Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible apartment experiences past and present. Got a Curbed Horror Story of your own? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It was senior year of college (James Madison University!) and I was about to graduate. It was a few weeks before graduation, actually, and I was starting a new job in New York five days after commencement so I had to have an apartment lined up and ready for an immediate move-in. Somehow, I got wrapped up with the world's douchiest broker and he showed me a bunch of places. The one I decided on: A decent-enough one-and-a-half-bedroom in The Habitat in Murray Hill for me and two other people. I did the paperwork, the building did the credit check, they liked me and I wired them cash for the first month, security deposit and the last month. We set up a time to meet in the city to sign the lease and I wired the way-too-expensive broker fee. In my mind, I was officially a New Yorker. Two days later, I got a phone call from the building: They wanted the FULL YEAR'S RENT up front because they just decided they wanted it. About $31,500 and money that I didn't have (neither did my roommates).
Obviously, I had to pull out but that left me starting my search all over again with just a week's time (and I was in Virginia studying for exams!). And most of that week was spent harassing the management company and the broker to wire my cash back to me. My parents had feared I'd lost thousands of dollars in a shoddy real estate deal and, after a few days of dead silence from both parties, I worried they were right. Eventually I got the money back and I found an apartment in time. The new building didn't ask for extra months rent and they even threw in a handful of mice and roaches for free!"
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