5 of The Creepiest Landlord Stories That Will Make You Sleep With One Eye Open

5 of The Creepiest Landlord Stories That Will Make You Sleep With One Eye Open

This post is sponsored by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Views expressed by the blogger, and anyone making comments attached to this post, are their own.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 6.19.25 pm
Image

I’ve been renting houses for around 5 years and I’ve had a really easy ride. Good landlords, great housemates, no dodgy repair guys. However I’m a giant sticky beak and I love hearing tales of other’s misfortune, so this week I’ve teamed up with Consumer Affairs Victoria and their new app RentRight to bring you some creepy landlord stories from my very own Facebook readers. Enjoy.

 5 of The Creepiest Landlord Stories That Will Make You Sleep With One Eye Open 

“The Repair Man”

 Kate lived in an old house that she rented with her boyfriend. There were constant problems with the house so they’d call the landlord and this strange repairman would show up and say ‘The landlord sent me to fix this or that.’. This happened several times over a few months. After the house was broken into The Repair Man came over to change the locks and handed Kate a bill. She refused to pay it and told him to charge the landlord. After a few minutes of arguing he finally admitted he was the landlord and had been entering their home under a false identity for months, pretending to pay for professional repairs when he was really doing them himself. He then came back a week later and asked for some lemons off the tree in the backyard. 

 The Tea Drinker 

Sue privately rented a house from a seemingly normal man and moved in shortly after she signed the lease. Sue was looking for work at the time and was often home during the day. One day she came out of the shower wrapped in a towel and found the landlord sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea. Apparently he let himself in and out several times a week when he came to do the gardening. After firmly telling him that he wasn’t allowed to do that, she also informed him that she would be needing receipts from her cash rent payments to give to the government so she could get renters benefits. That was when he suddenly remembered that his daughter was getting married and needed to move into the house, giving Sue just one weeks notice to vacate. 

The Dinner Host 

Matt moved into a rental property and shortly afterwards the house got broken into. The whole front door was smashed in with an axe and was in no way functional so they called the landlord to let him know. The landlord answered the phone and curtly asked if they could call him back at another time because he was entertaining dinner guests. Matt insisted that they needed a front door put up that night and the landlord flew into a blind rage, swearing and screaming down the phone. Matt broke his lease the next day. 

The “Gardener”

Sarah lived in a house with a very unstable deck and one day she walked over it and one leg crashed through the rotting floorboards and right up to her knee. She was off work for a week and the landlord was asked to replace the whole deck. The landlord showed up unannounced, looked at the deck and informed Sarah that only one board needed replacing. After months of contact nothing was done so Sarah simply had the deck repaired. And although a gardener was included in the lease the landlord would show up every now then to ‘garden’ leaving cigarette burns in Sarahs children’s clothes that were hanging on the washing line. 

The Actual Landlord

This is the story of a friend of mine and it happened quite recently. My mate, let’s call her Alex, moved into the back of a pizza shop – it was basically a corridor with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom so the corridor was essentially ‘the living room’. They rented the place off the lovely people who owned the pizza shop and everything was fine for months except for this strange old guy who would wander through the ‘living room’ from his house and into the pizza shop to get his lunch because he didn’t want to walk around the long way. They simply locked the door that adjoined their living room to the pizza place, ignored his knocks and everything was swell. Alex then moved out and as I was helping her pack this random man stormed into the ‘living room’ corridor that was full of funky outdoor furniture and yelled at us saying that it was a fire escape and there was to be nothing left in that corridor ever and that we were breaching the building codes of OH&S. It turns out he was the building owner and was extremely dodgy, illegally renting a fire escape as a dwelling for two people. So essentially asking their tenants to shower in their own bathroom and then walk in a towel along a public fire escape (“living room”) to get to their bedroom. Thankfully she was moving out.

