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A smiling woman with her garden in her background | Source: AmoMama
A smiling woman with her garden in her background | Source: AmoMama

My Daughter's Landlord Set Her up So He Could Evict Her and Raise the Rent – We Taught Him a Smart Lesson

Prenesa Naidoo
Jul 05, 2024
11:55 A.M.

When Jason's phone rings in the middle of the night, he finds his daughter crying. During the conversation, he discovers that her landlord is forcing her out of her place. Jason decides to give the landlord a lesson...

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I received the call late at night; it was so unexpected that I answered it without even thinking about who could be on the other end. Groggily, I clicked the green icon and held my phone up to my ear.

A man sleeping | Source: Midjourney

A man sleeping | Source: Midjourney

"Dad," Lily, my daughter, sobbed into my ear.

"What's wrong?" I asked, immediately sitting up and getting my feet into my slippers. "Tell me, Lily, what's happening?"

An upset young woman | Source: Midjourney

An upset young woman | Source: Midjourney

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"My landlord found out that I got a raise at work. I was sitting on the porch with Nolan, and we were laughing about it and toasting. And of course, he heard it from the front house. Ever since, he keeps talking about renovations and higher rent."

"Okay," I said slowly, trying to understand despite the grogginess from sleep.

A close-up of an older man | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of an older man | Source: Midjourney

Sure, it was a disgusting way to make money off people, but it wasn't something to cry about.

"But sweetheart, why are you crying?" I asked, trying to keep my own voice steady.

Everything in me wanted to run to my child. But I wouldn't do anything until she gave me a reason to.

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An upset young woman | Source: Midjourney

An upset young woman | Source: Midjourney

"After I had no reaction to the rent increase, he secretly threw some old, prohibited chemical containers into my backyard and then accused me of violating the lease by storing hazardous materials on the property," she said.

"What?" I exploded. "That's illegal!"

Numerous plastic containers | Source: Unsplash

Numerous plastic containers | Source: Unsplash

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"And he has given me two days to move out," she continued.

I was fuming. My daughter had transformed that backyard from a barren plot into a blooming oasis. She poured her heart into every plant, every flower, and every single vegetable.

A beautiful outdoor space | Source: Unsplash

A beautiful outdoor space | Source: Unsplash

She had always been like this. Lily wasn't the type of child to sit inside and play with her toys. She preferred to stay outside and get her hands dirty, trying to discover how things grew.

"This is so much fun, Dad," she told me one day when I was mowing the lawn and little Lily was planting flowers.

A little girl in a garden | Source: Unsplash

A little girl in a garden | Source: Unsplash

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"There's a few worms there," she said, pointing. "But I still planted the seedlings anyway."

Her mother hated it. She wanted Lily to have freshly pressed clothing, clean nails, and hair that stayed in place.

"You need to stop enabling this behavior, Jason," my wife, Jenna, would say. "Encourage her to be a little lady."

A happy little girl standing on a bed | Source: Midjourney

A happy little girl standing on a bed | Source: Midjourney

"Not a chance, Jenna," I would always say. "Let this sweet girl just be herself."

Now, after everything Lily had done to make her garden her own space, all I wanted to do was try and save her hard work.

A little girl climbing a tree | Source: Pexels

A little girl climbing a tree | Source: Pexels

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"Don't worry, honey," I said, a plan already forming in my mind.

"How, Dad?" she asked.

"Because we'll sort this out. And we'll do it together."

A smiling older man | Source: Midjourney

A smiling older man | Source: Midjourney

The next evening, I showed up at Lily's place with my truck and a few friends. We were armed with flashlights and a healthy dose of righteous anger.

"Right, guys," I said. "We're going to do this for my daughter. We're going to teach Jack a lesson. That as a landlord, you cannot go around and take advantage of young women."

A group of older men | Source: Midjourney

A group of older men | Source: Midjourney

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We meticulously dismantled the entire backyard haven that Lily put together.

"Dad?" Lily asked when she realized that we were there. "What's going on?"

"Hi, darling," I said. "We're going to teach your landlord a lesson. He cannot do this. So, we're going to take everything apart. I'll take your plants home, too."

Tools on a bench | Source: Midjourney

Tools on a bench | Source: Midjourney

Lily yawned and stretched.

"I'll leave you to it, Dad," she said. "I'm going to rest for a little bit and then get back to packing up the place when the sun comes up. I'm going to stay with Nolan until I find a place. He'll be here with more boxes soon."

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"Go on," I said. "We'll be quiet, I promise."

A tired young woman | Source: Midjourney

A tired young woman | Source: Midjourney

As we worked, every lovingly tended plant, every painstakingly built bed, vanished. By the time we were done, the once-flourishing garden was reduced to a desolate patch of dirt, a stark contrast to the lush photos Jack, the landlord, had already posted for the new listing.

A house listing photo | Source: Midjourney

A house listing photo | Source: Midjourney

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"Thanks, guys," I said. "You can leave. I'll just help Lily pack. I'll pick up my truck later, Malcolm."

I wasn't done. There was still more work to be done.

Inside the house, we rearranged the furniture to highlight all the faults.

A woman surrounded by boxes | Source: Midjourney

A woman surrounded by boxes | Source: Midjourney

The cracks in the walls were not hidden by Lily's art pieces. The missing tiles were left out in the open without any kitchen appliances to cover them up.

