*****e left them with an EMPTY apartment. And by empty I mean. No lights/lamps, he took out the air-conditioners, he even took out the power outlets and switches. Left on tap in the kitchen. They spent huge sums of money just to be able to live there.
Of course he could hardly be reached. If there was something wrong with the place infrastructure he didn’t repair it or stalling them for long periods of time so they will give up and pay for the repairs themselves.
Nearing the end of the lease, the couple decided to give the man a taste of his own medicine. They met him so he can examine the place before legally releasing them from the contract and give them back their collaterals. Everything was ok, the place was painted and they took everything that the installed, it was fine by him. They told him that the contract is to be voided tomorrow they will spend the night at the apartment and leave the keys in the mailbox. He said ok and left.
They spent whole night repainting his apartment. But this time in black, they literally painted every inch of the place black. By the time they finished the place looked like a bat cave. The contract said that the apartment should be given back painted. But it didn’t say what color it should be. Of course he called the next day, and of course they didn’t answer.
Landlord was an asshole by stripping the place completely and avoided the tenants all year, ends up with a black painted apartment that will probably need weeks to repaint.
Image credits: avtothemu
#30 Landlord Insists On Charging Me A $100 Late Fee? Okay, I’ll Hold My Rent Payment As Long As Possible Then
It looks like my bank returned my rent payment to me that I submitted to my landlord last Friday. I called the leasing office about this and it turns out this hasn’t appeared in their system yet; it shows I have a zero balance.
So, I offered to bring in a money order immediately after our call so they could still receive their payment in anticipation of the ACH Return. Therefore they still receive the funds today either case.
However, they told me to include an extra $100, since the system will classify the payment as late.
Nope. Nevermind. If you’re deciding to charge me a $100 late fee, I’m taking full advantage of it being “late” and will no longer be coming in to pay today. I told them that. They can expect their payment on the “pay by” date of the eviction notice they file this month.
EDIT: State law requires a seven day notice before an eviction is filed. Earlier, I meant waiting until the last day of this notice. Not the eviction. My intention is to pay before the eviction notice for the sake of my rental history.
UPDATE: My bank gave me a courtesy credit of $130 for their system error, and then my landlord ended up waiving the $100 late fee! Free $100! Rent is now paid.
Image credits: taylrbrwr
#31 Sorry, That’s Not My Driveway. You’ve Been Very Clear
Hey all! Long time lurker, first time poster. I love all of these stories and have been wracking my brain trying to remember something I could post here – and I think I’ve finally got one!
I’ll post a TL;DR at the end as well – this will be long because I’m wordy and have no self-control.
A few years ago, my ex and I rented a one-bedroom house on a dead-end street in the downtown area of the city I grew up in. We had three cats and I lived close enough to my job that I could walk to work every day. The city had (and has) a poor reputation, particularly with regards to heroin overdoses, but none of that affected us.
The landlord who owned my home had for some reason actually built two homes on the same property – mine, a small one-bedroom home, sat maybe six feet from the street, and my back neighbor’s home, a two-bedroom, was kitty-cornered behind mine; there was a long shared driveway on the left side of my house that ended at her front door. The number for the neighbor’s house was 11 1/2, and mine was 13.
From the beginning, we had issues with this neighbor whom I hearby dub BN for B***h Neighbor – her entire life would fit in the r/entitledb***h thread. She would frequently invite herself over to our house for dinner or drinks, she would have people coming and going loudly at all hours of the night, and frequently had the police at her home to kick out various boyfriends. By the time we moved out of that house, she had had two people actually overdose and die in her home and had somehow caused an electrical fire in the house that had cost about $35k to repair.
Keep in mind that this house was maybe fifty feet away from mine, and neither home had particularly thick walls.
Mostly, we ignored BN. We didn’t spend time with her, we didn’t answer the door when she knocked, and we just left her alone – the most we interacted was when I would give her misdelivered mail. We wanted nothing to do with her and the hurricane of chaos that was her life. Of course, BN didn’t like this- she wanted to be in control of everything on the whole street.
The driveway that lead up to her front door was large enough to fit four cars – a fairly big deal in an area with mostly on-street parking. But BN insisted to us when we first moved in that we were NOT allowed to park in this driveway – the driveway was only for her and her guests/children/boyfriend of the week. She said many times that she WOULD NOT allow anyone to block her car in at any time.
This driveway was directly on the side of my house: my desk was in our converted dining room and was right next to the driveway. Every morning there was a car parked directly next to these windows, and every morning that car started up (crazy loud, because it was a real piece of shit car) at about 6am, right around the time I was sitting down at my desk with coffee. Luckily, I’m a morning person: if I had been asleep during this time, I would’ve been pissed.
I occasionally had family and friends come by, and would warn them to not park in the driveway, but a few times they did. My sister was moving at one point and needed to store some things in my basement, but the only entrance was outside on the back of the house – so she pulled up into the driveway and started unloading boxes. BN flew out of her house and flipped out. But my sister has her own anger issues and handled the crazy situation all on her own. BN did this to two of my friends, my brother, and my mother on separate occasions – she started to flip out on my grandfather once until she saw my mother come up from the trunk of the car with his wheelchair. BN went back into her own house this time.
My ex and I didn’t want to deal with her. We had our own problems and certainly didn’t want to get involved in hers. Sure, it means that we couldn’t use the side door of our house that let out onto this driveway unless we had two hours to get stuck talking to her, but we decided to just adapt. We had some lawn on the other side of our house th
#32 Housemate Terminated The Lease Without Asking, So I Moved Out Immediately With The Fridge
This happened some years ago, I was reminded of it by reading stories on here.
I’d just moved to Sydney, and had been living in a sharehouse for a few months, that I found though a flat-share website. We got on ok, would go out to parties together etc. Most of the stuff in the house was theirs, I only brought my fridge, and they had just thrown theirs out, considering it replaced.
I’m about to get the week’s groceries and ask my housemate if she wants anything, no she’s good. I get lots of food to cook for the week and come home, to find her standing awkwardly with her boyfriend. She had “weird news.” They had decided to move out together! How exciting! Ok, so I guess that means I take over the lease? Nope, they considered themselves the last in a long line of friends who’d leased the house, and being the last to go, thought it fitting to terminate the lease. They had notified the landlord prior to speaking to any of us. They figured I could stay with my sister, jack was only in the country another month, and Sarah was hardly here anyway.
Ok so I didn’t have a leg to stand on, legally, I wasn’t signed on the lease, so I had 3 weeks to vacate. Househunting is like a part time job, and I already had a full time job. No time to cook all that food I guess. Would have been good to know before the shop.
I got lucky and found a house just down the road on the same day. Nice people, good spot, and close enough that I could move my things in by hand, immediately if I like! I slept in my new house that night, but I always like to think you haven’t really moved in until your fridge is in, and don’t worry I had that sorted too.
The others in the house found new places quickly too, leaving the happy couple home alone.
I came back to pick up a couple of loose ends 3 weeks later and got to see their fridge workaround in all its slumly glory. An Esky full of food floating in melted ice. The revenge was petty and small, proportionate to their actions.
Image credits: get_in_the_tent
#33 Dumb Landlord Refuses To Fix A Leak… It Destroys Other Suites Regular
I wouldn’t say our landlord is malicious, just dumb and lazy. I live in a condo tower where each unit is privately owned, and I rent from the owner of one suite.
Recently, my bathtub faucet developed a small leak. I emailed my landlord about it, and he ignored it. A couple of days later, it had gotten bigger, so I emailed again. No reply. 3rd time, now it’s a constantly running stream of hot water. I texted, and he said he isn’t going to fix it.
Awwrighty, buster, have it your way.
So, I let it fester, and it keeps getting worse and worse.
Two weeks in, I get an urgent call from the condo board that they need emergency access to my suite because a leak from my suite is coming into the floor below and damaging several areas. Of course, I say “yes ?,” and they dispatch a plumber for the leak and numerous contractors to repair the rooms below that have been damaged.
Eventually, my landlord gets the bill ($8,000) from the condo board for the repairs and finally emails me in a tantrum asking what this bill is for… So I reply forwarding him the original emails and text saying he was not going to fix it.
I never heard back.
(Half malicious compliance, half regular revenge?)
Image credits: CatheterZetaJones
#34 Ex-Landlord Says He’ll “See Me In Court.” I Take Him To Court Instead And Win
Tldr; basically the title.
Brief backstory: A couple years ago, I was in an apartment with my friend and younger sister. My sister was violent towards my friend and I, and I ended up having to get a restraining order against her. She brought in a dog without permission, which caused some damage to the unit. I informed my landlord of the incidences of violence and the damage and sent him pictures. He basically told me to deal with it myself, which I did by getting the protective order. After this, my roommate questioned the legality of holding us responsible for her portion of rent (I told her it was, but she asked our landlord for a copy of the lease to show her uncle anyway, which admittedly was pretty stupid). Up until this point, our landlord had not asked us to leave due to my sister’s actions, but he did after the lease was brought into it. We were out by the date he specified on the notice to quit (the first step in the eviction process before the eviction actually occurs). My roommate was there until midnight making sure the place was spotless.
We moved to an apartment across the street. Two weeks had passed since he was informed that we had vacated the unit, and we had not gotten anything regarding our security deposit. In our state, a landlord is required by law to either return the remainder of a security deposit within two weeks, or provide a letter itemizing what the deposit was used for. If they don’t, the tenant is owed the entire deposit. If the withholding is willful, the tenant is owed double the original deposit. The landlord had actually told me that he would be going on vacation immediately after we vacated, so I returned our keys to him and waited to see if he would send anything. He never did. After consulting with a tenant’s rights group to be sure I was in the right, I sent a pre-formatted letter 16 days after we vacated, which stated the specific laws regarding security deposits, and gave him our current address to send either the deposit or receipt to.
The day after I sent this letter, I see him across the street, frantically running into the apartment for the first time since we moved out. I receive a text from him saying that he would return what’s left of our deposit “if he could get the apartment rented by the first of next month.” I respond by telling him that, as the letter I sent explained, he forfeits the right to keep any of the deposit after the two weeks is up. He responded saying that he would “see us in court” and that we were “nightmare tenants,” and that “this will be fun.” He said he would also be taking us to court for the costs to re-list and rent the apartment, which he claimed exceeded the amount of our deposit.
After about a month or two of hearing nothing back, we decided to say “f**k it” and file a small claims suit against him, as he clearly wasn’t going to follow through on his threats. As the person who had almost all communication with him, I was the plaintiff in the case. He brought a “letter” that was dated for the day he texted me, where he arbitrarily wrote in what he used the deposit on, and claimed he sent us the letter. That obviously didn’t add up (which I thoroughly explained to the judge), as he had texted me that day saying that we would get some of the deposit returned, and that he had no proof that he actually sent that letter. He clearly just wrote it and printed it out for the court hearing. During the court hearing he also said a lot of false and victim-blaming shit, such as implying that I participated in the violence that occurred, saying we caused damages that were definitely there when we moved in, and just attacking my character in general.
