Being the owner of a rental property comes with a lot of responsibilities. Most landlords understand what they’re taking on when they rent out to new tenants, but this landlord could never have prepared himself enough for this.
As soon as he woke up, he checked his bank account. Still nothing. The tenants had moved in over a year ago and they hadn’t made even one rental payment. They continued to make promises, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He had no clue that he was about to encounter his worst nightmare, and he was ready to make them pay.
Thomas Ravaux had a positive outlook on life. The couple with the three well-behaved children had asked about renting the apartment from him. They seemed nice enough, so they began the process of filling out the necessary paperwork, including the financial and security checks. Considering there were no red flags, the couple passed with flying colors and Thomas was convinced that he was making the right decision.
Thomas took a week out of his time to ensure that the French apartment was ready for the family. He put a fresh new coat of white paint on the walls, checked the plumbing, cornices, door handles, and the fittings to make sure they were all working. He even rented a wood polishing machine to buff the floors until they shined.
Thomas was a great landlord and he wanted to make sure that the rental property looked spectacular for the new family. Unfortunately, Thomas would soon find out that all of his hard work and effort would be in vain.
Once everything was in order, the seemingly ideal family began to move in their boxes, which were stacked neatly inside of the hallway. Thomas gave them the keys to their new home and continued on with his day. Soon enough, two months turned into four months, and Thomas still hadn’t received a payment for rent. Thomas initially felt that it was banking error. Obviously, it had to be a mistake.
Thomas decided to call his bank. Maybe the payments just weren’t showing up in his account. He had a family of his own to take care of, and he was starting to feel the strain in his pocket without the income from the rental property. As soon as the lady on the customer care line told him what was going on, Thomas became furious.
The tenants weren’t making any kind of payments at all. He called the tenants, but there was no answer. Assuming the family was busy, he continued to call. Then, his call was dropped and Thomas began to assume the worst…they were purposely avoiding him. They continued to ignore him for 14 months. Thomas considered himself a patient man, but he had had enough.
Thomas pulled up to the apartment building and walked down the driveway. He knocked on the door of the apartment, but no one answered. He figured that would happen, so he took out his spare key. It was time to tell those tenants exactly what he thought about them. As he opened the front door, he couldn’t believe what he found in the hallway.
The apartment was filled with trash from the floor to the ceiling. There was a pile of broken furniture and children’s toys were littered all over the hardwood floor. There were dirty dishes on every surface, and the smell of rotten food was suffocating.
Thomas couldn’t believe what he was seeing. How could anyone live like that? As he took it all in, his mouth frowned in disgust. Someone had punched holes into the drywall, and it was obvious that dogs were living in the home, as well. He took a minute to gather his composure, and then he began to think of a plan.
Thomas trusted this family to treat his property with respect and care. They even passed all of the background checks. How could they have done this to him? How could they have lived in such filth?
Thomas almost cried at the clear disrespect of his property. His grandfather had once owned the property, but when he passed, he gave the property to Thomas. Thomas hated to rent it out, but he needed the money, especially since he had a family to feed. And now everything was ruined. He was going to teach them a lesson, that much was clear.
Thomas took out his cell phone and called his lawyer. He immediately gave Thomas the go-ahead. Thomas went next door to ask the neighbor if the tenants had been there recently, but he said that no one had been there for weeks. Thomas decided to make another call because the tenants were surely going to pay for what they did.
Fortunately, the family was listed in the directory. He did a small search and found their new address. Thomas became angrier as he moved from room to room, assessing the damages. There was a small mountain of trash they left for Thomas to clean and they had moved without saying anything. He balled his hands into fists, as the sweat dripped from his forehead. Thomas was typically mild-mannered, but he was about to snap.
Once the noisy truck pulled up to the apartment, men immediately began to stream into the house. They were absolutely disgusted by what was on the inside of the home and they began the tough job of loading every bit of the mess onto the dump truck. They applauded Thomas when they heard his plan. Everyone wanted to see the tenants get what was owed to them and they were happy to help deliver the punishment.
Garbage, broken furniture, paper, dog feces, dirty dishes, and rotten food was piled into the dump truck. In all of Thomas’ life, he had never seen such disrespect and filth. The apartment was finally cleared of all the trash, so it was time to bring it to where it belonged – outside of the tenant’s new apartment, which was only a few blocks away.
With a beep-beep-beep, the truck backed up to the property and dumped the entire pile of trash onto the driveway. People began to gather to see what was going on, but all Thomas could do was smile when he thought about his horrible tenant’s faces when they saw what had been delivered to them.
This family treated Thomas’ home like a landfill and their front yard was going to look like one, instead. How would they react? What’s even more important, how would the tenant’s new landlord react? Needless to say, the Internet would have some strong opinions on the matter.
Thomas decided to upload the video of his payback onto YouTube and Facebook. It wasn’t long before people all over the world were sharing the video. Even the local news station reported the story, and now, the video has received more than a million views. Most of the commenters praised Thomas for his actions. One person wrote, “Love it!! This needs to be done in the United States! I’ve seen some disgusting tenants in my neighborhood!” But not everyone praised Thomas for his behavior.
Some people had concerns: “Not a bad idea but if these tenants can’t pay rent moved to new place which is not their place you just made a big mess for a new landlord who now can sue you for jumping on his property. Think man. I know you’re upset but you put a new landlord in the middle and he did nothing to you.” But Thomas continues to stand by his decision.
“It was carnage inside. Everything was totally destroyed. The carpet is messed up, there are holes in the walls, all the paintwork needs re-doing, and we will need to disinfect it all. The smell is unbearable. I had a legal representative witness the damage before we emptied the place,” said Thomas. He also has a message for his old tenants.
“This is how this flat was returned to me. Living like that with three kids, bravo. Not to mention the food that has gone bad in the fridge. Food offered to you by restaurant owners from their heart! Shame on you. Good luck to your new landlord.” Thomas ended up having to pay for every bit of damage they caused to his property.
Thomas also added: “…I loaded everything into a dumpster and brought them back home…I met the authorities and we talked… For now, I’m not worried… The old tenants had to clear the sidewalk and bring everything to the dump Tuesday night. Everything is cleaned.” Did these tenants ever learn their lesson?
Unfortunately, Thomas isn’t the only person to have a story like this. Every day, landlords have to pick up the mess left behind by irresponsible tenants. Let this story serve as a reminder to always treat other people and their property with respect.