Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible New York City apartment experiences past and present. This week, in honor of Renters Week, we're having a rental horror story showdown across all Curbed sites, with the winner receiving a staycation. Up now: one renter recalls her horrible roommates.
Last year, I rented a room in a woman's two-bedroom in Bushwick off the Jefferson stop L stop and agreed to pay $950/month. I paid a security deposit and first month rent. After about two months of living there, she comes to me and says the landlord raised her rent, so my portion will be $1,100/month. This room was in a railroad apartment and had no window, and I didn't even have access to the last room because it was her pilates studio that she conducted her business in. I wasn't about to pay that much, so I told her I would have to start looking elsewhere as I couldn't afford that much on my current salary. She then proceeded to completely freak out.
She threatened to throw all my furniture and belongings on the curb while I was at work if I didn't get out of the apartment by the end of the week. Mind you, this was mid-January, and I already paid for the month. Long story short, she wouldn't pro-rate my rent, ruined a bunch of my belongings, and wouldn't give back my security deposit. I ended up having to take her to court, and I won. But she never paid the money the judge said I deserved.
After I was forced to leave that apartment, I rented a room in a three-bedroom apartment in Greenpoint off the G train. The guy who lived there told me that the place was owned by some dude in West Virginia, but he had been subletting it for the past three years. The other person who lived there was a woman in her 50s who was never around. It seemed like a weird situation, but I was desperate for a place at this point and had to take it.
After a few months, the guy told me he was moving out. He got in a big fight with the person who sublets the place and had to leave. This is when it gets even more bizarre: after he moved out, my other roommate started being around more. She started smoking in her room, was very unpleasant, and wrote notes to me on pieces of garbage pulled from the trash.
One day, I woke up to five people sleeping in the living room. Apparently, the guy who sublets the place could stay over whenever he wantedwith his mother, brother, sister, cousin, girlfriend...you get it. This happened with no warning five or six more times. Evidently, it was too much even for my roommate. She ended up moving in with friend, so 10 months after I moved in, I bounced, too.
Lessons learned: never live with a pilates instructor in Bushwick and stay off Craigslist.
· When Rats Invade: Surviving an Infested West Village Rental [Curbed]
· Renters Endure a Comically Bad Super To Live in a Better 'Hood [Curbed]
· New New Yorkers Find Their First Apartment Is Fully Occupied [Curbed]
· All Renters Week 2015 coverage [Curbed]