...to ask for landlord horror stories?(29 Posts)
My DP and I are about to move into our own place again after living with parents for the past couple of years and being sure to make all the checks necessary. A couple of things came to mind that I wanted to share.
Our water heater broke down one September. After informing the landlord, it was eventually fixed - six months later. We spent six months without hot water, straight through the winter. Thank feck we've learnt from that experience.
Another time, our downstairs neighbour used to chuck bin bags in the backyard rather than the bin and never put the bin out front. It got to the point where the bin bags filled the entire yard (no exaggeration) and you couldn't even open the door. The bags were about four foot high. After informing the landlord he said he'd "get onto it." Two months later, we contacted him again. He practically begged us not to call environmental health and had it sorted within 24 hours.
Fortunately, we've learnt from these mistakes to be more assertive. Anyone else had any problems?
My absolute favourite is from the place we moved out of earlier this year. We were there for nearly 8 years. The carpets were worn and marked when we moved in, but strategic furniture placement and then not being too fussed because we had a baby meant we never asked for them to be replaced.
When we moved out the landlord tried to charge us £900 to replace the small bedroom carpet
The lock on our door broke so we called the landlord for a locksmith. She asked us to find one and she would pay the bill.
A man came out, the lock needed replaced. We kept the old part for her and paid the locksmith. She wanted a receipt but the man just wrote a hand written one as he didn't have formal receipts.
Anyway landlord comes over moaning about how it was too expensive and kept examining the old lock. She tried her key in the new lock approx 6 times to make sure it working and that we weren't locking her out. She wasn't happy at the receipt and called the company infront of us to check that it was genuine. We didn't give her any reason not to trust us previously.
Since then she started letting herself into the house to have work done while we were at work. I used to come home and she was there. It was a nightmare.
One day I came home and she had left every door open upstairs as if to say yes I've been in all the rooms, this is my house I don't care.
We managed to get out and bought our own place. I am glad to get rid of her.
I once fleetingly considered suicide as a way of being free of a landlord. Even after I left the property she continued to harass me to the point I didn't want to wake up in the morning. I can't give details here as it's identifying and a legal matter.
I think it is over now a year later, but I still get panicky over it and it has affected me deeply. The worst thing I've ever gone through and wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I moved out of a houseshare after my friends took the piss with their boyfriends after telling them that's the one thing I don't want, which they agreed to and lied about.
I gave the landlord an honest reason about why I was leaving, she was lovely about it and charged me a reduced fee (lol) to get our of the contract, which I duly paid.
A replacement moved in with her knowledge and she liaised with the lead tenant r.e. everything as it was her choice.
Because my replacement upped and left with little warning they all said I'm the tenant all over again, as they didn't sort out the contract before they moved in despite me paying for that to be done. And despite her actually moving in with everyone's knowledge, and me moving out and paying rent elsewhere.
The fucking cheek of what they all did to me considering I left because of them and to the best of my knowledge did everything right. Not my fault the landlord didn't arrange sufficient checks or complete the new contract before allowing the replacement into the house.
Because of it I've been going through hell and back with them, the former tenants and former bill companies because of the contractual issue and fact that new person left. It's been a nightmare for 12 months and counting.
I had a landlord that used to do work on our house by moving Eastern European workmen in that spoke no English and slept on the kitchen floor. That was fun.
We were all told that council tax was included in our rent and, as a student for most of the time I had no issues anyway. Five years down the road I get a court summons when I register as a voter for unpaid council tax. He'd taken it upon himself to inform them I was a) sole occupant and b) was liable for all council tax. A lot of young and froing and I eventually managed to prove he was running an illegal HMO and he received a bill for many, many, MANY years of council tax.
New tenants. Photograph everything when you move in to save arguments over your deposit.
I lived in an old tenement flat and my landlady owned ours and the downstairs flat.
One day I came home to find the lock broken and a plumber in my flat - it turned out a pipe under the floor in our hall had burst and was flooding the flat downstairs, including into their electrical supply. The plumber was very apologetic as in order to find the leak he'd had to rip up all the lovely wood floors in the hall. You could still cross it but had to balance on the cross-beams. He'd also smashed through a bunch of the tiles in the bathroom to try and find the stopcock as the landlady didn't know where it was and they couldn't find it. At no point had my landlady thought to phone me about the events.
