This week our Friday Five lists 5 of the worst tenant nightmare stories. All of these examples are true which illustrates the importance for all landlords to protect themselves with landlord insurance.
1. Knife Threats
This rather disturbing story is still being processed in court. A landlord who owned a house with multiple private tenants had one tenant who was behind on their rent payments and a disagreement between both parties emerged over how much was owed. Once the case was taken to court, the tenant began exhibiting threatening behaviour towards the landlord and other tenants. The landlord decided to secretly film the tenant while they had a heated discussion. The video shows the tenant brandishing a knife, using abusive language and threatening to chop off the landlord’s fingers. A friend of the landlord stated the case has taken “a very interesting turn” but cannot elaborate, however it appears things may work out in the landlord’s favour.
2. Tenant Voodoo Ritual Accidentally Causes Fire
It’s not uncommon for people to light a few candles for a relaxing night in or a romantic dinner; voodoo ceremonies on the other hand, not so common. A tenant accidentally caused a catastrophic fire when conducting a ‘good luck’ ritual in their bedroom for a friend. They arranged several candles around the bed, but one of them fell over and ignited the bed sheets. After a few failed attempts to extinguish the fire, both the tenant and his customer evacuated the premises, leaving the bedroom door open which allowed the fire to spread across 3 floors of the apartment and the roof. There was one fatality and a total of 31 injured people. Residents of the property were left homeless and had to find alternative living arrangements.
3. Landlord of the Flies
This story involves a woman who shared an apartment with an existing tenant, who soon left to be in a nursing home. She continued to stay after the tenant moved out and began hoarding furniture, clothes and food which eventually began to rot. For over a year neighbours were exposed to offensive odours and insect infestations, forcing many to abandon their homes. After a 7 year court battle and over $100,000 in payment for legal fees and rubbish removal, the landlord could finally send this messy tenant packing. When he re-entered the vacant flat, he was greeted by a cloud of fruit flies.
4. Reckless Teenager Causes £20,000 of Damage
A North East landlord had to wait months before he had permission to repossess his house and evict some unruly tenants, but in the end the damage was done. The destruction that was left behind was shocking; overflowing toilet bowls, smashed windows, kitchen fittings gutted out, torn out ceilings leading to rainwater damage and other general demolition. An 18 year old teenager pleaded guilty to criminal damage and was given community service as he had no money to repay the costs. After this story was made public, many landlords and associations called for the government to help speed up the eviction process.
5. What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours We Share
Sometimes in order to stay afloat financially people become live-in landlords and rent out a spare bedroom. One couple however, ended up making losses instead of gains. A single tenant occupied the room then soon after, his estranged wife came to stay as well and both turned out to be drug abusers. He never paid rent on time and soon after his wife moved in, the landlord started to notice personal items going missing. The wife would often ‘make herself familiar’ with the house when it was empty, by stealing and writing cheques from the landlord to herself. The couple were eventually evicted but did not leave empty-handed, taking half of the owner’s clothes with them.