What are your craziest tenant stories?

41 Replies

I house hacked by the room for 4 years. As a landlord I’ve had some situations I never thought I would experience.

I would like to know the crazy stories of others. I definitely have improved a lot my screening process I feel like if I had got a doctorate in tenant screening.

My property is in a C area. So I had some interesting characters I decided to go with due to other tenants leaving in hard to fill months (November through January I found is where there is less tenant supply by far.)

I’ll be brief and share a quick overview of two of them.

1.- I’ll start with Mr. high, month of November hard to fill the room (low season).

The dude was on weed 24/7. Why I picked him you might ask? I gotta say he was hilarious and it brought a showtime to the house where I just had to sit back and eat the popcorn. Always a good payer, clean and a good guy overall. Everything was alright even though he was high, until the day he got a new girlfriend. You could see she could manipulate him easily. At some point he almost begged me if the girlfriend could stay with us for two weeks and he would pay extra rent. It was really tough to say no, so I accepted.

After two weeks, I was already fed up with her, she was dirty plus they had crazy arguments all the time. He requested some extra time for her. I would chat a lot with him about if it was good for him to continue the relationship. Of course I told him no, she can’t stay any longer, you need to find a solution.

Eventually they ended up breaking up with a whole discussion accompanied by some punching and scratching.

Mr. High ended up staying for a year and a half. He left afterwards, we still have a really good relationship to this day.

2.- Same pattern month of November, the year after, you would think I learned, but no 🤣.

We will call this character mr. Myths, the guy claimed he could speak several languages, be a professional tango and salsa dancer and that was a music producer that had his own company. I dance salsa and speak several languages. I could see his BS by far, but still I went ahead and pick him to make some cashflow on top of living rent free.) In addition to that, he claimed he was dating a model. I knew he was exaggerating all the way but still I saw he seemed like a good guy and I did not find much on social media about him. Also, the popcorn time was promising.

One week after moving in I went to chat with him and knocked on his door, he opened the door and that is when I saw the wall full of skulls and a couple of swords. I asked him right away what’s all of that. Then he told me all about being a juggalo. I had no clue what that was (Myself coming from Spain I had never heard it before, not sure if it is popular among other people) apparently they are the supporters of a peculiar band from Detroit. I didn’t know much about that culture so that worried me a little, I am not gonna lie. However, he was a nice guy, clean and respectful.

I was still waiting to meet the “model”. After some days she came visiting but they went straight to the room and I did not get the chance to see her. So I waited in the living room area just out of curiosity. I could hear the voice and I was thinking she’s got an attractive voice maybe after all the guy has game, about 40 minutes later they came out and I was right there ready with the popcorn. Man, maybe she was a model but that could have been 30 years ago, she was around her 60’s and on drugs. I noticed right away it would be still pretty interesting to see the way Mr. Myths would act around her like if she was a celebrity.

Mr. Myths ended up leaving after 6 months and he did not want to pay last month rent. I still keep some of the skulls as a souvenir. We did not end in good terms and I am not sure if he is still with the model.

Please, share yours I would love to know other tenant/landlord stories. I sometimes miss the popcorn days...

It started 7 years ago and last post was about 5 months ago. Trying to bring some new fresh stories. Thanks for sharing it though.

@Joaquin Camarasa A tenant I inherited was running the largest illegal sports betting ring in Denver. The FBI caught him and instead of doing extensive prison time, he decided to rat out his partners. The now ex-partners didn’t like that very much so they had some of their people pick him up. They threw a black bag over his head, drove him into the desert, stuffed him kicking and screaming into a small box, dropped several large prairie rattlesnakes in there with him, locked him up with the snakes inside and left him there. Amazingly, he managed to survive. 

During the ordeal he found God in a big way. He became a devout born-again, ditched all his gambling buddies and started spending all his time in church. As a new career, funded by the church, he committed himself to the lifelong mission of animating the entire Bible for children, cover to cover, story by gruesome story. There are some crazy violent stories in the Bible that are not at all fit for children! But that didn’t stop him from animating each story with vivid detail, crude artwork, amateur editing, and bizarre narration. Last time I checked he had gotten as far as Joshua’s conquest. 

