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? Time to decide! This poll will be open for 24 hours. 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, a recap of the week's tales:
Contestant #1: Pay Garnished for an Empty Upper East Side Apartment
"Fast forward 2 years later. Enjoying my new life in NYC. One strange day, I notice my paycheck is a little smaller than normal. Check the pay stub: Garnishment. Perplexed, I go to the payroll department. They give me the number of a law firm that is responsible for the garnishing of my wages. After many exhausting phones calls and dead ends, I finally reach a lawyer who says that because I didn't show up in court when summoned by the "landlord", the judge ruled that the owner of my previous apartment building could garnish my wages to collect unpaid rent. The previous land lord was under the impression that I was still living in the apartment that I vacated at lease end two years prior."
Contestant #2: It Takes a Wedding to Stay in One Clinton Hill Rental
"When Daryl and I came up from DC to sign the lease, the absolutely insane broker was acting absolutely insane. She flailed and talked to herself and shoved papers in and out of desk drawers while we sat in her office. We told her I would be moving in a month or so after the boys, and she waved off any problem saying I would just be added to the lease later. As newbies, we did not object. The day before Daryl came to pick me and my things up from DC, he stopped downstairs to tell the landlord as a courtesy in case the sounds of moving me in disturbed them. That's when he learned that no one—not the broker, not Jayson—had informed them that there would be another person in the apartment and that I couldn't move in. Daryl came to get me anyway feeling assured that we could work it out. I'm a nice girl! People like me! We will win them over! Besides, I had no other option."
Contestant #3: Renter Locked Out by Former Roommate Pays Two Rents
"I found a great subletter, Ashley, who John approved her for 2 months. She would hardly be around because of a late night TV job. After Ashley moved in, John sent regular emails to me insisting that I pay him the outstanding rent for the 8 remaining months of the lease. This was money I didn't have, as I was paying rent on my new apartment at the time. John's job was in real estate and he threatened to lock me out of the apartment if I didn't pay our landlord thousands of dollars in rent."
Time to vote:
· Horror Stories archive [Curbed]
· All Renters Week 2012 coverage [Curbed]