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Be Glad You Got Out Before He Could Leave A Dead Toaster In Your Bed

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 11, 2023

I’ve been cheap and living with one set of roommates or another for a while now, and so far, almost all of them have been either great guys or at the very least kept to themselves and were no hassle to me. That is except for one person.

The rental location was great. We each had our own entrance into our own room, sharing only the kitchen and bathroom, so we almost never saw each other and it mostly felt like my own place. My room was enormous compared to the barely-more-than-closets I was used to renting. It was in a great location within walking distance of a place I went to every weekend, there were lots of scenic walking paths nearby despite being close to the city and my work, and the price was cheap. I was very happy there for half a year or so.

Then, one day, I went into the kitchen to find a broken plate on the floor. That was strange, but I didn’t think much of it. I swept up the plate pieces, tossed them in the garbage, and went on with my life.

The next day, I went into the kitchen to find a rather rudely phrased letter basically accusing me of breaking [Roommate]’s plate and demanding I replace it. I was only stopping by the house to pick something up before going on a six-hour post-work trip for volunteer stuff, so I didn’t have the time to hunt him down about it then, and frankly, I was too annoyed with the way the letter was written to want to speak with him that second, so I resolved to hunt him down and explain I’d found it broken the next time we were both free in the house.

That night, I arrived home to find that one of my few plates — always cleaned after use and put back with the others in my bedroom so I could never be accused of leaving dirty dishes around the house — was broken. The guy came into my room when I was out just to hunt through it for a plate to break because he presumed I’d broken his and didn’t wait to ask me.

This was only the start; [Roommate] escalated quickly. I forget what crazy activity happened when, but at one point, I found a broken microwave, clearly intentionally so, placed immediately in front of my doorway like some sort of threat. I have no clue why. The landlord replaced the microwave when I reported it broken, only to have a second microwave fall to the same fate of being murdered and its corpse left at my door a little while later. The landlord at least made [Roommate] — or more accurately, [Roommate]’s far more reasonable uncle — replace that one.

[Roommate] also started moving the refrigerator so it would block my path from my room to the bathroom. It was pretty easy to rotate back into place, and he was inconveniencing himself as much by moving it as he was me to move it back, so it seemed a rather pointless form of vindictiveness. A more effective one was setting the alarm on my stove right as he was leaving at some ungodly early time in the morning so it would wake me up shortly after he left.

At one point, when my usual parking spot was blocked, I parked in a different spot on the road near our house. I found my tires slashed the next day. Presumably, [Roommate] figured I was in “his” spot, even though this was just roadside parking with no allocated parking spots.

All of this kept happening, despite my barely talking to the guy. We had practically no direct interaction both for the first six months when things were normal and after he started going down the road of crazy. I honestly have no clue what motivated his escalating insanity. I couldn’t even tell you the guy’s name! He really was as much a stranger as your next-door neighbor likely is to you. (Well, assuming you’re as much an introvert as I am.)

You’re likely wondering why I never left. Other than not wanting to give up the otherwise amazing location and not wanting to let him “win”, it was mostly because my landlord kept promising to remove him. Then, when she took that away, she dangled a promise of moving me to a nicer place she also rented at the same price, which, of course, didn’t happen.

It was becoming clear, despite her empty promises, that my landlord didn’t intend to do anything about the lunatic. She implied it was just a disagreement we could sort out as if we were both equally at fault! Of course, the slashed tire was when it was clear that [Roommate] was not just annoying but potentially dangerous, and I had to get out no matter what the landlord promised.  

The night before moving, I did my best job ever cleaning up to make sure I got my security deposit back, so it wasn’t until very late that I was leaving for good. The one thing left after my move was the pile of two mangled microwave “gifts” from my crazy roommate that had gotten shoved into a corner and forgotten about. In a moment of petty vengeance, I stacked both broken microwaves in front of his door, as he had once done to me, before heading out.

A week later, my landlord tried to tell me I wasn’t going to get my security deposit back because I had broken the mounted TV that had come with the room. I’ll give you one guess who had actually broken it after I left. The joke was on him this time; I had predicted that he would do something crazy and so had taken a detailed video of the entire room, clearly clean and with everything intact, right before leaving. I also pointed out that I hadn’t paid my last month’s rent yet, intentionally, and that it was in my legal right to not pay her back since there were laws that she had violated by not addressing the situation sooner. I offered for her to take it to court, and she quickly backed down, given my evidence, but she acted aggrieved as if I was bankrupting her.

