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A cozy living room | Source: Shutterstock
A cozy living room | Source: Shutterstock

Entitled Landlord Raised Our Rent by $650 – We Had Enough and Taught Him a Costly Lesson

Caitlin Farley
Jul 01, 2024
06:35 A.M.

When our landlord hiked our rent by $650, it was the last straw. Living in a rundown apartment with a broken fridge and constant harassment pushed us to the edge. Determined to get revenge, we concocted a clever plan to make him regret his greed and teach him an unforgettable lesson.

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Dennis here. Let me tell you about the time my wife, Amber, and I dealt with the landlord from hell while saving for our dream house. It's been a rollercoaster, but we learned a lot along the way.

A happy couple | Source: MidJourney

A happy couple | Source: MidJourney

So, picture this: Amber and I moved into this tiny, run-down apartment a little over a year ago.

We were pinching pennies, trying to save up for a place of our own. The apartment was our stepping stone. Small, but we made it work. Amber decorated the place with some second-hand finds and DIY projects. I swear, she can make anything look good.

The trouble started right from the get-go.

A couple playfully doing home improvements | Source: Pexels

A couple playfully doing home improvements | Source: Pexels

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We met our landlord, Mr. Williams, during the lease signing. Now, this guy looked like he had stepped right out of a 1980s corporate villain movie. Slicked-back hair, smug smile, and a suit that screamed "I have power, and I love it."

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Williams," Amber said, ever the polite one.

"Likewise," he replied, barely looking up from the paperwork. "Let's get this done quickly. I have other matters to attend to."

We went through the motions, signing here and there. And then, like an idiot, I mentioned my income.

A man signing documents at a dining table | Source: MidJourney

A man signing documents at a dining table | Source: MidJourney

Yeah, a hundred grand a year. It slipped out when I was filling out some income verification. Mr. Williams' eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store.

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"$100k, huh? Impressive," he said, his tone dripping with newfound interest. "Glad to have tenants who can pay on time."

Amber shot me a look, but it was too late. The damage was done.

Once we moved in, we quickly realized the place needed way more than a make-over.

A couple moving into an apartment | Source: Pexels

A couple moving into an apartment | Source: Pexels

The fridge made a noise like a dying whale, the washer shook so violently I thought it was possessed, and the faucets leaked incessantly. The toilet, oh man, the toilet would randomly refuse to flush, turning our bathroom into a no-go zone.

"Mr. Williams, the fridge is acting up again," I called one evening.

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He sighed heavily. "What did you do to it now?"

"Nothing. It just stopped working," I replied, trying to keep my frustration in check.

A man scrolling on his phone | Source: Pexels

A man scrolling on his phone | Source: Pexels

"Well, I’m sure it's your fault. I’ll come by when I have time."

And come by he did, unannounced and often at the worst times. Once, he showed up while Amber was home alone. She called me in a panic.

"Dennis, he's here again," she whispered over the phone. "He just let himself in!"

"Stay on the line," I said, rushing home. "I'll be there in ten minutes."

A man speaking on the phone | Source: Pexels

A man speaking on the phone | Source: Pexels

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By the time I got there, he was gone, leaving Amber shaken. It was infuriating, but we were stuck. Moving out would mean dipping into our savings.

For a whole year, we endured this nightmare. Every broken appliance, every unannounced visit, every dismissive comment from Mr. Williams piled on the stress. It was like he took pleasure in our misery.

As our lease came to an end, we were so close to finishing the construction on our new house. Just needed a couple more months. We asked Mr. Williams if we could extend our lease by two months.

A very stressed woman looking out the window | Source: Pexels

A very stressed woman looking out the window | Source: Pexels

"Sure," he said, a wicked grin spreading across his face. "But the rent’s going up. By $650 a month."

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"$650? Are you kidding me?" I nearly choked.

"Take it or leave it," he shrugged. "It’s business."

We had no choice but to agree. The financial strain was immense. We cut back on everything—eating out, entertainment, even basic groceries.

When it was finally time to move out, we cleaned the apartment until it was spotless. I mean, you could eat off the floors. But when we asked for our deposit back, Mr. Williams sneered at us.

An angry man | Source: MidJourney

An angry man | Source: MidJourney

"You trashed the place," he said, arms crossed. "I’m keeping the deposit for repairs."

"Repairs? We left it better than we found it!" Amber exclaimed.

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"Not my problem," he smirked. "What are you going to do? Sue me? Go ahead. Try proving anything."

We were at our breaking point. All that hard work, all those sacrifices, and this was how we were treated. I felt a mix of anger and helplessness, but mostly, I felt a burning desire for justice.

