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Gloria Trembicky is a bad landlord
January 17, 2006 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Gloria Trembicky is a bad landlord. Ever wish you knew more about your new landlord before signing the lease? Hopefully Gloria Trembicky won't have any more unsuspecting tenants. This well-documented story of disrepair, deceit and disorder should keep any landlord-Googler away (especially with the growing contributions emailed from former tenants). Also, it provides some great Schadenfreude for those of us not renting in NYC.
posted by davebug (66 comments total)

 
Hey, I think Gloria was my landlady in Boston. I'm sure of it. Same deal. She gets around, that Gloria.
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:06 PM on January 17, 2006


Yeah, sucks. But it is post-worthy? I dunno.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:14 PM on January 17, 2006


These tennants are doing a good job of documenting their problems. That slightly increases the likelyhood of some kind of resolution eventually. It's well written, at least, not just a ranty "I HATE MY LANDLORD!!! blahblahblah"
posted by raedyn at 2:20 PM on January 17, 2006


Hilarious! I popped my cork! A devastating indictment!

What?
posted by unSane at 2:25 PM on January 17, 2006


What is this 311? Is Stapp involved?
posted by bardic at 2:29 PM on January 17, 2006


Uh, well, then move, dude. Otherwise, you're pissing into the wind.

They can document all they want to, but I highly doubt that they're going to get diddly squat done after reading that *twenty years ago* people were bitching about this same landlord. Looks like other residents are currently doing the same thing - lots of bitching to the city, but when they come out, the heating & plumbing problems mysteriously vanish.
Maybe it's time that they lawyer up and sue the crap out of the woman.
posted by drstein at 2:33 PM on January 17, 2006


A typical Trembicky-style repair. I'm not sure what the problem was, but the solution was a mound of cement on the bathroom floor.

Heh.
posted by delmoi at 2:41 PM on January 17, 2006


Like Suzy, we will not apologize for taking pleasure in the sight of her backside.
posted by xod at 2:49 PM on January 17, 2006


311 is NYC's non-emergency city services hotline.
posted by bdk3clash at 2:52 PM on January 17, 2006


What's a landlord?
posted by fixedgear at 2:54 PM on January 17, 2006


This is hilarious, and so is the other Gloria blog it links to ("My roommate suggested that maybe Gloria should get a new plumber. 'Oh no, miss,' she said, her eyes shining in the dim light of the hallway. 'There is something special about this plumber...This plumber,' said Gloria, 'he is also a priest!'")
posted by transona5 at 2:57 PM on January 17, 2006


Ha. She is definitely a master of rhetoric, if nothing else:

Seems LP told Gloria that some of her landlady practices were illegal; Gloria replied "You're illegal!"
posted by mrgrimm at 3:02 PM on January 17, 2006


I'm curious as to what they paid in rent for this place. I have no idea what two bedroom apartments in brooklyn go for, but I bet it's probably twice my mortgage payment on my house. I don't know how people afford to do it.
posted by Meredith at 3:05 PM on January 17, 2006


Ah, the ol' Trembicky Treatment ! At least she didn't rent out the upstairs apt to a reality television show... which happened to a friend Brooklyn.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:07 PM on January 17, 2006


My sister has a 'walk through' apartment in NYC, where there are no halways and people just walk right through the rooms, like four or five of them. It's pretty expensive.
posted by delmoi at 3:21 PM on January 17, 2006


Well, in "DykerHeights" a Two bedroom apt would be about $1,700

There's this one for $1,295

One thing to keep in mind about NYC is the rent control, which basicaly means once you rent an apartment, you lock in the rent forever. I remember hearing a story by one guy who was paying about $1500 for an apartment, and the woman above him only paid $250. When she died, the new tenants were paying $5,000
posted by delmoi at 3:27 PM on January 17, 2006


here is a two bedroom apt going for just $700, in Midtown Manhattan. Only $80 more then my apartment in Ames, IA. Weird.
posted by delmoi at 3:32 PM on January 17, 2006


He makes it soundl like he didn't see the place before moving in. Is it common to sign leases in New York without seeing the place? That seems a bit, I don't know, stupid?
posted by chunking express at 3:32 PM on January 17, 2006


Great article R. Mutt, I wonder if he ever told the woman about the guy who tried to kill himself in her apartment?
posted by Suparnova at 3:33 PM on January 17, 2006


delmoi are you a real estate agent?
posted by Suparnova at 3:34 PM on January 17, 2006


One thing to keep in mind about NYC is the rent control, which basicaly means once you rent an apartment, you lock in the rent forever.

