I've never been a landlord, but I did run a property management company. Part of our job was to clean up and clear out properties after tenants had been evicted or abandoned the place. They say you can tell a lot about a person based on what they leave behind and how they live. Sometimes, though, you'd honestly rather not know.
There was one elderly gentleman who passed away, leaving his entire home full of his stuff. His neighbors all liked him, but his adult daughter told us he was a creep and she wanted nothing to do with him or his stuff. She even let us keep his car when we found his keys. We learned a lot clearing out that home. For the first three hours we thought the walls were painted seafoam green. Then we started taking down art. The walls were actually blue but years of smoking inside of the home had left a thick film of yellow nicotine all over everything.
They needed to be steamed and scraped before they could be painted.
He also had an alarmingly large collection of neon man-thongs which he kept stored with lotions, lubes, body washes, hair gels, and jelly - anything slippery.
It was ... interesting. One Reddit user asked:
And yeah, our racist closet neon thong dude was NOTHING compared to some of these tenants.
After evicting a tenant, I found multiple adult toys in a birdcage in the garage. I'm guessing it was art or something.
Several years ago I rented to a Chinese family that had moved to town and opened a restaurant. One day they told me that the bath tub was clogged. I hired a plumber and went over there. While snaking the tub or whatever it is that a plumber does, it was full of chicken feathers and bones. They had been slaughtering chickens in the bathtub, presumably for the restaurant.
When a guy moved out of my parent's rental property, they found out he had a beach party before leaving. There was a wrecked boat in the backyard and the lawn and carpet were completely covered in sand.
Rented an apartment for a 6 month lease. tenant paid all 6 months in advance as well as a deposit. never made a sound and never really saw him. One day the upstairs neighbor said he heard someone leaving in the middle of the night.
We went expecting the worst. Apartment was immaculate. Looked like no one ever lived there apart from some food in the fridge. Cleaned it out and went to the dumpster out back where we found parts of a hydroponics set up. Plastic sheeting, tubes, empty nutrient jugs. Guess they would rent a spot, grow and leave after a harvest or 2. Genius and not mad really.
Took the PVC pipes bout 8in diameter with 4 inch holes every few inches, put dirt in it, and turned it into a hanging outdoor planter for flowers.
A few weeks ago the maintenance guy at my apartment complex brought me a guinea pig. I answered the door and he was like "hey, I know you have one of these hamster things. It looks like the one you have. Do you want it? I have no idea what to do with it." Apparently, the people next door had a guinea pig and didn't want it anymore so they just let it loose in their apartment and left. He found it in a closet hiding under some clothes they left. I was afraid it might a girl because my boy guinea pig started freaking out, he was hopping around his cage and squeaking really loud. I took the guinea pig to my vet who told me it was a boy. He was just excited to have a friend. They're best friends now.
This was after said tenant was arrested, we had to clean out his place and it was full of garbage, used condoms, more clothes than one man ever needs, needles (used ones were in those nice biohazard containers at least but unused ones were strewn everywhere) and illegal testosterone + weight gain drugs (guy was a bodybuilder)
He had 14 Miley Cyrus shirts, and all 3 walls in his living room were plastered with her posters. It was very weird.
My parents rented out their empty house while they were staying out-of-state to a couple who really needed a place to stay. The couple ended up trashing the place completely and my parents had no experience as landlords and were totally taken advantage of. Their small dog chewed up all the siding up to his height level in the backyard, all the fans were missing blades somehow (we found them in the bathtubs), they dropped a weight on the floor and it went straight through the subfloor (they covered it up with a sticky tile), they had their bedroom set in the living room and used the bedrooms as a living room because the wife said she was diagnosed with Claustrophobia...it was all really weird.
But the strangest thing we found when we helped my parents clean it up to sell it was that they had been using one of the bedrooms as a home gym and we couldn't figure out why there was grease stains all over the walls. It was like a border of grease all at torso height. We later found out from the neighbor (who the renter tried to get to join CrossFit in his home gym) that the husband would do handstand push-ups in that room and the grease stains were actually all sweaty butt prints.
