TikToker Blasts Landlord for Trying to Drive Her Out of Rent-Controlled Apartment

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

Horror stories in renting are nothing new. Tales of slumlords letting buildings to fall into disrepair and rent gougers charging far more than a property is worth are fairly common in today’s renter landscape, and few places have renter’s protections in place to prevent the common man from being taken advantage of. In New York, though, one woman has gone toe-to-toe with her landlord over her rent-controlled apartment for more than a decade.

New York: The City of Rent Control

New York is one of the few cities in the United States that has any meaningful renter protections. Rent controlled apartments are buildings and units that have rent prices tightly harnessed by the city, and for many landlords who seek to make a living out of collecting on gouged rents, this can be a nuisance.

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

New York law states that landlords cannot evict tenants for no reason, though, meaning that the tenants who manage to snag a rent-controlled apartment will stay in them for any and all reasons. Landlords can try and force their tenants to leave of their own free will in order to raise the rent, sometimes resorting to extreme measures.

Meet Sarah Pribis

This is the situation that one New York woman has found herself in. In a series of videos on Tiktok that have since gone viral, Sarah Pribis revealed the extreme acts that her landlord has taken to try and get her to leave her rent-controlled apartment.

Source: Instagram/SarahPribis

The first video that she posted showed some of the texts between her and her landlord, where he’s clearly trying to gauge her desire to move out of the apartment. He asks about her whereabouts far more often than appropriate for a landlord, and even goes so far as to vaguely threaten her for potentially moving out without giving notice.

A Viral Sensation

That initial video has a total of more than 26 million views, but it’s far from the only time that Sarah has discussed her situation with her landlord. In subsequent videos, she explained that the landlord refuses to fix anything in the apartment in an attempt to weed her out.

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

She posted an apartment tour explaining the situation, where the landlord refused to do anything to repair or maintain the status of the apartment. Instead, he gave her permission to fix anything that she wanted – as long as she did it on her own dime and didn’t expect to be reimbursed for the repairs and renovations.

Renovations to Save Money

With said permission, Sarah invested her own money into turning the apartment into a home that she wanted to live in. She fully renovated the kitchen and the living room, replacing counters and painting cabinets, and doing everything in her power to ensure that her living space was a happy and healthy one.

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

The description of the video reveals why Sarah is so determined to stay in this particular apartment. Sarah’s rent for this 2-bedroom apartment is a little over $2400 a month, and the maximum allowable rent for a comparable apartment in Sarah’s area is over $4000. It’s completely understandable why Sarah is determined to stick out her landlord’s bad behavior.

A Violation of Privacy – But Only For Sarah

His bad behavior doesn’t just extend to refusing to provide legally-required repairs to the apartment, either. One video Sarah posted reveals that not only has he been personally hounding her about her status in the apartment, he also installed a camera in the hallway that points directly at her apartment door!

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

While some people might think that this is standard security for an apartment building, Sarah is quick to correct the assumption in her video. Her floor is the only floor with a camera, and more than that, the camera pointing at her apartment is the only one on the floor. It’s clearly an intimidation tactic used by her landlord to try and further push her away.

Freezing Sarah Out – Literally

One of the most egregious failings of the landlord comes not in the form of neglect or privacy violations, though, but in pure malicious intent. Sarah’s landlord controls the heating in her apartment building, and in one video, she reveals that on multiple occasions he has allowed the building to get unbearably cold.

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

A series of text exchanges between Sarah and her landlord reveal that she’s attempted to be kind about informing him of the temperature issues. The landlord was unrepentant, though, despite a series of escalating photos and texts about other tenants who were also having issues with the temperatures.

The Real-Life Scrooge

What is horrifying about this is not only the blatant law breaking – New York law requires that thermostats be kept at a certain temperature once it’s cold enough outside – but also how heartless the landlord is in the face of his upset tenants. New York is particularly cold during the winter time, and depriving tenants of heat in order to get one to move is truly awful.

Source: Tiktok/SarahPribis

The battle between Sarah and her landlord has been going on for years, but the temperature power play really drives the point home. Winter and the holidays are meant to be a time where we’re a little kinder to our fellow man, a little more forgiving and less selfish, and the fact that Sarah’s landlord knuckles down on his bad behavior around Christmas for the sole purpose of trying to make more money on her apartment rent tells us exactly what kind of man he really is.

Just One Story in a Vast City

Sadly, stories like Sarah’s are not uncommon. Since rent-controlled apartments are such a luxury and sought after so highly in the extraordinarily expensive New York City, competition for them is fierce; landlords fighting back against rental protections are even fiercer.

Source: Instagram/SarahPribis

For some, it doesn’t matter how illegal their behavior is; they’ll continue to behave how they want to, regardless of the potential consequences. Hopefully with Sarah’s viral stories about this landlord and his scheming, he’ll finally have to face some consequences, and Sarah can go into the new year with the comfort of living in a safe, secure home.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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