Saturday, February 9, 2008

On trying to earn back money I spent

Ugh. I'm more and more glad that I'm moving right now!

My roommate and I attempted to have a moving sale today to get rid of stuff we jointly purchased (couches, tv, etc). I've done this every single time I've moved, even when I didn't live in New York. I've picked up a lot of stuff at similar sales. We posted a description online a few places and gave the address to those who emailed with specific questions.

My landlords had a COW. I mean, a screaming, threatening, "I'll ruin your credit for the rest of your life" cow, and I'm still not entirely sure why. They've told us we're not allowed to have anyone but the two of us in the building, and that it says that in the lease (not true). They've told us that we're not allowed to have anyone stay overnight and that it says that in the lease (also not true). They said we're not allowed to move anything up or down the stairs ever under any circumstances (wait, how am I supposed to move out?). They threatened to sit in front of the house and tell anyone who comes looking for furniture to "go to hell". They literally called my roommate "Miss Goody-Goody" and threatened to have money garnished out of our checks for the rest of our lives.

This is complete and utter bullshit. I'm furious right now, but there's really nothing else I can do about it. We told them we're not agreeing to stuff that wasn't in the lease, that they need to calm down when they talk to us (threats are not OK), and that the apartment will be left in the same condition it was when we moved in, so until that time, they need to back off and let us deal with
what needs to be done in order to move out.

I'm not sure what it boils down to, other than that perhaps the neighbors were curious? I'm starting to realize that I have, in fact, been being WATCHED the entire time I've lived here, or at least that the neighbors pay far too much attention to my comings and goings. I never wanted to be in a private house to begin with, so I'm really, really glad to be moving out right now. I just keep crossing my fingers and praying for the week to fly by.

On the other hand, I'm also wondering if now I need to do anything to protect myself. The apartment will be left in good condition. Any damage that's there, aside from the rug which is my roommate's problem, is normal wear and tear. I plan to come back after I move and make this place SPARKLE. I will be taking pictures of everything and all that. But after the blow up today (this is at least the third inappropriate blow up they've had) I'm very uneasy.

At some point, stuff's supposed to start getting easier, right?


  1. im sending you lots of love and good wishes! hopefully things get better

  2. Creepy. Very creepy. Not actually dangerous, I don't think (to garnish your wages, they have to win a lawsuit, which seems unlikely), but definitely creepy. I would ask them, if it seems plausible to do so, how they expect you to move your furniture down the stairs to move out, regardless of whether it is you or someone else driving away with the pieces once they're out. Because really, what you're doing is moving the furniture out of the apartment out of which you are moving, then giving it to other people in exchange for money. Shouldn't be a big deal. Weird that it is. Can't say I know what I'd do in this circumstance, but I should think "Stay calm, take photos, and get the hell out of Dodge" would be a good motto.

  3. Thanks, anonymous!

    E-Major, I agree. I mean, they can threaten all they want, but I know they can't do anything without cause...but now I know they're going to LOOK for cause, and I'm afraid they will try to tack on regular wear and tear as damage. They can take me to court, that's fine--but I'm no longer comfortable living above these crazy people and it sucks to have to put up with it for another week.

    I understand that they're worried that someone is going to damage the apartment--it's truly gorgeous. But they really went overboard reacting to what I feel is a perfectly normal, reasonable thing to do when moving--the threats and name-calling were WAY out of line. Unfortunately, I'm at their mercy for the most part--I can't threaten to withhold rent, as I've already paid the last month's rent, and they are holding my security deposit. If I were truly vindictive, I could leave the apartment a mess or damage the walls, but even then, they have more power over me. I feel like writing a manifesto about why to avoid living in an apartment in a private house in New York City. I had misgivings when we were looking at places, and I wish I'd listened to them.

  4. Do write that manifesto, actually—I'd be interested in it for my move. I don't know that I wanted the landlords on the premises, necessarily, but I've definitely been interested in renting direct from the owner.

    And I would be afraid to hold the threat of small claims court over the security deposit in reserve if they threaten to hang onto it. Small claims court is a relatively easy process, to hear a friend of mine tell it--you really just go down there, explain the deal, and let a judge decide who gets what. If you take photos of the apartment when you leave it and it looks great, you shouldn't have a problem getting a judgment in your favor.

  5. Please come down here to Houston, Texas and live in one of my places - I don't yell at my tenants - I love my tenants and take very, very good care of them (think digital cable/high speed internet, everything, for very cheap) and am heartbroken when they move out. Also, as an attorney, they can't garnish your wages if you haven't cost them any money; def. agree with Eng major, though - take lots of photos.


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