22 Landlord Horror Stories That Are Sadly Far Too Relatable

·16 min read

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their landlord horror stories. We received manyyy shocking and disturbing responses. Here are the most infuriating:

a "for rent" sign
Richlegg / Getty Images

Warning: Some stories contain mentions of sexual harassment.

1."I was six months into a very difficult pregnancy and on bed rest when the water line in the bedroom broke. When the quote to fix it was higher than he expected, the landlord drove 1,800 miles to have a look. He had purchased the place from the last landlord at a ridiculous price and hadn't actually seen the property. He pulled up and talked to the plumber for a few minutes, and then got back in his car and left without coming to the door. I tried calling him, but he didn't respond for over a week. When he did finally get back to me, he said he'd sold the property and we had less than three weeks to vacate."

"My roommate and I had no way to fight. My fiancé had left me when I got pregnant, and I couldn't work or I'd lose the baby. I tried to pack what I could, but I was too sick and ended up in the hospital. He changed the locks and sold everything, right down to every pair of my shoes."

monkeybuttmom

2."When I arrived to move in on the agreed upon date, I discovered that my landlord had not yet moved out. We awkwardly lived together in a one-bedroom for four days."

an upset roommate and a lazy roommate
Jgi / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

3."My family moved into a home across the street from the owners. This home was going to be their retirement home. On multiple occasions, they would just show up and just let themselves in with no notice. One day, I was taking a shower and stepped out to see the owner's wife and her friends looking in the bathroom window. Another time, my wife and I were doing the deed on the couch when they walked in. They acted like all of this was normal."

—Anonymous

4."My landlady lived above our flat and she would come down to our flat to do her laundry. It was like a subleasing situation and our flats were only separated by a staircase. We didn't know about the laundry before we moved in. My particular horror story is of the time she came into the bathroom to do her laundry while I was peeing. But, instead of walking out and apologizing, she simply screamed for, and I am not exaggerating, a good 20 seconds, like she was in a horror movie. I just looked at her in shock. After the screaming, she turned around, took her laundry, and left to go back to her flat upstairs. I have never experienced anything like it..."

older woman screaming

—Anonymous

U.ozel.images / Getty Images

5."I spent an entire year in my apartment with no hot water. I would reach out to the landlord and she would send the maintenance man (her boyfriend) who would look at the circuit breaker and tell me it was on. Once a month, I would reach out. Eventually, mushrooms started growing out of the walls and my kitchen bubbled from the pipes. I refused to pay rent until she fixed it. Then, shit started coming up from my shower drain. Professionals got involved. The landlord wanted me to ignore the plumber and buy the products to unclog the drain myself. I refused, and the landlord got sued and all but blamed me for her costly mistake."

kindtokitties

6."I had a landlord who lived above my husband and me, and he and his girlfriend would get into screaming matches. The girlfriend would literally become hoarse from screaming at him. She would stomp her feet and they would both throw things at each other. We ended up trying to get out of our lease because the fighting was multiple times a week, typically late at night, and would last for hours. We attempted to contact them and let them know their behavior was inappropriate. One time, when we called multiple times in a row to get them to stop fighting late at night, the landlord stomped his feet on the floor above us in response to the call and yelled, 'F*ck you!' at us."

a paper lease agreement

"The landlord wouldn’t let us out of our lease unless we found a sublease, even though we explained he technically broke the lease by not offering a 'quiet and peaceful environment.' Regardless, we are good people and we tried to be civil since we had to stay at least until we found someone to move in for us, but we were very clear that the next time we heard anything like that again, we would call the police."

—Anonymous

Teekid / Getty Images

7."Our last landlord called me to ask if we were home because he needed to get into the backyard, which was only accessible through the house. I told him we weren’t, and he said no problem, so we assumed everything was good. We discovered the next day that the landlord had jumped over the garage in the back to get in the backyard to put down rat poison. How did we find this out? When our 10-month-old puppy found it and ate it the next morning while out for her morning pee. THE LANDLORD POISONED OUR DOG. Thankfully, she survived because my husband happened to be home, but still. And then the next month, he raised the rent."

kt2021

8."My landlord announced that he was going to renovate the kitchen, which was just so he could increase the rent. This 'renovation' involved taking the whole kitchen out, doing nothing for 8 weeks, then putting in a new kitchen with less storage space and a faulty oven. The rent did go up."

a dark, crappy kitchen
Eugenekeebler / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9."My friend and I caught my landlord looking through the building garbage outside, and when he noticed us, he looked startled and started asking questions about the kinds of sparkling water I was buying. It also took him a solid two weeks in the dead of winter to fix my broken furnace and did not provide me with any temporary heaters. Once the heater was fixed, he blamed my cats and said they had to go or I needed to pay more into the deposit. The damage had nothing to do with my cats, but I still gave him more money. He 'accidentally' showed my friend/neighbor a porn magazine while he was signing the lease and pretended like he shouldn't have seen that."

"I can keep going. He also made comments alluding to my sex life/boyfriends constantly. He was absolutely awful. A true testament to what a tenant will put up with to score under market rent. I lived there for 8 years."

maplebow

10."My friend's landlord recently made an unannounced drop in, knocked on the door once, then let himself in. She was in the shower and came out in a towel, completely freaked out."

woman peeking out of the shower
Tacojim / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."My husband and I were eager to move out of state, picked the first apartment we were approved for, and that's all she wrote. We had rented for years before, but had been lucky with good landlords. But this place? Yikes. I only started to read reviews and gain insight once we were moved in, and it was not good. The landlords were suing basically four out of every five tenants upon move-out for ridiculous things, but then I learned just how crooked they were. They would purposely tear up carpet, ruin walls, and take pictures, then blame the tenant."

"I videoed myself cleaning everything upon move-out, locking the door, and turning in the key. I also took massive amounts of pictures of EVERYTHING all dated, etc. When I went to the office, I asked about the final walk-through, and the landlord said I didn't need to be there. RED FLAG, so I made sure I told her that was okay, because I FILMED EVERYTHING."

witchyribbon84

12."I once rented a studio apartment from a coworker who, when I went to move out, didn't want to return any of my security deposit because I was 'shitty to him at work.' I was a supervisor and part of my job was keeping others on task and making sure our department's most important tasks were done first and foremost. I threatened to take him to small claims court, and he returned my $650 deposit to me in crumpled ones, fives, and tens. My guess is that he hadn't actually saved my deposit, but spent it and then had to hastily gather some money to pay me back and not go to court. Work was awkward after that."

crumbled up dollar bill
Steven Puetzer / Getty Images

13."Despite me carefully documenting minor cosmetic damage that existed before I moved in, my landlord still tried to withhold my security deposit and threatened to sue for additional damages. He had even signed off on the documentation, but he tried to claim I had forged his signature! Then he said since I didn't get the oven professionally cleaned, he was going to charge me an extra $600. Nowhere in my lease did it say I had to do that, and he was throwing them out anyway! I had seen other people move out in the months before mine, and there were old ovens piling up outside the dumpster. I had to take him to small claims court to get my deposit back and for him to stop harassing me."

—Anonymous

14."While I was working from home, we asked our landlord to look at the basement because it kept flooding. We thought he'd set up an appointment. Instead, he just walked into the apartment unexpected and unannounced with his 'handyman,' who we once found lurking outside our window, just minutes after I finished a meeting online. When my partner confronted him about this, he responded by sending us a letter saying that I 'gave' him permission to be in the house. Yeah, I gave him permission after he was already inside the house and said he was going to the basement."

creepy handyman

"Thank god I wasn't in the shower or something. He proceeded to not return our full deposit despite doing a move-out walkthrough and confirming everything was fine. We are taking him to small claims court."

fungicake74

Darak77 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15."My junior year of college, a group of friends and I rented out some apartments that were dubbed 'The Solars' due to the solariums that were attached to each apartment. Halfway through the school year, one of my roommates moved out and a new one took his place. There was a three-night window where our new roommate moved in and our old roommate waited for his parents to drive up on the weekend and help him move out. During that three-day window, our old roommate staged his bed and furniture in the solarium for a few nights so our new roommate could move in. On the third night, around 1:00 a.m., a very large man let himself into our apartment while we were all sleeping and started screaming. He flipped our kitchen table, pounded on our doors, and stormed out. After calling the police, we found out that man was actually THE LANDLORD, and the person we had met when we signed the lease was only the listing agent."

"When confronted by the police, the landlord told them that he had seen furniture in the solarium and was convinced we had a squatter living there. The landlord demanded extra rent for allowing an additional person to sleep in the solarium. Furthermore, since there was a 'strange truck' in the parking lot, our landlord went on to tell the police that this squatter living in the solarium must be running an illegal chop shop and using the truck to distribute the parts. The truck belonged to our roommate's parents who had just arrived to help him move the next day. The next few months consisted of our landlord sitting in his car and watching our apartment from the parking lot. He continued to call us daily demanding we pay him $1,000 for the mystery squatter. We filed a police report for harassment and terminated the lease."

—Anonymous

16."I had no idea that our toilet flange was leaking since I never needed to go to the basement. When the floor tiles started to come up, I realized what was happening and reported the situation to the landlady. Being a licensed plumber, I offered to do the repairs for only the price of the materials. She turned me down, saying that she 'had a guy.' So, I came home from work one day to find her guy in the basement attempting to fix the leak. It was very apparent that he knew next to nothing about plumbing. He did not have the proper tools or necessary parts. I proceeded to do the repairs myself, even replacing the damaged section of sub floor and paying for the materials. Instead of showing gratitude for saving her time and money, she sued me for the damages."

hand lifting a toilet seat

"Naturally, the judge nearly laughed her out of court. I later learned that the real reason that she sued was to force my family to move so that she could rent the house to college students for three or four times what we were paying."

