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A man bent over a couch | Source: Amomama
A man bent over a couch | Source: Amomama

Our Entitled Landlord Refused to Return Our Deposit, So We Taught Him a Lesson

Salwa Nadeem
Jul 04, 2024
07:45 A.M.

Peter and Mary had saved for years to move into their dream apartment, but their entitled landlord had other plans. When he refused to return their security deposit with outrageous accusations, they knew they had to fight back. What unfolded was a plot of cunning and retribution that left their landlord stunned.

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Hi, I'm Peter. You could say I'm a pretty level-headed guy. Been an analyst at a tech company for, well, longer than I care to admit at 34. Numbers? Logic? That's my bread and butter.

A man using a laptop | Source: Pexels

A man using a laptop | Source: Pexels

But lately, my brain feels like it's running on a corrupted program, thanks to our landlord, Mr. Hollingsworth.

The guy's a real piece of work, and what he pulled with our security deposit... let's just say it's left me fuming and needing to vent.

So, here I am, pouring my frustrations (and maybe a plan or two) out onto the internet.

Now, before I unleash the full Hollingsworth horror show, let me rewind a bit.

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An old man | Source: Midjourney

An old man | Source: Midjourney

See, this story isn't just about a greedy landlord. It's about a fresh start for my little family. My amazing wife, Mary, and our energetic three-year-old, Ethan, the little hurricane who can turn "bath time" into a full-blown monsoon event.

After years of budgeting and countless ramen noodle dinners, Mary and I finally saved enough for our dream apartment.

We'd been cramped in a shoebox apartment for what felt like forever, but a few months ago, our realtor showed us this new apartment that fit our budget.

An empty apartment kitchen | Source: Pexels

An empty apartment kitchen | Source: Pexels

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Our first visit to the apartment was when we decided to make it our home.

When Mary told Ethan about the new house, saying his room would have a jungle gym, he couldn't contain his excitement.

"Jungle gym!" Ethan would yell, gleefully running in circles around our tiny living room. "Can we see it yet, Mommy?"

"You'll have to wait for a few more weeks, honey," Mary would tell him.

She spent weeks decluttering and decorating, transforming our new apartment into a cozy haven.

A woman writing in her notebook | Source: Pexels

A woman writing in her notebook | Source: Pexels

Soon, we were all set to move into the new place. All that was left was to pick up a few things from our old apartment.

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Little did we know, that our move would be the start of a landlord nightmare we never saw coming.

On the moving day, the landlord showed up, and we walked through the whole apartment with him to hand it over.

He poked his nose around, muttering about a scuffed doorframe and a slightly stained carpet (thanks to Ethan's "artistic phase" with puddings).

A older man looking at a stained carpet | Source: Midjourney

A older man looking at a stained carpet | Source: Midjourney

But to our relief, after a twenty-minute inspection, he sighed and declared, "Alright, alright, everything seems in order. Your deposit will be refunded within the usual timeframe."

We shook hands, pleasantries exchanged, and that was that. Relief washed over us as Mr. Hollingsworth locked the door behind him. We thought that was the end of our interaction with him, but it wasn't.

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Just a couple of days later, we got an angry voicemail from him.

"Peter!" he barked, barely bothering with the pleasantries this time.

A man looking at his phone | Source: Midjourney

A man looking at his phone | Source: Midjourney

"Do you have any idea what kind of mess you've left behind in that apartment? A stench so vile, it could knock a buzzard off a dung heap! I can't even stand in the bedroom and the living room."

"And don't even get me started on the infestation! Cockroaches crawling all over like they own the place!" he yelled. "Seems your little… offspring… wasn't quite as trained as you led me to believe. He left food in so many places."

The accusation stung. Ethan messy? Sure, sometimes. But cockroaches? That was outrageous.

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Close-up of a man's face | Source: Midjourney

Close-up of a man's face | Source: Midjourney

"The security deposit," he continued, his voice dripping with mock sympathy, "is obviously forfeit. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. To rectify this… we're talking a complete overhaul. New wallpaper, floors ripped out, the whole nine yards. And guess who gets to foot the bill for this little… biohazard cleanup? You do, Peter. You and your… destructive… family."

By the end of the message, Mary and I were dumbfounded. Whatever Mr. Hollingsworth said seemed impossible as we had the apartment professionally cleaned before handing it back.

Close-up of a person cleaning | Source: Pexels

Close-up of a person cleaning | Source: Pexels

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"Cockroaches? Peter, we never even saw an ant in that place!" Mary exclaimed, her voice tight with anger.

"I know, Mary," I said. "This seems suspicious."

"We need to call him back. We need to set him straight."

"No. We won't call him back," I told her. "I have a better plan."

At that point, we still had a few of our things in our old apartment, including the nanny cam. So, I decided to check the recording.

That was the only way to find out what Mr. Hollingsworth was up to.

A man using a tablet | Source: freepik.com

A man using a tablet | Source: freepik.com

What I found was shocking. As I played back the nanny cam footage, my heart raced. At first, it showed the empty apartment, the familiar surroundings we had lovingly maintained.