The judge ruled that the withholding of the security deposit was willful and awarded us double the deposit. But of course that wasn’t the end of it, and a few days before his deadline to pay us the money, he sends me a text just “letting me know that the decision has been appealed.” I didn’t answer and showed up
Image credits: bripotato
#35 During My Junior Year In College I Lived In An Apartment Complex Where The Landlords Didn’t Give Any Prior Notice Before Showings
As the title states, during my junior year in college I lived in an apartment complex where the landlords didn’t give any prior notice before showings. What they would do is give you a card with all the days and times there could be showings with most of them circled. They always argued this was enough of a notice. I realize it’s illegal, but knew that I’d probably have to go to court to deal with it that way. Another tenant had tried to discuss this with the landlords who told him he was “just a college student and they were a complany. They’d just say they gave notices and they would win.” They also made a snide comment about my partner and I sleeping when they came unannounced one morning.
I started leaving any sex toys or supplies I had out in plain view all over the apartment whenever I left. Vibrators, condoms, a pair of handcuffs… just as uncomfortable as I could make it look. Kept it up for about two weeks. Then, one day, I got a phone call from the landlord. She was informing me of a showing the next day between 2:30 and 3. From then on, I got regular notices for showings.
Image credits: neptunewasp
#36 “The Contract Says You Have To Paint The Walls Before Leaving”
My parents had a loud argument about public spaces in a residential meeting with their landlord. He lived in and owned five apartments in that building.
The landlord later made some excuse to terminate the contract, and made a Power-Play to make my parents repaint the apartment before leaving.
My dad got pissed off and my mom got clever, so she thought “the contract doesn’t say which color” and the entire apartment was painted pitch black, ceilings and all.
I remember sitting there as a kid not really understanding what was going on, but I have to say it was really cool to be there with just one light on that final night as we were clearing out.
I don’t know much about the fallout, but that day they showed my brother and me how to properly give a one final “f**k you” to a person.
Edit: Hey, thanks for the gold and the other fantastic gifts. Told my mom about the gold – she didn’t get it but “as long as I’m happy she’s happy.”
Image credits: GlobalWarmer12
#37 You Want To Kick Me Out Of Our House When You Can’t Pay Rent? …ok!
I lived with an entitled roommate and her brother for a year. Well, almost a year, before I was kicked out.
Let me set this up a bit. She’s disabled with a chronic auto-immune disease. She’s on disability and doesn’t work. Her brother hasn’t worked a job ever as far as I’m aware, so he’s on welfare. He was a nomad for 9 years and came to live with his sister when she was diagnosed, a year before I met them and moved in. (I know, I’m honestly kind of an idiot for not seeing the signs.) For what it’s worth, I work full time.
We got along quite well, in general. It didn’t really bother me that they would take my food – coffee, pasta, butter, milk, eggs, cheese, you name it – or that I was often asked to take care of the dishes even though 80% of them were hers and her brother’s, not mine. I felt for her, and was fine with helping them out.
The problem was, I was happy. I was working hard, making money, writing music, and starting a new romantic relationship with an old friend. She wasn’t happy. I would give her gifts and food and friendship, but it wasn’t enough to counter her jealousy – and, I guess, something just snapped.
I came home on March 20th and before the door had even closed behind me, she said, “plscanunot, you need to move out.”
“You just… do. This is my house (she paid the same rent I did and was often late), my brother works hard (at being her caretaker I guess?) and he deserves his own room (there were only two rooms – mine and hers, he lived in our living room) so you need to figure something out.”
Here comes the MC. I knew she expected me to stay for April. She and her brother would really have to squeeze their funds to make it work to pay the upcoming full rent (her brother didn’t pay while I lived there). But was I about to stay in the home for 5.5 grueling weeks with someone who had randomly turned on me? Kicked me out of my home? And in retrospect, guilted me into giving them household help and free food? I don’t think so. I applied for 30 houses that day alone. By the weekend, I had signed a new lease. If you ask me to get out, no problem – I’ll be out ASAP.
I got my security deposit back from my landlord, who passed that info on to my roommate. She stormed into the kitchen:
Her: “So you just got your security deposit – do you have somewhere else to live?”
Me: “Yeah. I signed a lease yesterday and have arrangements to move all my stuff two days from now.”
Her: “So… You’re… Not paying for April??”