His studio apartment was quite small and felt even smaller due to the ominous presence of a giant cross made out of heavy hand-hewn timbers, which he would haul around the courtyard and perimeter of the apartment complex nightly while wearing not much besides an actual crown of thorns, while drinking red wine and flagellating himself with a leather whip, reliving the blood sacrifice that redeemed us all as a way to thank Jesus for delivering him from the box of snakes (and freaking out the other residents in the apartment complex in the process, although weirdly they all just kind of ignored him). 

Oddities and nightly crucifixion re-enactments aside, he was a good tenant. He was friendly, helpful, didn’t bother the equally crazy neighbors that often, and always paid on time and in full. The only issue I ever had with him is he would often let homeless people that he met through his church crash with him (yes in his tiny studio apartment with the giant cross). This became a problem when one of them, who had apparently been there a few weeks, didn’t want to leave and claimed he had squatter’s rights via Colorado’s adverse possession laws, which of course requires 18 years of open possession or 7 years of paying property taxes/color of title, not two weeks of crashing on the couch, but you can’t argue with crazy. I found it hilarious that my tenant would look to me for help in this situation. Luckily for him he was able to resolve the issue on his own and promised to not have any more unapproved house guests, so I didn’t have to evict them both. I wouldn’t have believed his rattlesnakes in the box story except I didn’t hear it from him, I read about it in the Denver Post. 

He moved out a few years ago but remains my craziest tenant story, followed closely by several others, like the peyote cult leader who grew peyote in his closet (which he claimed was legal because his peyote cult had official church status) and tried to stab his roommate one night during an argument at a backyard bonfire party. Those guys did get evicted. Oh the joys of land lording!

I had a young college girl tenant call me embarrassed and wanted to know if I could send a plumber to unclog her toilet. I explained that she needed to go to the dollar store and buy a plunger. She did and solved the problem. Kind of funny

@Steve K. I have to confess I spent 10 minutes in your post.

5 minutes - reading and rereading.

5 minutes - going to the Denver post and seeing the crazy stories of illegal betting rings.

Good narrative talent, please share the several others, peyote and rattlesnake aside.

Originally posted by @Joaquin Camarasa :

@Steve K. I have to confess I spent 10 minutes in your post.

5 minutes - reading and rereading.

5 minutes - going to the Denver post and seeing the crazy stories of illegal betting rings.

Good narrative talent, please share the several others, peyote and rattlesnake aside.

Haha well I have some others but I made a rookie mistake and lead with my best material. If this thread takes off and I have more time later I might share some more. No shortage of crazy stories in this biz! Unfortunately most of them are just gross or sad and not that interesting.Who else has a story? Come on people.

 

@Steve K. Glad you lead with the best 😂

I never thought I was gonna be involved in all these situations when I started.

These stories really help to understand everything you need to go through on the look for financial freedom.

Hopefully the thread takes off and I get to hear the rest of the stories.

I can't even begin to compete with tales of a self-flagellating, cross-toting tenant. That's top shelf crazy, there. But I did have one couple who called me in a panic one nice afternoon, convinced there was a horde of botflies in the back yard, ready to pounce on them as soon as they left the house. 

This is South Carolina, the cicadas were hatching out and causing a racket. No botflies. I had to explain that while they were noisy and ugly as sin, they posed no threat to humans. *sigh*

I don’t know if it’s the craziest of mine but ...

Victorian house converted to a triplex . Each floor is a unit with a overhung balcony . The fella upstairs is completely drunk most of the time and on this particular night was a custody exchange with his ex and their kids . She comes to pick up kids and he’s wasted , she screams in the parking area and all the tenants hear her ranting at him about drinking and his bedroom shenanigans while watching her children . She makes a big scene he’s screaming everyone is gawking at the situation . All the tenants are out in the yard at this point He runs up to his apartment she follows still ranting raving right behind him , he goes out to his balcony 40 feet off the ground to get away from her mouth and she then calls the cops to come . He’s out on the hedge screaming the cops show up and try to talk him down but he won’t shut up or come down . He threatens to jump while the tenants below are taunting him and egging him on . Cops grab him before he leaps and arrest the fella ,he goes off to the psych ward for 3 days and I’m out his rent ( he was fired the next day for not showing up btw) . I evicted him later for non paying ..Fun times !! that’s actually not the worst story but that’ll do for now .

