6 Totally Lame Excuses Landlords Have Made to Dodge Tenant Complaints

I once rented an apartment in Salt Lake City with a vintage gas oven dating to the 1940s. While it looked nice, the temperature inside never got past 200 degrees, even with the dial turned all the way up. Toddlers’ Easy-Bake Ovens were hotter than this thing!

So we did what any tenant would do: We pointed this out to our landlord. Surely he’d want to fix this problem, right?

On the contrary—this stove wasn’t the “problem.” It was us.

“Cooking is kind of a personal thing,” he explained in an email. “Some people cook a lot, some don’t. And I’m not required to provide an oven that meets everyone’s unique needs.”

Welcome to the weird, convoluted logic of landlords. Sure, most are happy to provide tenants with a comfortable place to live, but certain bad apples would prefer to come up with all kinds of crazy excuses for why they’re off the hook for providing heat, pest control, and other necessities of life. And based on stories I’ve heard from other tenants, my landlord wasn’t even the worst of the bunch!

Behold some of these weird, wild, real-life excuses landlords have made in order to ignore tenant complaints. Think of them as “the dog ate my homework,” landlord edition.

1. ‘Rats are more afraid of you than you are of them’

Diane Dobry was living in a New York City brownstone when a water main break on the street caused a rat infestation in her building.

“Since I lived on the ground floor, I kept hearing them under the floorboards and in the walls, so I complained to the landlord,” she recalls. “He insisted they were ‘just mice’ or, even if they were rats, they were more afraid of me than I was of them!”

Dobry vehemently begged to differ—so her landlord eventually hired an exterminator, who put rat traps in the basement.

Then the landlord asked me if I would check the rat traps every day and get rid of any rats that were caught,” Dobry recalls. “What? I pay to live here!”

2. ‘You can put on a sweater and jacket’

At first, Shane Lee loved her apartment in New York City’s Chinatown. But by mid-December, not so much—because her landlord had still refused to turn on the heat. And his reasoning was even colder: “You can just put on a sweater and jacket like everyone else.”

“At first I was speechless,” says Lee, who had to band together with the other tenants and point out the heating requirements in their lease before the landlord finally caved. “It’s just shocking to me that landlords actually try to get away with that!”

3. ‘No AC? Your plants are the problem’

Kevin Lindon Ryan thought he got a great deal on his Washington, DC, apartment—his “unreasonably low” rent came in at just $1,275 a month. But as his neighbors joked, he got what he paid for during the heat of summer.

“My air conditioning was on full blast, but I was constantly sweating and miserable,” he says. His landlord denied requests to fix the unit.

“Instead, he insisted that the heat and humidity came from my plants and told me to buy a dehumidifier,” Ryan says, “$400 later, my heavy-duty dehumidifier actually produced more heat.”

4. ‘That’s just the way it works’

Jay Westcott had popped out of his Lynchburg, VA, apartment to do laundry when he realized he couldn’t get back in—even with his key.

“The doorknob just stopped working,” he recalls. “I was locked out even though the lock wasn’t locked.”

Westcott called his landlord, insisting that a locksmith be called to break down the door and rebuild the lock. His landlord acquiesced—eventually—but not before insisting that Westcott just didn’t know how to open the door the right way: “I was told, ‘Well, that’s just the way the lock works!'” Or doesn’t.

5. ‘It’s our daughter’s fault’

Kirby Ingles couldn’t get his landlords in Falls Church, VA, to make any repairs to the property. Instead, they would “give me permission to make repairs on my own—but then would take months, even over a year, to reimburse me for the cost of the repair.”

When he tried to confront them about their slow response, they blamed it all on their daughter.

“They shared with us that their adult daughter had run up their credit cards, that they’d paid for her schooling, the list was endless,” Ingles says. And that was Ingles’ problem because…?

6. ‘This is Florida’

When Andrew Selepak rented a house in Gainesville, FL, he noticed an odd smell in the bathroom.

“The toilet in the bathroom had leaked so much under the floorboards that it had caused water damage,” he says.

He asked his property manager to come over and address the issue, and when she finally did, she told him that the smell was par for the course because “this is Florida.”

“She even went on to tell me that she could remember growing up in Florida where her father would have to wipe the mold off his shoes before going to church,” Selepak says. “As if it was all normal and there was nothing for her to do!”