He phoned the landlady in front of me as he'd just finished repairing the leak when I arrived, and explained the situation. She was adamant that he could just go now, and she'd "leave the floor and locks for another time". Thankfully the plumber was insistent on the phone that there was no way it was safe to leave someone living in this situation and an emergency carpenter and locksmith were summoned. It was my first rental flat, I was about 19 and I don't think I'd have had the confidence to insist on that to her. I was VERY glad the plumber was so incensed on my behalf.
However the emergency carpenter just fired down some plywood so it was safe but looked ridiculous. It was still there, along with all the holes in the bathroom, when I moved out 10 months later.
Just moved out of a property. When we moved in, the letting agent told us that the landlord had been in and removed a mirror from the hallway overnight as they wanted it in their own home. He came with us to check it out and noted it as an amendment on the inventory on our first visit to the property (mirror had clearly been painted around for many years as had blue paint square and 5 huge holes in a magnolia wall!). Came to check out this week after 2 years and letting agent informs us the landlord wanted £300 for the 'missing' mirror and another £100 to repaint the wall as it was in a mess from where we'd taken it off the wall 🙄 Thank goodness for a well written inventory!
Chocolate that is truly awful and my DD went through similar. Her first name didn't begin with M did it! ??
I do hope things are better for you now.
Psycho landlady for my DD. She would plant crumbs in places like behind storage jars or near a bread bin. Then go in a few days later and take pictures of the crumbs she'd put down that were still there and complain.
Also used to let herself in when she just knew they were all at work and take photos of the messy bedrooms. Yes my DD was a bit messy in her room but you cannot keep going into a property and invade someone's privacy like that.
When it came to moving out... oh my god, it was awful. Professional cleaners were hired at great cost at the end of the tenancy but that still wasn't good enough. She went in and planted stuff after the cleaners had been in, and took pics of it with the aim of keeping the deposit.
She unleashed my fury and the Deposit Scheme was worth it's weight in gold, they got it all back. But it was a fight. Then she continued to send my DD emails wanting help with the next tenant, she wanted my DD to go round there and tell them off?? It got to the harrassment stage but luckily did stop eventually.
They lived on a busy street and on Bonfire night someone chucked an egg at a window. Somehow or other it was my DDs fault as she must have 'encouraged hooligans' into the area!
I've only detailed 10% of what she was like, it was far far worse. At one point she was texting, whatsapping, emailing and ringing my DD at work continually.
1. The electricity was hooked up weirdly/the expenses of the whole house went on our account.. Actually had to go to court for this one. The other two apartments in the house belonged to the landlord and his brother's family. I do wonder how often they got away with this one.
2. Creepy building supervisor into tantra and tango. Really wanted to teach me the different kind of tangoes. One of them actually being the "sexual tango" (??). He was about thrice my age... I politely rejected him and ended up losing most of my underwear. (Communal washing area
3. A female neighbour that used to turn the music on (probably max. volume) and leave the house. We complained, she ended up shacking up with the landlord's son. Who was apparently a wannabe DJ. She was a bit violent. Left ASAP.
I have more (much worse...) horror stories. But they were with "ordinary" neighbours and not the landlords or supervisor.
Oh, no. Not true. We once had the landlord in my apartment. Completely unannounced...
I also had one who didn't fix a broken boiler for ages and therefore had no heating or hot water all winter, had to use a kettle and bucket to shower and had horrendously high electric bills from trying to keep one room warm with an electric heater. Same landlord did not do one gas safety check when I lived there (should be done annually) so no surprise that the boiler broke. They then evicted me "to sell the house" but during my notice they fitted carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms etc - all the safety stuff they should have done when I was there but didn't. Also let themself into the flat once without even knocking - "oh, I was just testing my key to see that it works!"
My ex-landlord took three weeks to fix a broken boiler, in the middle of a freezing cold winter when I had an 18 month old baby.
I used to get letters from the letting agents saying the landlord had "just happened" to pass by the house and noticed the grass was a little longer than he'd like, and so they'd be checking I had cut it by the end of the week. Seeing as I lived on a cul-de-sac the landlord had absolutely no reason to "just happen" to be passing my house.
When I moved out after over 10 years the landlord attempted (among other things) to take £200 from my deposit for a mattress and £20 for a shower curtain (cheap IKEA one) both of which were clearly used when I moved in and had not been damaged since.
