Bizarre Items Cleaners Find in Rented Flats

The moment you became a landlord you were aware of the trails and tribulations of being responsible for a house you don’t live in. You may be used to handling anything from electrical wiring, gas pipes and boilers, heating, and hot water. To toilets and even stairways. But from time to time, you may find your hands full, from dealing with issues that are out of the ordinary.

It may not surprise you to learn about some of the more unusual items tenants find within your property that an unfortunate cleaner or two will have to deal with. Here is a list of the wildest things that have been found in rental properties.

A Pig

Tenants who left a house in the country left a Lincolnshire landlord worried after the builders he hired to renovate said they’d spotted a large dog around the property. Further investigation proved it was actually a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig – a big one, weighing 50 stone. Thankfully the pig ended up being re-homed but not before it caused around £7,500 worth of damage to the property.

A Shark

It’s not every day you peek inside a murky abandoned fish tank only to find inside... a shark. Admittedly it was a baby one. However, this is a dangerous hazard that could have led to a serious injury towards a cleaner that the landlord hired. Not only was the health and safety of both the cleaner and tenant at risk, but the landlord also ran the risk of facing a personal injury claim. Again, thankfully, like the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, the little shark was re-homed as well, this time in a local aquarium.


As a landlord it is a great idea to maintain a good relationship with your tenants and vice versa. Landlord tenant disputes largely occur due to damage to property, maintenance, and costs of cleaning and repairs. The best thing to do for both sides in this situation is to stay calm, think logically without acting irrationally, and caring about each other’s needs without being taken advantage of. This is a few of the many ways to prevent conflict.

In some cases, conflict can blow way out of proportion. This was a reality for a US landlord after evicting his tenants and moving back into the property himself. After some time living in his property, he had spotted a camera in the bathroom... it was enough to make him sell up and move on.


One property manager in Omaha, America said she once had to calm down a terrified cleaner after she claimed a shot glass was thrown at her, as it smashed and cut her foot. No-one had been in the property at the time, the cleaner said, blaming an ‘unknown presence’. Another cleaner refused to go back to an empty property after the couch cushions kept disappearing then reappearing in the oven.

Blocked vents

One cleaner hired to work in a property was startled to find that all the vents in the place had been taped up, as well as the windows so that no air could get into the downstairs apartment. The duct pipes for the air conditioning system were also torn out and discarded. It turned out the tenant had been completely paranoid and convinced his upstairs neighbours were trying to gas him. This cost the landlord around £6,500 to repair.

To summarise

You can never be too careful when it comes to the health and safety of your tenants and the cleaners alike. It must also be your responsibility to reduce the likelihood of conflict between yourself and tenants. If your tenants are difficult and are a danger to cleaners and plumbers, act accordingly. Just be prepared if they leave you an unpleasant surprise.

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