Like it or not, your landlord can make your life a dream or a horror story.
I once had a truly horrible landlord, who would ignore complaints of malfunctioning appliances and disappear for weeks at a time. A black spot grew bigger and bigger throughout the year on the ceiling of our bathroom, yet our landlord didn’t see it as an issue. He was the not-so-friendly ghost that haunted our apartment for two years.
We wouldn’t wish a bad landlord on anyone, but unfortunately it happens. So we decided to talk to Humber & Guelph-Humber Students about their own landlord Horror Stories:
Malorie B – 3rd Year, Media Studies (Media Communications)
University of Guelph-Humber
“Last fall there was a murder that took place behind our house and our landlord was not very sympathetic towards us. He told us that it’s a normal thing that happens with College kids when there are gangs in the area. When we first signed the lease, he didn’t tell us that there is a gang living on the street.
He didn’t tell us that there was no A/C, so during the summer it was extremely hot in the house, even with five fans blowing. I had to sleep holding frozen water bottles, that’s how hot it got. In the basement there was a huge patch of black mould behind the stove; he just said to put bleach on it and didn’t offer to find a solution. One time our washing machine broke, he blamed us and told us to buy a new one if we wanted one.
One of the fridges broke, food for three girls went bad. It was really annoying, you would think that your landlord is supposed to help with these issues, especially the mechanical ones. Also there was a broken fence in the backyard, and he hasn’t fixed it. When there were parties on our street people walked into our yard and used it as a washroom.”
Erik L – Sports Management
“I rented a beach house in Wasaga with some friends on AirBnB. On arrival the landlord demanded to renegotiate the terms we had agreed on, pricing, etc. After arguing for an hour we reached an agreement. The renter proceeded to hang around the house the entire time we were there. He literally raked the same patch of sand for three hours. He was spying on us, which obviously wasn’t cool. We got our money back and checked into a hotel without spending a whole day there, it was ridiculous.”
Jane B – 1st Year, Journalism Post-Graduate
“Once, my landlord came in without giving us 24 hours notice, didn’t close the door properly and let the dogs out. Another time he repaired a bathroom pipe leak with duct tape after it had been leaking through a light fixture on the floor below. He also lost our rent at least twice and claimed we owed him money. We didn’t, but had no transaction records; so he still served us notices that we could be evicted.”
Anna O – 1st Year, Journalism Post-Graduate
“So my friends and I moved up to Toronto from Newfoundland. We contacted the landlords for all the houses we were interested in. I ended up being in Toronto in August so I went and saw all the houses. There was one that was significantly bigger than the others and cheaper. The people living in the house at that point were pretty messy but really nice and I was like “Okay, this place rules”. So we applied for the lease and got it. The landlord was a little sketchy and dodged a lot of our questions about things, but it was the best apartment for the best price so we thought it was worth it.
Fast forward one week and my friends move up to Toronto with all their luggage. I was still in Newfoundland so I didn’t experience this first-hand. They walked into the apartment and it was infested with roaches; roaches falling from the ceiling fan, crawling on the walls, etc. He said to them “sorry but this place isn’t fit to live in, clearly it’s infected with roaches and the exterminators came this morning and said there’s no way to get rid of all of them”. He handed them a pizza pizza gift card and literally ran away.”
Have you had a bad experience with a landlord? Need some advice on how to cope? Check out the IGNITE’s Student LifeLine, and have a qualified legal consultant help you find a solution.
*These testimonials have been edited for length and clarity