Fury As Wannabe Teen Landlord Insults Dad for Not Owning a Property

A teenager with dreams of being a landlord has been blasted by Reddit users after calling his dad a "greedy renter."

Sharing his frustration with the True Off My Chest forum, user u/Awkward_Gur3747 said his 15-year-old son has taken a "keen interest" in becoming a landlord—but had started insulting him for not being a homeowner.

"I am glad to see he has taken some initiative," he wrote. "However, I am concerned about his mindset.

"We currently live in an apartment and he has told me that I am a 'failure' and a 'rentoid' and that he is 'embarrassed to be related to someone without any land.'"

Dad son talking
Stock image of a dad talking to his troubled teenage son. A teenager with dreams of being a landlord has been blasted by Reddit users after calling his dad a "greedy renter." Getty Images/T Turovska

In response, the 41-year-old man said he explained to his son that houses are expensive, and as a single parent, he has worked very hard to provide for him.

"I also explained to him that landlords often mistreat their tenants and that if he wants to be a landlord, he should work on being a kind one," he said.

"However, he has insisted that it is the right of landlords to charge whatever they want and has said when he is a landlord, he wants to 'evict single mothers,' which I found very concerning."

His son spending a large amount of time on the internet has left the dad worried about the content he is consuming online. "I am worried some ideas from online may be influencing his thinking," he wrote.

"This month, when the landlord came to collect rent, my son offered him a 50 dollar 'tip' out of his own money.

"I tried to explain that you do not 'tip' landlords but he insisted I was being a 'greedy renter' and taking advantage of the landlord. I explained that we paid significant rent already but he did not listen."

Fortunately, the confused landlord returned the money to Awkward_Gur3747, but his son's mindset continues to scare him.

"Before this started, he was really into video games and did not seem to try very hard in school," he said. "On the one hand, his grades have improved and he even started walking around the neighborhood offering to shovel to make some extra money which he has put into savings.

"However, his words hurt me and I feel his mindset is not constructive and compassionate. I don't want to discourage this newfound success but I am very worried about him."

Redditors agreed that the teen's attitude is troubling, with the post receiving almost 11,000 upvotes and 2,400 comments.

Teenage boy playing computer game in dark
A stock photo of a teenage boy playing video games on his computer in the dark. Child psychologist Lucy Russell said teens are more susceptible to toxic content online. Alvarog1970/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Teens Are More at Risk Online

With reports that TikTok funnels misinformation to its young users and conspiracy theories supposedly on the rise, it's easier than ever for teenagers to fall victim to extreme content.

A 2021 study by the University of Northumbria, U.K. found that adolescents were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, with 14 being the "peak age" for succumbing to misinformation.

The study's authors believe that a combination of social media and isolation during the pandemic is causing extreme viewpoints and fake news to flourish among teenagers. Adolescents have more difficulty regulating their emotions and have had less time to develop critical thinking skills, making them easy targets.

What if it's your teen that's developing a toxic or dangerous attitude? Lucy Russell, Director of the U.K.-based Everlief Child Psychology, said it's important that teens retain their privacy, but there need to be limits.

"Some teens need enhanced monitoring online until they are developmentally ready for this type of content," she told Newsweek.

"If talking makes no difference, you need to limit and fully monitor their time online to keep them safe: for example, remove smartphone access.

"This may be very different to their peers and you will probably get a lot of resistance from your child, but it's vitally important."

Russell also recommended strengthening your relationship with your teen to help instill a positive set of values. "Build some time together regularly during the week, and also show curiosity about their stance. You are much more likely to be able to influence them positively if you have developed a close connection and mutual respect," she said.

Teen boys playing
Stock image of three teenage boys on a tablet. An expert has said that while it's important for teens to retain their privacy, there need to be limits. Getty Images/Daisy-Daisy

'Show Him What the Real World Is Like'

Reddit users believed the poster was right to be worried by his son's behavior, with user Tormundo calling it "extremely concerning."

"He's going down the super toxic right wing online s***. Can easily take a turn into being an incel or violent extremist," they warned.

"This sounds like a real s***** YouTube 'grind' channel," agreed user not-rasta-8913.

"'Rentoid' is literally appropriation of incel jargon," said bronwenmoon.

"The 'evict single mothers' feels like he's going down a very misogynistic rabbit hole on top of general entitlement issues," wrote sarcasticabsence. "This isn't a 'phase' thing, this is something you need to end immediately because something like this, the hateful mindset, only grows worse when not corrected."

Some users suggested charging the son rent or getting him more involved in household budgeting to give him a "reality check."

"It's easy to go online and THINK that is the reality. It isn't," said Crafty-Ambassador779.

Serenfall seconded the idea, writing: "Show him what the real world is like. Definitely focus on how he adds to the monthly costs."

"Where does he think he's going to get money to buy property? I hope he's not expecting to live with you for free and save money for that?" asked LittleOne666.

Lanky-Usual-8535 commented: "Sit your son down and tell him that since he wants to talk big, you now expect him to pay half the rent every month.

"Let him know that with an attitude like his, if he does become a landlord, he will be opening himself up to lawsuits, etc. Ngl, your son sounds like an a****** and needs a serious attitude adjustment."

Newsweek reached out to u/Awkward_Gur3747 for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

If you have a family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.