Woman 1 talking(l), Woman 2 talking(c), Woman 3 talking(r)

@_alrighty__aphrodite_/Tiktok @sarahpribis/Tiktok @greygalaxie/Tiktok

‘SUE. NOW.’: Just 5 wild instances of landlords being evil

‘Landlords be lording.’


Ljeonida Mulabazi


The relationship between landlords and tenants has become increasingly contentious in recent years.

As per an analysis by StreetEasy and Zillow, since 2019, rents have grown three times faster than salaries across the United States. This widening gap has put a heavy financial strain on American tenants, who are already struggling with a host of other housing issues. 

These additional complaints include health hazards, repair problems, bed bug infestations, deposit refund disputes, and more, as reported by the American Apartment Owners Association.

A study by National Fair Housing has found that discrimination-based housing complaints have grown exponentially as well, breaking a record of 33,007 complaints in 2022. 

Hundreds of tenants take to TikTok daily to share their individual negative landlord experiences, and today, we’ve decided to share five of those cases. 

Landlord installs camera in front of woman’s apartment door

Tenant says landlord pointed a camera at her door to try to get her to move out from rent-stabilized apartment
@sarahpribis/TikTok BearFotos/ShutterStock (Licensed)

TikToker and actress Sarah Pribis (@sarahpribis) has posted several videos sharing her experiences with her “crazy NYC landlord.” 

In a video posted last year, Pribis explained she lives in a rent-stabilized unit in New York City, paying $2,400 a month. She stated that for the past few years, her landlord has allegedly been using “fear tactics” to get her to move out, including turning off the heat in her apartment during cold months.

The latest incident that outraged and alarmed Pribis, however, was the installation of a security camera–with audio– facing her apartment door. 

Upon discovering this, Pribis said she felt “violated and angry and uncomfortable.”

Pribis said she immediately tried to take legal action, saying, “this cannot be legal,” but her lawyer informed her that in New York State you’re allowed to install cameras in public areas of apartment buildings.  

“I’ve literally been living with a camera pointed to my apartment for like a year now,” she concludes. 

Landlord locks up thermostat so tenant can’t change temperature

thermostat in lock box (l&r) woman sweating (c)
FamVeld/Shutterstock @khaby..lame34/TikTok (Licensed)

TikTok user Katrina (trinakat416) posted a video sharing her workaround to accessing the thermostat after her landlord locked it.

“Take THAT landlord…” she wrote in the original video’s text overlay, as she is shown using a hex key through a small hole to change the temperature.

The caption provided even more context, as Katrina wrote, “Landlord locks the thermostat but it was set to 73° and we were sweating!!”

If you’re wondering whether this is legal or not, as many of the commenters in the original video were, the short answer is yes.

According to Rocket Lawyer, landlords can control the thermostat for their rental properties in most states. While they are required to provide reasonable heat, they are not obligated to give tenants control over the thermostat.

Landlord accidentally’ took all of tenant’s belongings 

Tenant says landlord 'accidentally' took all of her belongings from her apartment
@_alrighty__aphrodite_/TikTok Pormezz/ShutterStock (Licensed)

TikToker Haily (@_alrighty__aphrodite_) said in a recent video that her landlord cleared her apartment, removing all of her belongings while she was not present. 

Haily explained she was between leases and moving her possessions from the apartment in question to her new one when, one day, she stopped by and discovered that all of her belongings were gone. 

“I give my landlord a call, and I’m like, ‘Hey, everything is gone from my apartment. All of my personal [items]—it’s cleared. What is going on?’” Haily said. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, we thought your lease ended at the end of November.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m looking at documentation right now that says Dec. 31 and that rent came out in full on the first.’”

Haily stated that management asked her to compile an itemized list of the missing inventory and provide a cost estimate. They also told her they wouldn’t be charging her a cleaning fee. 

Landlord capitalized off of ‘new craze’ after promising not to raise rent

Tenant says landlord is capitalizing off of ‘new craze’ after promising not to raise her rent
@greygalaxie/TikTok MIND AND I/ShutterStock (Licensed)

TikTok user @greygalaxie said in a video that her landlord is increasing her rent by $50 after a recent increase of $200 just a month before.

After her landlord allegedly told @greygalaxie that he wouldn’t increase her rent any further for two years and that he is “the type of landlord who likes to make sure that his clients can afford the homes they live in,” he allegedly got some financial advice from a rental agency. 

“The rental agency that I just started working with says that there’s this new craze where people are starting to move in with their parents or parents are starting to move in with their kids,” the landlord reportedly told her. “It’s just happening all over the place, and it’s a great new way to make more money.”

“You guys know that we’re moving in together because we can’t afford to live by ourselves, and you guys are looking at this as a new way of making more income?” the TikToker asked the landlord.

“Yeah, we’ll talk about it again next month,” responded the landlord nonchalantly, after the TikToker reluctantly agreed to pay the extra $50.

Landlord lied about never receiving a rent payment

tenant speaking with caption 'I still have not received your check so my landlord tried to accuse me of not paying rent for the second time (l) man holding envelope up to mailbox (c) text messages 'what time will you be in Monday? I want to give you the rent Twelve noon How late are you going to be there Until three Just leave it in the mailbox 1A I'd rather hand it to you in person I just want to make sure it gets to you is all I've never had a check last so you don't have to worry Yeah well I would hate for mine to be the first I'll drop by your office Monday I'll be coming from work so I'll text you when I'm on the way I'm on my way about 30 mins' (r)
@jamesdapper/TikTok (Fair Use) Remix by Caterina Cox

When TikToker James Dapper’s (@jamesdapper) landlord claimed he hadn’t received the monthly rent check, Dapper was glad to have proof.

In a video with over 600,000 views, Dapper recounts how his landlord accused him of missing rent payments twice.

To ensure proof of payment, Dapper recorded himself placing the check in the landlord’s mailbox. Despite this, the landlord texted him a couple of days later, saying he never got the check.

Dapper called the landlord, stating he had both a receipt and a video of the check being placed in the mailbox. Suddenly, the landlord changed his story, claiming he had “misplaced” the check.

“Yeah, of course you did,” Dapper remarks sarcastically in his video.

To make matters worse, the landlord then falsely accused Dapper of having a cat and not paying the pet fee, which Dapper disputed as his roommate is allergic to cats, and invited the landlord to inspect the unit. Faced with the undeniable proof, the landlord allegedly backed down from both accusations.

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