What is the WORST thing a tenant has done to your property?

68 Replies

I've heard the horror stories from landlords about how the tenant they were evicting poured cement down the toilet, played hammer darts in every room, ripped out the copper, or left piles of garbage for the landlord to clean up.

This hasn't happened to me - my last tenant just left untidiness that took me about an hour to clean up. I wasn't happy about it, but I sure preferred picking up used tissues to digging out and replacing a toilet outflow pipe.

What's the worst thing a tenant has done to your property upon leaving - through eviction or on their own. (I didn't evict my tenant, he was just a slob.)

Locked the house with a male and female pit bull, bag of dog food and big water trough and used it for a puppy mill.

Found it at mid-lease inspection, full of poop and puppies.

Leaving raw chicken in refrigerator, & they shut off the fridge... no notice,, odor reported,, had to enter and then found it.. just so you know.. you restart the fridge first and then get nose plugs.

Raw chicken in washing machine... no notice odor reported.. this was bad..

Crap in washing machine.,,ya use a lot of quarters to get it flushed... and bleach..

Worst was Dead Body.... 

I had one unit deliberately flush an entire box of unused feminine hygiene products down the toilet in order to clog the sewer line.  

Along with animal feces in every room, one golden evicted tenant also was grilling in the living room.  12-ft textured ceilings and walls covered in black soot.  Their power was shut off, so they had to cook, right?  Extension cords everywhere from an outlet they found on the apt roof.  Toaster ovens and crockpots on the carpet. Fridge, stove, cupboards full of rotten food. At least there wasn't a fire!

 They were also smoking inside and were hoarders that relapsed on meth.  1200 sqft of smokey junk left behind which I had the pleasure of storing for 45 days per state law.    Good times.  Thanks for the reminder @Mindy Jensen !

@Mindy Jensen  Re; Dead Body..

Yup have found 3 in past 40 years..

worst was one at property where I took over as manager,, lady died,, heart attack I was told.. she was a quite person didn't go out much ,,, she leaked thru the ceiling.. OMG,, hazmat new floor, new ceiling,, pretty gross..I was told. 

One guy dead in a bed.. so not to bad ,,  took him,, family rolled up mattress like burrito so easy clean up...

One guy dead in wheelchair,, after about day & half  found by cable installer,.. 

And the raw chicken trick was all the same tenant.. 

@Mindy Jensen I think one of the worst, was when a tenant moved out, we went to do move out and turn the home, found a dead dog in a cardboard box in the garage.

During a routine inspection, on a tenant with no pets; a room full of spiders and snakes. Smelled to high heaven, and he didnt see anything wrong with this!!!!! really

We have had 4 people die, three of them in one year, but all were found relatively soon, so we didn't get the dead smell!!!! One hung himself, so not fun contacting the relatives

Wow....I feel extremely lucky compared to the horror stories in this thread....my worse was the tenant painted the entire bathroom black and left poop on the walls. 

@Deanna McCormick and @Kim Meredith Hampton , does you disclose that someone died in the property? My state does not require it, and my neighbor died in his bathtub, was found 12 days later. Sunshine Cleaners had to come out. Eww.

IDK what smells worse, dead body or raw chicken. Deanna? (I guess they're both dead...)

A tenant going through a child custody battle tried to frame the ex by setting the house on fire. 

Same property, different tenant: cancelled trash service and instead turned the second story of the home into the dump.

Wow. It's all about perspective! After reading about the dead body leaking through the floor @Deanna McCormick , I now have nothing to complain about! 

My worst was a tenant that we inherited on take-over. She had multiple dogs, a cat and pet rats that used the apartment floor to go to the bathroom.  You could smell the aroma from outside and I can't even describe how awful it was on the inside! She was promptly evicted.

I have been pretty lucky with thousands of rentals. I have had to I can remember that were bad.

I had a gentleman decide to rebuild his Harley-Davidson in the living room of an apartment I owned. It had a smell that I have never had to get out of a unit before...

I had the ex-wife of the tenant get really test and return to the unit to do some damage. She decided to shred his waterbed. Unfortunately for me, it was upstairs.

@Robert Melcher

Robert just reminded me of another one. I purchased a home in foreclosure that I had not been able to get in. One of the bedrooms had been used to raise fighting cocks...  They also had pit bulls for protection. They had actually scratch through the bottom lower part of an entire door!

@Rich Weese , when I was in second grade, we moved into a home where the previous occupant had taken apart and presumably rebuilt a car engine in one of the bedrooms. Engine oil doesn't come out of white carpet...

Same guy took a rototiller to the backyard. This was in Turlock, CA and there was an underground sprinkler system. We couldn't even go in the back yard until my dad went through and removed all the broken PVC pipes at odd angles sticking out of the ground everywhere. 

1) Three chihuahuas (not on the lease) were never walked for 6 months and used under the bed as a litter box. All the baking soda couldn't get the smell up from the hardwood floors.

2) Different unit. Tenant tells me I need to replace a window that broke. He noticed it was broken when he used it to break back into the house from locking himself out... 

Originally posted by @Kim Meredith Hampton :

@Mindy Jensen I think one of the worst, was when a tenant moved out, we went to do move out and turn the home, found a dead dog in a cardboard box in the garage.

During a routine inspection, on a tenant with no pets; a room full of spiders and snakes. Smelled to high heaven, and he didnt see anything wrong with this!!!!! really

We have had 4 people die, three of them in one year, but all were found relatively soon, so we didn't get the dead smell!!!! One hung himself, so not fun contacting the relatives

 Why didn't you let police make that phone call?

Inherited tenant with a dog that did not go on walks outside- instead the dog used pee pads and the backyard exclusively.  The pee pads which must have leaked because the hardwood floor was badly stained.  Also the yard constantly had poop in it despite many reminders to clean up after the dog.   They did not get a lease renewal.

@Account Closed the police did call someone, but it was not the person that we had as an emergency number on file from the tenant. In addition, we had to deal with his belongings, which police will not do. You must preserve their personal belongings and make sure that not just "anyone" come in and remove their items. Death in a rental property is something tthat must be handled with the knowledge of the laws about next of kin, trustee etc,,, 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here