Landlords: does anyone actually like them? Well, we guess you lucky ducks out there who are blessed with one who doesn’t blast dubstep up through your apartment floor on random occasions or fixes your goddamn sink like he’s supposed to, maybe like your landlords. But Bushwick Daily found some stories from tenants who put up with crap landlords for the cheap rent they offered in Bushwick. Which raises the question, how much would you put up with to live where you want and not pay through the nose? (more…)
Oh hey, look at that, we talk about what debt collectors can’t do while collecting a debt and a real-life example just pops up in front of us, thanks to Pardon Me for Asking. Unfortunately for the tenants of the California Taqueria, this carvertisement is legal as far as we know, although it probably makes people side more with the Taqueria since who the hell even does this? (more…)
There are two types of bed bug infestations: One marches into your home and takes over the room, while the other crawls into your brain and just won’t leave. It’s the itching when nothing is there, did that piece of lint just move kind of infestation — the paranoia induced by finding out that one of your neighbors has critters. Short of Scotch Guarding all of your possessions (not recommended, BTW) and sitting alone in a HAZMAT suit, since friends are just walking carriers, what do you do to calm your nerves and protect your residence when bed bugs are discovered next door? (more…)
Google Maps are so last year, but terrible landlords are forever. Average the two and you’ve got a pretty handy map of scumbag property owners across the city. Perhaps something like this searchable map of the landlord watchlist from the Public Advocate for the City of New York, which was just updated this week. The worst offender is the aptly named “College Management” with a total of 724 recorded infractions in three buildings. Maristanc Corp, the Brooklyn-based second place, has 651 infractions for one building. Infractions include refusing to fix broken hot water, lead paint, and evicting tenants without due warning, or what we at Brokelyn call a “pretty decent place.” (more…)
A reader at real estate blog BrickUnderground asks a question on the mind of so many of us who cart our dirty undies five flights of stairs and four blocks every week (well, at least once a month): why can’t i just install my own damn washer and dryer under my landlord’s nose? The expert’s answer is, like anything in New York, complicated. Short version: yes, you could do it, if your pipes can handle it, but if they can’t, you’ll likely be boned before the rinse cycle. And if you do install one, you probably won’t get evicted unless you cling to it Charlton-Heston style. She recommends a high-efficiency machine that uses less water so it’s less likely to overwhelm the plumbing. You might even win an exception from your landlord based on disability, which can include difficulty traveling to the laundromat or severe allergies, though “allergy to watching daytime Telenovelas” is probably not an acceptable reason.
Living in New York City means we are paying more than our fair share of rent, but it doesn’t mean we have to pay even more money for conditions or repairs that are not our responsibility. The following is a short guide to what you should and should not pay for when you have certain apartment troubles. It’s intended for market-rate buildings, which is what most of us live in these days. Unlike in rent-stabilized or rent-controlled buildings, market-rate tenants do not have many rights besides the Warrant of Habitability and court precedents. But there are certain things that need to come out of your landlord’s pockets, not yours.
NOTE: This article is based off of my experience in government community work and should NOT be a substitution for legal advice! (more…)
Did we miss a law change or gutter punk call to arms that’s making squatting all the rage again? First came the Trade School’s “Squat the Condos” class aimed to inspire a new counter-culture movement, and now two more squatting seminars are planned in coming weeks” ”The Once and Future Squatter,” at the always entertaining Pete’s Candy Store on Monday will discuss squatter’s efforts to create a research archive with evidence of the there’s-no-place-that-isn’t-home movement, plus a discussion of squatting as a global phenomenon; this Saturday at the Judson Memorial Church (in that other borough), pro squatters and scholars will host “Squats, Social Centers and Autonomous Spaces” to discuss the political aspect of what they call ”organized trespass,” as part of the Anarchist Book Fair, obvs. Both events, naturally, are free. Is this the sign of a new kind of gentrification coming to the city? Hell, maybe Brooklyn’s landlords are worse than we thought.
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