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When a Rent-Stabilized, UES Apartment is Just Not Worth It

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Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible NYC apartment experiences past and present. This week, in honor of Renters Week, we're having a rental horror story showdown. We'll post a couple horror stories each day with a vote for the best on Thursday. (Note: today we're putting up three because voting starts at noon tomorrow.) The winner will advance to the national round of our network-wide contest. Horror stories to tips@curbed.com, if you please.

"I was renting a rent-stabilized apartment through [redacted] management company - on the upper east side (80s off of 1st Avenue). Of course since it was stabilized building, they did not care about upkeep and did the absolute bare minimum to keep the building within code (or at least the codes they violated were lesser fines status). 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. She was also dating a toothless, homeless guy and they would scream at each other from floors away - not really 'fighting' just crazy talk. Finally she'd often knock on my door with odd requests like "my water isn't working, can I borrow a bucket of water" (which meant she'd filled her tub with old newspapers and was using the bucket to sponge bath herself). I assume she was lonely because she would come up with any excuse to talk to me and always wanted to regale me with tales of her youth, when she would give blow jobs to married policemen. I cannot make this stuff up, people.

The best part though was that the management company violated housing code by allowing our front door to not have a lock/buzzer. It was open for anyone to walk into. The second door was locked/buzzer but there was a tiny area between both doors that some homeless people decided was ideal privacy for shitting in on a regular basis. It became a toilet - you would know when someone had defecated because the flies would drift upward a floor or two. Then the smell would hit you. This would happen oh, maybe every 2-4 weeks for years. Complaints to MG were futile. Finally I just gave up and moved."
· Curbed Horror Stories archive [Curbed]
· Renters Week 2011 coverage [Curbed]