I hate to break it to you, but rent control isn't universal or even that likely these days. (limited time frame stabilization, maybe ... but thats a long story) I do know people with low r.c. rent, but they rented thier apt in like 1976. (Plus, one might have to add the cost of rent control lawsuits into ... )
posted by R. Mutt at 3:36 PM on January 17, 2006


delmoi: that apartment is on 148th St & Amsterdam. That's not midtown. It's 100 blocks north of Midtown.
posted by mullacc at 3:45 PM on January 17, 2006


Actually, anymore rent control is like a unicorn - never seen by the eyes of man. One can be lucky and find a 'rent stabilized' apartment, wherein one pays rent increases per year at a fixed rate, determined by the city - I think right now the increase is 3.5% annually.
posted by jivadravya at 3:52 PM on January 17, 2006


One thing to keep in mind about NYC is the rent control, which basicaly means once you rent an apartment, you lock in the rent forever.

Nope. New leases are never rent-controlled or stabilized; an advisory board sets acceptable increases for controlled/stabilized rents based on maintenance costs, heating oil rates, etc.; the regs were recently changed so that once the rent reaches a certain amount, all controls are cancelled.

chunking express, I think he did see the apartment -- he mentions talking to the previous tenants. No, it's not common to lease a place sight unseen but it's universal to overlook flaws and filth that are intolerable in other markets.
posted by vetiver at 3:53 PM on January 17, 2006


hey 100 isn't much!
posted by wakko at 3:54 PM on January 17, 2006


"...it's universal to overlook flaws and filth that are intolerable in other markets..."

I think that's the most difficult thing for me to wrap my head around regarding big-city living in general and NYC specifically. What is there that's so special about any place that it could possibly be worth putting up with sub-standard yet ridiculously overpriced housing?

Any NYC mefites who aren't too busy fighting the invading hordes of rats and cockroaches, feel free to chime in.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:15 PM on January 17, 2006


The section where he writes about just moving in makes it sound a bit like he had never seen the place before. I guess you can also read it as him expecting the place to have been cleaned better between tenants.
posted by chunking express at 4:21 PM on January 17, 2006


*sigh*

Oh Metafilter, where were you four months ago when I could've used this information? I've built up my suspicions now in the midst of frequent travel but the agonizing truth is finally exposed to me.

Ugh.
posted by myopicman at 4:31 PM on January 17, 2006


My boyfriend's parents have one of those mythical rent controlled apartments. Four bedrooms, formal dining room, foyer, 40 ft living room on the Upper West Side in the W 80's. They pay $1500 a month. They've lived there 40 years. My bf is on the lease, stays there a couple of nights a week, and maintains it as his legal address. He will inherit it, and I, I will be queen!

But as for the original link... other that the heat issue, I would say that the level of repairs is comparable to that of most landlords of non-luxury buildings in NYC. My landlord has hired a barely adequate super who hires what are most assuredly non-licensed repairmen to do the work that he can't. Fourteen year old boys laid the linoleum floor of our laundry room. It took six months to get the leak in my bathroom ceiling fixed. But that's just part of living in NYC.
posted by kimdog at 4:46 PM on January 17, 2006


What is there that's so special about any place that it could possibly be worth putting up with sub-standard yet ridiculously overpriced housing?

Really, really good jobs.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:49 PM on January 17, 2006


Remember when Joe Pesci played basketball with the guys from the neighborhood and they were totally all scamming him and then they took him for a couple of hundred bucks? That was awesome.

I'm glad that another crappy landlord now has an easily found record on the internet. I hope the site saves some people some serious frustration as a bad landlord (or landlady in this case) can really make life hell.
posted by fenriq at 5:01 PM on January 17, 2006


according to this page, in San Francisco, landlords must keep your pad at least 68 degrees. Interesting!
posted by cell divide at 5:27 PM on January 17, 2006


The legal minimum heat is 68 degrees? That seems really hot.
posted by fshgrl at 5:28 PM on January 17, 2006


Well it's actually more complicated now that I read it more carefully:

SAN FRANCISCO: Under the San Francisco Housing Code, landlords must provide heat capable of maintaining a room temperature of 68 degrees (at a point three feet above the floor). This level of heat must be provided for at least thirteen hours, specifically from 5:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
posted by cell divide at 5:31 PM on January 17, 2006


Really, really good jobs.

I'm just not convinced. I'm not bashing the city, my mom was born in the village and I still have family there and I love to visit it. But I only spend 11 percent of my gross pay on my mortgage here in Pennsyltucky. And that's not counting my wifes income. There'd have to be some pretty amazing jobs for me to want to live in an apartment and pay more than 2K for it.
posted by octothorpe at 5:31 PM on January 17, 2006


ha. the worst i ever had to deal with was a landlord who didn't want me to open any of the windows.
posted by lester at 5:32 PM on January 17, 2006


It's well written, at least... Oh yeah? How about the incorrect use of "inhabitable" @ the end of the third sentence?!?! Nitpicky, I know but no less annoying to read.
posted by wavespy at 5:33 PM on January 17, 2006


This missing term in this equation is the rent.

For the right rent, I will fix the broken window myself and with pleasure.

Having played the landlord role a bit, I know that the rent charged really shapes the expectations, and rightly so.

...fighting the invading hordes of rats and cockroaches, feel free to chime in.

One may have rats, mice or roaches, but usually not at the same time. The rats will chase off the mice and both of them will eat the roaches.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:34 PM on January 17, 2006


here is a two bedroom apt going for just $700, in Midtown Manhattan.

148th and Amsterdam? that's Harlem. I'm surprised to see the price so low, though, what with all the "gentrification" going on since the millenium.
posted by clevershark at 5:56 PM on January 17, 2006


I find myself wondering what the Gloria will do when/if she finds those blogs/this front page post.
posted by Suparnova at 5:58 PM on January 17, 2006


My boyfriend's parents have one of those mythical rent controlled apartments.

I have friends who have one. Same deal, 4 bedrooms on Riverside Drive in the high 80's. Marble entrance hall, oak panelled landings, doorman, etc. They've had it since the 60's and while I don't know what they pay now, I know that in the late 80's they were paying around $300 a month plus service charges.

He paid more than that to garage his car. Even more frustrating was that he was a doctor, so hardly needed rent subsidy -- but isn't that always the way?

My bf is on the lease, stays there a couple of nights a week, and maintains it as his legal address. He will inherit it, and I, I will be queen!

If I were him, that would be the point at which I dump you and find myself an eighteen year old supermodel.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:58 PM on January 17, 2006


Spoken like a True NYer PeterMcDermott.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:35 PM on January 17, 2006


Rent stabilized apartments aren't all that hard to find...both of mine have been rs. But they were still overpriced, and you could count on your rent going up every year. And yeah, if you're paying "reasonable" rent or rent that's considered cheap, your landlord is much less motivated.

Although our previous landlord was so grateful that we paid our rent on time that he fired the super who lived above us, after we complained when he beat his girlfriend up and the cops got called. Sadly, the new super was no better...and none of them ever spoke much English. Ever tried to pantomime what was wrong with your stove to the guy who was supposed to fix it? Sigh. It was easier just to cook less.

People put up with NY because they don't want to move to Jersey or Connecticut and they like their jobs, mostly. The idea is not to be in your apartment that much. You just make the city your living room.
posted by emjaybee at 6:47 PM on January 17, 2006


Rent control ain't just for NYC. Here in DC, I moved out of an apartment for which I paid $750 a month; they were asking $1000 in the ad I saw for the place. I know there were some long-term tenants who were paying much less than I was.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:50 PM on January 17, 2006


This brings back memories - I had a landlord just like Gloria in Delaware. Just one of many, many issues with the apartment was that the building was condemned the entire time I lived there, because of an unsafe boiler in the basement and electrical problems. (Obviously I didn't know that when I moved in.) But there was a semi-happy ending to the story: the State sued the landlord on behalf of the tenants, and I got back some of my rent from the three months I lived there.
posted by amro at 7:06 PM on January 17, 2006


If I were him, that would be the point at which I dump you and find myself an eighteen year old supermodel.

You're assuming I'm not an 18 year old supermodel. And your also assuming that he is rich enough to entice one.

(in all truthfulness, I am 17 years his junior, so while he may be capable of a trade-in, his chances of doing much better aren't that great.)
posted by kimdog at 8:15 PM on January 17, 2006


"My bf is on the lease, stays there a couple of nights a week, and maintains it as his legal address. He will inherit it, and I, I will be queen!

If I were him, that would be the point at which I dump you and find myself an eighteen year old supermodel."


BWAAAAAAAHAHAHA

Best. Comment. ALL WEEK. This thread can get no funnier, and man, Dr Pepper really burns when it comes out of your nose. :-)
posted by drstein at 10:31 PM on January 17, 2006


delmoi are you a real estate agent?