Personally, I felt no pity. I told her many times that allowing a crazy person like that to stay would end badly for her even after I left. When it came down to an ultimatum of either getting rid of the crazy guy that had already vandalized her stuff or the quite reliably paying guy who had already helped save her money by fixing things for her various renter properties, how did she not see that siding with the crazy guy would end poorly?

No, I’m sorry, Miss Landlord, but you brought that expense on yourself.

A True Lord And Lady Of Landlording

, , , , , | Working | December 8, 2022

I’ve read a lot of horror stories about landlords and tenants on this site, so I just want to spread a little positivity.

As a teenager, I was pretty careless. I knocked up my girlfriend when we were eighteen, and she gave birth to our daughter when we were nineteen. As both our families lived far far away from the university we wanted to go to, and neither of us was willing to part with our baby, that was a problem.

The dorms and other student housing wouldn’t allow children, and we didn’t know who could take care of our little girl while we were in classes.

Renting a house proved problematic for the same reasons, and anyone we found that allowed kids charged a hefty premium.

It was around this time that a couple of our best friends from our old school got in touch with us.

BFF #1: “Hey, guys. About accommodations, I found a guy — an old man who’s renting out spare rooms in his house. Rent is [affordable price], and [University] is right around the corner. He’s willing to take the four of us — plus [Daughter] — in.”

Me: “That sounds too good to be true. It sounds fishy to me.”

BFF #1: “My sister and cousins swear by him. They say he’s the real deal.”

BFF #2: “I’ve gone down and spoken to him and his wife. They’re a lovely old couple. Their kids are all grown up and gone. I get the feeling that they’re doing this more for the company than anything else.”

Me: “Well, if you say so…”

Beggars really couldn’t be choosers, so [Girlfriend] and I decided to give it a shot.

It was worth it. Oh, so worth it. If I’d known going in how good it’d be, I’d have easily forked out triple the rent.

The landlords were a lovely old English couple. A pair of kindly retired pensioners living with the sweetest and most playful dog.

They had a really big house, so the four of us each got our own room with ensuite bathrooms. That was nice. What was better was that they had an old nursery for their kids and were happy to let [Daughter] use it. In fact, they really took a shine to [Daughter]. It got to the point that they offered to babysit her during the day — for free, no less! — while we were busy in class.

The four of us often came home to see [Daughter] snoozing right beside their dog, cuddled up on the comfy rug in front of the fireplace. Those two were best friends, and on more than one occasion, I found my baby girl chilling with [Dog] inside of his kennel.

And although, on paper, we were supposed to do our own cooking and cleaning, [Wife] insisted on doing it all for free. She always had home-cooked meals on the table, even when we protested that we didn’t want to impose.

[Husband] was also pretty chill. He’d let us borrow his car and often dropped us off or picked us up as needed. He even took us out golfing and hiking a few times.

One time, the four of us got really drunk after a party and couldn’t drive back. [Husband] came to pick us four up from the pub, more amused than annoyed at having to drive out at such a late hour.

The four of us lived with them for four or five years until we got our degrees, and I get the feeling that they were really sad to see us go. The feeling was mutual, on our part. There was great reluctance to leave, and we knew we’d miss them dearly.

But our time was up, and we all didn’t want to impose any more on their hospitality. They’d really been more than willing to go the extra mile to make us feel comfortable and well-cared for, to the point that we all felt guilty for how much they let us take them for granted.

Even after we left, they both told us their door was always open.

Alas, the four of us lost contact with them after the health crisis, which was a real shame. I have never ever met landlords so kind and sweet as them. [Daughter] still occasionally asks if we can go back to play with their dog.

It’s Not Always About You, You Know

, , , , , | Related | December 2, 2022

My mother was in the hospital, sharing a room with another woman. While I was visiting, my father called, and my mother, who is hard of hearing, put him on speakerphone.

Father: “Did you eat?”

Mother: “I had some mashed potatoes for lunch.”

Woman: “I haven’t received my lunch yet!”

Father: “What did the doctors say?”

Woman: “They haven’t been in yet.”

Woman’s Daughter: “Mom, she’s not talking to you.”

Woman: “Yes, she is.”

Me: “She is on the phone, [Woman].”

My mother gave him a rundown of what her doctor had said.

Woman: “No, they didn’t say anything!”

Woman’s Daughter: “Mom, she’s on the phone. She’s not talking to you.”

Woman: “Yes, she is!”

Mother: “No, I’m not.”

Woman: “Oh. Well, why didn’t you say so?”

Mother: “[Woman], I’m on the phone with my husband.”

Woman: “I think you should announce that you’re going to be on the phone!”

Woman’s Daughter: “Mom! She doesn’t have to tell you anything. Please—”

Woman: “It’s respectful!”

Me: “So is minding your own business.”

She was quiet for the rest of the call.

Never Trust A Night Owl When They Ask You To Wake Them Up

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 27, 2022

In my second year of college, I was living with the roommate I’d had in the dorms the year prior. The first year, our schedules were the complete opposite, so I didn’t run into this issue.

[Roommate] had a terrible time getting up in the morning and asked if I could help wake her up as I was a chipper morning person. The first morning I did it, I woke her up about half an hour before I was leaving, and there was my first mistake.

She was not a morning person. Until I left, she kept grumbling and cursing at me and generally being mad.

From then on, I would wait until I was walking out the door, flick her lights on and off leaving them on, and yell for her to wake up before running out the door to escape her wrath.

Either He Really Doubled Down, Or…

, , , , , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2022

Content Warning: Cancer, Death


Back in the mid-2000s, I let an eighteen-year-old move in with me to ease up on my renting expenses. He was tolerable for the most part, but one day, I overheard this conversation he was having on his cell phone.

Roommate: “Hi. I was calling to dispute these charges I found on my debit card: $85 for [Local Expensive Italian Restaurant] and $450 for [Expensive Hotel Plaza].” *Pauses* “Yeah, I have no clue who did that! Can you cancel the charges?” *Pauses* “Investigation?”

He paused again, his voice getting increasingly nervous.

Roommate: “Okay.” *Pauses* “What all does it involve?” *Pauses* “Okay.” *Pauses* “All right, thanks.” *Hangs up*

I paused my video game and tossed my controller.

Me: “Bro! Check this out. I tried the exact same BS when I was eighteen and the Playstation 2 came out. And you know what happened? The bank notified the merchant that I was disputing the charge… and the merchant sent the bank surveillance footage of me at the register with this big s***-eating grin on my face. And it ain’t gonna be any different when your bank sends those businesses a notice that you are disputing the charges. They will pull up everything they need to prove it was you and protect their profits. And my guess is that those charges are from when you went to go frolic with that girl you were messing with on Myspace, right… Right?

[Roommate]’s face turned red as he turned away to hide his embarrassed laughter.

Me: “Yeah, it’s called being an adult. And part of being an adult is being responsible with money. You probably were thinking that it was just the bank that was gonna eat the loss, too, and they’d forget about it, didn’t you?”

[Roommate] kept turning redder and laughing harder.

Me: “Yup. I used to be eighteen, too!”

A few months later, I noticed that [Roommate] had whited out his name on the mailbox and that he would come and go on foot… but I would spot him around town driving his car. I told him with a smirk:

Me: “You know, if you are behind on your car payments, keeping your car parked at a buddy’s house or at some rental garage is only buying you time. Banks will hire people to secretly follow you, and it’s just a matter of time before you come out of a grocery store to find your car gone.”

Roommate: *With a horrified look* “Are you serious?”

Me: “Yep!”

He moved out the following week without any notice.

About a month later, someone rang my doorbell. He introduced himself as the representative of a bank.

Man: “Are you aware of anything having happened to [Roommate]?”

Me: “Uh… no? He moved out last month, but last I heard, he’s alive and well.”

Man: “Right, because while we’ve been doing some skip tracing to find him over a loan he’s defaulted on, we came across this—” *hands me a sheet of paper* “—and we’re trying to confirm if he’s actually deceased.”

The paper was a printed-out website for online obituaries, typically used by people who couldn’t afford to print them in the local newspaper. And it was an obituary of [Roommate] — complete with a photo — announcing that he had died of brain cancer.

The brain cancer part, I do believe, since his brain clearly wasn’t operating right.