"Nothing can be done about the ceiling mold in the bathroom," Lily told me. "But I have been telling the landlord that we needed to sort it out."

Cracks in a wall | Source: Midjourney

Cracks in a wall | Source: Midjourney

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We replaced all the light bulbs with very bright blue-white ones, making the entire place look stark and uninviting.

As we worked, Lily and I talked about her time in the house.

A man carrying a box | Source: Midjourney

A man carrying a box | Source: Midjourney

"I remember when I first moved in," she said, a hint of nostalgia in her voice. "The backyard was just dirt and concrete. And I didn't think that anything could grow here. But eventually it did. And every time I felt homesick, I would come out here and plant something new or tend to whatever was growing."

"And you made it happen," I replied, smiling. "You turned it into a paradise."

A young woman planting | Source: Midjourney

A young woman planting | Source: Midjourney

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She sighed.

"It just feels so unfair. I did everything right, and he still found a way to ruin it all."

"We're not going to let him win," I assured her. "This is just a setback. You've got a new adventure waiting for you. Nolan's place is a good stop for now, but I know that he's serious about you. Maybe a new house together is going to be the next step."

A smiling father and daughter | Source: Midjourney

A smiling father and daughter | Source: Midjourney

I left my daughter's place feeling confident that her landlord would get a really good wake-up call the next day.

"Dad, can you come over?" Lily asked me on the phone early that morning. "Please be here when I have to hand over the keys to Jack."

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"I'll be there soon," I said, buttering my slice of toast.

Buttered toast on a plate | Source: Midjourney

Buttered toast on a plate | Source: Midjourney

Lily had me packing her shoes into a box when Jack stormed in, livid.

"What the hell, Lily?" he demanded. "Where are the plants? The flowers? The pictures online clearly show what this place is supposed to look like!"

He sighed deeply, his face turning the color of a particularly overripe tomato.

A shocked old man | Source: Midjourney

A shocked old man | Source: Midjourney

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Lily, the picture of innocence, blinked at him.

"What plants, Jack?" she asked. "The backyard has always looked like this, haven't you noticed?"

She gestured toward the desolate patch, a sly smile playing on her lips.

Jack, caught red-handed with his deceitful plan, spluttered some incoherent threats about property damage. I stepped in, pointing at the exposed faults.

A desolate backyard | Source: Midjourney

A desolate backyard | Source: Midjourney

"You want to talk about damage?" I said, my voice cold.

"Let's discuss the cracks in the walls, the missing tiles, and the mold in the bathroom. You can see everything clearly now, can't you?"

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Jack's eyes widened as he looked into the bathroom.

"This is clearly sabotage!" he yelled.

A close-up of an older man | Source: Midjourney

A close-up of an older man | Source: Midjourney

"No," I replied, pulling out the photos I'd taken when Lily moved in.

"This is exactly how the place was when she moved in. If anything, it's tidier now. Nothing is missing, Jack."

Jack tried to regain his composure, but the three couples who came for the viewing that afternoon saw the house in its raw, unappealing state. They all left without putting in an application.

A smiling young woman | Source: Midjourney

A smiling young woman | Source: Midjourney

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Meanwhile, after a few months, Lily found a new place with a landlord who appreciated her green thumb, not just the potential for profit. As my daughter settled into her new home, I couldn't help but feel proud.

Lily and I sat on her new porch, looking out at the spacious yard that would soon become her next gardening project.

A smiling older man | Source: Unsplash

A smiling older man | Source: Unsplash

"Dad, I can't thank you enough," she said, her eyes bright with relief and excitement. "I was so scared, but you knew exactly what to do."

I smiled, squeezing her hand as we swung on the porch swing. "You did the hard part, kiddo. You stood up to him. And now, you've got a fresh start."

A porch swing | Source: Unsplash

A porch swing | Source: Unsplash

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What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one for you:

My Sweetest Old Neighbor Helped Me Unpack & Later, I Found Her Note in the Box – It Made Me Immediately Sell the House

When Phoebe decides that her new chapter begins with a divorce and a new house, she finds a little house in a sleepy neighborhood. As she gets unpacking, she meets a wonderful neighbor, who has a big responsibility for Phoebe.

When we first moved to the little house at the end of Maple Street, I was filled with hope and a sense of new beginnings. It was just my 6-year-old daughter, Lily, and I.

The exterior of a house | Source: Unsplash

The exterior of a house | Source: Unsplash

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We were finally starting over after a difficult year: me going through a tough divorce with Lily's father, and Lily having to navigate life without her father living in the same house.

"It's okay, Mom," she said softly to me one night. "I don't like how Dad always shouted at us."

It was clear then that we needed to break free.

A young mother and daughter | Source: Midjourney

A young mother and daughter | Source: Midjourney

From the moment I met Mrs. Thompson, she reminded me of my own grandmother. There was this motherly warmth to her that made me feel like moving here was the right decision.

"I'm Hazel," she said, walking up to our porch with a batch of freshly baked cookies. "I'm so glad you're moving into the neighborhood. My house is that one."

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She pointed to the little house directly next to mine.

Freshly baked cookies | Source: Midjourney

Freshly baked cookies | Source: Midjourney

"And who is this little girl?" she asked, seeing Lily jump into a pile of leaves.

"This is Lily, my daughter," I said, introducing the two. "We needed a new start."

When our official moving day arrived, Mrs. Thompson insisted on coming over and helping me unpack.

Read the full story here.

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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