Landlord found by tenant to be posing as handyman and entering home without notice
A tenant says she was shocked and upset after finding out that the handyman that had been coming to her house for a year was actually her landlord.
The Melbourne woman, Kate Ritchie, shared a series of videos on Tuesday talking about how she unknowingly allowed her landlord – apparently posing as a handyman – into her home.
Ms Ritchie posted the videos to her TikTok account, with people noting in response the landlord had likely breached her lease agreement.
The tenant was told by her real estate agent that a handyman would be arriving at her house to clean out gutters following weeks of rain.
Believing it to be reasonable, she welcomed the man – who had fixed parts of the house before – into her house, but realized something was wrong right away.
A tenant, Kate Ritchie (pictured) in a Melbourne rental has been left shocked after finding out the handyman that had been sent to clean her gutters was actually her landlord
‘Immediately I can tell he’s a little bit irate,’ Ms Ritchie says in the TikTok video.
After some slight bickering about the man leaving the doors open, he then started an argument with Ms. Ritchie over the unkempt backyard.
Ringing alarm bells, Ms Ritchie asked herself ‘Why is this handyman, a contractor essentially, yelling at me for the state of my backyard?’.
‘Mate, I don’t want my yard looking like this either. We’ve had weeks of rain and this is extremely inappropriate,’ she told the man.
‘What’s it to you? It’s actually none of your business.
After Ms Ritchie pressed him, the man then revealed himself as not just the handyman.
‘Well, actually it is my business because I own all of these properties,’ the landlord replied.
Now irate herself, Ms. Ritchie then proceeded to remove herself from the situation to call the real estate agent and ask if she knew that the landlord was the handyman.
The landlord apparently became irate after noticing the backyard was unkempt, launching into an argument and revealing himself (pictured, stock)
The real estate agent revealed that she did know, but it was a ‘little bit of a gray area because he is the handyman’.
‘She had zero empathy, and we didn’t want a bar of it to be honest,’ Ms Ritchie said.
Ms Ritchie then contacted consumer affairs who informed her the landlord’s act breached her tenancy contract.
However, Ms. Ritchie did not pursue any legal action, instead they cleaned up the yard and told the real estate agent prior notice must be given if the landlord is to return.
I told her [the real estate agent] to take it as a warning… because we actually really like this house, we enjoy living here,’ she said.
‘And the rental market is so effed anyway.
‘I have a lot of respect for landlords. I know that view is not shared by most…’
Ms Ritchie then found out her real estate agent knew that it was the landlord but it fell into ‘a little bit of a gray area’ as the landlord was also the handyman for the property
Social media users were shocked by the story.
‘Tricky situation as it’s highly likely they will refuse to renew lease next time,’ one user wrote.
‘I have investment houses. There is no way I would step near the house someone is renting without proper notice,’ a landlord wrote.
One user had a very similar experience to Ms Ritchie, saying: ‘This sounds scary familiar where my real estate kept insisting they had a ‘plumber’ come out. [It] was the owner, who isn’t a plumber at all.’
‘You’re probably the fourth person to comment on this exact situation,’ Ms Ritchie replied.
‘Seems like this is a common work-around to formal inspection rules,’ another user replied.