Would You Rather?

Which is worse: Bad landlord or bad neighbor?

Maybe the better question is: Whom are you more likely to call the cops on?

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Aside from the people who live with you in your home, landlords and neighbors have the biggest impact on your quality of life. (And it seems every New Yorker has some sort of story about past neighbors and landlords, former or current.) We decided to ask locals which they'd prefer: a bad landlord or bad neighbor?

  • Can’t fight the man You don’t ever want a bad landlord. You need them to do things for you, you know? I would hope I can talk to a bad neighbor and reason with them. If not, I can call the police. But I don’t want to have to wait or fight for important repairs. —Alex, The Bronx (shown below)

  • No love lost  Bad landlords in New York City are the stuff of legend and I know this first hand. I hate my landlord. She is psychotic and anal-retentive. She is also my roommate and if she sees I answered this, she will murder me in my sleep. —Kelly, Washington Heights
  • The so-not-absentee landlord scenario I had a bad landlord who was constantly finding excuses to come in and inspect things, telling me I walked too loudly (he lived downstairs), and tried to get me to pay for extermination services. I moved out as soon as I could. It was like living in a dorm room. Bad neighbors you can probably deal with with ear plugs, or direct confrontation. —Maia, South Harlem
  • Uneven match In terms of boxing, it’s like the landlord is a heavyweight opponent and a neighbor is just in the same class as you. I can take a bad neighbor, I can be loud, bring ‘em on. A bad landlord? I wouldn’t tangle with that animal. —Paul, Astoria
  • On the right side of the law I mean, how bad are we talking? I still live at home, so I don’t have much experience. But I think you can’t get rid of a bad neighbor unless they are so bad you call the cops. But I know there are a ton of laws that protect you from bad landlords. I know because my uncle used to be one (a good one!) and he was totally frustrated.  —Carmen, Jackson Heights

Verdict: We’d rather wage war with the neighbors.