Ask a New Yorker, and they will probably have many landlord horror stories. One tenant experienced a truly horrible landlord and shared a detailed account on Reddit.
The Redditor posted a full retelling of this months-long experience — but to make a long story short, their landlord built a wall over the gas meter and refused to take responsibility. The landlord then tried to charge the tenant for any fines incurred for the shoddy construction.
When the tenant found out about the covered gas meter, they jumped through numerous bureaucratic and legal hoops to seek justice, even as the landlord continued to threaten them. They struggled for months and still couldn’t find a way to get themselves out of that apartment without breaking their lease.
“All evidence points towards my landlord being a greedy m***********,” and it’s easy to agree with them. Other tenants across the country have been unjustly saddled with bills that are the landlord’s responsibility to pay. No one should have to deal with this.
This story, while showing how horrible landlords can be, also shows the logistical difficulties of gas heating. Gas-powered buildings need access to their meters, which was the catalyst for this problem. Switching away from gas towards electric, which is now law in New York City, would have saved a lot of headaches while lessening the environmental impact of the building.
New York City landlords are notorious for their egregious greed and tendency towards building code violations. On top of that, many tenants are uninformed about their rights and struggle to seek justice for the wrongs landlords have caused them.
This particular story had a happy ending, but the stress from months of back and forth, threats, and legal proceedings took a toll on the tenant who just wanted a safe, nice place to live. That shouldn’t be too much to ask for.
The commenters share the plight of this renter, saying, “I hope the DOB [Department of Buildings] shuts this … down. I am so sick of greedy losers posing as landlords.”
Others remarked how, compared to other renters who face troubles like this, they are considerably lucky. “In terms of 311 and NYC landlords, this was kind of a huge success story.”
Many tenants never see the satisfaction of remedying the problem at all.
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