@Zachary Bellinghausen I usually put a plunger on move-in in  a welcome package which I learned after I had a 40 year old woman who didn't know how to plunge a toilet. Some skills I am not sure how people get through life without them. 

My only property, about 8 miles away, I rented to 2 women in their mid 40's. About 2 weeks after they moved in I received a call about 2am. One of the women said she was sorry to call so late, but could I possibly come over and kill a spider she found in the tub. In the interest of world class customer service, I got dressed, went over and squished the arachnid post haste then dispatched his little corpse down the drain.

I had an older tenant die in the rental house we bought out of foreclosure.  He was renting the house back from us and 4 months into his lease we got a phone call from a relative that he passed away.   Friends had called police, etc and had taken care of the body and the animals... so far, so good.  We called the only living relative... they decided they couldn't afford to travel out of state and miss work, etc to come down and clear out his stuff.  We had to wait 60 days for the house to be considered abandoned, all the while rent not getting paid.  We got into the house after the 60 days and the entire house wreaks of ammonia from all the cat litter boxes left sitting around... there were like 10 of them- apparently never emptied.  I'm half-way convinced that the ammonia seriously contributed to his demise.  It took two of us 2 weeks wearing respirators to sort through and clear out the contents of the home (where he had lived for 20 years).  We brought in a 20 yard dumpster and filled it up with cat-destroyed furniture and carpet, as well as a ton of trash - only to make multiple other trips to the dump with a 12 foot trailer.   His really nice stainless steel fridge apparently had quit working at some point before we bought the house - he unplugged it and left all the food in it and just left it sitting in the kitchen! One more thing that went straight to the dump!  We were left to clear the 1400sf house and are now probating his estate as a creditor probate to try and recoup some of the back rent we are owed since the family was unwilling to participate.  Never read about that one in the 'book' on "What to expect being a landlord"!! 

Wow, I didn't know that tenants can do crazy things.  In my property,  I let the tenants aware that there is no loud music,  no smoking of any kind,  and to respect our neighbors so they can respect us back.  I enjoyed reading the stories. 

Another one I had was ;

Had a mid 50’s tenant dying of cancer .in his final days he was in a good deal of pain . Seems he didn’t want to get out of bed or find help so he was just pooping in his bed and wiping his behind with rolls of toilet paper he kept near his bedside . Apparently this went on for some time . He was a slob regardless but I had no idea the severity of his poor habits . After we drug his corpse out of there I had a real good time cleaning up his diseased disgusting mess He stuck me with . Blood ,feces everywhere and smelly clothes by the bushel basket to throw out . I burnt most of his stuff in my backyard . His family didn’t claim his body and wanted no liability so he had no one to clean out his unit . Years of junk ! He died right after I bought this freaking building and died literally the day before the rent was due and I never even got a penny from the guy ! Left me with thousands for the turnover though . I never read this scenario in rich dad poor dad ?????

Man, I have so many.  A light and kind of cute story from when I was a resident manager of an apartment building next to a university:

Had a first year law student move into a tiny studio with his girlfriend.  Both very sweet and respectful.  About 3 nights after they moved in, I hear someone knocking on my door about 3am, which I ignore.  They all have my phone number and I would screen voicemails to see if I needed to respond immediately or not.

So, the phone rings and I think - what the heck, I'll go ahead and pick-up.

So, it's this nice young man calling.  Now, remember, this guy is smart enough to be admitted to a top rated, very expensive law school. In other words, this guy will be a lawyer.

"I'm so sorry to bother you, did I wake you?"

"No worries, what's up?"

"It's hot in the apartment and the air conditioner is too loud, so we wanted to open the window and can't figure out how to open it."

"You just squeeze the two black things that look kind of like handles and then lift it up."

"Okay, I'm walking to the window now.......I'm squeezing it, but it's not working."

"You have to squeeze both of them at the same time."

"But, I need two hands to do that."

"Right.  You'll need to put the phone down."

Silence.

"Okay, thanks!  That worked!"

"Great.  Have a good night.  In the future, though, please don't bother me after 8pm, unless it's a life or death emergency, and then call 911 first, okay?"

