Skip Nav
Good Bones
Why You're Going to Fall in Love With HGTV's Good Bones
Decor Shopping
Trick or Treat! Target Released Its Halloween Collection — Here Are 30 Items We Love
Pier 1 Imports
No Doubt, Pier 1 Imports Has the Coolest Halloween Decor of 2017 — See Our 21 Favorites

Have You Ever Been Fooled Into Renting a Bad Apartment?

Last night, in the first episode of this season's Ugly Betty, Betty moves into an apartment of her own in Manhattan. Unfortunately, she gives in to the realtor's pressure and signs a lease for the apartment sight unseen. When the realtor assures her that the other apartment is just as charming as the one Betty doesn't get, Betty innocently believes her.

And as you can plainly see, Betty was duped. While I've never had anything this extreme happen, I've had my share of bad rental experiences. Before I bought my house, I did have to deal with everything from dirty apartments to bizarre landlords (one actually stole some of my furniture while I was living in the house). Have you had any bad rental experiences?

Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

verily verily 9 years
I guess my first apartment could be looked at as bad. The wiring was poor and my lightbulbs were always popping. The A/C didn't work properly so we had to rely on fans to cool our bedrooms, while the bathroom was freeeeezing cold. It cost us $200 or so a month in the summer to keep the place cool enough to be livable. But man, it had an awesome view of Austin from the balcony. The building was on the exterior north face of the complex, and you could see out into the city for miles. I moved out a year later to a different complex just further down the road. I was driving to school one morning and noticed that there was a huge cloud of smoke billowing into the sky up the road. Drove past and my old apartment was on fire! Apparently an electrical fire started in the apartment below it. Go figure.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
my friend checked out my last apartment for me because i wasn't living in the city at the time i needed to sign the lease...the place was great, i had seen pictures, so that's fine...but the landlords were hell. there was no way my friend could have known, but they SUCKED so bad - they would spy on me and tell me to turn my music down and tell me throw my garbage away but they would make tons of noise early every morning and did construction in the backyard so i couldnt take the garbage out. it was hell, honestly. and i had never met them, so i don't know if that was the issue...
chipjimi chipjimi 9 years
My apartment was fine for about a year until it ceiling started to leak. The claimed fixed it but once it rains it would start to leak again. I was never able to get them to fix it so i moved out.
Too_Posh Too_Posh 9 years
The first place I moved into seemed perfect when we signed the lease, it was a complex so they took us too the nice models and failed to mention that the place hadn't been renovated since it was built in the 1950's, except the building we were shown. We had pipes explode several times on us and when we would call maintenance they would tell us to cut our water off and they'd get to it when they could... haha well three days of driving to 7-11 to use the restroom and using friends showers someone finally showed up to fix the pipe. Then over the past summer they renovated our deck and left all of their empty bottles and even their tools and at one point the new sliding door leaning against our TV. The landlords never called to let us know they were coming and I came home from work several times to find a stranger inspecting my kitchen or bathroom looking for something to charge us over. I was so ready to move I was packed 3 weeks before I could move out!
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 9 years
I rented a house once that was a total nightmare! I was like 8 months pregnant (and pretty much the whole time I was preg) cleaning up sewage off of the floor. We kept having to call the city out to the property to report the landlord. We left and didn't pay the last months rent we were there. The landlord even had some ghetto slag drive by the house and I stood out there - so pissed, I would have kicked her a$$ if she just as looked at me the wrong way. It was really miserable. We couldn't bathe or go to the bathroom or flush the toilet even! He kept acting like it was our fault and even said I was putting tampons down the toilet. I was pregnant! I kept records of everything - down to putting the sh!t the plumbers found when they snaked the backyard out into baggies. The landlord knew not to piss me off by the time we left. I was ready to take his ass to court.
katykat katykat 9 years