Have you ever had an awful rental experience? Did you know your rights and who to call when everything went wrong? It’s stories like these ones that prompted Consumer Affairs Victoria to create the RentRight smartphone app. It has a handy directory of renters rights so you aren’t left up to your armpits in sewerage wondering who the hell to call. There’s also calculators for moving and renting to avoid the ‘Where the hell did all my money go?’ moving blues. There’s also a great section that provides all the legal legislation around renting in Victoria so that creepy landlords don’t screw you over. 

You can download RentRight for free at Consumer Affairs Victoria and don’t forget to visit their Facebook page.

So tell me… what’s the worst horror rental story you’ve heard? Or experienced? 

You can join in the conversation on Facebook too. There are some DOOZIES in there.

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.

28 Comments

  1. Nessbow 11 months ago

    What a great idea! I used to work as a volunteer at a legal service and so many people who came through were having dreadful troubles with their landlords and had no idea what their rights were, It’s so awesome to have an app like this to help educate people and empower them to stand up for their rights.

    I’m very lucky because my current landlord is awesome. When I lived in Melbourne though, I had a sucky landlord who would show up unannounced to do repairs and often insisted on doing repairs themselves (even though they had no experience with d.i.y). One Sunday he rocked up to fix our bathroom fan and took five hours (and three separate trips to the hardware store) to figure out that he really wasn’t up to the task. It took another three months for him to organize a professional to come and fix the fan.

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      Having an amazing landlord is the best! Are you not in Melbourne anymore? Where did you move to?

  2. GoddessMel 11 months ago

    OMG, Matt’s situation is the worst I’ve heard in a while – who the hell breaks down a door with an axe??!! Things like this are why I no longer rent privately – at least I have the buffer of a RE agent to deal with crazy landlords.

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      And what kind of a landlord is like ‘Whatevs call me tomorrow when you aks them about it?’. Lordy. I always rent through agents. It’s the best thing ever. I rented through an agent a while ago and we had a mould problem on the ceiling in the bathroom and the owners wanted to come clean it themselves and I said yes. They showed up and scrubbed the bathroom all day while chatting to me and having a fews beers while I cleaned my wardrobe across the hall. It was great.

      • GoddessMel 11 months ago

        Yep, my current place is a bit like that. The owner built the house and would come do any maintenance and hang out with my hubby and have a beer and a chat. He kept saying how he loved the house and wanted to move back in with us LOL. Sadly he died a couple of years ago, but the house is now owned by his daughter who’s also laid back and happy to have his here as long as we want.

  3. JessB 11 months ago

    Oh my gosh! Those are awful stories!

    I’m doing okay at the moment – my landlords are currently too nice, and exceptionally friendly, when I really just want to be left alone.

    But my best mate is having a big problem with noise from upstairs neighbour – he’s playing, well, porn, all through the night at extremely loudly for hours on end. If it’s not porn, then it’s just the television or radio, but still extremely loudly. There’s no way he doesn’t know how loud it is, as various complaints have been made to the police and the Body Corporate – which resulted in him screaming obscenities to the world in general from his balcony. He is revolting, and I am so sympathetic to my friend.

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      We have a similar lady downstairs. She’s quiet as a mouse for weeks and then she’ll have a giant screamig match with her daughter at 3am. Although I’m such a gossip and a night owl, I actually quite enjoy it! :-)

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 11 months ago

    I had to make myself a cup of tea before sitting down to read this because I knew that it would be a juicy good post! You never disappoint Ms Smaggle :D

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      How juicy is it? I love my readers. They tell me all their juicy secret stories.

  5. Bec 11 months ago

    I’ve been renting off a friend for a year (and before that, a coworker) and she just told me yesterday that she’s putting the house on the market.
    Now I’m terrified I’m going to end up renting from one of these FREAKS! Arghhh

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      Oh no! That’s the WORST! Our landlords are AMAZING. We never hear from them, they extended our lease this year without even inspecting the property or raising the rent. We’ve been there for 2 years and they’ve scedule inspections but haven’t done them. It’s like they don’t care as long as we keep paying rent.

