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Wednesday
Aug082012

Who Gives a Shit: What's Your Worst Landlord Story?

As someone who's inhabited 8 different apartments in the past 6 1/2 years of living in New York City, I've had my fair share of landlords. While most have been pleasant and reasonable, one will always stand out in my mind as the worst landlord I've ever had. For the sake of this article I'll call her "Margaret." 

Margaret owned a 4-story brownhouse in north Park Slope where she'd lived for the past 50 years, having grown up there. In 2008, my roommate and I moved into the ground floor unit of the nearly 100 year-old building. 

Shortly after moving in, we discovered a mouse. Knowing that both mice and cockroaches are a pretty common occurrence in New York City -- especially on a ground floor unit -- we bought a safe trap, caught the mouse and released it. Easy peasy, right? After re-setting the trap, we caught another mouse. And then another. Then another. Turns out we had an infestation. After placing all of our food into giant, tupperware container and plugging any small holes along the walls or floors with brillo pads, we left a note on our landlord's door asking for help in getting rid of the mice.

The next morning we received a PETA pamphlet tacked to our door along with a note that read, "We are all God's creatures" (which was BULLSHIT, because the smell of burning animal flesh often wafted into our own apartment from hers, which was on the floor directly above us. Margaret was not an animal rights activist. She was just lazy). 

Two weeks later, and after catching 32 mice on our own (I guess it was a "hot season" for the little, long-tailed creatures, so we had a hard time getting an appointment with an exterminator), a man knocked on our door and handed us foreclosure papers. Apparently, "as one of God's creature," Margaret didn't believe that she had to pay her mortgage. She hadn't made a single payment in over a year. When I confronted her with the papers she shrugged it off, saying, "Eh, it could take years for them to kick us out. I'm not concerned." Later we heard a rumor from a fellow resident of the building that Margaret had a bit of a gambling problem. My roommate and I didn't want to chance a sudden eviction, so we moved out. Margaret kept our security deposit (naturally), yet never cited a reason for doing so.

I'm sure this tale is fairly mild when it comes to bad landlord stories in NYC, so hit us up in the comments with YOUR worst landlord story, FiPSTERS! Think of it as free therapy.

 

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