I have the most retarded landlord in the history of landlords. (I know I’m gonna catch some flack for using the word “retarded”. Please refer to this post for my opinion of your opinion.) Okay, that’s probably not true. He’s probably a hell of a lot better than some of the landlords just on my street. But when it comes right down to it, he’s the biggest jackass I’ve ever known.
Let’s start with the fact that he doesn’t screen his tenants. There hasn’t been a single tenant in this building who wasn’t some kind of asshole. You’d probably respond to that with, “Everyone’s got a little asshole in them.” and you’d be right. Hell, I’ve got a lot of asshole in me. I ain’t too proud to admit that. But the people who have lived here really take the cake.
Don’t believe me?
Assholes #1: These two were relatively quiet when they lived in the downstairs rear apartment, aside from the occasional kerfuffle and rare car wash days (when he cranked his POS stereo), but we’ve all got those days. Imagine our surprise when they moved into the apartment beneath ours and almost rattled the pictures off our walls by body-slamming each other around the house every three days like clockwork. Then we discovered he was a crack dealer and she was a conniving cunt who blamed all her bullshit drama on everyone else. They moved out on their own after an argument with the landlord over how our parking lot was plowed.
Asshole #2: This lady really wasn’t so bad. The only really annoying things about her were that she is a complete feminazi, a little racist and didn’t take care of her cat in what I would consider the best way an animal should be cared for. But those things can be mostly overlooked. She moved on her own when she realized the landlord was never going to do anything about the cookouts A#3 were throwing in our parking lot. Which were never anything more than a normal cookout: a bunch of people hanging out, playing cards, tossing back a few beers and talking.
Assholes #3: This couple was nice most of the time. But Jesus, would they turn on you on a dime. They got money off the rent for taking care of the grounds, but they’d complain because no one else took the garbage out to the road. And every Saturday and Sunday morning the radio would start blaring at 8am. Around noon it would go off. They moved on their own because he had to have hip surgery and couldn’t do stairs for a while. For about five minutes, this place was quiet.
Assholes #4: The Crackhead and her crew. There were drug dealers and johns (who were often the same people) running in and out of our shared hallway which was our only exit. And if it weren’t for the guy who walked around our building with a sledgehammer screaming about smashing all the windows in the place, or the one who was constantly leering at me and making disgusting comments as if I were one of The Crackhead’s other crackwhore friends, or her creepy stalker who almost got into a knife fight with A#3, I probably wouldn’t have cared. Eventually they’ll kill themselves and the world will go on a better place without them. But it became painfully obvious that having them here put us in danger when they started having knife fights in the hallway. Course, the landlord only evicted them because she was late on the rent.
Asshole #5: An older gentleman, probably in his forties or fifties, moved in with a sob story about hard times in his marriage and his wife living in Syracuse. It wasn’t long before it became obvious that the reality was he was a crackhead, fresh from some program, trying to show his wife he could stay sober. Then he met The Crackhead. He moved out on his own when he realized how far down he’d fallen. The last time I saw him, he’d been gone a month. He was back here trying to score some crack.
Assholes #6: A girl in her late teens, early twenties moved into the apartment we live in now with her boyfriend. She was pregnant, overdue and had an inducement scheduled for a couple weeks after she moved in. Two days before she went in to have the baby, she was in The Crackhead’s apartment. Naturally, when she took the mandatory drug test the state gives every mother about to give birth, she failed and lost the baby. Once the baby was gone, the party started. Then the boyfriend left, and the party went somewhere else. While a 200lb pitbull was locked in the kitchen. Sometimes for weeks at a time. Guess who cleaned up that mess? Once again, the landlord only kicked them out because they didn’t pay the rent.
Assholes #7: These folks were a couple young guys. I’m not really sure if they were lovers or friends. There’s a girl living there now with the one who’s been evicted but has yet to move out. The front window’s broken because they got into a fight and he put her head through the window. The landlord hasn’t fixed it. It’s been at least two weeks. The sheriff has yet to come to follow through on the eviction. It’s been at least a month since the landlord started the process. So he’s not getting paid, and he’s not really making any effort to get rid of the guy, either.
Assholes #8: A girl and a guy. I think. As far as I know the rest of the people who’ve been there are just visitors. But, dude, seriously? Who the fuck goes to someone’s house and helps them fuck with someone they’ve never even seen, so much as met, and can’t possibly have an issue with them?
The first time they were too loud we thought, “No big deal. It happens.” But then they got increasingly worse. Apparently, not calling them on their bullshit was an invitation to be assholes. So finally, after spending a night listening to their insane antics that swing sharply from one extreme to the next, we called the landlord and complained. Two weeks later, they got (what we thought was) out of control, only this time, they paced the house screaming “I don’t give a fuck who has a problem with my music this loud. I’m gonna listen to it how I want.” for an hour or so. Later, they were yelling about how they were going to blow the building up and kill everyone in it.
The landlord’s response? “Call the police. They’ll do something.”
Well, we called. The first night we called less than ten minutes after we made the call, they turned the music off. The second night we called, the same thing happened.
Last night, they didn’t turn their music on. Not once. Instead, they literally bounced off the walls and the floor all night long. So hard that the ceiling showered us with plaster powder and our pictures (including the sand painting M brought home from Africa when he was thirteen) rattled so hard I thought a frame cracked. Around 4:30 this morning, his company left and we thought we’d finally be able to go to sleep. But our bedroom door makes noise when you open and close it. And every time he heard the door open, he’d jump from one end of the apartment to the other for twenty minutes. He finally stopped around 6am.
There is no doubt in my mind that he is intentionally torturing us.
This morning, after hearing him talking to more company (that was here pounding on the back door so loud it was rattling our windows at around 10am) and telling them he’d intentionally kept us up all night, M called the police. Who said there is nothing they can (or will) do. They won’t even give the guy a ticket for violating the noise ordinance. They called it a “quality of life” issue and said it’s far too low a priority to send an officer to address the situation. “But file a report, and get it on file. That way if something happens we know who to look at.”
Gee. Thanks. So if the guy kills us, you’ll have a suspect, and our deaths might be avenged. That’s a huge load off my mind. I’m so glad we called you.
On Tuesday, I’m calling every housing authority I can find a number for. Tenants Rights, NYS Housing Authority, Code Enforcement … whoever I can find. If the police won’t do anything, and the landlord won’t kick him out, maybe we have some civil recourse against the landlord. We could own this building! But you best believe we’ll be selling it if the judgment does come out in our favor.
But I really wish there was something that could be done about the police’s picking and choosing of which laws to enforce. I mean, I get it. With an average of one teenager being shot a week, someone being loud really isn’t that big of a deal. But the problem is that at this point it’s not just someone being loud. In any other situation this would be considered an attack. The more we complain, the worse they get, and the more threats we hear them screaming over the music.
It’s an attack on our sanity, if not our physical well-being. Though many more sleepless nights and it’ll be an attack on our physical well-being as well.
And this is how violence in the ghetto starts. Person A harasses Person B for some perceived offense that may or may not be real. Person B tries to get law enforcement to do something about Person A but law enforcement refuses. Then finally, at his wits’ end, Person B loses control and does something to Person A. And the cops blame it on the neighborhood, or the drugs, or poverty when the reality is they refuse to step in until the situation has erupted into violence, and someone’s hurt or dead.