  6. 26 Years & Counting 11 months ago

    I had a real estate agent come in for the standard inspection and start screaming at me for having a dog. She didn’t believe me that my dog was allowed in the house – even after I pulled out the lease and put it in front of her eyes. This turned into a long and annoying dispute that I partially had to buy my way out of. The irony of this though – the woman who was doing the inspection claimed my dog damaged the wood floors, but was happy to stomp around having a tantrum at me in pointy high heels…

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      I heard a rumour that you can pay like $80 and have your dog registered as a campanion dog for mental wellbeing or something and then you pretty much rent anywhere. It feels a little dodgy but still might be worth looking into?

      • 3cats&amouse 11 months ago

        Smaggle – I really like your comment but feel I have to call this one.

        This is akin to parking in a disabled spot when you are not. If people start exploiting the system then those that suffer are those who the benefit was set up for in the first place.

        I’ve had dogs as a renter a number of times and have always found and honest negotiation works wonders.

        • Author
          Smaggle 11 months ago

          That’s why I said it feels dodgy. And it’s a legitimate thing it’s not for dogs of people with registered mental illness it’s a different thing – it’s like an improvement of well being thing. Not companion dogs or therapy dogs. It’s a whole separate category apparently.

          I think you misunderstood my comment and that I don’t have enough info about the particulars.

          I teach special needs kids I’m the last person who would encourage abusing government systems that are meant to provide for people who need them.

          Bloody internet, can’t read a person’s tone!

          :-)

          Xxx

          Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

          • 3cats&amouse 11 months ago

            Pleased to hear! Yes the net is shite for tone! I too work in areas of disability and disadvantage and hate to see anything that looks like a loophole being exploited. Much love. X

          • Author
            Smaggle 11 months ago

            You must have been like ‘Bitch…whaaat?’! I’m totally the same. I hate it when people park in disabled spots or try to take advantage of the system. Honourable people unite! Much love back. xxx

  7. Ariel 11 months ago

    I used to live in sydney with my family and we were renting a house in concord. One weekend morning my mum found the landlord and his whole family in our backyard checking out the house and whatnot. Basically trespassing and conducting an inspection without our consent and without telling the real estate agency! Soum had a stern word with them. Later when we moved out they tried to get the bond by saying we damaged the ‘new’ carpets in the house which were actually VERY old and stained from previous tenents. Lucky that mum takes photos of the interior and exterior of every house we rent BEFORE we move in. Evidence is needed unfortunately.

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      Wow! Taking photos is a great idea! Noted.

  8. Nina 11 months ago

    Oh that is such a good idea. People can be so daft about what they let their landlord get away with. We had a bad agent who advertised two open inspections of our apartment without telling us while we were still living there!!

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      It’s so weird! I just don’t understand that! We had open inspections on our last flat but our flat was tiny so I just sat in the loungeroom working while people poked their heads in. It was weird.

  9. Harlow 11 months ago

    One time when we were renting I was sitting in the bathtub when a random walked in – followed by several other randoms who were walking around the house! We had notified the agency of when we were moving out and they would generally notify us if there was going to be an open house. But not that time! GRRRRRR! So what did I do? I wrapped myself in a towel and calmly walked in to the living room and asked the agent WHAT THE FUCK she thought she was doing – in front of the 15 or so people who then awkwardly shuffled out :)

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      Holy shit! That’s AMAZING!!! I would be SO ANGRY!!! Same thing happened to Mr Smags brother. He had a lady friend over and the land lord stormed into in the bedroom doing an inspection that she hadn’t bothered to tell him about. This was when Mr Smags and I lived in the same house house as his brother but we were in Melbourne at the time. So innapropriate.

  10. Gem 11 months ago

    we once rented a place through this super dodgy realo that may or may not have been some kind of money laundering operation… when it came time to move out of the house I discovered our bond have never been lodged with the relevant authority, and the real estate agent was trying to take most of it for “cleaning and repairs”. When I let them know that I knew they never lodged our bond and that is illegal, and that they could be fined, they prompty refunded the whole thing to me straight away. We also never got receipts for our rent payments and I’m fairly sure they never actually reconciled the amounts we were paying either.

