Some of The Worst Yet Funny Rental Housing Horror Stories

Today we take a break from the tips and articles about noise complaints to bring you both an informational yet humorous batch of stories that nearly made these landlords run for the hills. When it comes to rental housing expect a fun yet challenging career. But also, expect the unexpected! Don’t believe us? Check out the stories below. 

The Threatening Neighbor

There will always be situations that occur that aren’t in your handbook, unlike dealing with noisy residents. See CIC’s 5 Best Solutions To Successfully Handle Noise Complaints. But what about when it’s not your own resident complaining but actually…your neighbor about your renter? Reddit user/okaystorybro went through just that.

The tenant is a young professional who takes care of the unit and pays his rent on time. Recently, the neighbor (a homeowner) who shares a wall with the studio has been sending me extremely angry and borderline threatening emails claiming that the tenant is making excessive noise by playing music, and oddly, “Slamming cabinet doors and banging pots and pans”. Working with my property manager, we replied that we would discuss the issue with the tenant and also suggested that he may file a complaint with the local police department.

This response only seemed to make him angrier because he feels that the police won’t do anything.

Shortly after, the tenant (who, as far as I know, has not directly interacted with the neighbor) sent me a thoughtful email, saying how much he enjoys the unit and the quality of the property management, and shared that the neighbor is repeatedly banging on the walls in a threatening way that makes him feel unsafe. He claims that he was simply eating dinner with a friend around 7pm when the neighbor started banging on the wall about noise.

I spoke with the tenant, and frankly, he seems like a professional just trying to live his life – not throwing parties or doing anything crazy. He even said he would avoid listening to music in the room closest to the neighbors room. The tone of the call with him and also his email suggest a good faith effort from his end, in contrast with the very hostile emails from the neighbor.

Sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone to us!

The Disappearing Tenant

One of the worst fears a landlord or property manager can harbor day to day is non-existent rent and non- existent renters. One reddit user encountered one of those when their resident went totally M.I.A.

Apparently they had a falling out. The boyfriend just left and called the tenant crazy. She was eight months pregnant? Then in January she went into labor”

So she disappeared, but I later found out that she just hasn’t been home and recovering at her relatives place.

Everyone moved out except the tenant.

She was pretty much treating my place as a storage place. I tried to ask her. Whether I could put her things in storage and I’ll pay for it. She said no! She is still living there.

Then I asked her: when are you going to pay rent?

She told me that she’ll see me in court and she is not going to pay a single dime….

So I got in touch with the agency that helped me rent to her. They played the middleman and tried to convince her to move out.

Because New York is strict with tenant laws, that didn’t work. So I wound up going to the bank and got money. I put a thousand in front of me and told her to get moving.”

A mistake owners and managers make is avoiding resident screening. Did this landlord screen the renter?

No One is Paying Rent

Remember those top two things that can put immense fear into rental property owners or property managers (No rent, no residents)? Well this next story comes from the Reddit user /hathorofdendera who had some trouble collecting rent.

“So, the first rolls around and not a single tenant has rent. I’m pretty understanding of late rent payments, as long as the tenant explains to me their paycheck schedule. Three of the tenants communicated with me this beforehand. Therefore, I expected their rent by the 7th. The third tenant (the same tenant the last landlord warned me about), however, said nothing; so, of course, I texted her on the 3rd. She explained she had made payment arrangements with the previous landlord allowing her to pay half the rent on the first Friday of the month and the other half on the third. I agreed to the terms. That’s not something I would usually agree to, but she’s a single mom and I feel guilty about her having to move.

She paid a little less than half on the first Friday. She said it was always that way. The difference was only $20, so I didn’t mind. The third Friday rolls around and I hear nothing from her. I text her Saturday to ask if I can pick up the rent. Sidenote: Thus far, I’ve found about 20 potential properties for her, connected her with an organization to help her with her next deposit and convinced the owner to let her pay her rent three weeks late with no fees.

In a case like this one, it’s important to always make clear in the rental agreement what date rent is expected by and what the penalties are for not having it.

Too Many Requests

Last but not Reddit least we have a severe case of just not realizing when you’re asking for a bit much.  Reddit user /cactushatter is here to explain.

I recently moved a tenant into my new townhome. It’s only been a week since she moved in.

She’s lost the key (on the first day, and blamed the moving company), claimed hot water wasn’t working, claimed the cooktop didn’t work.

And now this morning (at 6:30am) she texted me saying “the heat doesn’t work.”

HVAC / ductwork was installed 4 months ago, and everything she’s claimed to be broken hasn’t been broken. The heat has always worked and the thermostat has always been on… until magically the battery disappears?

I want to be responsive and helpful, but I’m definitely starting to lose it!”

They go on to explain that the tenant even goes as far as to ask for batteries. Hey, at least the landlord has a new friend! But on a serious note, always specify in your rental agreement what condition everything is in a long with what you as the property manager is responsible for.

Sometimes it’s okay to take a step back and laugh at the absurdity of a situation. Sometimes that’s all you really can do. But if you stick with CIC’s screening services and follow our tips, you should be okay!

Have you had funny, but problematic renters? Let us know in the comments!

Comments (1)

  1. Lenore


    Can someone please tell me what device is being used? I moved in my third apartment on January 3rd 2021. I say third apartment because it’s true. I had two previous apartments in collingdale pa and now third is in Crum Lynne pa. Ok. The problem with all three tenant were and now using a device that has some type of magnetic force field which feels like your body is being elevated in the air. I’m asking anyone who knows what the device is please let me know.

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