The letting agent dealt with the deposit at the end of my tenancy and she seemed to think I was a complete idiot and would be terrified at the thought of a dispute with the TDS. So after she threatened me several times with it I raised a dispute and got my deposit back.
to avoid shaftings:
- learn your rights. Read the how to rent guide. Bad landlords and bad agents prey on clueless tenants. You have loads of rights (even though the blubbering Guardian readers say otherwise) so use them.
- do not rent a shithole expecting it to get better. Even in London.
- do not expect a landlord to control the behaviour of a tenant. You or anyone else.
Totally agree specialist. I know a lot about the law with regard to tenancies now - through necessity!
Not a landlord issue, but my old house mate almost killed the rest of us one night by coming home drunk, trying to light a fag off the cooker and leaving the unlit gas running all night.
So lucky that it wasn't winter so the boiler didn't kick in for the heating and blow us all to pieces. Other housemate was sleeping in the room next door to the gas; her DP woke up and was with it enough to realise what the smell was before he switched the light on, as that would probably have blown us all up too!!
Needless to say a massive argument ensued and she left the house shortly afterwards, took about 4 days for everyone's headaches and sick feeling to pass!!
We moved into a bungalow. It was FILTHY. There was also a note on the side welcoming us to the house and warning us about 'the flood' - more of that later.
I set to work cleaning the place. The dirt really was ingrained and a steam cleaner only lifted the black tile grout to a light charcoal. I later discovered the landlady used to rehome cats - at at her busiest had 36. THIRTY FUCKING SIX CATS.
The kitchen was so old that the worktops were deteriorating so every time you shut a cupboard door weird sawdust showered the floor.
When it rained water cascaded down the hill in a massive waterfall, hit the house, split in 2 and flowed down the driveway. It then left standing water under the house and the bedroom smelled of sewerage.
Obviously we took this up with the agent. We were told she had been told there were cleaning issues but there was little they could do. A drainage expert was called in and he reccommended expensive work. The landlady said it was too expensive so got her mate across the road to build a weird holding chamber out of brick which basically just filled up and continued to flood the place.
We moved out. As we were doing so she emailed to ask if she could let builders in to do remedial work. We told her no as if she had done all that shit in the first place we wouldnt have to move. Cheeky bitch.
Then, after cleaning the place from top to bottom we were presented with a cleaning bill for £300 as the kitchen was apparently dirty. Only thing is - said kitchen was ripped out and sitting in her garden, photos of this put a stop to itm
It was my first experience renting. When i moved into my current house i took over a thousand photos. I logged every single bump and scrape.
We had one who kept letting himself in. I woke one night whilst my h was away working and he was standing at the foot of my bed. That was fun! Another when we rented a furnished place left it furnished allright, there were even clothes still in the wardrobes and no place to put our stuff.
I am still adamant someone was coming into our flat few years ago. DH said it just sounded like that and it must have been door from next door flat.
He was less confident when I pointed out they leave for work at 7:25 every weekday and come back about 5PM while the door sound was about 2PM. I actually called out his name few times, that's how sure I was someone opened the door.
I also came home once and door were unlocked. I never left them unlock.
When I was at home, I started using door chain.
It all stopped.
We were renting so couldn't really change a lock.
Loads of horror stories from clients:
A couple with a newborn left with no heating or hot water for nearly 6 weeks during Dec/Jan; the roof leaked badly and when the landlord came to check it out he put his foot through their bedroom ceiling and tried to make out it was somehow their fault; their toilet waste pipe leaked and in the end her husband replaced it because they got sick of having to clean up poo water all the time.
A young mum in a flat that leaked so badly, there was a waterfall coming through the loft hatch if it rained hard. She got massive electric bills and got into arrears, and had to have a key meter fitted. One day she came home and the woman who ran the nursery below the flat was spitting with rage because she had no electricity and had had to close. Landlord had converted the building without putting in a separate electricity supply to the ground floor, the tenant had been paying for ALL the electricity to the whole building. She later had to move out because the water started to pour in through the windows one rainy day, and all the electrics were comprehensively fucked. The gutters hadn't been cleared for several years and had sizeable shrubs growing in them!
One client rented a house in a notoriously windy spot. Roof tiles were always coming off and her car and her daughter's car were both quite damaged by them. The landlord just wouldn't sort it out (he lived abroad) and ignored emails both from tenant and agent. Eventually, the postman refused to deliver to the house because it was so unsafe. One wet winter, a retaining wall came down and half the adjoining field ended up in her garden. The house was a new-build and still covered by an NHBC certificate at the time. When she moved out, the agents tried to withhold all the deposit, claiming that the the whole house needed replacing. The client's BIL was a carpet fitter, and the carpets were the same ones that had been put in by the developer when it was built. His company did all the carpets for the letting agent, and he said they would charge £700 to do the whole house, the agent wanted to withhold £2k (BIL did the carpets for £700, landlord ended up contributing £250 because some of the issues were wear and tear).
