18 Landlords Recall Their Best ‘Worst-Ever Tenants’ Story

15. I worked as a handyman for this property firm in my town and basically every day there were little odd tasks to take care of. Sometimes it was changing the light bulbs in apartments (they were high ceilings since the building was built in the late 1920s) to more beefy things like replacing a water heater with a tankless system.

But one thing takes the cake and I will never be able to forget. We got a call to do an inspection for this strange black blob that appeared in one of our tenant’s ceilings and my coworker cuts an inspection hole and realizes its black mold. Uh oh. Well, I had a vacation planned to go with family to Santa Cruz and when I came back, my buddy told me a hoarder upstairs had caused the problem.

She had one of those old fashioned single door fridges with a freezer compartment which had turned into a gigantic block of ice that pushed open the freezer door and then caused the fridge door not to shut properly. So this fridge is chugging trying to keep up with making ice at back while in front it’s melting hitting the warm summer air. It dripped down onto the lino and then ran into the studio where it mingled with all manners of garbage before just soaking down. This lady had gotten in trouble once already for hoarding and the landlord just allowed her to stay in another renovated apartment. But this place we had to gut out. Luckily, the two of us didn’t have to remove everything, we left that to a hazmat crew.

Her toilet was completely stopped up and full of spiders, we figured something was amiss when she was continually taking out cat litter even though her cat died a year ago. She was using a cat box as a bathroom. If she wasn’t doing that, she wore adult diapers and when she soiled one, she’d take it off and toss it into the corner by the radiator. There was so much garbage everywhere, but it was only two years of accumulation. It was about 18 inches deep and you could clear a space out and stand in it and I’d be looking at my buddy’s belly button. So garbage out, but meant we had to rip out the floorboards, carpeting, walls, old cabinets (how she managed to never get bitten by the hundreds of black widows, I’ll never know). The worst was having to clean the ceiling.

We had noticed there were an awful lot of fruit flies around my friend’s apartment in the building even when he didn’t have fruit. The woman’s ceiling was black with fruit fly egg casings and scrubbing didn’t get rid of it. You’d have to stand on a ladder, look up, spray bleach and try to scrub. It wouldn’t come out so we just painted over everything. It took about 12 coats just to get it plain white again.

After we finished, it was rented out to a nice woman who kept a clean home, but the original tenant who reported the mold left and the landlord stuck the hoarder lady in the apartment. I could understand he was trying to avoid a disability lawsuit, but this was her third strike already. It cost about 8000 to rehab the apartment. On top of that, we had to put together new furniture for her as well. After that, I handed in my notice and went back to school full time.



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