That was the last time we ever talked. She stormed out of the room, said a few choice words about me to her brother, and slammed the front door. I almost feel like she expected me to hand her $800 gift-wrapped, and still get out of “her” space. I didn’t stay in my room ever again, moved out quickly and quietly, and haven’t heard from her since.
Don’t tell me to move if you’re not ready to pay the full rent. Bye felicia.
TL;DR: jobless roommate tells me to leave our shared living space at the end of March without expecting that I’d be able to find a new place within a week for April – wasn’t ready to pay the full rent, had another thing coming.
Image credits: plscanunot
#38 Not So Handy Landlord Won’t Properly Fix Washing Machine And Dryer
About 20 years ago and I was dating the man I would later marry. He had an apartment that was a quad but wasn’t surrounded by the best neighbors. It was sold, but he was kept on as a tenant by the new landlord. He wasn’t a bad landlord per se, but he fancied himself a handyman. And he was cheap.
So the washer and dryer (included in the rental) both break, and the landlord comes in to fix my boyfriend’s set up. It works, but only temporarily, and they keep breaking, over and over again. It goes on for months. Boyfriend (who is a model tenant) finally complains lightly, saying that he’s been going over to his mom’s to do laundry, but sometimes he has to do it late, so he’s been having to spend money at the laundromat. The landlord says that my boyfriend can bill him for the laundry, and the landlord will reimburse if things break down again and to make sure it’s all documented by time, date, and amount. Then the landlord says he’s going to take a look at it right now, confident, somehow, in the skills that he hasn’t shown.
They broke again.
I’m far less tolerant about these things, but my SO doesn’t like to be any trouble to anyone. Still, he’s really tired of not being able to do his laundry at home, but thought it was really good of the landlord to offer to pay for his quarters at the laundromat.
Bless his heart and cue Malicious Compliance. This problem has gone on for 6 months, and I’m going to be solving it. I tell my boyfriend that he’ll then have to keep track of the quarters he spends, by date time and amount, and since there’s no receipt, they might have to fight it out over the amount. And I just know he hates conflict. Plus, there’s the time and gas he spends, which, while he could bill for it, any lawyer would argue that he would have spent time awaiting his laundry anyway at home. I tell him to send his laundry out for service because a service provides receipts.
“But won’t that be expensive?” he asks.
I grin inwardly and say: “It might be, but it’s the only way to provide adequate documentation he’s asking for. You can’t prove what you spent at a laundromat. But you can with a laundry service. You’ll include a copy of the bills with your rent, and a note saying that you’ve subtracted the amount that it cost to do your laundry this month, as a washer and dryer has been included in the rental agreement and hasn’t been working consistently properly for six months. Since there isn’t documentation for the last six months, of course, we won’t be retroactively billing him. Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll write the note, and I will be SURE to thank him for providing this in lieu of getting it fixed. It really is nice of him.”
“Ok,” he says, “that sounds good, but how do you even arrange for that? I know dry cleaning, but this is just laundry.”
“I’ll take care of the details, no problem,” I reply.
They charged by the pound and load, so I made sure to also include all the stuff he had put off washing since it wasn’t a top priority. He’d only been doing the essentials for fear one or the other would break mid-cycle, and because he felt he was taking advantage of his mother. And boy howdy, it really WAS expensive having a laundry service do all his laundry. I arranged for regular pick up and drop off that was convenient for my SO. They even folded his underwear.
The rent check he handed over was substantially lighter by more than $200. But all receipt copies did have the time, date and amount. Faced with the prospect of such a “bill” each month, the landlord scheduled an actual repairman to fix the machines one day after rent was handed over.
Image credits: spare_princess
#39 Oh, You Mean Right Now? Ok!
Let me (25M) introduce you to the key players in this story. First, we have my dog. She is a service animal, and as a result, is very well-trained.
