Run, Don't Walk: Worst-Landlord-Ever Stories

Run, Don't Walk: Worst-Landlord-Ever Stories

Andie Powers
Aug 16, 2013

We all have one of these stories — possibly more than one. I've had my fair share of odd roommates and sketchy apartments, but having a rotten landlord makes it far more difficult to navigate those negative aspects. 

My favorite story about a bad landlord takes place in 2004, in Los Angeles. I had just graduated college and was living by myself in my first one-bedroom. It was a great little apartment, but during my one-year lease, the management company that owned the building sold it to an independent owner. 

It was amazing to me how quickly things began breaking down and going completely unnoticed — i.e. the washing machines, the front gate, doorbells—but the most hilarious (now, at least) was our issue with my smoke detector. Each apartment's smoke alarm was linked to alert each occupant of danger if one unit were to detect smoke. Mine loved going off for no reason, especially at night. The fact that it was hard-wired also meant that simply pulling the battery from the machine would not solve the beeping problem. It beeped from within the walls, it seemed!

One night at around 3am, I had to call several times after exhausting all attempts at quieting the system. My landlord's solution? Ripping it out of the wall with no replacement! Not only is that illegal (California Building Code 310.16.2(A)(2) and California Health and Safety Code 13113.7), it's pretty unsafe as well. The most ridiculous part of this story being that while he was leaving and telling me "it's fixed" the alarm continued to beep. After repeatedly requesting a new linked smoke alarm and soon thereafter finding my door left ajar by unannounced "painters," I opted to move as quickly as possible.

Now, I'm sure you all have some landlord doozies to top my little tale. Let's hear them! Leave your landlord horror stories in the comments.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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