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Northern New Jersey
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There are 2 major problems with this apartment (Basement unit):
1) The building structure: is very old, in poor condition. Brick and mortar is continually falling off the walls. Plumbing infrastructure is ancient and we had a sewage issue (flowing out through the pipes). To the owner's credit, she is trying to keep up with the deterioration with an assortment of contractors. The contractors' noise/disruption/use of the apartment to access the backyard is very annoying. Most annoying of all, however, is the creaky thin ceiling that separates the basement apartment from the owner’s apartment. You can hear everything that is going on upstairs, conversations, footsteps (heavy), coughing, etc. This is particularly an issue for anyone who wants to get a good night’s sleep, as the owner gets up very early in the morning.
2) The lease: makes it virtually impossible to get out of the lease. It is written such that the owner can dictate terms. Even after we mutually agreed that I could move out (in April), I had to continue paying the rent through mid August (>4 months). One reason is that she jacked up the price by $250/month and insisted on only using her exclusive broker, who was happy to collect another commission on the same apartment within 10 months.
The owner of the apartment can be challenging, as well. She tends to get defensive when problems are identified, and will be very skeptical about any issues; the burden of proof is on the renter.
This may be par-for-the-course for a 2-family townhouse, but for me, it was too much to bear.