142 BergenWe hope everyone saw the article in the City section of the Sunday Times updating the story on 142 Bergen Street where, we initially reported, the ceiling caved in at an open house last month. According to the article, the seller ended up receiving multiple bids within an hour of the open house. Initially listed at $1.595 million, the house went to contract last week at $1.68 million. As the buyer points out, plaster caving in doesn’t necessarily mean the house is structurally unsound.
Would the Price Be Higher… [NY Times]
Ceiling Crashes on Elliman Open House [Brownstoner]
142 Bergen Street [Douglas Elliman]

The anti-Ratner crew is having a get-together tonight. The topic? Democracy and Development in Brooklyn: Promoting and Protecting our Atlantic Yards. Featured Panelists include NYC Council Member Charles Barron, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and Civil Rights Attorney Debra Cohen among others.
Time: Thursday, February 24, 6:30pm
Place: NYC College of Technology, 300 Jay St. (Johnson & Tillary)
Info: 718-260-9191

In yesterday’s discussion of brownstone tax increases, there was a request for a thread on tenant horror stories. We’ll kick it off with a nightmare scenario described by an anonymous reader:

A couple years ago, I found out too late that I’d rented to a serial tenant; everything else checked out, but she’d never paid rent for more than a couple of months, then claimed the apartment was uninhabitable, changed the locks, and played the LT system for all it was worth. There were no judgments against her. But a litigation check would have revealed multiple settlements with previous landlords who had paid her to get out, as after she quit paying rent each time, she made life so unbearable for everyone in the building (screaming at the top of her lungs all night, accusing neighbors of being peeping toms, threatening to poison pets, etc.) no landlord could wait for months in LT court to wend through the inspections and evictions – all the rest of their tenants would have left in the meantime. And every settlement had a clause compelling the landlord to give her a recommendation to her next victim. She actually owed her previous landlord $16,000 at the point I rented to her; he was just grateful she’d disappeared and never bothered to enforce the judgment because he was afraid she’d kill him if he tried.

This is why we are going to try to lease or rental unit to a friend! Anyway, please share your renter horror stories and tips for avoiding them below.