Um, no I just know how to use google :P
posted by delmoi at 10:53 PM on January 17, 2006


in all truthfulness, I am 17 years his junior

so , you're 60 ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:34 AM on January 18, 2006


I think that's the most difficult thing for me to wrap my head around regarding big-city living in general and NYC specifically. What is there that's so special about any place that it could possibly be worth putting up with sub-standard yet ridiculously overpriced housing?

posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:15 PM PST on January 17 [!]


Forget good jobs, New York just has jobs. Many people have no choice about where they live. The rent in Toronto is probably double or more what it would be outside Toronto, but I know that no one in my family would have a job if they moved out of the city.

But that's always the way of life - if there are jobs, there will be high demand for housing and high prices. I've live in a very small city in England now, but it's a university city, and the rents can be as high as New York. (Being in the UK and an expensive city is a double whammo, but I do have to say that not only is our landlord not bad, but he is the very nicest landlord we have ever had. It helps to be subletting, and that this is his summer home.)
posted by jb at 3:21 AM on January 18, 2006


Someone should write up Gloria Trembicky and her tenants as an HBO series. Sort of "Friends, gone bad".
posted by R. Mutt at 5:22 AM on January 18, 2006


I just want to point out that the condo docs do not apply.

This, this is where all those landlord-tenant experts should be posting their socks off. So where are they?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:57 AM on January 18, 2006


"...it's universal to overlook flaws and filth that are intolerable in other markets..."

I think that's the most difficult thing for me to wrap my head around regarding big-city living in general and NYC specifically. What is there that's so special about any place that it could possibly be worth putting up with sub-standard yet ridiculously overpriced housing?


As for flaws and filth, I live with occasional low water pressure, landlord controlled heat (it's usually too high), and I've seen two cockroaches over the past year. I pay about 30% of my income in rent for a 1br in a converted brownstone. In return for putting up with that, I have a 20 minute subway commute, I'm blocks away from my favorite restaurants, a world class museum, park, botanic gardens, and performing arts center. And that's just my immediate surroundings. Through the subway, I have access to hundreds of other unique neighborhoods, and the range of experience and entertainment that come with a city of eight million people. It's absolutely worth it to me.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:35 AM on January 18, 2006


Also, ParisParamus is conveniently located just on the other side of Flatbush avenue. This city has everything!
posted by eddydamascene at 8:40 AM on January 18, 2006


Regarding the cost of living in New York relative to the burbs, or a city with a crappy public transportation system, like LA: housing may be through the roof, but the cost of getting around is a bargain. My entire monthly transportation budget (excluding the occasional cab ride) is $76. My friends in the burbs have to shell out wads of cash for car payments, car insurance, gas and car repairs.
posted by djw at 8:48 AM on January 18, 2006


Um, no I just know how to use google :P

delmoi, when it comes to NYC real estate, you clearly *don't* know how to use Google. Not a single thing you've said in this thread has been factually correct. I don't understand why you're even trying.
posted by veronica sawyer at 9:16 AM on January 18, 2006


My sister has a 'walk through' apartment in NYC, where there are no halways and people just walk right through the rooms, like four or five of them. It's pretty expensive.

This is called a "railroad" apartment and is not terribly uncommon.

As for rent, it's always a closely guarded secret. But, I also live in Park Slope, and I'm going to guess they're paying in the $1800-$2000 range for a 2BR, though it may have been a cheaper "steal" when listed.

Is it common to sign leases in New York without seeing the place?

I don't know about "not seeing", but a lot of folks sign leases without giving the place a good going-over because they're afraid someone else will snatch up their "sweet deal". These people are fools.
posted by mkultra at 10:05 AM on January 18, 2006


This is called a "railroad" apartment and is not terribly uncommon.

I lived in such a place in Waterloo, where I went to University. There was a serious housing shortage when I first started at the school. You'd go to see a place, and there would be a 5-6 other groups checking it out as well. Everyone had cheque books, and they were usually all itching to get the place. The places all sucked as well. Man I don't miss that one bit.
posted by chunking express at 10:41 AM on January 18, 2006


here is a two bedroom apt going for just $700, in Midtown Manhattan.

