About a month ago (April 17th, to be exact), I was leaving work when I got a picture message from my roommate. It was a picture of our front door, which by itself would be kind of a weird message to send unless he was trying to convey that “DEATH HAS VISITED THIS DWELLING.” Unfortunately, the picture was of this:
That’s right- the city has told us we’re not allowed to stay in our apartment anymore. The place where I live, relax, cook and eat too much food, and binge on Netflix shows is no longer a place I can call my own. Apparently, the city stopped by and found not one, not two, but thirteen code violations ranging from “kinda pointless” (“HEY, THERE ARE NO PLACARDS INDICATING WHICH FLOOR I’M ON I’M SO LOST [gnaws off own foot to survive]”) to “on a long enough timeline, this will lead to your death” (“You guys only have one escape route in the event of a fire, and if the fire spreads to the main hallway, you’ll have zero. I can already smell your charred flesh.”)
Now, most landlords would get this text and go “Holy shit, there’s a problem that needs to be rectified posthaste.” But our landlord read it and (presumably) went “Holy shit, I want empanadas for dinner [throws phone in lake],” because we didn’t hear back from him for three days. When he finally did get in touch with us, he came over with an expediter and a contractor to redo the building plans. A little delayed, since it took two weeks, but at least it’s getting handled, right?
No. Wrong. False.
It has now been three weeks since we’ve seen or heard from him, and five weeks since the violations originally occurred. Not only that, but last Friday I had the day off, so I did some laundry (in the illegally-installed washer/dryer set in the basement, natch), and as I was coming back up the stairs to my apartment, guess who’s hanging out in front of my open door? THE GODDAMNED BUILDING INSPECTOR. As it turns out, all my landlord has to do is submit plans to put in a sprinkler system, but he can’t even be bothered to do that. According to the building inspector, the Red Cross will provide us with two nights’ accommodation at one of their fine shelters across this great city; after that, of course, we’re on our own. (Naturally, I declined. I don’t want to sleep on a military-grade cot in some fucking high school gym in the Bronx, thank you very much.) I’ve e-mailed this son of a bitch twice, my roommate has texted him, and nothing. Radio silence from this unbelievable piece of shit asshole who feels the need to enter into a legally binding agreement but not to uphold his end of said agreement. Not only that, but after doing further research, some of these violations are from January 2013, which means he rented us the apartment fully aware that it was not in compliance with the NYC building code. As of this writing, we still haven’t heard a word from the guy, and on my days off I’m reduced to watching Netflix on my phone instead of on my giant television (to reduce noise), to cooking between the hours of 6:00 AM and 6:08 AM, and generally feeling like a low-budget, male, gentile version of Anne Frank. (“Was that the front door? ARE THEY COMING FOR ME?!”) It’s goddamned awful.
In summation, fuck my landlord, fuck the property management company, and don’t live in New York, apparently.