A WOMAN has told how she discovered her landlord was sneaking into her home for over a year posing as a handyman.
Kate Ritchie says she was left horrified to realise she had been duped by her real estate agent and the property owner.
3Kate Ritchie claims she rumbled the landlord’s ruse after an explosive home visitCredit: TIKTOK/@kaaattteeeeee 3She says the homeowner had been posing as the handyman for a yearCredit: TIKTOK/@kaaattteeeeee The tenant, from Melbourne, Australia, posted a series of videos on TikTok detailing her alarming ordeal as a renter.
She claimed the “deception started from day one” as her broker referred to the owner and the handyman as two different people.
Kate said the name on the rental agreement was also a woman’s, so it initially “didn’t raise any alarm bells.”
However, she began suspecting something was awry when she was informed a handyman would be visiting the property.
He was coming to clean out the gutters following two weeks of heavy rain – but Kate says he arrived “irate” and “p***ed off.”
As he prepared to get down to work, the tenant asked him to remember to close doors behind him due to her pet cats.
But after she confronted him when he repeatedly disregarded her door rule, all hell broke loose.
Kate claims he began “yelling” at her about the state of her back garden, “pointing out every single little flaw.”
Although she admitted she knew it wasn’t up to scratch, she was left appalled that the rude handyman berated her.
Kate explained they have been unable to fix up the yard due to the tumultuous weather conditions.
She said in the clip: “This is extremely inappropriate.
“I’m thinking, why is this handyman, a contractor essentially, yelling at me for the state of my backyard?”
The Aussie alleges that he threatened to send images of her garden to her real estate agent, leaving her asking: “What’s it to you? It’s actually none of your business.”
After pressing him further, the man then revealed he was not just a humble handyman but rather the owner of the home.
He responded: “Well, actually it is my business because I own all of these properties.”
After the penny dropped, Kate said she walked away from the conversation and left her housemates to deal with him, reeling from the “blatant disrespect and entitlement.”
She then called her real estate agent to enquire about the bizarre situation, who allegedly admitted she knew the handyman and landlord were the same person.
But the broker described the situation as a “little bit of a grey area because he is the handyman.”
“She had zero empathy,” Kate added.
The shocked tenant then contacted consumer affairs who informed her the landlord’s act breached her tenancy contract.
However, she decided to take the high road and did not pursue any legal action – instead cleaning up her garden.
Kate instructed the real estate agent to give them prior notice before the landlord plans on rocking up to their home.
She explained: “I told her [the real estate agent] to take it as a warning because we actually really like this house, we enjoy living here.
“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.”
Social media users were left horrified by the landlord masquerading as a handyman and flooded the post with comments.
One wrote: “I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, such a breach of privacy.”
Another said: “I’m pretty sure that’s illegal? When I worked in real estate we had to inform tenants if the owner was going to do repairs himself.”
A third wrote: “That’s absolutely unacceptable.”
A fourth commented: I’m so sorry this happened to you. Hope you’re doing well and are safe.”
Others shared their experiences of intrusive landlords and similar run-ins with homeowners hiding their identity.
One said: “This sounds scarily familiar where my real estate kept insisting they had a ‘plumber’ come out.
“It was the owner, who isn’t a plumber at all.”
Kate responded: “You’re probably the fourth person to comment this exact situation.”
Another user added: “Seems like this is a common workaround to formal inspection rules.”
The video racked up a whopping 321,000 views on TikTok.
3Kate was left horrified by the realisation but did not pursue any legal actionCredit: TIKTOK/@kaaattteeeeee
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk