‘Gloria Trembicky is a Bad Landlord’

This is a little New Yorkish, but we’re in the process of searching for a new apartment in Brooklyn and to stumble along a well-written story about a frightening hag of a landlady fills up our spine with cold water like it were an old radiator. ‘Gloria Trembicky is a Bad Landlord’ is the chronicle of one couple’s awful experience with a Park Slope apartment with little heat, occasional droughts of both hot and cold water, and a husband/fixit-monkey who was too cheap or stupid to realize that reusing bent screws might be a problem.

Even better, it has a link section that includes some helpful places for New Yorkers to search for past violations—before they move into a new apartment.

But really, besides having a need to share this story before it consumed us, we’d like to hear about your worst rental experiences. Landlords are the worst.

[via MeFi]


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  1. DeeJayQueue says:

    This is the story of our last apartment in Manayunk, PA.
    We did the walk-through before signing the lease, the screen was out of one of the windows, the counters were warped, the dishwasher was 800+ years old, the kitchen floor was badly scuffed and warped as well. There was an outlet in the office which was hanging precariously out of the wall. The shower enclosure needed repainting, and in fact the man was in there doing it as we did our walkthrough. As were the carpet guys and painters. We noted all of this, and signed the lease under the condition that these things be repaired/replaced. Property Manager, Mary Jean Rumsey said “sure no problem.”
    The paint/sealant peeled off the bathtub 2 days later (to his credit, the man was drunk while he was working, and he even backed his truck into our moving van as he was leaving.) and never got replaced. Over a year later, the screen in the office never got fixed, the A/C unit broke and didn’t get fixed, the dishwasher ate more than some of our dishes before spewing hot, detergenty water all over the floor for my dog to drink.
    Eventually that got replaced but they left the old one outside for 3 months and the neighborhood kids came and kicked it down the hill. My partner reported the kids to the police, and then they came and stole my car. This would be the second car I had stolen from our parking lot. After the first time MJ said they were trying to close the parking lot off, but nothing ever came of it. Still they say they don’t have a big problem with car theft there…
    The building owner happened to have another building (ironically across the street from the my very first apartment) and we could move without paying application fees or deposit. It was a great chance so we took it. The B.S. followed. The new place has about 16 units to a building, and about every 4 units have a seperate door, they’re build like quads. Each quad had its own laundry, one washer, one dryer. They decided it would be better for everyone to move all the facilities to one quad. The key to the problem with this is that you have to walk outside to get to the other quad where the laundry is. In the middle of winter.
    That, and it seems all of our complaints fall on deaf ears, there are derelict cars parked in the lot for months at a time before they get towed, if at all. Noise complaints about neighbors with pool tables and (apparently) bowling alleys upstairs go unanswered. The property manager is lazy and the owner doesn’t care, so things just kind of stagnate. The sidewalks in the courtyard are in need of repair, and the owner was overheard saying something to the effect of “wait till we get a fine for it, then fix it.”

    I want to just buy a house already.

  2. RandomHookup says:

    I am a landlord and I had a tenant from hell. He sold me the building, moved in with his girlfriend, refused to pay rent, fought the eviction every step of the way, accused me of stealing some of the boxes of cash he had hidden in the basement, broke the toilets and water heater, called the Health Department, refused to let me in to repair anything, filled up 2 trailers with junk I had to pay to move and store, broke several windows on the way out and then stole my mail for a few days after he was evicted.

    The best six months of my life (and did I mention I was living underneath him the whole time?) Every now and then the cops still stop by my place looking for him, 6 years later.

  3. Josh says:

    Can anyone post up some good apartment hunting sites. I am in NW ohio which is a bit removed from online Apartment listings. The only thing we have is for Findlay, OH which has about 2 pictures, making it as worthless as the newspaper.

    I would love some kind of review site but I don’t think that exists in my area either.

  4. mrscolex says:


    Searching the NW ohio region on http://www.apartments.com returns 197 results.


    You didn’t exactly state where you were looking for apartments, other than mentioning findlay so if I start with a google search of a google search of: Findlay, OH apartments

    One of the results returned is for Crystal Glen apartments, which has a website at http://www.ohiohome.org

    Thats a link to the ohio housing financing agency, which has convenient links to most developers in the Ohio area, which you can drill down by county or city. Hope that helps.

    yes I’m an asshole, but I do sincerely hope that helps :P

  5. Kevin Meyers says:

    That’s awesome. There should be a web site where you can rent prospective landlords so future tenants can search.

