October 29, 2018
Joe Fairless

20 Tenant Horror Stories

Halloween is about binging on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (or Almond Joys if you’re a weirdo), attending costume parties, screaming your way through haunted houses, and re-watching the Halloween movie series from start to finish.

However, as real estate investors, the horror of Halloween isn’t limited to October 31st, especially if you are a landlord. A landlord has the potential to receive a phone call about an outrageous problem with a tenant 365 days out of the year.

Here are 20 shocking horror stories from active real estate investors who are a part of the Best Ever Show Community on Facebook involving a tenant that would make the plot of the next Halloween movie.

  1. The Couch and a Python: This story comes from Daniel Holmund’s grandfather. A tenant moved out of a unit and all that remained was an ugly couch and a cage…that held a massive 6-foot-long python.
  2. Breaking Bad: Jay Helms just bought his first investment property from a tax deed auction. When he went to visit his new asset, he expected the property to be vacant. Instead, he found someone squatting in the house. They were an aspiring Walter White (more like Jessie Pinkman) who was stealing his mother’s disability checks to purchase supplies for his meth lab.
  3. Rats and Needles: Julie Fagan inherited a tenant who filled the unit with caged rats and used needles in every room. The day she purchased the apartment building, she sent the tenant a 7-day eviction notice, and the rats and needles were gone within a week.
  4. The Wrong Type of Thirst Quencher: Josh Levine found around 100 lemon-lime Gatorade bottles inside one of his apartment units. Upon further inspection, he realized it wasn’t lemon-lime Gatorade, but urine…
  5. The Service Dog of Doom: A tenant at one of Linda Weygant’s rentals got a new “service dog.” Once Linda found out, she allowed the tenant to keep the service dog without charging them extra pet rent or a pet deposit. In return for her generosity, Linda was sued for discrimination, with the tenant claiming that Linda wasn’t allowed to even ask about the service dog. The tenant overstayed the lease and was subsequently evicted. But, for the next year, Linda received threats against her life and the property from this tenant while going through a State of Colorado Discrimination investigation. The situation resolved itself in Linda’s favor eventually, but talk about a nightmare!
  6. Pitbull: Mitchell Drimmer had a tenant skip out in the middle of the night, leaving an aggressive looking pitbull behind.
  7. The Worst Arsonist Ever: Todd Dexheimer had a tenant who was a mother taking care of one of her cousin’s kids. The husband was in jail at the time and the mother lost custody of the child due to drug issues. Once her husband got out of jail, he found the address of Todd’s property. He tried and failed to kick down the door at which point he escalated to attempting to burn down the house. Luckily, this attempt failed too. He ended up destroying the vehicle in the garage and did some minor damage to the house. Todd received a call from the police explaining the situation and that his tenant was in protective custody. They said most of her belongings were removed and whatever was left could be gotten rid of.
  8. Orgy Gone Wrong: The oddest horror story goes to Heidi Nelson. One of her tenants was having a sex-capade that went wrong and the tenant ended up losing their life in the process.
  9. More Breaking Bad: Jay Helms isn’t the only person who had an aspiring Walter White/Jessie Pinkman as a tenant. Garrett White received a call from the fire apartment about one of his duplexes catching fire. When he arrived at the property, he was met by seven police cruisers. He finds out that the fire was caused by an exploding lithium battery. Lithium is a precursor to meth, so the tenant’s meth business went up in flames, literally.
  10. The FEDs: One morning, Joe Ely received a call from his handyman, who lived across the street from one of his rental properties. The handyman said that Federal US Marshalls battering rammed his door open and pulled 9 suspects out of the house who were now laying spread eagle on the front lawn.
  11. Fire!: Greg Jeanfreau had a fire at one of his duplexes. The fireman showed up and put out the fire. However, due to the strength of the fire, the fireman’s attempts to fight the fire resulted in the collapse of all the ceilings. Fortunately, his tenants were safe and insurance covered the damages.
  12. Fraudulent Rent: Krishan Singh had seemingly great tenants who paid their rent with a credit card online for the first two months. That is until the bank realized that the transactions were fraudulent and Krishan received a chargeback for the entire rental amount.
  13. Why You Don’t Rent to Friends: Adam Adam’s rented out one of his rental units to a friend without a written lease. A downturn in the economy and a drive by shooting later (which fortunately didn’t result in loss of life), Adam no longer considers this person a friend because they still owe him $7,500 in back rent.
  14. Why You Don’t Rent to Your Contractor Either: Matthew Mesick’s cousin was managing a fix-and-flip project. He hired a contractor and let them live in the house during the rehab process. The contractor ended up overdosing on heroin and his body wasn’t discovered for over a week. The costs to clean up and repair the damages caused by the body cost $26,000. On top of that, Matt’s cousin nor the investor had insurance, so the $26,000 was out-of-pocket.
  15. Don’t Hire SWAT to Remodel Your Home: After Jack Petrick completely renovated a single-family rental property, it was remodeled by a SWAT team…(click here for a video of the “remodeling” process)
  16. Why You Don’t Rent to Escorts: Muriel Brisson-Jackson received multiple phone calls from neighbors about a lot of traffic in and out his rental property at all times of the day and night – with all the traffic being different men. The tenant was gone within a day and Muriel was left with a chair riddled with hole marks from stiletto heels.
  17. Fire, Drugs, and Poo: Tamar Mar provided three horror stories. First, there was a fire at one of her properties that, 10 months later, is still being rebuilt. Then, she walked in on one of her tenants who was in the process of doing drugs. Lastly, she is turning a unit now that is covered in human feces. On the brightside, she has some great ideas on how to create the ultimate haunted house!
  18. Lover’s Quarrel: Ryan Gibson had two of his tenants get into a lover’s quarrel, which escalated to the point where the man stands outside of the trailer, fires a gun into the air, and says, “the next one’s for you!”
  19. Two Week Flood: One of Justin Fraser’s tenants left the water running in a clogged sink during a two-week vacation. The neighbor called him, saying that there is water coming into their basement from Justin’s basement. The result was $112,000 worth of damage and counting. Click here for a video Justin made when he saw the damage for the first time.
  20. Lord of the Flies: A tenant in one of Larry Abramowitz’s condo rentals had a dog with flies that invested the entire unit. The infestation was so bad that the first exterminator refused the job.

What about you? Comment below:

What is your best tenant horror story?

Want to learn how to build an apartment syndication empire? Purchase the world’s first and only comprehensive book on the exact step-by-step process for completing your first apartment syndication: Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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