According to the listing that's a 2 room apartment, not an apartment with 2 bdrms.
posted by zarah at 11:11 AM on January 18, 2006


The legal minimum heat is 68 degrees? That seems really hot

It's not, if you're in the habit of walking around your apartment without a full set of clothes and you're, let's say, svelte.
posted by davejay at 12:03 PM on January 18, 2006


"The legal minimum heat is 68 degrees? That seems really hot" It's not, if you're in the habit of walking around your apartment without a full set of clothes and you're, let's say, svelte. - davejay

Or if you live somewhere that gets down to -40.
posted by raedyn at 12:52 PM on January 18, 2006


mr_crash_davis, I'll answer your question in the friendly spirit in which it seems to have been asked.

For me, the appeal of New York has a whole bunch of different components, some of which have already been mentioned. I love that I don't have to deal with a car, which to me is just a giant headache and hassle. I like that everyone lives in apartments--I would hate to have to deal with a lawn, for example (though a terrace would be nice for BBQ). I like that there are a huge number of food and bar options within walking distance of my place--both restaurants and food shops (like Murray's cheese and my fantastic wine shop Sea Grape).

I like that just about everyone is from someplace else. I like meeting people from a really wide variety of backgrounds--I have friends who have had to survive on collecting cans and others who come from great wealth. I like that there are so many smart and creative people here (not that there aren't a bunch elsewhere, but many seem to be drawn to this city).

I like that there is such a variety of interesting architecture all around. I like that some of the best art museums in the world are 30 minutes away (even if I rarely go).

I could go on and on. But to me, it's worth it to spend about 15% more of my income on rent than you do on a mortgage. People who live here put up with high rents, jerk landlords, and all the rest; I am very envious of people with dishwashers and bathtubs. I despair that it will be very difficult to buy my own home before I'm 40 (at least).

But to me it's worth it. I grew up in the South and lived in Boston, but to me New York is home. And I'm cool with the fact that many people prefer other situations. Different strokes for different folks.
posted by lackutrol at 4:15 PM on January 18, 2006


Oh, and one other thing, about the rent laws:

Rent control is not available for new tenants. There are still some old people with rent-controlled places, but now rent-controlled apartments automatically change to rent-stabilized when the tenant leaves or dies. They do an assesment of "market rent" and set the rent at that rate. Only if you are family of someone with a rent-controlled place, live at the address for some time, and can demonstrate a financial connection can you take over a rent-controlled lease.

Rent stabilization is quite common, though the landlords hate it and are nibbling away at the laws. The Rent Guidelines Board sets the acceptable increase in rent for these apartments every year, and they usually fall somewhere around 4-5%. The rent increases for these apartments at a slower rate than unregulated apartments, and the difference can be quite large if the same tenant stays for a long time. I have a friend who pays about 50% of the market rate for her place, but she's lived there since 1987 or so.

After they changed the law (a state, not city law), apartments go out of stabilization when the rent is above $2000 and the tenants have an income of more than $150,000. If they vacate, the apartment automatically goes out of stabilization.

Note: I am not exactly sure of the above figures, but they are at least in the ballpark.
posted by lackutrol at 4:26 PM on January 18, 2006



"The legal minimum heat is 68 degrees? That seems really hot" It's not, if you're in the habit of walking around your apartment without a full set of clothes and you're, let's say, svelte. - davejay

Or if you live somewhere that gets down to -40.


oh c'mon. we usually keep ours at 65 when the kids aren't around. 68 is tops. 58-60 at night. i sometimes wear a tank top (cleaning, or whatnot).

i think the opposite is true, regarding the -40 places (Duluth, here). we don't crank it up, because ... well, we all tough-n-shit. we take saunas and roll in the snow. we crazy.

so nyah.

i kept waiting for the clincher in those blogs. (like, that's IT? but i guess i was pretty young and tolerant/idiotic when i lived in that place where all the floors were buckled and the back door didn't lock for the first month and i was finding birdseed in the cracks of things for evar. it was all about location and cheapacity. broken windows? meh.)
posted by RedEmma at 4:31 PM on January 18, 2006


Thanks, lackutrol. It was asked in a friendly spirit, and I appreciate the in-kind response.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:51 PM on January 18, 2006


i think the opposite is true, regarding the -40 places (Duluth, here). we don't crank it up, because ... well, we all tough-n-shit. we take saunas and roll in the snow. we crazy.

so nyah.
- RedEmma

And I'm from Saskatchewan, where we're just as crazy, but 68 is a common temperature in the hosues of people I know (mostly people with old leaky houses where it never feels totally warm no matter the temp on the dial).

so nyah back.

Wanna go ice fishing?
posted by raedyn at 6:36 AM on January 19, 2006


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