For reduced rent, tenant becomes landlord’s first mate

July 29, 2017 12:18PM

Shared housing in cramped New York City is often a nightmare, and the hallmark of a seasoned city dweller is often the quality of their housing horror stories. But eccentric tenants and their coterie of sub-leasers can be just as challenging for landlords. To ease their troubles, some landlords have begun to offer reduced rent to trusted tenants able to vet potential roommates and tenants.

Take Alex Armlovich, who became his landlord’s little helper in exchange for a $350 a month room in Bushwick.

Armlovich tells the New York Times that he scored his sweet deal after a harrowing experience with demented roomies. In exchange for testifying in Housing Court on behalf of his landlord, Kay Doobay, against his estranged roommates, Doobay asked if he might come back and help sort the wheat from the chaff.

New tenants say the arrangement creates instant rapport with their landlords.

“Kay is very doting,” Armlovich said. “She even switches out the curtains seasonally. She has winter curtains, Easter curtains, summer curtains.”

“When I lived in Queens before, the apartment never felt very secure,” tenant Emily Hamilton tells the Times. “Here, we all know Kay. She’ll come up and be like, ‘I just made dinner for you.’ One day, I just mentioned, ‘Oh, a plant would be nice here.’ And the next day, there’s a plant.” [NYT]Christopher Cameron