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A few weeks ago, I asked readers if they ever caught a roommate not being entirely truthful in order to gain position as a candidate for a well being roommate. In response, several readers sent back some stores, which ranged from mild to “wow.”  I think the following story takes the “wow” prize. There wasn’t any kind of substantial damage, but rather a bit of a surprise that would have certainly freaked me out!

This story is brought to you by H.


I own a townhouse in a peaceful suburb in Baltimore county. It’s a 4 bedroom house, which includes a suite in the basement. I live in the basement. I have three tenants upstairs.

So I had two rooms rented out, and I needed a third tenant. I put out ads everywhere. After a few weeks, a guy reached out to me. Let’s call him “John”. He seemed super nice, 790 credit score, excellent references. The background check and criminal history check came back very clean. No problems. I had two stipulations. NO parties, and NO pets. Unless it’s a goldfish in a fish bowl, NO pets. I am deathly afraid of animals. Plus, I didn’t want to deal with the stress of having to clean after any animals.

So anyway, he agreed. NO pets.

He moved in. Literally three days later, I smelled a really weird zoo-like smell in my house. The other tenants complained about the smell to me. We aired out the house. Opened windows. No luck. The smell was pungent and wouldn’t go away.

One of the tenants told me “I bet there’s something in the new guy’s room.”

I didn’t want to go into the room, unless I absolutely absolutely had to. The smell became worse and worse, stronger and stronger.

I eventually couldn’t take it any more. I asked him “Is there something in your room, causing this smell?” He said “Nope!” He said “I have no idea what the smell is.”

Well, the very next day, I couldn’t take it any more. I went into his room. He had a HUGE tank in it with TWO humongous snakes in it.

Freaked me the hell out.

I was sooo scared. I immediately asked him to leave. He assumed that because I’m a young woman, he could intimidate me. He threatened to bring MORE animals into the house AND not pay any rent, ever.

I didn’t even argue with him. I just called over two of my best friends. Two 300 pound men. I offered to buy them dinner and just told them to hang out with me one evening. They were concerned about this weird guy. They sat in my living room and we ate pizza and watched a movie.

The weird renter took one look at them, got terrified and moved out the next day. I then called Animal Control and had them thoroughly check my house for anything he may have left there, and fumigate.

That was my weird renter. He almost turned me off the entire process. Thankfully, he didn’t turn me completely off the process. I have been renting rooms for two years since he moved out, and I’ve paid off my car, my student loans, and I’ve traveled around Europe, the Caribbean, Jamaica, and around the United States. Plus, I’ve been able to save a lot of money. So I’m happy about that.

The benefits of dealing with this situation definitely outweighed the downside. H was able to pay off debt, travel, and save money. This is a huge win.


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