What’s That in Your Loo? The Bathroom Feature People Can’t Stop Arguing About

It’s not whether the toilet paper roll goes under or over, or the seat stays up or down. And it’s not even about leaving your tongue scraper by the sink. Nope, it’s about reading.

Stashing reading material in the loo is hardly a new concept—your parents or grandparents probably had a stack of magazines on the back of the toilet. But today, home decor has evolved to embrace the “reading on the throne” trend rather than treating it like an afterthought.

Some people think this is genius. Others find it grotesque—the germs, the moisture, yuck! None of it can be good for the books or those who touch them, right? Perhaps. But, hey, we’re only human. What else are we supposed to do while clocking time on the john?

“Reading material in the bathroom might be a bit controversial, but it is practical,” points out Drew Henry, founder of Design Dudes. “So if you must have that latest copy of Architectural Digest near the porcelain throne, there are now some innovative ways to incorporate reading material in this space. This trend can actually be tasteful and discreet.”

So if you’re one of those people who can’t live without some reading material on the throne, here are some creative and even elegant ways to keep it within reach.

Mount it on the wall

Photo by Birdseye Design

Wall-mounted racks provide easy, unobtrusive access to reading materials.

“Most [racks] do not require a full depth of 12 inches to accommodate four or five magazines,” says Dawn T. Totty, an interior designer based in Chattanooga, TN.

Bonus: If you’re prone to clutter, this skinny storage space can help prevent an overload of reading materials. There’s no way you’re cramming every issue of Miniature Donkey Talk magazine you own in there.

Yet since moisture can be an issue, “just be careful on the placement,” warns Henry. “You don’t want it under where you hang towels to dry, because it will get your magazines wet. I would hang it lower, in a spot easily accessible by toilet or tub, since where else would you be reading anyway?”

Hide it

“If you don’t like the books being out in the open but it is a must-have form of bathroom entertainment, mount your rack inside the door of your bathroom cabinet,” says Henry. “That way, it is there when you need it, and hidden away when you don’t.”

Another stealth option? “Consider putting a small chest or decorative container with a lid in your bathroom for magazine storage,” Drew continues. “The lid will make sure it is protected, and also hidden out of sight. You could also use the top of the chest or container for some added counter space when not in use.”

Because, let’s face it: Not everyone wants to read in the loo. Or know that you do.

“There are some things in life that do not need to be envisioned by guests, and this is one,” says luxury real estate agent Rachel Valentino. “As a real estate agent who has walked through thousands of homes, the only acceptable method of incorporating reading material in a bathroom is having it tucked away in a drawer or cabinet. It should never touch a counter.”

Ladder up

Media PA Home Renovation contemporary-powder-room
Contemporary powder room design

JMH Designs

A repurposed ladder takes up very little space, says Totty, yet gives you easy access to assorted magazines and print newspapers. (Remember those?) Shop around for a vintage or antique wooden model. Otherwise, guests may think you’re in the middle of a messy DIY project.

Hang ’em on a … hanger!

bathroom magazine rack
Clothes hangers can also hang magazines, too.


Have one of those hangers with multiple rungs that are used for pants? It’s also the perfect DIY magazine rack for the loo. Another easy DIY option is to use towel rods.

“Mounted on the wall, they are a fun and easy way to hang your best reading materials with little cost and effort to install,” Totty says.

Embrace it with full-on bookshelves

Guerin Residence contemporary-bathroom
Contemporary bathroom design

Stephen Chung, Architect

But, hey, if you’re going to read in the bathroom, why not own it? Think traditional bookshelves—not just one lonely copy of InStyle. Don’t have a lot of wiggle room? Look for shelves that fit over your toilet.

Carve out a wall nook

веселая квартира contemporary-powder-room
Contemporary powder room design

Ольга Арапова

“Wall nooks are a fabulous way to contain all your reading materials without having to sacrifice any square footage,” Totty notes.

Remove only the drywall, frame the interior, and add a coat of paint. From there, you can position a shelf for books or just a dowel rod or two to drape your magazines.

Go high-tech

bathroom reading
For people who can’t live without their tablets no matter what they’re doing


If you prefer to read on a screen, choose a holder that keeps your, um, hands free.

“The most offbeat, yet efficient, reading accessory that I have seen to date was a free-standing iPad stand that doubled as a toilet paper holder,” says Dayna Hairston, interior designer and owner of Dayziner, in Cary, NC. “While it originally made me do a double take,” she adds, “I applaud the creativity!”

