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1A Dowling Rd
Albany, NY 12205
Story by: "Helizaveth"
My husband and I moved in August 2008 from Louisiana. Found this property in July on Craigslist, pictures were nice, 800 sq feet, $800, 2nd floor apartment, hardwood floors, back door with emergency stairs. One car garage. Building with 4 apartments. We had no way to travel to New York until the end of August. So we could not check the apartment ourselves, we only spoke to the landlord by phone and the area was not bad, so we moved in. Coming from the south, we were really nice to him. We invited him over for dinner twice. Offered to watch his daughters when we needed him to fix our apartment. This was in the beginning. Now it's so different.
It's June 2013 and I can't wait to move out. This place is in decay and he won't do anything about it. Oh where do I start...
Kitchen sink pipe broke, it was leaking, we called him and he said he couldn't come to fix it right away. We had to wait until he could (two days). The two days passed and we called again, he did not show up. Instead he asked what was wrong with it. My neighbor kindly offered to fix it. He did and the landlord was thankful. We should have taken that as a sign.
Time passed and winter came. Windows are old and they leaked cold air. We asked him to come. He inspected it with a candle, if the flame flickered, then he would believe me. What an unreliable way to test this. Anyway. He did not find a leak and said "wrap your windows". He fixes nothing.
Time passed and we asked him to fix a squeaky part on the hardwood floor. His solution: nail it. Took a hammer and stuck a nail that now sticks out like a sore thumb. Mop got stuck, we tripped a couple times and when barefoot, it hurts your feet! Worst part: squeaking was still there. He had to take the nail out.
Time passed, this time one step of the emergency stairs in the back was lose. Asked him to fix it, he came and cordoned the whole stairs, saying he was gonna replace the whole thing. This was 2 years ago. No emergency stairs now. He hasn't fixed them yet. It's a big project and I bet he needs money to do it. But for the amount of money we pay, I'm sure he could have done it by now.
Time passed again, now two of our windows in our bedroom have mold between the storm window and the actual inside window. He said he would fix it. Wanna take a guess? They are still moldy. I gotta wash them with H2O2. I'm afraid to get mold poison.
Fast forward to 1 year ago. He decides he wants to live in one of the apartments. He brings two non working cars and parks one of them in our garage, saying he needs the space. Instead he gives us another garage. Ugh, ok I guess.
One day I park in the street behind his car and that night he approaches me and my husband... Says I'm parking too close to his car and I don't NEED to park so close. I was offended but did not know what to say that moment. The next day I said to him he should not have talked to me that way and he apologized. He said he had a bad day. This turned into a "thing". He now has tons of bad days. Keep reading. It gets worse.
He moved out but left his non working cars, he currently ocupies 3 of the 4 available garages. Unsightly.
Ready for the kicker?
This happened 2 months ago:
He brings a hauling platform, those you can attach to the back of your car and carry a snow mobile. He rear ends my car and scraped the paint. My husband and I go down there and he apologizes, he says he's gonna fix it. My husband has more patience with him, so between them they agree that he will fix the paint, them we will sell the car and remove it from the property (it was parked behind one of his non working cars, occupying an empty, unused spot).
One day he comes to my door. My husband is sleeping. I open the door and he says "you need to move the car", I say no, you fix it, then I move it. That's the agreement. He started to yell and push the door!!! He said he wanted to talk to my husband, and I said "why can't you talk to me!? Just honor our agreement and I will move the car!" He then said my car was obstructing space, was unlawfully parked, was not supposed to be there, blah blah blah, raised his voice and acting very demanding. Knowing him. If I moved the car, he wouldn't have fixed the paint if I had moved it. So I said no. I kept repeating that we have an agreement: "fix the paint and I'll move it"!
I became scared and thought of waking my husband up. I told the landlord he needed to back up, I'd get my husband. He puts A FOOD ON THE GROUND PREVENTING ME FROM CLOSING THE DOOR, while he still yells at me!!!
I lost it. I said to him he needed to back up. He kept yelling and interrupting. I said "if you are not letting me talk then this conversation is over and I won't move te car. You need to go" he stopped and backed up. I closed the door. I was shaking.
I was this close to wake my husband up. But then I thought, it would suck if someone woke me up just to fix a dispute. So I didn't. The landlord is now yelling outside, I said I'm not waking up my husband and he needs to fix the car paint. What happened next, is called racial discrimination and bullying. Did I mention I'm from Mexico? Ok. Among other things he yells "why you no COMPRENDE!!"
I could have called the police then. I said to him that was very disrespectful ( I'm still trying to keep my head cool and not lower to his level). He's still yelling. Grunting, he then retouched my car FINALLY. Then comes back upstairs and knocks my door for round 2.
He said "I retouched your car, now move it"
By this time I was upset. I said "I'll move it when you leave" he wanted me to move it NOW. I asked him to leave. He said to move the car by the end of the day. I asked him to leave again. He finally left.
When I went to see my car, I noticed he had used a sharpie! And it wasn't even the right color!!! I was so upset but sold my car the next day and removed it from he property.
This guy lacks any kind of respect for his tenants, he never fixed ANYTHING. This place is a 60 year old building that needs desperate help. The windows leak. One window in the kitchen doesn't even close all the way. It has some cloth stuck in there. Some outlets don't work. The floors are sooooo squeaky, have I mentioned the basement? It's a dungeon. That's where our washer and dryer are. Walking in the basement is dangerous! There's insulation falling everywhere. Basements is always flooded. Windows in my apartment are moldy. Walls are paper thin : you will hear everything. Utility bill is extremely high ($120 in summer, $260 in winter). He is an idiot. And every year he increases rent for 15 dollars. This place should be condemned and demolished. I'm moving to Cali in 2 months.
By now you'll ask "why didn't you move out earlier?" Moving is expensive and in the north you can only move during the summer. With two student incomes (PhD and masters ) and summer classes is hard to pay for rent plus deposit, uHaul and move.
One more thing. The people that live here (my neighbors) yell at each other and call each other names!!!! Once this couple who lived right below had a fight and she threw cups and plates out the window. We had glass all over the front yard. So trashy. The police came, busted the door open, found blood in the ground. Omg so disgusting. They were evicted. But this is the kind of people the landlord gets.
If you are reading this to consider this place. I'd like you to think twice, 3,4,5,6,7,8 times before you rent from this man. Brian McKinsey, lives in 1A Dowling Road, Colonie: is the worst landlord I've EVER encountered.