We did AirBnB for a while (>2 years) and had a variety of people come and go. One person did not listen to us when we said you need to hold down the handle when flushing a #2, just because our plumbing was old. A diet consisting largely of milk, butter, and bread resulted in lots of clogs. This person thought plungers were dirty, though. So they would go to the yard, get a large twig, and break up the clog with that then re-flush. The stick would then go into the trash.
When they (finally) left our place, we found a bunch of sticks in their closet for just that reason, waiting to be used.
I worked for a company with rentals many years ago, and they had rented to a South-East Asian family after they had been relocated to the US after the Vietnam war (and subsequent violence there).
One day I went to the property and went downstairs which was ENTIRELY flooded (I'm talking like 5 feet of water) where they were raising hundreds of Carp and other fish... presumably for many years. Complete with other plants, rice, and as a result many other living things in there.
They didn't really know any better... old men and women ripped out of their homeland after 50-60 years, and transplanted to the Midwest. They did what they thought was completely normal.
There was one lady, not a move-out, but was a welfare-check due to a really bad smell in her apartment. She had barricaded the door to the wall opposite it. Six cops couldn't take it down. Finally maintenance had to disassemble the lock from the outside (which means basically prying it open and destroying the siding). Come to find out she's alive and fine (albeit bat-sh!t crazy). She had gotten a frozen turkey and left it in the kitchen sink for three months. The carcass was the source of the smell, and the reason for the welfare check.
Some trashy tenants got evicted and they left behind pretty much everything they had except their TV. I found a cookie tin with old military photographs that I guess were their grandpa's along with two pipes and a lighter.
They also left behind a few hundred VHS tapes that were ruined and several of those huge gas station rolls of toilet paper.
My mother-in-law had rental property on the poor side of town. Most tenants were welfare recipients and though the rent was paid by welfare The money was given to the tenant to pay to the landlord As a result she had lots of people take the last 2 months of rent a skip out to Ontario or Alberta (she was in Newfoundland ). Her garage filled up with really sh!tty furniture after a Couple of years.
Funny footnote my girlfriend needed a toaster so I check with now ex mother in law. And sure enough she has one I can take for gf. It's an antique from the fifties one of those upright ones that can hold 6 slices. Gf is delighted at this beautiful appliance..... until she makes toast with it and instead of toast when the sides snap open it flung 4 fireballs across the counter. Lucky no damage was done.
A long time ago a fellow rented a store from my parents. Was an artist he said and was going to paint landscapes . After 3 months he stopped paying rent and was ducking out and hiding. After a while mom loses patience and changes the locks and confiscated everything in the place. We found he was living in there ,no furniture ,no bathroom ,no water. All that was in there was sheets of masonite (some made into really shitty paintings ) a bunch of painting supplies and paint. There was several months worth of garbage ( think bread bags full of shit) and for some reason a deep freezer full of ice cream and nothing else. man did the place stink.
I was the resident manager at the 'Y' for many years. Because we are right downtown next to the bus station and by all the social service agencies, we end up with people whose first step to structured housing is at the Y. We also have people who just left treatment, prison, etc - I strongly believe in second chances and for the most part, people didn't take advantage of that. However, there were so many incidents that would come and go with the times. Most recently, and the most heartbreaking was the amount of syringes and those orange needle caps I'd find. Everywhere. Others had hundreds of empty oxycontin and klonopin prescription bottles all over their rooms. Some were people I knew had a drug problem, others were people who I had no idea were using (or selling - I never could prove it).
I first arrived in the winter and the week after I started this job there was a woman on the top floor who we all knew would smoke with her window open and look out at the city. One morning I was woken up with frantic knocking and I went running outside to discover she had jumped. Sadly she was in her early 80's, found out she had cancer about a month earlier and decided she didn't want to go through all the treatment. Her life was not easy; she was one of the women on the 'women's-only floor' who moved in when she was in her 40's and never left. By the time she hit her 80's she couldn't get around much, and we had one of those old sliding cage elevators you don't see much anymore. When the elevator would break, she was trapped on the 5th floor and couldn't go anywhere. We would all chip in and bring her groceries, meals, etc. When she jumped it was especially difficult for me because it had been snowing, and there was blood and other fluids in the snow - that image has never left my memory.