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Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Hollingsworth appeared on the screen. He moved cautiously, glancing over his shoulder as if afraid of being caught.

My initial reaction was confusion. Why was he there? What was he doing?

But as the footage continued, my confusion turned to horror. Mr. Hollingsworth was sneaking around the apartment, wearing gloves and a mask.

An older man bent over a couch | Source: Midjourney

An older man bent over a couch | Source: Midjourney

He moved stealthily, almost like a burglar. I watched in disbelief as he bent down behind the sofa, and when he stood up, he left something behind.

He repeated this process behind the wardrobes, under the sink, and even in the air vents.

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I leaned closer to the screen, trying to see what he was placing. As he moved into better light, the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. It was rotting food.

My stomach churned as I recognized the slimy, decomposing pieces of fish guts.

A man looking at his phone | Source: Midjourney

A man looking at his phone | Source: Midjourney

The smell must have been unbearable because Mr. Hollingsworth kept adjusting his mask and covering his nose.

Disgust mingled with fury as I continued to watch. Here was our landlord, deliberately sabotaging the apartment to make it look like we had left it in a terrible state.

The meticulousness with which he carried out his plan was chilling.

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He knew exactly where to place the rotting food so it wouldn't be immediately visible but would soon create a horrendous stench.

An older man | Source: Midjourney

An older man | Source: Midjourney

When the footage finally ended, I felt a mix of anger and determination. I turned to Mary, who had been watching with me, her face pale with shock.

"I can't believe this," she said, her voice trembling with rage. "He set us up."

"I know," I replied, feeling a cold, steely resolve settle over me. "But we're not going to let him get away with this."

Mary nodded, her eyes blazing. "What do we do now?"

Close-up of a woman's face | Source: Midjourney

Close-up of a woman's face | Source: Midjourney

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The footage made me realize he was determined to scam us. So, I decided to outsmart him and devised a plan.

First, I made copies of the nanny cam footage and backed it up in multiple places. Then, I called the landlord, acting completely calm.

"Mr. Hollingsworth, we'd like to discuss the matter of the security deposit. Could we meet in a couple of days?"

"Ah, finally coming to your senses, are you?" he sneered. "Fine. Let's meet on Thursday."

An older man talking on his phone | Source: Midjourney

An older man talking on his phone | Source: Midjourney

In the meantime, I contacted a lawyer friend, Mark, and showed him the footage. His eyes widened as he watched.

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"This is gold, Peter. You've got him. We'll prepare everything."

Thursday arrived, and Mary and I showed up at the old apartment with Mark. Mr. Hollingsworth greeted us with a smug look. "Ready to pay for the damages?"

I forced a smile. "We thought it would be best to show you something first."

At that point, I pulled out my phone and played the nanny cam footage.

A close-up shot of a man using a phone | Source: Pexels

A close-up shot of a man using a phone | Source: Pexels

Mr. Hollingsworth's face turned from confident to horrified. "I... I can explain..."

Mark stepped in, his voice calm but firm. "There's nothing to explain. This is clear evidence of fraud and intentional damage. Not only will you return the deposit, but you will also compensate my clients for the distress caused."

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Mr. Hollingsworth stammered, "Look, let's not get legal involved. I'll return the deposit right away."

Mary, her voice steady but edged with anger, added, "And an extra $1,000 for the stress and inconvenience. Or we'll see you in court."

A serious woman | Source: Midjourney

A serious woman | Source: Midjourney

He agreed, looking utterly defeated. We got our deposit back plus the extra $1,000 within the week.

Back at our new apartment, Mary and I sat in the garden, a sense of triumph washing over us. "I still can't believe he tried to pull that," Mary said, shaking her head.

"I know," I replied, "but we stood our ground. And we won."

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Ethan came running over, his laughter filling the air. "Daddy, Mommy, come play!"

"In a minute, buddy," I said, smiling. "First, Mommy and I need to toast to something."

A child in a garden | Source: Pexels

A child in a garden | Source: Pexels

We raised our glasses of wine, clinking them together. "To justice well served," Mary said.

"And to never letting anyone take advantage of us again," I added.

As Ethan played happily nearby, I looked at Mary, feeling a deep sense of gratitude. "We make a good team, don't we?"

"The best," she replied, leaning in for a kiss. "Here's to our new beginning."

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"And to making sure we always have a nanny cam," I joked, making Mary laugh.

A couple sitting outside their house | Source: Pexels

A couple sitting outside their house | Source: Pexels

Mr. Hollingsworth might have thought he could scam us, but he underestimated the power of a united family. And that, more than anything, made this victory all the more rewarding.

What would you have done if you were in my place?

Here's another story that you might like: When Paige moved into her old apartment, she instantly noticed the lack of a washing machine and dishwasher. She decided to buy her own appliances, thinking it was a simple solution. But when she tried to take them with her upon moving out, her entitled ex-landlord refused to let her go without a fight, not knowing she had a lesson in store for him.

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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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