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11 Brave Renters Spill Their Most Bizarre Landlord Stories (PHOTOS)

key exchange People love to say that home ownership is the American dream, but there can be a lot to love about being a renter. On the upside, renting means not being responsible for expensive home repairs, and having the freedom to move out at the end of a lease. In some cities, renting can be the most affordable and convenient option. But -- and you know there has to be a but -- renting means that you are at the mercy of a landlord.

While there are surely some fantastic landlords out there, we're here today to talk about the creepy, the nosy, and the actual clowns of the rental world. So buckle up and brace yourself for a whole lot of crazy as 11 brave renters spill the beans on the world's worst and weirdest landlords.

 

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1You Don't Have to Be Scared

"Our sewer main was clogged with a tree root, backing up into the house. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and SUPER sick. Landlord's solution was to tell us not to flush toilet paper anymore. She said, 'Just get another trash can and put it in there with some bleach.'

"And one day after a surprise visit to the house where I didn't answer the door because I was mid–conference call, she left a long rambling message on [my husband's] voice mail about how I didn't have to be scared of her; regardless of what I had heard she loved Jesus and wasn't a lesbian. She never did pay us back for the plumber." -- Kate W., Denver, Colorado

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2A Real Clown

"Our landlords had a handy-type lady who helped with maintenance of my college home. She showed up in full-on clown costume at dusk one night, unexpected, and just stared in the windows of our house for a while -- before she let herself in. Terrifying." -- Jennifer B., St. Paul, Minnesota

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3The Mystery Tooth

"Our former landlord Ken was weird in about 1,000 ways. He would show up unannounced; he'd drop off his 10-year-old son and tell us to find a job for him to do. He'd talk a lot about how it was good that my husband and I were married, because he didn't condone 'fornicators,' and he lost our rent checks on a pretty regular basis. The thing I'll never forget though is that sometimes he had both of his front teeth ... and sometimes he didn't. He must have had a denture thing and just sometimes didn't wear it? It was so distracting." -- Sue T., Des Moines, Iowa

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4The Peeper

"I was driving home one day, and as I got to the house, I saw our new landlord in the bushes outside my roommate's bedroom window, trying to look through the shutters. I called my dad [who is] a cop, and then went around to the side of the house and confronted him. He turned bright red and said he was just trying to 'check on the condition of the stucco' on the house. I was like, 'Yeah, sure, okay. By the way, my dad is coming over to meet you.'

"Ten minutes later, my dad and his partner showed up in full uniform. My landlord looked like he was going to crap his pants. My dad basically scared him silly and we never saw him the rest of the time we lived there." -- Hannah M., Roswell, New Mexico

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5Literally Going Batty

"I lived in a windmill in grad school -- it was SO not up to code, but it was neat, so I went with it, until I kept getting attacked by bats that lived in the fourth-floor attic. Third time in a week that a bat was flying around in my bedroom, I called the landlord, who came over with a rifle and bayonet, and he stabbed the bat with the bayonet. I'll never forget that noise. Same landlord refused to return my deposit, so I took him to small claims court." -- Rachael F., Bowling Green, Ohio

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6The Hoarder

"We rented half of a duplex, and the landlord lived in the other half. She had mental and physical health issues and hoarded. She went through periods of reclusiveness and more manic behavior, where she would call frequently at all hours of the day and night. We got a knock on the door from a friend of hers one day, because she hadn't seen her in several weeks and couldn't get her to come to the door. This wasn't totally abnormal given her reclusiveness, but her friend was concerned. We called the police, and when they broke in they found her dead, and she had been dead for a while. Her family came from out of town, they were estranged, and we had to help put together some of the pieces for them about her health and life in general. It was terribly sad." -- Cassi J., St. Paul, Minnesota

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7Just Say No

"Our college landlord was a crackhead and a hot mess. He was responsible for paying the heat, which was his part of the deal. He never paid, and our heat was cut off in February in Duluth and remained that way for about a week until we all scraped enough money together to buy a truck of oil. We ran the water so the pipes wouldn't freeze. I was living with my boyfriend (now husband) so at least we were warm in bed.

"He also didn't replace the stove or fridge when they both crapped out. There was a fuzzy layer of black mold in the basement where our roommate's room was located. Eventually, the house was condemned, and we all had to move out. The plus side was we didn't pay rent for months, because he wouldn't replace any of the appliances. It was a disaster, but has given us all some great stories!" -- Megan O., Duluth, Minnesota

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8The Bigot

"When my landlord finally figured out that my girlfriend was my GIRLFRIEND and not just my roommate, she tried to evict us. She left us all these nasty notes about us burning in hell and was generally just committed to making our lives miserable. What an awful old bat." -- Desi B., Tucson, Arizona

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9The First Timer

"Amy was actually really, really sweet. She was just a TERRIBLE landlord. She had tried to sell her house but the housing market had just crashed and so she couldn't, and she decided to rent it out. We were her first tenants.

"She just didn't know what she was doing. We were supposed to move in on a Sunday and got there to find that she wasn't out yet. All of our stuff was on the truck, and she was like, 'Um, do you mind waiting until Wednesday to move in?' so she ended up having to pay for us to be in a hotel for four days and to pay the moving company. The next month, she called and said, 'I think I'm undercharging you for rent -- can I increase it?' but thankfully we had a lease so she couldn't. The next month, she decided she needed to paint the whole house, but then didn't pay the painter on time so he kept coming and bugging us for the money. She was just a total dingbat." -- Kelsey G., Richfield, Michigan

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10That's Nice?

"My now-husband came home one day and found a bunch of his laundry washed and folded. Another day, he came home and found that the whole house had been cleaned. He thought that it was nice that his little old lady landlord was coming over to help him, but I thought it was creepy that she would just come over with no notice or warning and mess with his stuff.

"Well, it was probably inevitable, but one day we were getting busy on the couch and heard the door open. She saw EVERYTHING and yelled at us, 'No! No! Why you do that in my house!' So awkward." -- Brynn G., Danville, California

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11Gee, Thanks ...

"We'd moved into a corporate rental house in a fairly affluent neighborhood for a few months when my husband got transferred for his job. Everyone seemed nice enough, so when the property manager called to make sure we were getting settled in, I mentioned that the neighbors seemed nice. I was FLOORED when he said, 'Oh, yeah, I warned them you guys were moving in and that they shouldn't worry if they saw your husband around the neighborhood, because you belong there.'

"Yes, we're black, if you are wondering. I was so insulted." -- Shanna F., Edina, Minnesota

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