We had an 18-year-old diabetic woman who moved in who had a very serious drug (oxycontin) problem. She told me this from day 1, she just finished treatment and wanted to start her life. She was estranged from her parents, but they sent the money for her deposit and first six months' rent. She was a small-town girl and I tried to look in on her to see that she was okay. She befriended this man on the 2nd floor who was in his 50's and very shady. Before I knew it she was spending the night in his room and he became more and more controlling. He came running down the stairs to the lobby one night and said she was very sick and needed an ambulance. We called and later on she died in hospital. Turns out he was withholding her insulin and not letting her leave his apartment...but we couldn't come up with anything to bring charges against him. It was just our hunch. The worst part yet was when her mother showed up and - didn't ask about her daughter's death or anything just 'where is the deposit money?' got it and left.
There were many interesting people who weren't addicts or sick or criminals. I'll never forget how many people I met from all over the world just starting their lives here, and just listening to their stories of where they came from or what they had to do in order to come to Canada; their lives back home and many held very prestigious jobs that unfortunately didn't have the credentials to transfer to a similar job here. Many who were white-collars back in their countries were night shift workers at 7-11 here or sold tickets at Greyhound or something. A LOT of the young girls were strippers who made decent money, but their drug problems ate up most of that money. Many of the young people moving in were gay/lesbian and had no family support, so we were the only sense of 'home' they had. Many evenings I'd be working at the desk and I'd invite them down to eat in the lobby. I think that gave them some sense of home - at least a home where they could be who they were without fear.
For the most part I liked that job, but such a dramatic change in the last 3 years in particular - so many overdoses, so many thefts to get money for dope or pills - that energy that I saw when I first started was gone. The drug problem here has been massive and has claimed a lot of lives. Many of whom were people I didn't even know had a drug problem. And I think that's one of the biggest problem we take on today working in housing. Especially in big cities in the middle of downtown in SRO (single room occupancy) places like the 'Y', you have people who sit in those little rooms and don't talk to anyone and never go anywhere. The loneliness is palpable. It's not hard to see why these addictions to substances that make someone feel happy and euphoric begin.
I have a ton of stories about crazy stuff...there was a 3rd story apartment that was empty, or so I thought. I got a call from the cops asking for permission to the apartment so I go over there to find out 3 drug dealer squatters were living there. I kicked the door open since they had barricaded it. they then jumped to the next buildings roof and made a break for it. but left goodies behind. which included a ps3, 4 games, 3 remotes, a 42in Sony flatscreen tv, a fridge full of food. needless to say I got a free rv and ps3 that day.
I lived in an apartment building and my next door neighbors were a Japanese family that owned a sushi place around the corner. One day I noticed them moving all their stuff out and asked the caretaker what was going on. He said he figured out they were cooking all of the restaurant food in their apartment and then carrying it around the corner.
I've had a tenant renting a room for a month before the other tenants and yours truly discovered that she was a prostitute working from home.
Took me 3 weeks to realize that a new person coming over every day between 1 and 2:30 in the afternoon was suspicious.
We rented apartments with autonomous heating and in one apartment from one time and on the usage of heating in the winter was minimum ( the tennant lives over 5 years in the same apartment).
After he left we found out that he had disabled the regulator in order to have hot water when the rest of the apartments used the heating. So every one paid his comfort.
Guess strange might not be the most accurate word. Wild maybe.
We had a family in one of our houses who we struggled to get rent from regularly before they eventually got evicted. Which landlords know is a goddamn awful process when they want to resist.
Well we end up having to get an entirely new water meter installed when they're finally gone.
Turned out they were never paying their bills and cooking meth. When the power got shut off they stole it. Which isn't unheard of.
But they somehow stole water too and the water company came out and removed the entire water system. We spent a lot of money getting that fixed.
Rented an apartment to a nice family; mom, dad, three young kids. Always paid rent, were always easy to deal with, never reported any problems. Model tenants, right?
A week after they move out, grandfather goes in to check the place out to sign off on security deposit and get the place ready for next tenants.