My mom moved into an apartment having seen only its "twin" across the hall. The apartment she moved into had a strong smell of mildew or rot that would not go away, no matter what treatments she tried or how much she aired it out. The landlords would not admit there was a problem, even after she contacted the health department and a toxic-mold sniffing dog came and signaled the presence of toxic mold! All they did for her, after putting her in an apartment that was unlivable, was let her out of her lease early.
doogirl doogirl 9 years
I've only lived in one apartment, for ten years! It was okay, but there were hidden problems that intensified over the 10 years we were there. Every time you'd take a bath or shower upstairs, it would leak in one of the kitchen cabinets. Mold city! The landlord was a misogynistic Vietnam vet that was basically a big bully and never fixed anything. There was a hole in the cement driveway that got progressively bigger and bigger over the years, my kids used to play in it like a pool! One morning I woke up to no back fence, the landlord decided to have it replaced without letting anyone know! We had friends who lived in another unit in the complex, there were four townhouses, and they ended up with a huge hole in their ceiling for 6 weeks in the middle of winter! We used to water the grass in the front because the sprinklers didn't work. The hot water heater used to kick off all the time and we would have to manually turn it back on by pushing a button on it, and we'd get shocked every now and then. Sure does make my brand new house all the better to live in!
tashab tashab 9 years
I was SO excited to move into a big 2 bedroom apartment in historic downtown that used to be a filming location. it was great for the first few hours. up until i saw the first cockroach skitter out from under the sink where the seal was SUPPOSED to meet the tile. from then on, it was cockroaches EVERYWHERE. 3-inch long things. my cats watched one walk around and around the light fixture on the ceiling fan until i knocked it down and they caught it. furthermore, our stove was the tiniest thing IN THE WORLD, we attempted to cook our Thanksgiving turkey and only got it mostly cooked because the door wouldn't close all the way. also, the ceiling leaked in one of the bedrooms, and we went WITHOUT A REFRIGERATOR for the first week. we stored cold food in the unoccupied apartment next door.
BellaH68 BellaH68 9 years
Oh yes, I have one for you: my first apartment. I moved in to a gas leak, an old teal oven with a porthole (Name brand was Western Holly, which was ok, bc my name is Holly...but still). Once they realized the oven and built-in stove were to blame for the gas leak, I was left with a 1 by 3 foot hole in my counter that they never fixed. You could put a marble on one side of the floor and it'd roll to the other side. Someone got stabbed in the neck in the hallway. (And it was an affluent neighborhood!) The original roof developed a hole, so they put a new roof on top instead of fixing it, which then caused black mold and then one day burst open...a rust colored waterfall on my couch. I had no bedroom closet. The bathroom door didn't shut and my front door was little more than a hollow plywood-esque door....Shall I go on? LOL...Hey, I learned what to look for next time!
NiceDriveway NiceDriveway 9 years
i have had the worse landlords EVER. i can't even write about it here--since they're attempting to sue me for 'damage' to the apartment--damage that was already there when i moved in!!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
Hahahaha, my roommates and I were watching that, and we were like, "Yeah, she'd be paying like $8,000 a month for that." In New York, you sacrifice a lot of niceties for square footage! With a little elbow grease, that place would be a gem!
kristyrk kristyrk 9 years
That apartment is bigger than mine now! She must be paying a whole lotta money for that place!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
no - i've been lucky thus far - and i also won't even consider moving into a place unless i'm 100% sure that i know what my unit will look like. i 'm a new yorker and lived here most of my life and i've seen the range of good and horrible places and well..i have learned that you HAVE to get the complete picture before you sign your life away.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 9 years
I've never lived in a bad apartment, but I have lived in a bad house! It was my fiance's before I knew him; I moved in after we'd been together for about a year. It was original built in 1906 and had been "renovated" by the previous owners... as cheaply as possible. They painted over the wallpaper in the guest bathroom, the cabinetry was badly restained, and the owners, not a company, recarpeted it. We spent thousands of dollars over the two years I lived there (and my fiance had spent more before I moved in) to make it re-sellable.
