Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible New Orleans apartment experiences past and present. This week, in honor of Renters Week, we're having a rental horror story showdown across all Curbed sites, with the winner receiving a staycation. Up now: a sublessee and her roommates become entangled in a conflict between their landlord and his wife.
I was subleasing an apartment in 2014, so my name wasn't on the lease but my two roommates' names were. That September we got a hand written letter sent to our house, supposedly from our landlord, but it was post marked from San Francisco (our landlord lived in New Orleans). Basically it said – in very broken English — that we needed to leave by the end of the month and that he was sorry, but he needed the property back and we must move out.
We were all obviously very shaken by it and didn't know what to do. My roommates had had a bad landlord experience before this one and so they were jumping to conclusions and wanted to move out, and I was thinking that we should get a lawyer. But it also seemed very fishy as the letter was handwritten and not in correct English.
Eventually my roommate called the landlord and when she explained the situation on the phone and asked what it was about, he initially didn't answer and was silent. After a long break, he said that he was very sorry and no we did not have to move out. He told us that he and his wife were having problems and that he thought it was probably her, but that he did not send us anything.
We thought we were in the clear, but then I think at the end of October or early November we got a second handwritten letter, this time addressed from his wife. Again, handwritten and post marked from San Francisco. She said that our landlord was lying to us, and made all kinds of accusations against him, saying we needed to return the house and all of this stuff.
We were very upset and we wrote a long email to the landlord explaining everything to him and asking if he thought it would be prudent to change the locks because it sounded like she was very persistent and could possibly break in. All he wrote in response back to us was "How many keys do you need?"
So the locks were changed and again we thought we were in the clear.
Sometime after this my car was broken into outside of my house, which had never happened before to my roommates or I. Everything from my glove box was strewn all over my passengers seat, but nothing was stolen or taken (and I had a few things lying around that could have been worth money). I was rattled but didn't think much of it after that.
Then around first week of December as I was leaving for work I realized that there was a notice on the front door, when I pulled it off and looked it it was a five-day eviction notice, or what looked to be one at first glance. I was very rattled because neither of my roommates' names were on it; it had my name on it, but it was spelled wrong. It said I was in violation but it didn't say of what and it said I needed to leave by February 28 (the day our lease ended).
As second glance I realized that it was the Louisiana sheriffs office emblem on it, not New Orleans. I then looked up what a five-day eviction notice was supposed to look like and it did not match up.
We called and our landlord, now very upset, and asked what it was all about. He said that he was sorry again, and he would like us to move out when our lease was up, but that again he didn't send the notice.
It was the weirdest thing, though, because my name was the only one on it and my name wasn't on the lease anywhere. I did send checks to the landlord that had my name on it, but the wife didn't receive those checks.
So basically the wife of our landlord was crazy and ultimately went to the extreme of making a false eviction notice and posting it on our door.
We moved out at the end of Febraury. The house was an awesome house and would have loved to have stayed there for another year, but this lady was literally harassing us from afar. And I think she did break into my car to find out my name to put on that notice. Obviously that part is speculation since I didn't see her do it, but it adds up.