This week on the BNYCA Blotter, renters contend with closet people, Subway sandwiches, and nosy landlords. As always, you can view the full reports on BadNYCapartments.com.
Greenpoint (Nassau Ave)
Landlord lives downstairs on 2nd floor of 2 bedroom apartment I have been renting since 10/1/09. Since we moved in, she seems to be suffering from paranoia and visions as she knocks on our door and claims that we, the tenants have a "man in a blond wig living in our closet" as well as a "tall red haired woman" hiding in our apartment.
This is comical but quite frightening. She will not let us have overnight guests over the apartment and any guests we do bring, she harasses and asks if they live in our apartment with us. She leaves her door open and sits in a chair in the dark, waiting until we come home to see if we have guests with us. Oh, I forgot to mention that she poured flour on our staircase to try to catch the footsteps of "all the people living in our closet"
Greenwich Village (West 3rd Street)
If you like the stench and sight of over-flowing trash in your entrance, deathly stairs, 1000 unfulfilled promises and the sweet, sweet waft of subway sandwiches in your apartment, then this is the building for you!!! I was promised when i moved in that the stairs and common hallway would be renovated within a month... many months later, nothing has been done to rectify the unlivable state of the apartment…..
There are approximately 12 apartments in the building (maybe more, i wouldn't dare walk further up the hazardous stairs that I need to) and there are two small trash cans to manage the whole buildings waste removal. Not only is this completely insufficient for the volume of trash that tenants attempt to dispose of, the trash cans are right at the bottom of the stairs - yes, in the hallway / entrance area, greeting you after your work day. They are consistently overflowing, causing a retched stench and unsightly mess. The live-in super removes the trash just three times a week and refuses to deal with it if it is not a "trash" day. Recycling is non-existent except for a torn sheet of paper above one of the bins saying "recycling is the law". Ummm, yep.
….And the kicker - if you have your windows open - even a teeny, tiny bit, your whole apartment smells like Subway sandwiches.
Astoria (29th Street)
It is a converted basement, so there is no air circulation and it always smells stale and moldy if you leave for more than a day. It is absurdly tiny, even by NYC standards. There is only one window, and it slides open left-to-right, so it is impossible to install an air conditioner properly (we ghetto-rigged one with plastic tarp and duct tape). The fuse blows every time you use more than 2 appliances at the same time….
The only exit is through the door and up a flight of stairs. If there was a fire in the building, you would have to run through the fire to get out. ….
The landlord restricts your electric and water use (seriously). If you leave the air conditioner running and they know you are out (at work or whatever), they will come in and turn it off. And then scold you about it. The landlord hangs around the building every day "checking up on things". Meaning: they snoop on your behavior, when you come and go, who comes to visit you, etc. and they will knock on your door at random just to "check on you".
What would you do? NYC's renters want to know! Leave a comment, a sympathy note or your own story below. Lawyers, landlords, and HPD folks - we'd love to hear from you too.