We've spent the past few days sharing Curbed readers' rental horror stories as part of a network-wide contest. So whose horror story is the most horrible? Now is the time to decide! This poll will be open for 24 hours; voting irregularities will be strictly policed. The winner of this poll will advance to the national round, where NYC's best horror storyteller will have a shot at winning a free month's rent (up to $2,500, our lawyers would like us to note). Before the vote, let's recap the week's tales, shall we?
Contestant #1: West Village Sublet is Totally Out of (Animal) Control
"Paid the first, last and a month’s security for a 4 month sublease. He told us as it was a co-op it needed to be on the down low and as he worked in films he was going to be in LA and Cannes. Thinking this was pretty standard. In we moved. Well, tried to move in. We turned up on the Sunday, the house was filthy and he had emptied one cupboard and everything was still there, including a turtle and a snake."
Contestant #2: East Village Scent of Death Still Haunts Longtime NYC Resident
"Had an elderly neighbor in wheel chair two floors upstairs who died, and nobody found him for days until leakage from his body began to seep down through the wall of my closet. Yes, the smell of death—gag inducing--became so strong, that the police finally came and found his decomposing body."
Contestant #3: The Upper East Side Nunnery-Turned-Brothel
"A few months after moving in my bell was constantly being rung by strange men, some of whom would show up and say they have an appt. I quickly figured out that new tenants had moved into apartment #2G across the hall and by tenants I mean hookers."
Contestant #4: The Greenpointer Racking Up Building Code Violations
"It was series of unfortunate events which all started in the spring of
2009 with a small electrical fire in the ceiling of our bedroom, a call to 911, and an emergency electrician who subsequently informed me that the wiring in our entire building was extremely dangerous, inadequate, and could cause a fire at any time."
Contestant #5: Scammed by the Cocaine Rose of Windsor Terrace
"Opened the door to find my new roomie standing there with one hand not carefully clasping an oriental silk robe, which was obviously the only clothing she was now wearing. She handed me a single rose and said, 'Put your nose in this and breathe deeply.' I humored her by passing the flower under my nose. She corrected me, 'No, really put your nose in there and breathe deeply." I said, "I'm not going to do that.' And she asked, 'Do you want any cocaine?'"
Contestant #6: Creative Underclass Looking to Rent in "Williams-point-wick"
"There was no floor, just dirt. The landlord explained to us that 'Irene' had 'flooded' the apartment, which was obviously his way of saying 'someone died here, recently.' Crusty red handprints stained the walls and cabinetry. I'm not on CSI, but it seemed like a 'struggle' had taken place. All horizontal surfaces in the space were covered with wispy, lace-like white mold, hanging in stalagtite formations."
Contestant #7: When a Rent-Stabilized, UES Apartment is Just Not Worth It
"My next door neighbor was an elderly woman (typical crazy cat lady) who was also a hoarder. She had a half dead cat living with her and packed the tiny studio with so much garbage that mice were literally scampering from her hovel across the hall to my door."
Contestant #8: The Gamblin' Landlord of Fort Greene and Her Merry Thugs
"I called ConEd and was told that the landlord had made illegal repairs to the wiring using an unlicensed contractor, and that the power would not be turned back on until the repairs were fixed. I tried calling the landlord, but at this point she was totally absentee and would not respond to any correspondence anyone in the building sent. I ended up buying a huge Maglight flashlight, and living without power for a month."
And now it's time to vote: