You’re moving out of your apartment and left the place relatively clean. Sure, there might be a cobweb here and there and some picture hooks on the walls, but it’s nothing-which is why you’re hoping you’ll get your entire security deposit back.
Some tenants, however, clearly have no intention of ever seeing that money again. As proof, check out these horror stories of what landlords had to deal with after these five renters vacated the premises.
‘You left some stuff behind, guys’
After background, credit, and previous landlord checks all came back fine on some prospective tenants, Allison Greg gave them the green light to move into a home she was renting out in Woodford County, IL.
For three years, Greg didn’t bother to visit the property because the tenants paid their rent and all seemed fine. But in 2015, a neighbor contacted Greg, urging her to stop by. What she found was horrifying: The floor was covered in 2 feet of trash and even feces, with vermin skittering everywhere.
“It took four people at least five days to literally shovel everything out of the house. We had a dumpster the size of the driveway that we filled and it was over 6 tons of trash,’” Greg told Lexington Kentucky News. Insurance would cover only part of the damages, she said. She chose to evict the tenant but not pursue charges.
Lesson learned? No news from tenants could be good news—or it could be very, very bad.
The case of the hidden swine
This tenant made a pigsty out of his rental, literally. In Lincolnshire, England, Gary Armstrong rented out his parents’ three-bedroom bungalow in November 2014—and pets were most definitely not allowed.
Nine months later, he went to check on the property after a contractor reported a dog had dug a hole in the garden. Instead, he found something that had somehow been hidden from him during previous visits: a “‘50-stone, fully grown black pig living inside the house,’” he told The Sun last year.
In imperial measurement, that’s a 700-pound pig. How do you miss that?
“On a previous inspection we had been kept out of one room where I suspect the pig was hiding,” Armstrong told the news outlet, saying the room was in “a shocking state.” No surprise there—this is a pig we’re talking about. Armstrong subsequently evicted the tenants and their massive swine, whom we hope is now wallowing in greener pastures.
‘The home is haunted, so give us our deposit back’
In 2011, a week after signing a one-year lease and moving into a home in Toms River, NJ, the renters wanted their $2,250 security deposit back, claiming the home was haunted. The renters, Josue Chinchilla and Michele Callan, claimed they heard footsteps, slamming doors, and a voice that told them to “burn it down,” according toThe Star-Ledger. They also said their clothes were mysteriously strewed all over the bedroom.
If this sounds like something you’d see on daytime TV, you’d be right! After the landlord said boo to returning their security deposit, the renters went to court. But not just any court—“The People’s Court,” with Marilyn Milian. She ruled the renters must forfeit their deposit and pay three months’ rent.
‘Stripped’ of cash
A woman identified only as Carrie in downtown Los Angeles got a whole bunch more than she bargained for when she rented out a room in her home to a 26-year-old stripper in 2012. According to KTLA Los Angeles, within a few years of moving in, the tenant, Sara Rogers, decided there was definitely room in the house to move in a couple of her, erm, friends.
“The screaming, the spanking, the moaning … would wake the dead and my 5-year-old,” Carrie complained.
When Rogers allegedly stopped paying rent, Carrie confronted her. Rogers responded by chaining the room of her door closed. When police came to the property to investigate, they found a loaded handgun in the room. But the worst thing about it? Rogers not only got her security deposit back, but was also paid six months’ rent to leave the premises.
Carrie’s lawyer advised her to cough up $4,000 rather than deal with the headache of taking Rogers to court. Given the gun, we can almost see the logic in this, but for the record, this lady so doesn’t deserve all that money.
The marijuana dealer next door
A perpetual shortage of convenience-store snacks isn’t the only risk in states that have legalized marijuana. There’s also the fact that many rentals have been turned into grow houses—which is illegal unless you get the proper paperwork, licensing, and (of course) permission from your landlord to overhaul the property accordingly.
Jon Didleaux of Colorado Springs, CO, learned this the hard way when his tenant caused “major structural changes” to the property by tapping into the pipes to make an irrigation system, tore out all the carpet in the basement, and dug a trench in the yard for a power line, effectively tapping into the town’s power grid and using taxpayer money to foot the energy cost—about $8,000 in five months, according to KKTV 11 News.
“It was just a big letdown, because I thought that I got such a nice family in there and everything was just going to go smooth,” Didleaux told KKTV in May.
Luckily, the insurance company paid Didleaux $20,000 in damages and the tenant was arrested, so he probably spent some time behind bars, rent-free.