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Crazy, Tragic, and/or Outrageous Landlord-Tenant Feuds

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On paper, landlords and tenants have plenty to disagree about. In the real world, those disagreements sometimes escalate to horrific levels. Next time you think about holding a grudge against a landlord or tenant take a look at these ultimate horror stories and think again:

1. ? If you happen to live in China, good luck. Preventing a developer from evicting tenants to make way for a new project in Shenzhen seemed like a good idea, until the Shenzhen Luosha Engineering Development Co. dumped more than 100 pounds of stinging scorpions on the property. According to the Shanghai Daily,
"A resident surnamed Chen woke up early Monday morning and discovered a scorpion crawling on his body. Chen turned on the light and was astonished to see the bedroom full of scorpions, which have a poisonous sting, local news portal reported yesterday. Chen woke up his family and together they captured several hundred scorpions in his apartment." 2. Meanwhile, in Corralitos, Calif., a small town just inland from Santa Cruz, a 53-year-old landlord had been attempting to evict a couple and even shut off their water supply in order to force them out. That had little impact, in part because the couple was using a hose to siphon water from the landlord's house. When said landlord went to confront the two, who both have records of drug arrest, the duo sicced a pair of pit bulls on him; he was bitten repeatedly before breaking free, only to have one of the tenants hurl a lawn chair at his head. Not surprisingly, both the dogs and their owners ended up in lockup.

3. ? In the past few years, several similarly bitter feuds have tragically resulted in death. Just last week, a Queens, N.Y. mother of four was killed by her machete-wielding landlord, who turned the blade on himself before police arrived. The incident was apparently sparked by a dispute over rent: some witnesses say the landlord was refusing to take the rent in a bid to evict, while others say the tenant simply refused to pay or move.

4. Also in the realm of the horrific: last year, in Brooklyn, N.Y., an opinionated tenant was gunned down by her landlord, who had previously fired on the victim's nephew and had also threatened to kill the tenant. The tenant, Patricia Wilson, was known in the neighborhood as "a town crier who saw everything and never shrank from a fight." According to a report by the New York Times,
"Neighbors said Ms. Wilson, angered over the new landlord’s failure to maintain the property, stopped paying rent. The two also fought over an episode last year when [the landlord's] boyfriend apparently tried to abandon a 55-gallon drum containing fuel near the home of the neighbor named George." · Scorpions on the loose in Shenzhen [Shanghai Daily]
· Renters Unleash Pit Bulls On Landlord [Patch]
· Queens landlord-tenant fight ends in murder-suicide by machete [NYDN]
· On a Brooklyn Street, a Simmering Feud and a Violent Death [NYT]
· All Renter's Week 2011 posts [Curbed National]