Tiger Woods’ Ex, Elin Nordegren, Selling $49.5M Mansion on Florida Coast

Former model Elin Nordegren, who was once married to pro golfer Tiger Woods, is selling her 11-bedroom megamansion in North Palm Beach, FL, for $49.5 million.

Nordegren, 38, negotiated a $100 million divorce settlement from Woods in 2010, after the golfer crashed his car outside the couple’s house following a fight in 2009. She spent a little over $12 million to buy this property in 2011. After the purchase, the 1920s-era mansion on the land was bulldozed and a new home was built.

Completed in 2014, the new 25,000-square-foot home is located on 1.4 waterfront acres in Seminole Landing, an upscale gated community south of the Seminole Golf Club, which ranked 23rd in Golf Magazine’s latest list of the 100 best golf courses on the planet.



The house was designed for “relaxed, refined modern living,” with its architects drawing inspiration from the tropical estates found hundreds of miles south, in the British West Indies, the listing reads. True to form, the house blends indoor and outdoor living, with large windows that capitalize on the uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The living room features a floor-to-ceiling folding glass wall that opens fully, bringing in the sea breeze. Just off the living room, the kitchen has a marble chef’s island with ample storage, and a second marble island with seating for four. There’s an informal dining area in the kitchen, lounge, and second folding glass wall, which opens to an outdoor table.

Living room
Living room




Adjacent to the living room is an office with a large window to the backyard and ocean.



Just outside the living room, there’s a resort-style pool, spa, and stone deck amid mature palm trees. The backyard also features a wide, flat lawn that could easily accommodate a tented gala. There’s a covered cabana with wet bar and pool table, and a lounge area upstairs.



Back inside, one of the home’s staircases features a unique crystal chandelier that cascades all the way down to the floor, creating a waterfall effect.

Upstairs, the master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling with exposed white beams, large windows to the ocean, a sitting area, and fireplace. The master bathroom has a fireplace, and a soaking tub in the window.

Master bedroom
Master bedroom


Elsewhere, there’s a delightful, nautical-themed bedroom with four built-in bunk beds and a lighthouse mural. Another bedroom has a floor-to-ceiling mural of the beach, with a surfer catching a massive wave. That room has a nautical-themed window seat with wraparound views of the ocean.

Bunk beds
Built-in bunk beds




There’s a home theater, gym with a mirrored wall, expansive wine cellar, and a high-capacity catering kitchen.

Home gym
Home gym


Home theater
Home theater


Wine cellar
Wine cellar


Nordegren and Woods were married in 2004 and have two children together. In 2014, she graduated from Florida’s Rollins College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and was given the Hamilton Holt Outstanding Senior Award for her near-perfect GPA. She’s months away from graduating with a master’s degree.

Johnny Weir Tells Us What He Wants in a Dream Home, and It’s So Not What We Expected

It began with a simple tweet. While he was covering the Winter Olympics for NBC in South Korea, figure skating commentator Johnny Weir sent a missive that warmed our hearts.

It turns out the former Olympic skater is ready to make yet another daring leap—into homeownership! We wanted to learn more about Weir’s housing search and what home means to the commentator known for his over-the-top dedication to fashion.

We quickly learned his taste in housing doesn’t exactly square up with assumptions you might have. Despite his love for dramatic attire, he’s actually a down-to-earth dude when it comes to picking the locale of his dream home. (Marie Antoinette reference aside!)

The-Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles, France.
The-Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles, France.

DEA / G. SIOEN/ Getty Images

Q: So, Johnny, what is your dream house?

A: My dream house is Versailles or the Hermitage.

But a common misconception about me is that I live in some very “Jetsons”-style, modern, very sleek, egg-shaped house on top of a building somewhere in New York.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. I live and am looking for my first home in rural Pennsylvania. It’s where I’m from. I came back down here maybe four years ago, after the Sochi Olympics. Now I’m looking for a first home that’s going to be mine, and hopefully be in the family forever.

I was in northern New Jersey and New York for a long time, and it just got too hectic for me. I need a respite from my very fast-paced work life, and I just found so much comfort in being back home.

Q: Why Pennsylvania?

A: I’m very interested in privacy. I think that the towns that I’m looking in offer the opportunities to be somewhat secluded in many ways, and that helps me recharge.

It helps me find my balance to be in front of millions of people on television and over the top with the hair and the makeup and the whole thing.

I need a balance, so I need to be in the rolling hills. I need to be outside with no makeup on.

Johnny Weir skates during the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park’s Annual Tree Lighting Skate-tacular on December 1, 2017 in New York City.
Johnny Weir skates during the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park’s Annual Tree Lighting Skate-tacular on December 1, 2017 in New York City.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Q: So … you don’t want any next-door neighbors?

A: Apartment living is not my thing. Condos are not my thing. I hate listening to other people coming and going, their sound systems, and their kids screaming.

I live under a lot of pressure on a daily basis, and to go home and have that annoyance of neighbors is not for me. I need to be able to completely unwind.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out where I want to live. You’ll never find me in a subdivision or an apartment again. It’s going to be a free-standing, private home that even Google Maps can’t find. I need to be secluded.

Q: Besides seclusion, what other filters are you using to narrow your housing choices?

A: I’m a first-time home buyer and I am single, and the only other person that really lives with me is a very small dog, so we don’t need a lot of space for us.

But … my clothing and my wardrobe is going to require a bigger home simply because I’m going to need two full-sized bedrooms to turn into a giant closet.

Fashion is just a big part of my life and my job, and I need a beautiful master suite. I need the space to be able to create an incredible wardrobe and dressing room. It’s going to be pretty fantastic. Any of the best boutiques you’ve ever seen or heard of won’t even be a rival for my closet.

Q: Are there any other must-haves?

A: I’m looking for land. My parents are both 61, and I want a home with enough acreage to actually build a second home on the same property for my parents. I want them to stop worrying about mortgages and bills, because they sacrificed so much for me and my career and my life that I want to be able to do something nice for them. Plus, it’ll just be awesome to have my parents close by.

Q: Are you the type of home buyer who can envision a remodel, or do you want a turn-key place for your first home?

A: Just for how particular I am, I originally thought about building a home. But considering my lifestyle and how rarely I’m actually home, I thought that might be the devil’s playground if I started building a home and couldn’t be completely hands-on because I’m pretty OCD.

I definitely am not against renovating, but I need something with a good base to start from.

Figure Skater Johnny Weir performs during the 2014 Artistry On Ice Beijing at Beijing MasterCard Center on July 25, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Figure Skater Johnny Weir performs during the 2014 Artistry On Ice Beijing at Beijing MasterCard Center on July 25, 2014 in Beijing, China.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Q: Any particular decor trends you love right now?

A: Well, I love traditional touches. There’s one home in particular I’m very interested in right now that has a very old fireplace with two of those beautiful, old-fashioned wood storage things that are embedded in the wall next to it. Little things like that.

At the same time I love over-the-top opulence. I love a crystal chandelier. I love a gold-leaf ceiling in a powder room.

Q: Are you going to do the decorating yourself or hire an interior decorator?

A: I’d like to handle it all myself. I have so many beautiful things that I’ve collected from all over the world, and I know how to showcase them. I know how to put them together.


Q: Is there a particular color or palette you have in mind?

A: I’m very into white and white spaces. White and gold will be my main colors, and then for accent colors, definitely beautiful greens, emerald greens, shiny greens.

Q: Any color we won’t find in your house?

A: Blue. It’s an unlucky color for me, and I am not a fan.

Marie Antoinette, 2006, Dir. Sofia Coppola.
Marie Antoinette, Dir. Sofia Coppola, 2006,

Leigh Johnson / Columbia Pictures

Q: Do you have a role model or inspiration for your decor?

A: Essentially anything you see in Sofia Coppola‘s movie “Marie Antoinette.” That’s my style mood.

Also the artist Andrew Wyeth is local to the area I’m looking for a home in. There’s a painting [“Christina’s World”] that he did of a young girl lying in the grass looking up into this desolate sort of landscape with a home there, and that to me is Pennsylvania.

A rolling expanse of land and trees, and sort of those gray winter days when it’s about to snow. That’s what I want to feel like when I’m home.

Christina's World (1948), Andrew Wyeth.
Christina’s World (1948), Andrew Wyeth.

Museum of Modern Art, New York City/Wikipedia.org

Q: So you’re going for country-friendly?

Well, our country lifestyle is very welcoming and very forgiving and very happy to have people over. But for me, I want people to constantly feel uncomfortable in my house.

Q: What?

A: I want them to come over and feel like they can’t sit on anything. I’m very Joan Crawford in that way. I don’t want you to sit on my furniture. I don’t want you to stay for too long.

