The Thieving Landlord

Yesterday, I shared one of my tamer truth-is-stranger-than-fiction (TSF) experiences about moving to a certain house.  Well, today, I’m going to tell you how it came about that I had to leave that particular house.

Whenever I move, I always like to leave the place better than how I found it.  This isn’t only because rental property owners don’t usually like to put much money into their houses, and I want a nice place to live; but, it’s also because I want every penny of my security deposit back to help fund my next move.  Well, as I shared yesterday, I lost my deposit to the people that scammed me when I moved into the Craigslist House.  Keeping that in mind, coming up with another $4,000 to move would be difficult.

I lived at the Craigslist House for a little over two years.  Because the owner lived in New Jersey, I paid the rent by depositing cash into her bank account on the first of every month, then I had to email her a scan of the deposit ticket.  My rent was always on time, and I never really had a reason to speak to the landlord until about two months before we ended up leaving.  One was because the dishwasher stopped working and needed to be replaced.  The other reason was we’d suddenly become infested with carpenter ants.  The landlord called a pest control company who came right over, and she said she’d get back to me regarding the dishwasher.

A month passed with no further word from the landlord who was at that point avoiding my calls.  Finally, she emailed me and said I could purchase a new dishwasher myself and take it out of the following month’s rent.  So, that’s what I did.  In the meantime, I started getting bills from the pest control company in my name!  I called and spoke to them about it and learned that the landlord had used my name and social security number to open up a line of credit with the pest control company, and even though I didn’t authorize it, I was now responsible for the bill.  Of course, when I called the landlord to complain, she never took my calls, nor did she respond to my emails.

I had the wonderful idea of withholding the pest control fee out of the following month’s rent along with the new dishwasher, but it was not my landlord who was surprised.  A couple of days later, the sheriff knocked on my door and issued a three-day Notice to Vacate which was addressed to the landlord.  No, she did not evict me, but rather the bank was evicting her!  I read the paperwork and was astonished to discover that for twenty-four of the twenty-six months I’d lived there and paid my rent in a timely manner, she was not paying the mortgage!  Worse yet, after talking to one of my attorney buddies, it turned out that she was actually not violating any law because she did provide a place for me to live.  So, I learned yet another lesson* from the Craigslist House which was to check with the County Property Appraiser’s office before I move anywhere to be sure the house is not in danger of foreclosure.

(*Since that time, we’ve actually considered moving again, and we had the foresight to look up the house on the Property Appraiser’s website, and guess what?  THAT house had been foreclosed upon!  What a scam these crooks are running!)

foreclosure

Well, what do you think?  Have you ever been conned?  Stay tuned for next week when I tell you what bizarre thing(s) happened at the next place I moved.  As for tomorrow’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll be sharing a different unlikely anomaly about some places where I’ve lived.

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52 thoughts on “The Thieving Landlord

  1. I was going to ask yesterday why you had to leave yet thought that a little too forward! You should have had Shirley and I on the scene – we’d have sorted all this out in the guise of PI’s as we once were (for a long time at that). Whatever, another superb piece Rachel.

      • These are great posts – need to be a TV/Radio series. Am just about to attempt a sleep and am at a funeral in London tomorrow so will catch up with your posts on Saturday. Best of luck – sleep well, unless you’re still awake when I check my emails in the early morn. Regards, The Old Fool.

      • Ah, you are neither old nor a fool, and I will definitely miss you while you’re gone! And I’m sorry about the loss of your friend or loved one. I’m sure I’ll be up when you check in the morning, but if not, safe travels. ❤

  2. OH geeez there’s a landlord from hell, well she’ll be thinking about this behind bars for a very long time to come with all the other schemes she probably plotted. :O

  3. What is it with you and properties lol?!! One bad experience is unfortunate, two is unlucky, but you’re telling us there is another?!! Well, cant wait for next weeks post! Have to say, Im sorry you’ve come across so many bad people.

    • LOL! I’m afraid I’m one of those people who if they didn’t have bad luck, they would have any luck at all. But it’s in the past and it’s all good. Thank you! 😀

  4. Have you taken the little yellow Post-It note off your back yet, Rachel? The one that says Screw Me?

    Cripes.

    I cannot believe somebody would have the audacity to behave like this. I hope you did something to get this landlord good and arrested. If not, how about publishing her name and address here?

    • LOL! I kind of think it’s not a Post-It, but a permanent tattoo!

      Unfortunately, like I said, the landlord was technically breaking the law. It seems like there SHOULD be a law about such things, though, doesn’t it?

      • I would say the law the landlord was breaking was theft. Stealing your damn money under the pretense of legally owning the house in good stead they were collecting it for. Good god, Rachel, if that’s not a law, what’s wrong with our country?

      • EXACTLY! Florida is especially backwards in a LOT of laws or lack of laws. Child support enforcement is a HUGE problem here as opposed to other states, but that’s a subject for another day. 🙂

      • Exactly. It does suck. But I do have a book which brings attention to the backwardness of the law here regarding that (The Worm Has Turned) so I hope that I will get finished editing it soon and can get it published to bring some country-wide awareness to the problem. THAT is one law, I actually do hope to do something about, and actually have already contacted my Congressman a couple of times (not that’s he’s had any appointment availability). It may take me a while, but I WILL be getting something done about that here, if not for my kids, then for all the other single moms and dads that are doing it alone.

  5. Holy cow!!!! My husband and I have had “hiccups” here and there (specifically with medical bills and such) but nothing as awful as this…the stress alone would have made me box (bag?) up the carpenter ants and mailed them to that landlord!!!! Grrrrr!!!!!! -Kate

  6. Yeah… I don’t like taking jobs from people I don’t know without an interview first. Fortunately most people want interviews… if someone doesn’t offer an interview I know that something’s wrong, and if I ever request one and don’t get an answer, or the person flat-out says no, I’m going to say, I don’t feel comfortable with this and delete the conversation.

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