There is no shortage of stories online about how people are mistreated by their greedy landlords.
That said, this one just might take the cake.
OP and his girlfriend moved across the country only to have a total catastrophe happen on the very first day.
I had just moved cross country for a job with my girlfriend, and found a nice apartment in the suburbs. Building was nice, staff seemed fine, everything seemed in order.
After unloading all of our boxes and organizing clothes on the floor, we decided to take a break and grab dinner.
In the middle of our meal, I got a call from the building saying we had a fire in our apartment. Later found out the sprinkler pipe burst and triggered a fire alarm.
I rushed back to find 4-5 inches of water, and a massive hole in the ceiling leaking water everywhere.
All of my stuff was ruined, including all my clothes, my piano, multiple computers, electronics, everything was gone.
I did have renter’s insurance, but found myself living out of a hotel until the repairs were made.
Even though things went from bad to worse, his landlord refused to even talk about breaking the lease.
Fast forward two weeks. I’m still living out of a hotel after the building claimed they would have my place fixed in a week.
I go in to inspect the place and there is black mold all over the walls and ceilings, obviously not a livable space even after repairs.
I’m communicating with the property manager, who keeps brushing me off and saying everything will be fine, it won’t take much longer.
I mention breaking my lease and she snaps, claiming I have no grounds to do that and they’ll sue me if I do.
So, OP used their expertise and got creative.
So I work in digital marketing, in real estate actually. I have a follow up meeting with her boss in an hour, and decide to do some research into their URL.
Their website name is the full name of the residence, which is pointlessly long. I find the .net available for purchase, as well as multiple iterations of shorter url’s which presumably have higher search volumes.
I spend $50 and buy them all up. Then I call a lawyer buddy and talk to him about how to use language that will avoid sounding like extortion if I make them buy these back.
I walk into the meeting and tell the GM that I want out of the lease immediately. I also say that I want my time off work to be compensated, compensated for all meals, and given a few thousand dollars for the inconvenience of living out of a hotel for weeks.
She literally laughs in my face and tells me I have no legal grounds.
The big reveal totally paid off.
That’s when the most satisfying moment of my life happens.
I slide over the whois information of all the URLs. She doesn’t understand what she’s looking at.
I tell her “I purchased these domain names for this property. I’m planning on building a website that explains my story, and including links to your local competitors for free on the homepage of the site”.
I let her know what I do for a living, and hand over an SEO audit I pulled for free on the internet of their current site, and explain their poor performance.
I let her know I will have this website out performing them within a matter of months with links to competitive properties and my story at the top.
Her face drops, and she’s white as a ghost.
The settlement was hopefully enough to get them back on their feet.
She has me wait while she gets her lawyer on the phone. I explain everything to the lawyer, being very very careful with the language I use.
We settle on $5000 for all the websites, no bad reviews ever, and they break the lease.
A week later when the check comes in, I transfer the domains to a very confused IT person who wants to know why I have URL’s of their company name.
The lesson in all of this, buy good renters insurance and don’t let landlords push you around.
I wonder if Reddit thinks they went far enough.
First of all yes, you do need renter’s insurance.
Because yes, it could happen to you.
It’s all about covering your ***.
A lot of people didn’t know how bad it can get.
You have to trust someone.
It’s awesome when cleverness gets rewarded.
No argument this OP was super smart.
Want to read another story where somebody got satisfying revenge? Check out this post about a woman who tracked down a contractor who tried to vanish without a trace.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.