"Oh sure.  Sorry to bother you.  Have a good night!"

"You too. Good night."

Moral to the story:  Check all lawyer reviews before hiring one.

Originally posted by @Steve K. :

@Joaquin Camarasa A tenant I inherited was running the largest illegal sports betting ring in Denver. The FBI caught him and instead of doing extensive prison time, he decided to rat out his partners. The now ex-partners didn’t like that very much so they had some of their people pick him up. They threw a black bag over his head, drove him into the desert, stuffed him kicking and screaming into a small box, dropped several large prairie rattlesnakes in there with him, locked him up with the snakes inside and left him there. Amazingly, he managed to survive. 

During the ordeal he found God in a big way. He became a devout born-again, ditched all his gambling buddies and started spending all his time in church. As a new career, funded by the church, he committed himself to the lifelong mission of animating the entire Bible for children, cover to cover, story by gruesome story. There are some crazy violent stories in the Bible that are not at all fit for children! But that didn’t stop him from animating each story with vivid detail, crude artwork, amateur editing, and bizarre narration. Last time I checked he had gotten as far as Joshua’s conquest. 

His studio apartment was quite small and felt even smaller due to the ominous presence of a giant cross made out of heavy hand-hewn timbers, which he would haul around the courtyard and perimeter of the apartment complex nightly while wearing not much besides an actual crown of thorns, while drinking red wine and flagellating himself with a leather whip, reliving the blood sacrifice that redeemed us all as a way to thank Jesus for delivering him from the box of snakes (and freaking out the other residents in the apartment complex in the process, although weirdly they all just kind of ignored him). 

Oddities and nightly crucifixion re-enactments aside, he was a good tenant. He was friendly, helpful, didn’t bother the equally crazy neighbors that often, and always paid on time and in full. The only issue I ever had with him is he would often let homeless people that he met through his church crash with him (yes in his tiny studio apartment with the giant cross). This became a problem when one of them, who had apparently been there a few weeks, didn’t want to leave and claimed he had squatter’s rights via Colorado’s adverse possession laws, which of course requires 18 years of open possession or 7 years of paying property taxes/color of title, not two weeks of crashing on the couch, but you can’t argue with crazy. I found it hilarious that my tenant would look to me for help in this situation. Luckily for him he was able to resolve the issue on his own and promised to not have any more unapproved house guests, so I didn’t have to evict them both. I wouldn’t have believed his rattlesnakes in the box story except I didn’t hear it from him, I read about it in the Denver Post. 

He moved out a few years ago but remains my craziest tenant story, followed closely by several others, like the peyote cult leader who grew peyote in his closet (which he claimed was legal because his peyote cult had official church status) and tried to stab his roommate one night during an argument at a backyard bonfire party. Those guys did get evicted. Oh the joys of land lording!

 I had an applicant who told me ran a sports betting ring. They he said, "don't worry, it is totally legal, I pay my taxes." It is not at all legal in my state.

A landlord friend asked me, "why do you care if he is running a betting ring?" For me it is not moral objection to the activity. It is what happens when the police kick the door down? What happens when he gets into disputes with people and it turns violent? The illegal activity just brings in trouble that I don't need. So I am not ratting people out, but at the same time I want nothing to do with them.

Okay, this one wasn't mine.  But, I was just looking at property for sale in Fresno and I bet the landlord selling this property has a good story.  

Photo from listing:  https://ap.rdcpix.com/5c0d29831943ccc418ac9345e0134637l-m2719710778od-w1024_h768.jpg

Original full listing: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3844-E-Hamilton-Ave_Fresno_CA_93702_M15362-88712?view=qv

Note how the listing agent doesn't mention there might be a problem with permits?  LOL.


@Raymond Haynes I am also apparently an exterminator! I had a group of 4 college girls stay in our vacation rental in Surf City, NC. One of them called me hysterically one morning saying there was a HUGE bug in the house. Against my wishes, in a desperate attempt for a 5 star review, my wife made me go and take care of it. I did and all was well. 5 stars.

@Sue K. No way! 😂 One thing I learned is that is ok to help but it is also very important to draw the line. Otherwise, there is some people that will call for the smallest thing.