sarah-lynn sarah-lynn 9 years
I was never "tricked", we had seen the apartment and was told that it would be cleaned and painted for us. Well, the most the landlord did was put in new doors because the old ones were torn off the hinges (but he refused to redo the doors to the outside, until the house was broken into) and dispose of a bloody mattress(I wish I was kidding). It took 5 people 4 days to get it to a livable standard, but we still couldn't use the basement or the attic because there were leftover piles of scrap wood all over. I'm not quite sure where it would have come from, but there it remained. Then, the landlord decided he wanted to remodel the lower apartment, so we got to listen to his inept contractor at all hours of the day making all sorts of unpleasant noise. Needless to say, I sure as hell don't live there anymore.
Mesayme Mesayme 9 years
'all sorts of trash everywhere'... not too much wrong with my apt. it's my busted a* neighbors... people make apartments a ghetto not the building, location, etc. I'd love to get my hands on that apartment; however! The hardwood floors and exposed brick walls are major potential!
mudnessa mudnessa 9 years
the apartment im in now needed some deep cleaning, massive lime scale build up on the bottom of the master toilet and sticky cabinets and counters in the kitchen, but it wasnt too bad. when our upstairs neighbors moved at our last place their cockroaches were forced down since they lost their food and that was pretty nasty. my friend has had some bad problems. when she moved from california to oklahoma they finally got there and pulled up to the complex and left right away because even the outside was disgusting, beer cans and all sorts of trash everywhere. when she bought her home it was a rental at the time and the people wouldnt get out and when they finally did they left all sorts of stuff. there was drug cooking things in the upstairs loft and all sorts of social security cards and things around so they had the police come and document it all. they recently worked on their plumbing and found random things in the walls, a LARGE pair of underwear, a sock, and pants. they are hoping they dont find the "missing aunt" at some point.
lizs lizs 9 years
I signed a lease on a "luxury" apartment after seeing the model; my unit wasn't available because the old tenants were lagging, etc. I showed up on move-in day to find the carpet teeming with some sort of beetles, no faucet in the kitchen, bent and tangled blinds on every window, and shattered tiles in the entry (the loose pieces were still sitting there, mosaic-like). I won't even try to describe the smell of the place. The upstairs tenant had 7 young children who were already running around outside at 6 a.m., some of them sans clothing. After I finished crying and regained my composure, I snapped some quick photos of the place, went to the leasing office, and used the horrible condition of the apartment to get out of the lease. Not living there was definitely worth the meager $150 I lost by terminating the contract.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
well, actually you still heard the thump, but they couldn't get out of the fireplace and start crawling up the wall. when I left and unsealed the fireplace, there were PILES of dead ones. my dad and brother helped me move. they thought I had been exaggerating and couldn't believe it!
lawchick lawchick 9 years
I had a rental house with giant mutant roach-like bugs. they came out of every conceivable crack -- where the light fixture met the ceiling, where the light-switch cover met the wall. They could squeeze through those spaces almost flat, then they were like 3 inches long and FLEW. There was a huge tree over the house and apparently they lived in it, and that's how they got on the roof, into the chimney, and started living in the walls of my house. The fireplace had no flue. I eventually sealed it up and that helped a little. At least when I had guests over you didn't hear "thump" and look in the fireplace and one of these creatures had just fallen down the chimney. ugghhhh!!!
not-applicable not-applicable 9 years
i also think that apartment is ok. killer high ceilings. better than the place i lived where the landlord used to pee on the side of the building, and on more than one occasion bought me the laciest raciest underwear he could find at goodwill because he thought i'd like them?!?!?
nbarbier nbarbier 9 years
Hey, that place isn't too's HUGE for NY apartment and I've looked at many on the lower East Side that had the tub in the kitchen. It just needs a good cleaning.
colleenb colleenb 9 years
That place is huge! I'd take it.
From Our Partners
Latest Home & Garden
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds