Years ago, I rented a house to an applicant that was a grandmother, raising her daughters children. Her daughter had the kids taken away and the grandmother was raising them. I checked the landlord references and they all came back positive so I rented to her. There was no stove or refrigerator in the unit, but she told me that she had one, or was going to get one (can't remember which). Before too long, she got behind in rent and moved her boyfriend into the house. Lies after lies were told and they got farther and farther behind in rent. Finally I evicted them. They moved out right after I finally got my eviction in court.
After they moved out, I found out that she had used friend's names as landlord references and had never rented from them and her boyfriend was in trouble with the law and had an alias.
They had left all kinds of junk furniture, filthy mattresses (I dont think they had beds, just dirty mattresses all over), dirty clothes, dirty dishes, junk microwave, junk tv, and lots more. There were sunflower seeds all over like that was all they ate.
They had never gotten a refrigerator and had sour milk on the porch, spoiled food in the house and I found a store bought chicken in a plastic bag in the garage, spoiled. There was a cooler behind the shed that was full of spoiled meat, a big turkey, etc. Even though I paid for garbage pickup there, she actually saved USED cat litter and put it in a box upstairs in one of the bedrooms. I don't think she had ever put the garbage out for pick up, in all the months that she lived there. It was unreal to clean that place up. I have never been able to figure out why someone would save used cat litter.
I had a tenant some years ago that moved without notice from an apartment and never told me. She let her brother and wife move in. By the time they were gotten out, the place was a mess. There were knats from the slimy dishwashing water in the sink that had set for days, flying around the apartment. There were dirty diapers thrown behind the couch and also thrown in the closets. Rotten food on the counter and in the refrigerator, etc.
There are other stories that are hard to believe that anyone would live in such filth, but some do, because they are too lazy to clean anything.
Another tenant turned their apartment into a drug hangout and still another one that shot bbs into the walls, counter top and brand new kitchen lineoleum.
I had one tenant just recently that signed a 3 month lease for the rental of an apartment. He wanted to get access early to paint and the tenant was mostly moved out, but had paid rent for the entire month. This tenant had good references, so I approved him and worked out an agreement with the current tenant to vacate early, so the new tenant could get in early, just to paint. He signed the lease and paperwork and paid the security deposit. He would need to pay the first month's rent before moving in. I had not changed the locks yet, as I wanted to be sure that he was going to move in and not change his mind. I had taken some off the first month's rent in exchange for painting, even though I hadn't gotten the rent yet.
I was at the apartment on Dec 29th, for the delivery of a brand new stove and refrigerator. He showed up with his girlfriend which he wanted to move in. I recognized her from being a frequent visitor at another building to see a former bad tenant. She had also lied to me in the past when she had tried to rent from me and hung out with a bad crowd. I told her that she would need to filling out an application and be approved. I could tell that the tenant moving in was not happy about the fact that she may needed to be approved, even though I have that information in my lease and rules.
On Dec 31st, the tenant called, claiming that he got to the apartment and the door was open. All the painting supplies that he had bought, were gone, along with some tools. I was concerned, of course, and asked if he had filed a police report. He had not and made it clear that he was not going to. He claimed that he was out $200 just for the painting supplies and did not want to live in a place that was not safe. He wanted his security deposit back. His mother called later (he is about 30) and told me that he wanted his security deposit back as it was not safe to live there. Again I told her that he would need to fill out a police report. She also refused. I had purchased some new blinds for the unit and they were gone, when I went over. I had set up an appt to meet with this tenant and I knew they were going to badger me for the security deposit, even though he had signed a lease. I decided to call the police and file a report for the missing blinds. Then they showed up (with his mother) and told me that they had put the blinds under the kitchen sink so they wouldn't get paint on them. They were still wrapped and in the box (how could they get paint on them?) and were shoved way back against the back wall under the sink. When the officer arrived, I told him about being told where the blinds were, and also told him that they had things stolen but refused to file a police report. He also wondered why not. They said that it was only about $200 worth of stuff and they were told by the uncle (who is an attorney) not to bother. Does that make sense? Not to me. If they were raising such a tyraid to get $450 in security back because he really needed that money, why not try to get the $200 (hardly that much) worth of painting supplies back, if possible. To make a long story short, I would not refund the security deposit, until the police report was filed and they finally did that, after almost getting a disorderly conduct from the officer. Funny thing about the police report was that no tools were reported missing and the officer himself said that if the stuff was taken, it couldn't have been over $80 in painting supplies.
I knew that I had a good case in court to hold them to the lease, but decided that I didn't want him as a tenant and didn't want to deal with them anymore. I gave back the security deposit. The officer told me that he didn't believe that story either, since they balked at filing a police report. If they had filed one right away, I would have cooperated and took the claim seriously, investigating things myself, if needed. It just didn't make sense to me. I think that his mother and father did not like the apartment. They both saw it at different times and complained about the size of the apartment, color and condition of blinds left by the former tenant and other things. I also think that he didn't think he could make the rent if his girlfriend didn't move in. I think he was looking for a way out of the lease. To make matters worse, he claimed that he fell on the steps outside, as there was no handrail and then stated that he was carrying a big box. How could he hold a handrail if both hands were on the box? I figure that if he does file suit, his mother would convince him to, and I would counter with the 3 months rent that he owes (or at least up until I find a new tenant). She took a picture of the steps when she left and also numerous pictures of the apartment when she had arrived. When I had asked her son about falling, he told me that the doctor said that it was only bruised muscles. His mother taped recorded everything that was said that day to give it to her uncle who is an attorney. I wish I had done that. I think she looked worse on it, than I did. Her son hardly got a word in edgewise. She totally took over everything. I am glad to get rid of them and am now painting the apartment myself. UUGGHH. I hate to paint.
I have always taken applications and checked them out before approving a tenant and am now a lot more vigil in checking them out thoroughly and not paying attention to the sob stories that they invent. The hardest part is trying to determine if the landlord references are actually non related landlords or friends/relatives. Thankfully most of my current tenants are good ones, or I would have gotten out of the business before now.