'I had no lights and used to carry a lamp.' 11 women share their rental horror stories.

As a woman in her 20s I’m surrounded by stories involving the cost of living crisis, friends deciding whether to get a dog or not and my absolute favourite: rental horror stories.

I reel in excitement whenever I meet up with one of my friends and before even saying hello they start the conversation with “you wouldn’t believe what happened this morning...”

While you're here, learn what real estate agents really mean when they say these words. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

I’m not going to lie, I do love having a laugh over a light-hearted misfortune and from sharing my own rental horror stories, I’ve noticed I’m not the only one.

So grab your popcorn because I’ve rounded up the most hectic stories from women who are renting that I can’t stop thinking about. 

Don’t forget to flush.

It’s only fair that I share my own horror story. When I was renting in Sydney’s East, my apartment was situated on the ground floor of a very old building. I think my bedroom was also directly under the sewerage line. I could hear every single apartments bathroom from my bed as if someone was on the toilet next to me.


The flushing was so loud it would wake me up in the middle of the night. Nightmares every single day.

Very draining.

“I moved into a rental and was having problems with the shower drainage.

“When the plumber came in he pulled out a clump of hair the size of a large cat from the drain. The previous renters never cleared the drain…”

Smoke show.

“My neighbours downstairs would smoke inside and their smoke would travel up our piping and into our apartment and all our furniture and clothes smelled. It was so bad that WE were getting letters of complaints from our other neighbours because they thought we were the ones smoking. My asthma also came back.”

Listen to Thing You Didn't Learn In School and learn what landlords actually look for in tenants, how to stand up for your rights, and what NOT to do in a rental inspection. Post continues after podcast.

Candles out.

“I had no lights in the apartment for six months. I used to have to carry around a lamp and plug it into the power points in each room. It was very Florence Nightingale.”


“At uni my mates and I rented a house where we could never vacuum because the carpet was so old, the fibres would just get sucked up leaving behind the brown course backing. Also that same house had an extension built on the side that was so dodgy, if you lent on the wall it would sway outward.”


Gates of hell.

“It took us five months to get this back gate repaired… our real estate agent was a nightmare. These photos are from two months in and the gate is directly on a main road, you’d just have to push it and you’d be in our backyard. Half the door eventually fell off during winter and he finally sorted it out, three weeks after that... This is the pic we sent him and his response was that it’d be fixed 'in good time'. Thanks a lot Stephen.”

Image: Supplied.


Good as new.

“I was told they'd need to take money from my bond for a cleaner because – and I quote – 'the stainless steel kitchen sink doesn't sparkle like it should'. I went back and did it myself, wasn't going to let them take my money! The same property, they docked me $150 for a tiny paint chip (normal wear and tear) on the outside front door frame. I happen to know the owner did all his own painting and repairs, so it was just a cash grab.”

Easy fix.

“There was a leaking pipe in the wall between the hall and bathroom, causing mould to grow on the concrete walls underneath. It eventually sprouted through the paint job... When they finally came to 'fix' it, they just scraped it all off and painted over it.”

New record.

“So between my flatmate (who i didn't know before I moved in and didn't like) and I, our flat had such a small water heater we had four minutes *combined* of hot water for a shower every day.”

Shock to the system.

“My flat was so damp and cold that when I turned my electric blanket on, the duvet would steam.”

Surprise renos

“One time our landlord said they were replacing something in the bathroom. Turns out it was the entire bath/shower and they didn’t tell us in advance so we were washing in the sink for a week.”

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

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