DP's old landlord used to let himself in, snoop about and read tenants' post. Then he'd gossip to other tenants about their business, who was in debt, who was under a psychiatrist. He refused to renew a neighbour's tenancy because she had a black boyfriend and he didn't like it. All the gas meters were muddled up and people were paying other tenants' bills. Luckily, the LL wouldn't let people change supplier and everyone was with British Gas so it could have been worse, but it still took ages to sort out. He was convinced I took my dogs to stay there, just because I had dog cages in my car. Refused to sort out wasps' nests in the eaves and pigeon infestation: DP was in the attic flat, we couldn't have the windows open because the pigeons would just fly in and shit everywhere. When the shower leaked and started to make the landing damp, his solution was to disable it. We used the bath, until the bath started to leak into the flat below.
I bloody hate landlords.
Trivial compared to some but ..
We moved out in one April and had freshly cut the lawn and taken the cuttings away. The handover with the letting agent went well, they were happy.
8 weeks later (so obviously the lawn has grown in the spring and summer ), I’m still chasing my deposit - landlord says the grass is overgrown so they are withholding the full amount (not justified!). Well of course the lawn will now be overgrown, we moved out 8 weeks ago.
The lesson learned was take photos , photos, photos.
We had to go back to the house to cut the lawn to get the deposit back. Madness.
Back in the 90s I rented a small rural cottage that had oil central heating . When the landlord was handing me the keys on moving day two days before Christmas (long story), they said the previous tenant hadn’t left any oil so I mustn’t run the boiler because if it was dry it would damage the boiler. The oil delivery would take several days because it was near Christmas so we’d just have to go cold.
Two days later, a pipe in the loft had frozen and burst causing a major leak. The landlord invoiced me for the damage .
Oh and another landlord became abusive when we rang him to give him our one months notice “because he was in Spain”. (we were on a rolling monthly contract and the notice periods were very clear ).
We kept being polite but he kept on “but you can’t leave, I’m in Spain “, followed by a load of expletives . Sorry but not our problem :-/
I shared with a friend for a year and each month the landlord came round to collect the rent, we had a rent book, all seemed ok. It was always me who dealt with him.
My friend moved out. Landlord text me to tell me that my friend had been illegally subletting the spare room to me and I had a week to get out, even though he, the landlord, had been aware.
Turns out he was not the landlord, he was his brother left in charge of what should have been rented as a one person flat and had pocketed the extra money while his brother was away working abroad.
My room was very small and should have technically been a large cupboard with a window! He'd advertised it as two bed and then panicked when his brother came back.
Previous Landlord wouldn't replace faulty boiler with recalled unsafe part that caused flame to shoot out of its plug socket, missing my hair/face by couple inches. Then revenge evicted me for complaining.
Current landlord: Sending a staggering, drunk, non qualified employee to do gas safety check.
Saying a faulty electric cooker with a child in residence is "fine, 3 rings work".
Trying to illegally evict, failed as CAB said he hadn't provided:
Gas safety certificate.
Government How to Rent Guide
Deposit protection scheme
(deposit should be returned in full before Section 21served).
I could go on, but but those are the highlights. London landlords: 80% are charlatans who are gobsmacked & annoyed when you point out that actually, there are Housing laws, they do apply & they can be enforced .
I had a rather
not so lovely Bulgarian landlord D. Got the flat through an agent and D's sugar daddy friend jim was the spare key holder /repair/help man etc. Had lived there 3 years without ever speaking to her... got a text that she would be in scotland the next day for xmas. The next day she turned up at mine, with her luggage, she thought she could just stay at mine in a one bed flat.
She wasn't happy I said no so went to chap my neighbours where she found out through the gossip that I was fucking the guy upstairs... I was, we had been together 2+ years then. I had escaped up to guy upstairs while she was chatting to neighbours, she soon came to his door. Holy fuck was she mad, how dare he abuse her trust by fucking her tenant, he was her friend blah blah.
Next day she phoned to say I had to move out as sugar daddy chum jim had advvanced MND and she couldn't stay there, I had no idea. I did move upstairs!!!
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