—Anonymous

Cunaplus_m.faba / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17."I lived in a room in a house where each room was leased as an 'apartment,' but we shared a tiny kitchen and bathroom. Each room had a gas heater mounted on the wall. I had a gas leak for days, so I called the gas company to turn my heater off in the middle of winter. When I told my landlord, he threatened to terminate the lease and said, 'NEVER call the gas company. We do not let them into this building.' WTF?"

—Anonymous

18."For my first rental, I found a room in a gorgeous 4-bedroom off Craigslist in a neighborhood I loved. I had two permanent roommates, and the landlord who lived in a nearby city occupied a room while he was in town. He wouldn't tell us when he was coming, and would do that thing that your parents do where they knock and open your door at the same time. So, this 50-something man would surprise drop in on me, a 19-year-old girl, and essentially barge into my room without verbal consent. Also, he didn't give me my security deposit back when he decided to sell the house because 'he had to clean the fridge.'"

hand turning a door knob

—Anonymous

Suriyo Hmun Kaew / Getty Images/EyeEm

19."Four friends and I (mostly women) moved into a house off-campus while we went to college in New Orleans. Our landlord (a man around 50) would barge in unannounced regularly. We once had a problem with our electricity and he came into the house one morning (unannounced) and woke me up (in my room) by yelling at me about the electricity problems. I got up and went to show him how the lights would stop working periodically. At that moment, they happened to work, and he screamed in my face about how I was wasting his time. Once, he walked into the bathroom while I was showering and had a conversation with me."

"We also lived in a 'shotgun' style house, so my room had two entrances. He once walked into my room while I was having sex, and instead of leaving through the door he came in from, he walked through my room and out through the other door on the other side of the room. This was the first house my roommates and I had ever lived in without our parents. We were young and vulnerable, and none of us realized how traumatizing and illegal the situation was until later. Not to mention the holes in the floor which showed the literal dirt-ground underneath, or the holes in the windows and walls. We also heard that he waved a gun around his previous tenants (also college students)."

—Anonymous

20."This landlord was real creepy. One day, he confronted me (wouldn't let me close my door) to ask me what my problem was. He said that I shouldn't be giving him an attitude because he was 'old enough to be my father' and that I still had a lot to learn about life. I called him out for constantly being on my ass for the smallest things. My rent was never late. I kept my space clean, did nothing to antagonize him and didn't understand why he couldn't just leave me alone. That seemed to shut him up for a while, but until the day I moved out, I was always terrified he'd break in and do something to me."

a shoe in the doorway

"The whole complex was creepy. The pool was coffin-shaped. The storage unit near parking reeked of something rotten. One night, I heard a woman screaming while being chased by someone laughing maniacally. Some shady stuff was going on. I'm so glad to be outta there."

hardlywerkin

Nick Dolding / Getty Images

21."My landlord came to my apartment EVERY MONTH FOR THE FIRST THREE YEARS to collect rent and 'check up on the unit.' I was his first and only tenant at the time, and obviously he was pretty intense about it. He finally agreed to me paying him via Venmo, but by then he considered our relationship a friendly one and started sending me wildly inappropriate texts such as, 'When was the last time you had an orgasm?' despite the fact that he was MARRIED and I was very much not interested. He also got incredibly drunk while installing a new lock on my door one time, and proceeded to push himself all over me with a very obvious erection. He said, 'My college buddies used to call me 'Moose' because my dick is so huge,' while pressuring me to look at his junk."

"He would come by randomly over the eight years I rented from him, so I have a million awful stories. But, I was young and afraid of retaliation (i.e. rent increases), so I just put up with it. Worst part was that we worked (and still work) at the same place. Luckily we don’t work together directly, though. UGH."

kaelynelizabeth23

22.Finally: "I was in college and had a roommate. She decided to move out before our lease was up, thus breaking the lease and leaving me in a pickle. Instead of contacting the girl to get his money, our landlord decided to target me instead. He had the gaul to sue me for the portion of rent the other girl didn't pay! WTF? I had to go to small claims court and thankfully, because I wasn't a full-time resident of the county, the case was thrown out. I have a feeling the judge also felt bad for me, knowing that the issue wasn't my fault!"

paperwork for small claims court

—Anonymous

Klh49 / Getty Images

Oh my GOD, this is out of control. I've got dozens of my own landlord horror stories, so I know more of you have stories to share too! Tell us about your terrible landlord in the comments!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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