    Another friend was also randomly renting through them but needed to break her lease due to her job, and they informed her they wouldn’t readvertise until the end of her lease (3 months away) so she’d have to keep paying rent. I told her to check if her bond was actually lodged and low and behold it wasn’t. Turns out they’d never even gotten her to sign a lease, just the bond lodgement form so she just stopped paying rent and moved out 3 weeks later and they were just like “ok”. WTF randomest realo ever.

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      That’s just silly. It’s in their best interest to lodge the bond. What weirdos.

  11. Fifi 11 months ago

    Here’s a tenant-win story. My first ever rental property was with a friend when we were both 18, though one of those Corporate Real Estate Giants and our property manager was brand new. She clearly had dreams of becoming the Real Estate Queen of Belconnen, but for now she was just a girl with big dreams and a polyester skirt. She clearly resented being in charge of hovels being rented out to poor students (when we moved in, one of the drawers in my bedroom was still full of the previous tenants undies – shudder) instead of palatial mansions near the lake – if she was going to become Queen she was going to have to start earning more commission. We’d been living in our hovel for about 8 months when she sent us a letter saying that our rent would be going up quite dramatically. We knew she couldn’t do this but we discussed it and decided we wanted to move anyway so we wrote a very polite letter to that effect. When we dropped it off, REQ of B went postal saying that we were breaking our lease and she would charge us for EVERYTHING SHE COULD THINK OF HOW COULD WE BE SO UNGRATEFUL. My flatmate (about 6 months into first year Law, bless) tried to explain that THEY were the ones breaking the lease by raising the rent inside the first 12 months but REQ was having none of it. REQ was ambitious, but she was none too bright. Threatening letters started arriving within a few days. Figuring she was never going to see reason (or ask anyone senior for advice, clearly) flatmate and I trotted off to a friend’s parents house with a bottle of wine. They were both lawyers – one was managing partner in a prominent firm and the other happened to be on the Tenancy Tribunal. They were both enraged on our behalves about Corporate Giants exploiting Innocent Young Girls, gave us free legal advice and wrote a very menacing (“I’ll Have You Disbarred….You Can’t Handle The Truth”) legalese letter to REQ on firm letterhead. Clearly this scared the (potentially second hand) panties off REQ because she rolled over to ALL of our demands after that and looked at us like we were Gangster Molls*. We tripped off to our new (privately rented) hovel and REQ stayed a junior Property Manager for a really long time.

    *She did try to get snitchy at the final inspection about the windows not being clean enough. I gently reminded her about ‘drawer full of someone else’s knickers’… she let the streaky windows slide.

    • Author
      Smaggle 11 months ago

      Oh my god. That’s the best story ever. Being a HUGE line toe-er myself I love it when people get all high and mightly about sticking to the rules when they’re the ones that are wrong. Best. Ever.

  12. Monica Gomez 11 months ago

    Me and a bunch of my friends from grad school in Italy rented shared apartments from the same guy. Among all the crap we collectively endured at one point or another were bedbugs, no electricity, no internet, no hot water, flooding, broken locks, him or his employees just coming in without any given notice, flooding, leaks, taking 3 months to repair the washing machine (in a house with 5 girls!!), a broken bed, and the guy was generally a dick about everything…. all in the course of a year, after which about half of us got their security deposits withheld for no apparent reason. Moving out and becoming homeless for the better part of a month was one of the best feelings I had all year.

    Also, for a taste of the worst possible thing that could happen to you as a renter, watch the spanish movie “Sleep Tight” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1437358/). Creepiest thing ever.

Leave a Reply

DSCF4485
How to Get Dressed When It’s 40 Degrees Outside

I live in Melbourne but before that I lived in Canberra. Both cities are notorious for being jacket worthy most...

Close