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