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Renter Horror Stories: An Evicted Tenant Leaves His Mark

Welcome to Renters Week Horror Stories, a weeklong feature where Curbed shares the downright terrifying stories of regular Chicago renters and landlords. Have you had an awful experience with a roommate or a landlord? Or perhaps you're a property owner who's had to collect rent from the tenant from hell. Either way, be sure to share your story to qualify to win a two-night staycation at a local boutique hotel. Take a quick gander at the official rules and be sure to submit your tales of renter anguish and horror to our tip line right away!

Hi Curbed. How about you also include horror stories of horrible renters, too. No need to hate only on the landlords and rental units...

My story comes from my days as a property manager. We were evicting a guy who had not paid rent for three months because he "lost his job." Yet, he shared photos of his weekend escapades with our front desk staff and often had food delivered to his apartment two to three times per day. During the eviction proceedings, he dragged out the process by filing for extensions, etc. Finally, we were given possession of his apartment after eight months of non-payment and multiple court dates. We had been in his apartment multiple times throughout his tenancy and knew that he lived in a pig sty. We were expecting to walk into a complete mess the day that the sheriff showed up to evict him since he had not returned keys. To our surprise, the apartment was nearly immaculate. All of his belongings were gone. The carpets were almost spotless. The walls looked to have been freshly cleaned and touched up. He even took the time to replace the stove drip pans that had previously been caked in grease and burnt on food remnants. The unit was in almost move-in condition.

We were duped...

We quickly had a new resident interested in the unit. We did our final touch ups and the minimal needed repairs prior to them moving in just three days after the sheriff showed up. Within a couple of days the new tenant complained that the apartment had an odd odor. We inspected and did not find anything wrong. The HVAC filters had just been replaced. We had replaced the carpets as part of our standard turn. The walls had a fresh paint of coat. Nearly everything in the apartment was brand new. The source of the odor could not be found. A few days later, more complaints from the new residents. Again, we inspected and found nothing wrong. As a precaution, we had the apartment repainted, filters replaced, carpets cleaned and even had a deodorizing bomb while the resident was out of town for the weekend.

Almost one month later, the new resident was still complaining about a fowl odor throughout the apartment. We inspected yet again. However, this time we could start to see some slight discoloration in some portions of the walls throughout the apartment. We began to poke holes in the drywall where this discoloration appeared. To our complete surprise, maggots crawled out of the holes. We began to pull back the drywall piece by piece. The evicted tenant had cut multiple holes in the drywall in every room of the apartment and thrown packages raw meat into the wall cavities—steaks, ground beef, chicken breasts, pork chops, etc. Before moving out, he patched the holes so well that they looked as if they had never been touched. We had to rip every piece of drywall, insulation, etc. out of the apartment and the surrounding units to get rid of the smell. But, I don't know if I'll ever be able to get the memory of that smell out of my mind...

That is a horrible tenant...

·Renter Horror Stories [Curbed Chicago]
·Renters Week 2015 [Curbed Chicago]