My Landlord Experience: The Exorcism

Being a landlord comes with a lot of grief. Writer Tammy Stoner tells about the time ghost-fearing, beer-drinking artists moved into her historic home.
for-rent-lead

for-rent-lead

By: Tammy Stoner

A few years ago, we bought a beautiful fixer-upper in Los Angeles and proceeded to restore it to its early 20th-century splendor. We stripped the floors, restructured the master bedroom, removed the ugly drop ceilings and turned it into a showplace. The home was our labor of love, filled with innumerable personal touches and flair.

Then, due to a job change, we were forced to move. Hoping we could return someday, we decided to rent.

Six months later, our renters called to tell us the house was haunted. They had eerie pictures of floating white orbs and documented occurrences involving spinning microwave clocks. A woman they’d invited over to release the “trapped spirits” had instead gone into ranting convulsions. Needless to say, they were moving out.

Three weeks later, we drove down to clean up the house before selling it and found that in addition to seances, our renters had also held beer busts and art exhibits at the house, using the exterior wood siding of our lovely home to hang paintings -- very heavy paintings, judging from the size of some of the holes.

In a mere six months, our home had become a pockmarked brew pub with piles of salt in the corners to ward off evil spirits and an empty planter out back that looked like it had been put to use by some of the lazier male beer drinkers.

The lesson we learned: Renters might not take care of your property as if it's their home, much less yours.

Next Up

To Sell or Not to Sell

It may seem like a good idea to sell your house, but often renting is a more lucrative option. Read these tips before deciding to sell and choosing an agent.

How to Buy a Co-Op

5 steps to owning a cooperative housing residence

Brokers, Lenders and Points, Oh My!

Brokers can be the used car salesman of the mortgage world because they get a cut of the amount you borrow.

All About As-Is Offers

Here are some things to know if you're thinking of making an as-is offer on a home.

If You Can't Buy My House, Rent to Own It

Trying to sell your home? You might consider lease-optioning.

I Can't Afford to Pay My Mortgage

Your mortgage is too high, but you don't want to lose money on your home by selling. What's a homeowner to do? Real estate expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson has the solutions.

What It’s Like to Own a Luxury Home

High-end realtors and estate owners give an insider's perspective.

What It's Like to Live in an Urban Home

If you love being where the action is, look for convenient living in a city's downtown area.

To Pay Points or Not to Pay Points

Whether or not to pay points on your mortgage is really just a matter of asking yourself two questions.

Cobbling Together the Cash to Go Conventional

Five ways to afford a sizeable down payment.

We Recommend

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.