Everything was gone. Everything. Little stuff like curtains and light bulbs, but also the curtain hooks, rods, and light fixtures. Carpets. Interior doorknobs. Light switches, power outlets, and most of the associated wiring. The dishwasher, oven, kitchen sink, toilet. An attempt had been made on the bathtub, and that ended up being the only fixture in the place not taken.
Court happened. Grandparents were awarded almost the entire value of the apartment in compensation.
My parents bought a place that they were renting to my brother and his friends throughout university and they would sublet it out for the summers. Anyways... some random day when I was in high school there was a knock on the door. Standing there was these two incredibly gorgeous women and their boyfriends. They explained that they were subletting from my parents and handed me an envelope of cash containing the damage deposit and all four months of rent for the four of them... in cash. I assumed they were involved in organized crime somehow. Nope. They were porn stars. 6 months later one of my brother's friends found all the pornos that they had been filming all over my parent's house.
My dad rented out a property a few years back where the tennant just stopped paying rent. Eventually she gets evicted and dad goes in to clear up and dispose of her stuff....
Well turns out she'd be using it as a brothel.
Loads of 'sexy' costumes. Oodles of porn. Just what you'd expect really. And a little black book of clients.
Evicted a hoarder tenant after some serious issues with their cleanliness and late rent issues. Their hygiene was so bad that other people in the complex were actually complaining, and upon walkthrough I found some serious issues that were causing mold and other damage to the unit. One being that the toilet had fully over capacity and was filled with stagnant old feces.
Anyways about a week after cleaning out the unit, fixing the damage, and assisting the old tenant with finding new residence, the owner of the other unit called me Concerned because the smell coming from the unit was still present. I Realized we hadn't cleaned the garage.
When we went over, we opened it up, we found trash bags. Many. Old moldy fast food. Some trash. But lots of sh!t.
Father-in-law and I are landlords; mine are upscale places, but his are more lower rent types. Anyway a murder had been committed in one of his small two room cottages. The coroner had removed the body and the police had finished their investigation so we were cleared to clean up the place.
There was no one you could hire to do this cleanup back then so we did it ourselves. The victim had been stabbed in his bed so the mattress was a huge sponge soaked in blood. The perpetrator had dragged the body off the bed and out to his car. There was this long blood smear across the bedroom floor, through the living room floor and across the porch where the body had been loaded into a car.
The police had gone through the rooms with a huge black marker pen making big circles around anything they thought important; like holes in the couch could maybe be bullet holes, they put a big felt marker circle around the holes. Sofa is now junk, it and the blood-soaked mattress went to the dump. Blood cleaned off the floors.
A suspect had been pulled over, the empty trunk of his car was filled with blood but NO BODY, so he wasn't charged. Never found out if anyone was charged or convicted for that murder. Cottage cleaned up we put it up for rent again.
When I was younger, my mother rented out our basement suite to a woman and her grown son. She was dressed well and had great manners, the whole nine yards. After a while we noticed people coming all hours of the night, but no excessive noise, so my mom had no issues. After two months she didn't pay the third months full rent so my mom decided she'd just add it to the next month as a little leeway. The next months rent was the same, just a little, not the full amount. This is where things started to get weird and go down hill. One night my mom was taking out the garbage and saw the woman and her son making out behind the garage in the alleyway. My mom was shook and I remember her coming into the house as white as a ghost.
The next little while whenever she saw them they were really touchy feely and I remember the woman didn't look like how she did when she first showed up. She was haggard and her eyes looked sunken and her hair was ratty. She became pregnant soon after and I remember my mom and grandma talking in hushed tones about how she's having her son's child. It was scandalous. It took my mom close to a year to kick her out, she had to go through the courts and a lot of the rights are in favour of the tenants so we had a long uphill battle. But we finally got her out where the bailiffs came and she could grab whatever she wanted to take with her.
She left a lot behind and my mom had to clean it up and this place was a mess. Dirty clothes, diapers, and best of all, needles. So many needles all over the place. It looked like a dump site for junkies.