Up next, my annoying and petty neighbors. I live in a small duplex, with an even smaller front yard that isn’t fenced in. The only thing separating the duplex and the neighbor’s house is a very narrow driveway. It’s important to note that when I refer to “the neighbors,” I am NOT referring to the residents of the connecting unit of the duplex, but the owners of the house a driveway over.
My neighbors have a history of annoying behavior. For starters, they are extremely socially awkward. They watch over us like hawks, have never been able to hold a conversation with us despite us being friendly and trying, and are some of the most passive aggressive people on Earth. Maybe it’s because we’re college-aged and they have something against the yutes, but whatever the reason, they have it out for us.
The neighbors have called our landlords to tell them that we are partying at all hours of the night. The family (with infants) in the connecting unit… the unit that shares a wall with us… have never once complained. When the landlord asked them about these complaints, they always denied it. For reference, aside from me, none of the other residents of the house even drink. I drink on occasion (once every few months), but never at the house, out of respect for the sober people.
The neighbors called the city over the course of several months and got one side of the street turned in to a “no parking zone,” because we have 4 cars in total (one for each person that lives in our unit) and have to park on the street. This obstructed their view.
As a result, we started parking in front of their house on the legal side of the street. One day, while we were gone, they moved their truck from their drive way (that has ample parking) to the street to block us from parking there. Their truck didn’t move for ~6 months.
Any time my dog goes #2 in the yard and it sits for more than a few hours, they call the landlord to report it. Because of my disability, I can’t always get to it immediately. My landlord understands this, and understands how the neighbors are, so she had stopped saying anything aside from laughing with me about how ridiculous/annoying these people are.
This is just a short list of my grievances with our neighbors. I could go on, but by now you get the point.
Well, yesterday morning, I let my dog out as per usual. I was in my underwear, which are thin and tight-fitting, as I had just rolled out of bed. Let’s just say that they don’t hide much of anything. I’m standing in the doorway where my neighbor’s house is blocked from my view. As my dog is sniffing around in our yard, I look down at my phone. A few seconds later, I hear our neighbor (the wife) shout “No! No! Don’t do that here! Get out of our yard! Stop that!” in a very panicked voice. Turns out, they were all sitting outside. By the time the neighbor had shouted, it was too late to call my dog back over, she was in the process of gifting them a big present.
I shout “Hey, I’m sorry about that. I’ll come get it, give me a minute,” and call my dog back inside.
About 15 seconds go by. I was on my way to my room to throw some pants and a shirt, when I hear a muffled shout from the husband, “COME PICK THIS UP RIGHT NOW!”
I chuckled to myself, and shouted “OK!” with a huge grin on my face. I knew what I had to do.
I dropped the pants that I had grabbed, I turn right around, picked up a doggie bag by the door, and made my way out of the door and in to view of the husband (who is standing cross armed near the pile of poop with a rude expression and posture), the wife, and the daughter.
Watching the look of anger turn in to shock was so satisfying. He was truly speechless, as was the rest of the family.
I’m just happy to have a story I can finally share on here. I also think the family is LDS (Mormon) so that is proba
Image credits: No_Push_5003
#40 You Want To Extort Money From My Business? You Are Being An As***le Landlord? I Will Play By The Rules, No Worry
Ok so first of all I am not an English native speaker, so please excuse my errors,
This happened quite some time ago, I was sent to SPAIN to a very small company to try and save it. It was during the financial crisis, so basically I tried first to spend less money, negotiating everything I could.
First time I met the landlord, I saw this very old guy, shaking with all his bones, dressed like he couldn’t afford clothes from the 21st century… But after the typical chit-chat I tell him I am planning on moving out, because the rent was way to high (it was easily 30% above market), he then proceeds to show me one of his buildings he had an offer on that he just refused (17M€…), and basically told me to f.ck off, and that he would agree on “not raising the rent in the coming 12 month”.
That was when I started looking for something more decent and better that the beaten offices we had, and I found quite easily.
