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Congratulations to the Winners of the Terrible Tenant Contest
Through the month of August, we collected stories about your terrible tenants in search of a Grand Prize winner. We had so many great stories that we have decided to award 3 winners!
Congratulations to Chris A., Cheryl S., and Janis J.! You will each receive a $20 AAOA credit and your stories will be featured in an upcoming newsletter.
Didnt get to submit your story? We still want to hear from you! Send your terrible tenant stories and pictures to to be featured in a future newsletter.



landlord helpHave you ever walked into a vacated apartment to find that it had been destroyed? Or realized that your no-animal rental had been turned into a zoo? Maybe you came to realize your tenant was not who you thought they were?

Every landlord has their share of stories- good and bad and we want to hear the bad. Tell us your worst tenant story for a chance to be featured on the AAOA Blog and Newsletter.

The top 10 stories will be shared- include pictures if you have them!  

One grand Prize winner will receive 20 AAOA dollars to be used for the purchase of tenant reports.   


Send all stories/pictures to:


American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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  • Cheryl Sutherland

    I have a small 6 flat apartment building, that I manage myself. Over the last 20+ years I’ve certainly learned alot and had my fair share of bad tenants. The worst and grosset tenant was a young single male, who was having sex parties every night. Because my building is small, the walls are rather thin. Hence, I got calls from my other ‘family’ friendly tenants nearly every night about the noises coming from that unit, and what their children were forced to listen to. I gave the tenant notice to leave, and upon his departure, what I found was just unbelievable. Human fluids of every sort, all over the floors, walls, etc. Sexual oils, ointments, lotions scattered and sprayed across the unit. Sexual picutres drawn all over the walls and ceilings! And, I guess for effect, he painted all my beautiful wood trim, doors, and kitchen cabinets BLACK! Replaced all lightbulbs with Red ones. It was really hard to get in there and clean. And lots of garage left behind, with several ‘used’ mattresses in the living room. Alot of repairs had to be done, to the tune of $5000.00, of which I never recouped. Strange, he was so nice face-to-face.

  • mike thomas

    I just hired a private investagator to locate former tenants that owe an average of $2000. each in unpaid rents and damages and clean up.$100. to find out where they live,$150. to find out where they work,plus the the investagators fee of $50. Quickly have them served to appear in small claims court,with landlord evidence its easy and FUN to win a judgement.If you know where they work ,file a garnishment with there employer.Get the money owed you.We only get good at that which we’ve done a lot of.Learn the courts your rights to get the money your owed.Its not fun prividing people with safe sound sanitary home for free.

  • steve atkins

    I have a approx. 1200 sq.ft. rental home with possible 4 bedrooms. I rented to a family that was relocating from about 3 hrs away. It was a family of 7 people we questioned the size of the family in relation to the house. we figured out how it would work and be legal. all well and great, not so fast. the parent in charge of this home fooled me and my wife big time. when we would go to the home to collect rent it was never a fast process this whole family loved to talk to us every time I was there. no clue ever that there was a serious problem in this home. this family lived in this home about 6 months. one day I get a call from my mother asking me what the address of this property was I told her then she tells me my rental home is on the front page of my local newspaper because one of the persons living in this home was murdered by another member of the family. this story made national headlines. ok. at this point besides being in total shock my self. I was new in the business did not know any other lanlord who had ever experienced this kind of situation before. after talking to the police about this and giving them info they needed. I contacted a local lawyer to find out what to do now. I had to contact the family other family from where these people came from. they took there good sweet time coming to the property to reclaim what they wanted and because i did not stick around the rental home to watch there every move when they got what they wanted from the home they left and left all the lights on and doors open. just so happened my sister was driving by the property at about midnight that night and saw the house wide open and closed it up for me. then cleaning up the mess left behind. not much blood or any thing like that but just a entire house of mess. going through that had never been worn,gave those away to someone in need. long story short about 2 weeks later and 2guys we found the end of the mess. alot of lessons learn from that experience

  • Virginia

    In response to Mike Thomas’ comment: I’ve taken previous tenants to small claims court for back rent and damages and won judgments every time. However, there is no way to make these people actually pay me. Usually they can’t be located. If I can locate them, they either don’t work or I can’t find their employer. I even paid to have one garnished, then she quit her job! Anybody know how I can force these people to pay. I contacted a national collection agency a year ago. They haven’t found one person or recouped any money in a year.

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