Malia Gillette
3 min readJul 8, 2020
Photo by Jose Alonso on Unsplash

I should have seen it coming, all the red flags were there…my landlord was a massive micromanager! I hope by telling my story, I can help other would be tenants avoid falling prey to helicopter landlords so they don’t have to experience the discomfort that I had to go through. These are some of the red flags I missed and you should look for them too!

An urn in the entryway. That should have been a clue when I checked the place out that my landlord was going to micromanage the place. Urns are like the Alexa of the 18th century. They hear everything. And now that I think about it, I remember a few times when I heard a voice very sharply say “You don’t belong here” (and I know it wasn’t my imposter syndrome because my IS sounds a whole lot more like Jane Seymour).

A man literally trapped in the wall. This was another thing that I should have seen as a potential factor requiring landlord attention. During the walkthrough, when my landlord took me upstairs, I heard a man’s voice say “I’m dying in the bathroom” accompanied by what sounded like a pipe being shook by a human hand. So in a typical living situation there’s a “maintenance guy” that you can call when you hear sounds in your walls. I think that guy was stuck in the wall of the second story bathroom. Later when I moved in and could no longer deal with the pleas I called the “maintenance” number on the refrigerator and the phone rang right behind my bed frame. It took me awhile to figure out I was calling maintenance because I got super nervous about the phantom ringing which just made me call more. This somehow alerted my landlord and he was over at the house within seconds? If I would have paid attention to this sign I might not have had my landlord breathing down my neck so severely.

Severely breathing down my neck, my shoulders and part of my arms. If I could do it all over again I would probably think twice about renting from someone who was so close I could feel their life force cascading down my neck, shoulders and dripping down my arms like someone cracked an egg yolk made out of human air on my backside. And then tried to cook it with his eyes.

A bone collection in the side yard. This should have been a pretty good indictator that yup, indeed my landlord was gonna be one of those pop in without notice types. If you are not Denzel Washington then having a bone collection where your tenants are is just an open door to come by day or night (mostly night) to rummage around and throw bones. Despite what my landlord said, bones hitting against eachother don’t ever sound ‘meerly like the tinkering of hollow pan flutes”…they sound like human bones being shoved on the side of the house in quantity.

I got lucky because I was able to end my lease early, but imagine the kind of inconvenience I could have gone through if I hadn’t! Now I have to go look for a new apartment, but I’m so disfigured I can’t get up a flight of stairs let alone put my ear to a phone receiver.

Malia Gillette

Drinking Johnny Bootlegger on a Champagne budget. Editor @ and