Here come the malicious compliance:
When you exit offices, the landlord, especially where we had those offices, tries to fix everything with the deposit you put at the start of the lease. So knowing the piece of s**t of a landlord I had, I talk to a lawyer I had in my contacts, and explain him the situation, he then came up with an idea…
The day comes when we have to leave the office, our landlord, as a smarta** he is, comes along his lawyer, to make sure we will follow the law, BUT what he didn’t know was we also had our lawyer on site, one contractor to fix any minor problem on the spot and a f***ing Notary!!! So we could redact the document stating everything without possibility to discuss later. He was furious… We could fix everything, the only thing we had to replace was an AC which never worked, so we ordered the worst possible one for 300€, and got 100% of the deposit.
Icing on the cake or cherry on top (pick one), the guy maintaining the building told us it took him more than a year to find someone else, and apparently at a way lower price.
[EDIT] some English fix [EDIT 2] ok I will curse (everything but the title, because I can’t change it)
Image credits: GeneralMachete
#41 Landlord Kept Showing Out Apartment On Super Short Notice, Turns Out It’s Illegal
Real estate agents kept getting permission from out landlord to show our apartment. We’re not moving out, but they’re renovating the building one apartment at a time, and they want to show a done apartment like ours I get it. The problem was that we would get a message to gist of “I’m a stranger with your landlords permission to bring a stranger to your house in 3 hours.” As any normal human, I’d imagine, would agree there are many reasons that might not be ideal or at least desired. So we asked them to give us more notice. Their response was “we only have to give you one hour, so we’re coming, but as a courtesy we will notify you 24 hours in advance in the future.” Weirdly this did not make me or my girlfriend any happier about the situation, so she called a friend who is a real estate lawyer! Turns out you can’t show my apartment with an hour’s notice, or otherwise, unlesse trying to rent my apartment. So we replied that they may not come, but they can call our lawyer if they want, and they didn’t even reply. Right now they’re downstairs looking at the unfinished apartment like good little elves.
Image credits: godweasle
#42 Kick Out The Tenant-Then Ask Him To Showcase The Place
Mid 2010s I was on a hunt for a place while crashing on a friend’s couch. I was checking out a place for 40% of monthly minimum wage and having arrived at the agreed upon time found an obese middle aged lady telling an agitated nephew that he can’t freeload in his room anymore. So I talk to her and always the marketer offer to do some free digital marketing tips (basic stuff that people just ignore) before checking out the rooms, it never hurts to offer something valuable and low-cost for free before negotiations.
I found an amazing room that made me feel like a vampire count with thick ornate columns, high ceilings, velvet drapes, with the only light coming from the glass wall on one side that casted my silhouette towards the entrance and kept my face obscure sitting behind the desk. But I should scope out the place right? So the landlord tells me she was bad knees and asks the nephew she just kicked out to show me around and upstairs, specifically to the room that just freed up (his).
Um what? That’s not wise…
Not surprisingly he showed me the place flippantly, occasionally bad mouthing it, and let me know that there’s rats.
Okay nope! I said my thanks, left the lying landlord. That should’ve been the end of it.
Two days later, the landlord calls me in the middle of work and asks if I made a decision on the room and if I could show her the digital marketing tricks to which I gave her the benefit of the doubt and refused sternly. That should’ve been the end of it.
Yet she kept on calling, even when I blocked her she found other numbers to call from over the next two weeks. One day I was in a foul mood so I finally agreed if only to get her out of my life, except she then directs me to the nephew she’s kicking out (as soon as his room is rented) because she’s not good with tech. Um what? That’s not wise, but meh its what she wanted.
It turns out the freeloading nephew was a natural and he managed to rank landlord’s apartment on the top 10 search results complete with dead rats, dangerous fire escapes, fire hazards and all. The landlord was found in violation of numerous codes and I now had a capable and admiring digital marketer who eventually helped me get employed after CoVid layoffs.
Image credits: CareBear177