506 9TH AVENUE APT 2FS NY NY 10018 = BABY17
VERY COLD IN WINTER AND A STRANGE LANDLORD!!!
I stayed with my daughter one month in May this year in one of Ingrite Pujols apartments (www.ingrite.com). Unfortunately I have more negatives than positives to mention. I start with the POSITIVES: Good sized studio apartment with enough storage for one month. Clean and not worn. 10 minutes walk to Time Square. Fully equipped kitchen with micro, stove and oven. Beds are comfortable.
Wall mounted high shower where the water pressure was not controllable.
No ventilation (except a window), extremely humid especially in winter when cold and not possible to keep window open. If the window is open there is a problem with insight from opposite window
Very small table, only suitable for 2 people.
No fan over stove. Lot of smell after cooking.
Although internet, but no table for computer
One small heater / radiator for the entire studio.
Extremely noisy due to 4 lanes 9th avenue (as loud as sleeping in the street). Heavy traffic and many fire trucks
Cigar smell from cigar shop downstairs
No blackout curtains
No reading lamps
Linen included, but no change
Old fashioned small TV
Service ratio: Nil; rude and not professional
I have worked as a hotel surveyor and I have also been a landlord for several tenants, so I have rather good knowledge about renting out apartments. Of course this is not a hotel and you cannot expect hotel service, but you can expect some respect and friendliness. The only word I find is rude and unprofessional. To start with, when I contacted Ingrite’s Apartments, she said she only had one townhouse on 46th street between 8th and 9th Av. available. She included small pictures in her e-mail and in the description she mentioned “Fully equipped kitchen”, but when I asked for bigger pictures and didn’t see any kitchen, I asked about it and she rudely answered that I should read the description! But the description in her mail was that the apartment was equipped with a kitchen!!! No apology for the mistake she made – or maybe it was not a mistake... She had earlier said that this was the only available apartment, but when I said I only was interested in an apartment with kitchen, she suddenly had another with kitchen available. Strange, not very reliable… When I accepted this apartment, Ingrite Pujol sent a contract to be signed immediately and returned to her by email. In this contract, which only was written in the landlords favour, she had raised the rent with 100$!!! I was lucky I read the contract carefully! She also offered a pick up from Newark Airport for $80 + toll. This apartment was a very short walk from Port Authority bus station, which was a much cheaper alternative, which she didn’t mention. Also shared shuttles were much cheaper, which takes you to your address. Ingrite demanded fast signature on contract, but never signed the contract herself! She not only wanted $600 as a deposit for utility costs immediately sent by Money Gram, but also demanded a credit card and security code as back up. She got my credit card numbers, security code, but she insisted on the deposit also sent by money gram as well, although my arrival was within 5 days. Ingrite wrote rudely to me when I hadn’t arranged for a Money Gram: “but don't play games as you will arrive here without an apartment I wait till in the morning” well, well, play games – with a contract not signed by Ingrite herself. I disliked sending my full credit card information + Money Gram. Money Gram is very unsafe. Many rogues use Money Gram; why not use normal bank transfers, cheaper, safer and fast. But of course bank transfers are not suitable if a landlord want to avoid income tax on the rent! She also wanted the full rent cash upon arrival. (No trace for income…). I was very particular to ask what was included in the utility costs. Ingrite answered: “WE CHARGE ELETRICITY, CABLE, PHONE AND INTERNET IF AVAILABLE RANGE FROM $ 100.00 TO $ 200.00 PER MONTH DEPENDING ON USAGE INTERNET ALONE IS ABOUT $45.00 I AM NOT SURE IF MAY WILL BE HOT ENOUGH TO USE AIR COND IF NOT BILL WILL BE MUCH LESS ELETRICTY IS VERY EXPENSIVE HERE”. The final charge was not $100 or $200, but $354 (although we never used the air con). The rest of the deposit was returned one month later and she had charged not only for the utility costs she had mentioned, but also for the Money Gram bank cost and a tax $105, which I had asked in an email if she will charge us. She had written in the contract with very small letters (almost non-readable, not same size like the rest of the text in the contract), about this tax. She answered “NO”, so I thought that this tax was included in the rent. I complained when she deducted it from the deposit, but she said that she had given wrong information, although she didn’t even mention this tax when I asked about what was included in the utility costs. I rent out apartments myself and if I promise something by mistake I keep to it, although it’s an extra cost for me. An agreement is an agreement. According to Ingrite, there was Internet in the apartment for $32 (flat rate full month), but upon arrival it didn’t work. Access to Internet was very important, because my daughter was supposed to work via Internet. Ingrite asked us to call to the Internet supplier to fix the Internet!!! She wasn’t willing to do it herself! Several calls and three days after arrival the Internet was installed. But she charged us for these telephone costs!!! We never used the phone for private calls.
But the biggest disappointment was the temperature in the studio. Some days were warm when it was warm outside, but several days it was 50-55. The apartment was extremely cold when cold outside!!! I had lots of cloths in the night and didn’t want to get out of bed. To have a shower was like showering outside… And I am from Sweden, used to winter! I asked politely if we could borrow an extra electrical radiator (remember we paid for electricity), but Ingrite refused. Although there was a very tiny radiator for such a big apartment, it was never warm. This tiny radiator in the living room is too small to provide enough heat for the apartment in the winter, so the apartment will probably be extremely cold. This was Ingrite’s answer to my request: “THE BOILER THAT BRINGS THE HEAT FEEDS THE ENTIRE BUILDING IF THERE IS NO HEAT FOR YOU THERE IS FOR ANYBODYTHE BOILER IS SET ON A TEMPERATURE CONTROL BY THE CITY OF NEW YORK NOT BY ME OR BY THE OWNER HERE THERE ARE LAWS AND THE MUST BE FOLLOWEDTHE LAW IN NEW YORK SAYS: THE NIGHT SENSOR HAS TO BE SET AT 47 THAT MEANS IF THE TEMPERATURE IS NOT 47 OR BELOW THE HEAT WILL NOT COME UPDAY SENSOR 50 OR LESS DO YOU NEED MORE BLANKETS??” Another lie!!!!The New York law says this: “building owners must provide all tenants with the following levels of heat and hot water: Heat (During the heating season, October 1 through May 31) Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., heat must register at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees”. The outside temperature was below 55 and the inside temperature was probably also below 55! The wall isolation was nil. Ingrite had installed 2 air cons through 2 windows with big leakage of cold and noise. We were lucky that there were also sunny days in May; otherwise our holiday could have been a disaster. And it doesn’t matter about the outside temperature, when the inside temperature is as low. A landlord should see too that the tenant have comfortable temperature inside, regardless what is outside.
So my recommendation is not to rent during cold months i.e. when outside temperature may fall below 65!!!