    I am currently renting from a company in Boston and have had nothing but problems with them. In fact, when prospective tenants come to see our place, my wife and I plan to give them a rundown of all of the dirty deeds.

  6. The Unicorn says:

    Oh, man, I had a terrible landlord a couple years back. I rented a basement (“garden”) apartment, which, if you live in Chicago, is a terrible idea. Why? House centipedes. Don’t know what those are? Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_centipede

    They are VILE, disgusting creatures, & flourished in this apartment where the drywall was hastily hung & there were tons of crevices where they could move to & from the humans’ part of the apartment at will. When the weather was warm, we were seriously killing at least 2-3 per day. PER DAY. Sometimes they were like 2 inches long. Before we’d moved in, our landlord had assured us that he did regular pest control, but the only “pest control” we ever got, we’d specifically asked for, & then he went through & sprinkled white powder around all of our hallway baseboards. Which did absolutely nothing, other than make the hallway look weird & disgusting.

    The place also had: a huge spider problem; a giant hole in the drywall by the sink, which caused giant patches of mildew; water pipes in the ceiling that would attract condensation & drip after the bathroom got steamy from the shower; an improperly-installed dishwasher that leaked all over the floor; mismatched patchwork carpet; drywall that was painted with primer (as opposed to actual paint); walls that were not at right-angles to one another; water that tasted, literally, like dirt; one room that had the building’s stairs on the other side of the sloping ceiling, and no windows; cabinet shelves that were installed upside-down & collapsed one lovely day; a mailbox that you had to walk a block to get to; no way of seeing out the front door; bars on the windows that all but the weakest of thieves could’ve pulled out with their bare hands; and the thinnest walls of all time, so that whatever was going on in the next room could be heard crystal-clear…which made it especially wonderful that we lived next to the communal laundry room of about 12 other apartments.

    We also had the building’s hot-water meters (covered with foam tubing and duct tape by our oh-so-considerate landlord) in our hallway, and the phone lines for the entire building. The latter was a HUGE deal because SBC charges you like $200 if they have to come into your home to hook up the phone service. I had to argue with them for hours before they would finally concede that I had no choice over the location of my building’s phone box. And we would periodically be woken up early in the morning by the meter reader.

    Oh, and twice, we saw giant water beetles, once by our kitchen trash can & once in the bathtub.

    There’s probably more, but I need to stop reliving the trauma. However, Chicagoans: don’t ever rent from Harold Newton. Ever. He is the cheapest, most apathetic landlord of all time, and getting him to fix even really obvious, easily-reparable problems is a total nightmare.

    As was that apartment. Ugh. I am grateful every day that I no longer live there.

  7. Joel Johnson says:

    In fairness to our carapaced friends, house centipedes are totally good luck. They eat lots of other nasty bugs. As do spiders!

  8. The Unicorn says:

    True, true. But I maintain my anti-arthropod stance due to the fact that: a) they didn’t eat enough bugs to counteract the drain fly infestation that we had going there, b) if you’re killing three or more spiders and house centipedes (each) on a daily basis for three months, they’ve clearly reached a a state of overpopulation, & c) my boyfriend and I STILL find gigantic house centipedes that crawl out of things like old LPs & seldom-used boxes. And those can only be from our old apartment (that we moved out of in August of 2004).

    Also, both spiders & house centipedes are fucking terrifying. If you’re me.

  9. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    Yikes! I’ve had some idiotic landlords, but nothing nearly this bad. Opressed renters take note. In the article they talk about depositing december’s rent into a separate account. The law varies by jurisdiction, so check your local laws first. Offsetting rent in the event that your apartment or part of your apartment is uninhabitable is about the only way that a wronged tenant can get a dipshit landlord’s attention.

  10. Josh says:

    RE mrscolex

    Thanks for the time invested I have been to many of those sites and I guess I should have stressed GOOD. apartments.com pulls up A house in my city.

    The sites still don’t give me more than I see in my daily paper. I was really looking for reviews and pictures. I guess it is a niche that needs filling at least in my area.