Manage office buildings. One that comes to mind is a tenant that knew for some time they were going bankrupt and handled it in the worst possible way. Rather than tell us they moved out in the middle of the night. So instead of happily finding a new tenant in the several months they paid (building was 100% occupied and new tenants were about 10% above their rent) our legal team went after them. Ended up getting in to personal assets of the owner because we were entitled to several more years rent and unamortized costs under their lease.
They also left furniture electronics and supplies worth about two years rent in their space for us to claim and sell. Yet they took some rented or leased OT and office equipment and had vendors hunting them down.
Had a tenant that was raising birds and would just hose down the bird poop and the water would cause a leak for the neighbour downstairs. And left a bad smell in the building. We asked him to leave so before he left he poured cement down every hole in the apartment (sinks toilets. Bathtub. Gutters). Needless to say repairs to get the apartment ready for the next tenant wasn't easy.
Rented to a family (mom, dad and son) that practiced Santaria. My wife entered the property and found a decapitated sheep hanging in the garage. There was a pentagram drawn on the floor beneath the carcass. She ran home screaming "Call 911 call 911!" Turns out there's no law against sacrificing a sheep in our town.
Alright boys and girls, hold onto your hats cuz I got a story for you.
The tale of Two dead bodies.
- There was this one particular property I was involved with a few years back... it wasn't a particularly bad property, but it wasn't necessarily a great one either... mostly due to minor stupid things... like people stealing random sh!t like two large blue recycling bins went missing one summer... we figured it was most likely local university kids using them for some drunk stunt or whatever... Jackass was popular back then and it was a university neighbourhood.
So on one fine summer weekend the on-site super gets a complaint that there is a horrible stench in the hallway on one of the floors. He heads over to investigate, upon arrival the smell is overpowering... anyone that has experienced decomposing bodies knows the smell all too well. The super proceeds to enter the apartment that the stench seems to be emanating from, and he immediately discovers a guy keeled over, back of his head bludgeoned to smithereens, face down on the couch. Blood is splattered everywhere and it was pretty recent by the looks of it.
So the super calls the cops who come in, cordoned the apartment and do whatever it is they need to do, the coroner removes the body, and everyone is gone after several hours. The body had ID, and it was NOT the renter. This is an important detail... the renter was nowhere to be found. The cops obviously peg the renter as the main suspect, they now need to find him. Low and behold they find him a couple of blocks away at a bar having the time of his life. They pick him up for questioning, he admits to the murder of random dude, and that's that... case closed right? Na uh... now when the police inform him he's being charged with one account of murder supposedly he responded by saying something along the lines of "Ay, just one?! That's great, there's at least one more in there."
... the cops were completely bewildered... there was a second body and somehow NO ONE seemed to have noticed it. Very odd considering they had cordoned the apartment and conducted an investigation or whatever. So confused they quickly called the on-site super to stand by and unlock the apartment when they arrive, they're coming back to take another look around the apartment. Long story short they show up, cops and super enter the unit, stench is still as strong as ever and finally the super makes the discovery. In a closet is one of the missing large blue bins, the second body (female) was inside. Why the cops didn't think to look inside of an obviously out of place giant blue recycle bin that clearly doesn't belong in an apartment and is hidden (barely) in a closet is beyond me.
So what was the story here... simply the killer's girlfriend was cheating on him, he finds out and kills both. Stealing the buildings blue recycle bin and stuffing the girlfriend in it and shoving it in his closet.
Now the part that still irks me to this day... we had two blue recycle bins stolen... we only found one of them... and the killer admitted there was "AT LEAST ONE MORE IN THERE"... as in there is at least one more in the apartment, but also maybe Hinting at the possibility there's another body (in a blue bin?) somewhere. What are the chances we had two bins stolen around the same time by different people... too much of a coincidence if you ask me.
