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A Hunt for a Top-Floor Place; Perils of a Landlord-Neighbor

1) This week's hunter, Andy, does not enjoy the sound of somebody walking around in the apartment above him. He dislikes it so much, in fact, that he moves out of his East Village apartment into another apartment that is literally falling apart. At one point the bathroom ceiling caves in. Then he's informed that the rent is going up from $2,400/month to $4,000/month. This seems like a good time to move out. Luckily, this is also around the time that his boyfriend, Rafael, moves to New York from Brazil and they start looking for a place together. They want to stay in the East Village (well, Andy does; Rafael doesn't know the difference between neighborhoods yet.) But every place they look at has something wrong with it—cigarette odor in one, another is a seventh-floor walkup, a third is too small. They start to look at new buildings in Brooklyn and find that they can afford a place on the top floor of building, with no upstairs neighbors and very little chance of the bathroom ceiling caving in. That's a pretty successful hunt. [The Hunt/'Please, No Stompers Overhead'; photo by Vivienne Gucwa]

2) It isn't the most common situation, but living in the same building as one's landlord can have its perks. For instance, it afforded a man named Rob Curtin a chance to brag to the Times about how he had a female stay the night at his place "some while back" (his landlady neighbor didn't approve.) It can also lead to more favorable rent negotiations, and things getting fixed with greater urgency. The main drawback is that some landpeople can get all up in your business, but, in all fairness, so can regular neighbors. (Maybe the idea is that with regular neighbors you have to no monetary incentive to be polite to them?) Mostly it seems like the people in this article just don't like old ladies who ask them questions about their personal lives. ['Landlord and Tenant: Natural Enemies?']