Donna Vicegrip has a friend whose landlord was a real one-man pestilence who finally did an ultimate dirty deed to the tenant families. Donna came to the rescue and here’s what happened. This was a single-family house so the scam was confined to the landlord and was executed as the tenants prepared to leave. The first step is to visit a couple of markets and among other things buy ten or twelve five- pound bags of sugar. Go to a per store and purchase a bunch of crickets and roaches (They’re sold as pet food).
When you return to the house, and in the daytime, carefully turn off all the electricity at the main switch box. Remove all of the wall-light switch plates. Using a common kitchen funnel to guide the flow, pour the contents of each of the bugs in each switch hole. Replace the plates and turn the power back on.
The insects will feed on the sugar between the walls and will multiply like bigots in government. The rotten landlord will never get rid of them. A wonderful fan called in a variation of this stunt during a talk show in Florida. He suggested filling the walls with effluvia, dead animals, vomit, etc., using the electrical access holes as entry points.
If working with bugs makes you crawly, Donna has a modification of the insect invasion. Again, pull the main block and shut down all the power in the house. Remove all the switch plates from the switches and the face plates from the outlets. Cut all wires from all switches and plugs, attach fishhook weights to the cut wires and let them fall to the floor, inside the wall. Next, secure the plates in place again, only this time use Superglue to seal the bond so that the screws are just cosmetic. Imagine the landlord’s fun when he tries to make the wiring functional again.
Tanya and friends have slumlords under fire in southern California. A feisty lady, she had a friend print some “official” forms, illegally using the name of the landlord, who really is a slime and a slumlord. She makes sure that all new tenants get a copy. The tenant reads the form, reproduced here, and sends it in. Much fun then happens between the landlord and the authorities.
It has come to our attention that your apartment building has numerous health and safety violations. As a service, we are providing you with this form so that your rent can be reduced or stabilized if the owner of this building does not upgrade your apartment complex. A list of common complaints follows. Check and comment on those that apply to your apartment.
1) Old, worn carpeting.
2) Broken dishwasher.
3) Broken garbage disposer.
4) Leaks in plumbing, causing mildew, mold, sagging ceilings and/or walls due to water damage.
5) Missing window screens.
6) Unusable underground parking due to poor lighting in the garage area at night.
7) Non-operating washers and/or dryers, necessitating the use of a laundromat.
8) Peeling paint.
9) Clogged sinks.
Please take the time to fill out the form and list your complaints, then tell us how much loss you feel your rent should be because of these defects. We will take legal action if necessary to protect your rights.
(Name and Title)
Los Angeles Rent Control Board
Another way to hassle a landlord is to picket his home, office, other rental properties, or wherever you might locate him/her personally, e.g.., his country club. Be sure to include minority pickets and make broad hints that the landlord won’t rent to members of ethnic, racial and social minorities. Old people are great sympathy-arousing minorities for this stunt, as are nice young couples with babies whom the landlord has “put out in the cold.” Make sure these are all working-class folks and civilized minority types. You will get sympathetic media coverage, too, if you play this properly.
More Ideas for Revenge with Landlords
Their landlord kicked a couple of my friends out, claiming they had violated the lease by holding “loud parties.” The landlord’s complaintant was an eighty-one-year-old neighbor lady who was partially deaf and totally bigoted. Her eyesight was good enough, though, to note that the couple renting was a salt ‘n pepper pair. There had been no loud parties. In fact, there were no parties at all. A quiet couple, their socializing was limited to two or three couples coming in for bridge once or twice a month. Ho hum.
Not wanting to fight in court, they found another apartment, then decided to fight back their own way. They waited a few months and learned through good intelligence sources that the landlord would be away for a weekend.
They called a caterer and arranged a very posh affair, ordering full service, the best in food, expensive lawn furniture, a strolling band, champagne fountain, silver and crystal…the whole bit. All arrangements were handled by telephone. Invitations went out to all sorts of people, including bar derelicts, plenty of minorities, neighbors of the landlord, and of course, to add to the cover, every present and former tenant they could locate. It was timed for noon Sunday. The landlord was due home by four that afternoon.
Times were tough, and the caterer was only too glad to get the business [in more ways than one.] Yet can you imagine the business the mark found when he returned home that Sunday afternoon with “his” party in full and very expensive swing? Naturally, all the guests greeted him with thrilled smiles, also asking when he’d open up the house so they could use the bathrooms.
Sputter, sputter, sputter went the landlord. His wife went wonder, wonder, wonder. The caterer went pay, pay, pay. The salt ‘n peppers went ho, ho, ho.
A variation of this same idea was suggested to me by Lynn in Denver. In both her case and the one just mentioned, the vengeance was most fitting, plus being most expensively and emotionally successful.
Not all landlords are as wonderful as you’ve been reading about. Bob Pursell, who used to live in Boston, told me about an aprtment owner who had a “no paint” complex until the kids who were his tenants agreed to paint the place if the landlord bought the paint. The agreement was made.
“The kids painted everything black. I mean everything,” Bob related. “They painted the toilets black. They even shut off the water in them, dried out ethe bowls, and painted the insides of the commodes black. Even the lightbulbs were black. The windows were black. If you can think of anything else, they did too, and painted it black. The ceiling was black, the beds were black…everything was black…except the landlord’s face. It was red.”
A Chicago journalist told me about his undergraduate days when the landlord refused to fix a septic tank overflow. The smell and the hygiene got worse, and as the summer approached, when school ended, the students living in that rental sewer were only too happy to get out.
“We left him a little overflow message of our own about the need to clean up his sewerage. We got back our security deposit and just before leaving, one of the guys, who’d hidden, flushed twenty pounds of powdered detergent down the toliet. We then left, immediately.”