Now for those very perceptive readers out there... how is it that the woman's body was decomposing and rancid, but the dude was freshly bludgeoned? I left out some details that I will now share with you. Apparently the killer discovered his girlfriends infidelity several weeks prior... when he found out, he killed her, stuffed her in the bin and shoved it in his closet. Knowing he was running on borrowed time and not giving any f***s about life from that point forward, he gave his notice that he was vacating (60 days legal notice is the requirement in my area) and planned to bugger off into the sunset at some point. Meanwhile, for a couple of weeks our leasing staff proceeded to show the unit to prospective renters... and one peculiar issue that was discussed was that the unit had a very bad odour when entering it, and the renter always apologized for the smell making excuses that it was his girlfriend and some such nonsense that honestly the leasing staff weren't paid enough to care. They had several apartments to rent, they eventually focused on others and figured they'd let maintenance sort out the smell issue when the resident moves out.
So initially for weeks people had been entering the apartment smelling the rancid smell of a decomposing dead body that had been shoved hidden away in the closet. Oh my god yuck...
As for the dude who got killed, after not being able to contact the girl, he must have been concerned and come looking for her... which is when the killer exacted revenge to the back of his skull.
I got plenty more great stories, but this one by far stands out as the most insane/interesting/funny/cringy story I have from my days in operation.
I had a tenant I had to evict. Found that he had taken out the electric hot water heater & installed his own (not approved for houses) gas hot water on demand. He replaced the electric dryer and the electric stove with gas units all by himself without a certified professional. All in 4 months. Cost me $4000 to fix the damage
My grandma was renting out the bottom half of our duplex for a long while. We ended up evicting the tenants for not paying rent. Well several days after they left we heard strange noises coming from down stairs. We thought they had broken in the house.
Finally after looking around we found an older black cat. They gave their cat a bowl of water and some dry food and left the poor thing there for us to find. They had stashed the water and food in the back of the closet and we didn't see it when we changed the locks. Cat lived with us for a year or so until it got out the house and became an outdoor cat.
My Mom rented our old house to a nice young couple with a newborn. A year later the wife called to say she was moving out because the husband was shot and killed in a bank robbery in Florida. Apparently he travelled around the country robbing banks.
I had a restaurant rent my storefront for their dining room. They did a quick renovation of the space to repaint and remove all the shelves and counters from a small pharmacy that was there before. Instead of hiring a dumpster they piled all the construction debris in my basement.
I was doing a property investigation at an apartment complex for new purchase. The second floor tenant tore out the entire kitchen and lined the floor with plastic and filled it with water, 18 inches deep for an orgy. It was nsane. We noped out on that property after that.
I've had family that worked in property management, and the one story that sticks with me, was that one tenant managed to get a jar of peanut butter into the toilet pipe.
We're not sure how this happened, because we're pretty sure a couple laws of physics were broken doing it. It was a plumber hired to fix the toilet and... he was the one that found it.
Tenants skipped town owing one month's rent. Left a ton of stuff behind, including: a bottle of HIV meds, several perfectly good mid range watches, lots of special edition gaming merch, and the entire back wall of the garage was lined with heavy duty trash bags that were filled with used kitty litter.
My parents had rented out an apartment to an Indian couple who had a 5 year-old boy. When it came time for them to leave my parents went to do the routine check and found all the corners of the walls were chewed roughly three feet up from the ground.
Turns out their son would gnaw on the walls because he had some sort of calcium deficiency. The parents tried to argue that it wasn't their fault and that they wouldn't pay. Eventually my parents got them to pay for the damages and then sold the apartment.
My grandparents rent out rooms in their house. They rented one out to this guy who kept all of his dirty dishes in a suitcase in the closet with empty BBQ containers from fast food spots. My grandparents provided all the dishes and had a dishwasher they just asked that the tenants rinse and they would load them. It was odd.
Dudes mom in the unfinished basement that wasn't fit for human habitation. It was sealed off, and had to be accessed from outside. Basically just the furnace room. She was in a hospital bed and buckets laying around.
I got a great deal on a house because of one of these.
My former landlord showed up to an empty house needing a complete renovation. Broken windows, blood. Walls had been knocked down. Electricity rewired to bypass the meter. Remnants of a grow-house.
And a nice friendly note from the DEA demanding that he proved he was not involved.
The funny part to me was that he had a security screen door on the front of the house that apparently was too hard for the DEA to bust through. So they broke down three doors on the side of the house.
The next door neighbor was a sheriff and had no idea until the raid.
If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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