Q: You’re going to put plastic covers over all your furniture?

A: I don’t think I’m going to put plastic over everything. But I’ve worked really hard and really long to be able to buy a dream home and to fill it with beautiful things. So I love it when people come in—even if they’re my closest friends—they come into my home and they look around, but they never sit down because it almost feels like they shouldn’t!

Q: So … no housewarming party?

A: There definitely will be a housewarming party, but it’ll be family and my closest circle of friends. There will be a lot of wine flowing. There will be people that spend the night and people that stagger home in an Uber. When I throw a party, I do it right and people don’t leave until 5 in the morning.

Q: What’s the one piece of furniture in your home you could not live without?

A: I have a beautiful chair. It’s an antique and was a side chair in this mansion in Italy. It’s kind of decrepit, and it’s never been reupholstered or anything. It’s from some point in the mid-1700s, and it’s very old, and gold, and I don’t sit in it. But it has this very faded emerald-green velvet that has been rubbed within an inch of its life. It’s kind of my ideal as far as décor goes.

Figure Skater Johnny Weir performs during Artistry On Ice 2014 at MasterCard Center on July 25, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Figure Skater Johnny Weir performs during Artistry On Ice 2014 at MasterCard Center on July 25, 2014 in Beijing, China.

Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Q: Finally, what does home mean to Johnny Weir?

A: Home is kind of everything to me.

I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and have the focus to entertain millions of people every year if I didn’t have a home base where my things were, that smells like me, some place that is a sanctuary.

For me, it hasn’t been a life where I want to buy a bunch of homes and, “Oh, that’s my Lake Como home. That’s my Moscow home. That’s my New York apartment.” I’ve always wanted just one home base. I’m lucky enough to travel the world and stay in beautiful hotels all year.

But when I think of home, it’s just like this glowing presence of peace and happiness. That’s what home means to me.

Former NFL Wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh Selling Newport Coast Mansion

Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001 and went on to play for three other NFL teams before retiring after the 2011 season. Now, he’s ready to tackle another challenge—he’s just put his 13,171-square-foot family home in Newport Coast, CA, on the market for $4.2 million.

Houshmandzadeh bought the five-bedroom, 5.5-bath home for $3,458,000 in 2007, just a year after it was built. Sadly, he never got to spend much time in the place because his team affiliations took him all over the country.

He wanted a footprint in Southern California, where he was born and raised. Currently the baller has two SoCal places, which has become one too many.

“He doesn’t want to leave this home,” says listing agent Andrew McDonald of The Agency. “It’s bittersweet, as he loves the property and it’s brought him joy and treasured memories. However, he owns another home that is more convenient in location for him, his family, and their lifestyle.”

McDonald says Houshmandzadeh “selected this home because it offered everything he, his wife, and their children could ever want in a luxury coastal home, as well as the ideal environment for celebrations and entertaining their network of family and friends. It was a well-loved home even though it was barely lived in.”

There’s no doubt the home was built for fun and games for all ages. Outside, you can follow the floating steps to an infinity pool and spa, which are next to a fire pit and loggia, a cabana, and a built-in barbecue. There’s also a custom basketball court right outside the game room.

Floating step path leading to the outdoor kitchen and pool.
Floating steps leading to the outdoor kitchen and pool

The Agency

Custom basketball court
Custom basketball court

The Agency

Resort-like pool

The Agency

The mansion was also built for relaxation, in particular the second-story master wing. It has soaring ceilings, a private balcony with ocean views, and a walk-in closet. The master bath features dual vanities, a double shower, and a supersized raised tub.

Master bedroom
Master bedroom

The Agency

Master bath
Master bath

The Agency

Private balcony with ocean views
Private balcony with ocean views

The Agency

On the first floor, the main living areas are spacious and open. There are wood, slate, and marble floors throughout, including in the kitchen, which features high-end appliances and a large pantry.

Great room
Great room

The Agency


The Agency

The modern Mediterranean-style home is located in the gated Pacific Ridge community, which features a high-end community center with a junior Olympic pool, a sports park, and hiking trails leading to Crystal Cove State Park.

“The entire estate is truly a retreat,” says McDonald.

Houshmandzadeh, 40, is currently on the staff roster of Long Beach Poly High School, listed as a wide receivers coach. Long Beach isn’t exactly far away from this Orange County home, but traffic-laden freeways between the two locales can make the commute a real bear. We can’t blame him for his desire to avoid an awful commute.