Close up of a man's eyes | Source: MidJourney

Close up of a man's eyes | Source: MidJourney

Amber and I were devastated. We sat in our packed-up apartment, staring at the blank walls, feeling utterly defeated.

But then, Amber, bless her fiery spirit, looked at me and said, "We’re not letting him get away with this."

"What do you have in mind?" I asked, a spark of hope igniting.

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She grinned, a mischievous glint in her eye. "We’re going to make him regret ever messing with us."

And that is how our plan for revenge began.

A couple having a serious discussion | Source: MidJourney

A couple having a serious discussion | Source: MidJourney

Amber and I brainstormed over a couple of beers one night, sketching out ideas on a napkin. We needed something that would hit Mr. Williams where it hurt but couldn't be traced back to us.

Then it hit us—smells. Horrible, pervasive, can't-get-rid-of-them smells.

"Alright," I said, leaning back with a grin. "We need tuna, rotten eggs, milk, and dead mice."

Amber chuckled. "This is going to be epic."

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We headed to the grocery store the next day, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible while loading our cart with the nastiest items we could think of.

Interior of a grocery store | Source: Pexels

Interior of a grocery store | Source: Pexels

"I feel like a teenager buying toilet paper for a prank," Amber whispered, eyeing the cashier nervously.

We paid and hurried home, ready to set our plan in motion.

On our last visit to the apartment to collect the final boxes, we put our plan into action. First, we popped open the cans of tuna and placed the fish behind the AC vents. The smell of fish in the summer heat? Perfect.

"Rotten eggs next," I said, holding my nose.

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A man hiding tuna in an AC vent | Source: MidJourney

A man hiding tuna in an AC vent | Source: MidJourney

We carefully cracked a few and poured them into the curtain rails.

Amber gagged. "This is disgusting. But totally worth it."

We spilled milk onto the bathroom mat, knowing it would sour and smell to high heaven in no time. And finally, we placed the dead mice (courtesy of the local pet store) on top of the ceiling fans.

With everything in place, we left the apartment with a sense of giddy anticipation.

Moving boxes | Source: Pexels

Moving boxes | Source: Pexels

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Finally, we moved into our new house—a cozy, charming place we could truly call home. As we unpacked, we reflected on the past year.

"That was one hell of a ride," I said, looking around our new living room.

Amber smiled. "But we made it through. Together."

Two months later, curiosity got the best of us. Amber decided to check in with the rental agent, casually inquiring about our old apartment.

A woman making a phone call | Source: Pexels

A woman making a phone call | Source: Pexels

"Yeah, it's been vacant," the agent said. "There's a terrible smell no one can seem to get rid of."

Amber and I exchanged a look of triumph. Our plan had worked.

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The call came that evening. Mr. Williams' voice was practically seething through the phone.

"You two think you're clever, huh?" he spat. "The apartment smells like a dumpster. What did you do?"

Amber, ever the cool one, shot back with the same line he'd used on us: "What are you going to do? Sue us? Try proving anything."

A woman on a phone call | Source: Pexels

A woman on a phone call | Source: Pexels

There was a pause, then a frustrated growl from Mr. Williams. "You need to fix this!"

Amber didn't miss a beat. "We will, on one condition. You return our full deposit, the extra rent for those two months, and cover any additional costs."

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"That's blackmail," he snapped.

"No, that's justice," she said firmly. "Take it or leave it."

Another long pause, then a reluctant, "Fine. You win."

A woman smiling while on a phone call | Source: Pexels

A woman smiling while on a phone call | Source: Pexels

We met Mr. Williams in his office. The look on his face as he handed us the check was priceless—part anger, part resignation.

"Don't spend it all in one place," he muttered.

"We won't," I said, taking the check.

We cashed it immediately, not taking any chances.

Returning to the apartment to clean up our mess felt oddly satisfying.

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A couple cleaning | Source: Pexels

A couple cleaning | Source: Pexels

We removed the tuna, cleaned out the rotten eggs, scrubbed the milk stains, and disposed of the dead mice. The smell finally began to dissipate.

"Good riddance," Amber said, wiping her hands. "I hope he learned his lesson."

And there you have it. The story of how we turned the tables on our greedy landlord and got the justice we deserved. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, remember: a little creativity and a lot of determination can go a long way!

A woman wiping her hands | Source: Pexels

A woman wiping her hands | Source: Pexels

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Click here to read Paige's story about how she taught her ex-landlord a good lesson when he refused to return the washing machine and dishwasher she bought!

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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