Welcome to Renters Week Horror Stories, a weeklong feature where Curbed shares the downright terrifying stories of regular renters across the country (and a few abroad). Have you had an awful experience with a roommate or a landlord? Or perhaps you're a property owner who's had to collect rent from the tenant from hell. Either way, be sure to share your story to qualify to win a two-night staycation at a local boutique hotel. Take a quick look at the official rules and submit your tales of renter anguish and horror to our tip line right away!
I lived in "the sunniest city in Germany" for a year in a basement apartment beneath an elderly German couple. Nobody told me that without air conditioning, you had to open the windows completely every night to reduce the humidity (I had been running a dehumidifier instead since I noticed it was stuffy)...
I left for a scientific conference one week and came back to find white fuzzy mold on every. single. surface in the house—my clothes, the backs of picture frames, the bottom sides of the wood furniture, my shoes, everything.
When my friends came to help me clean it all up, the couple detailed every housekeeping mistake I'd ever made, from not taking out the recycling often enough (which was partially true) to not making my bed everyday and not spending enough time in their garden. I don't think they knew how much German I understood at that point—or that expectations for women and housekeeping are different in this day and age. It was pretty humiliating. Thank goodness for friends who were willing to take me in!