The Gal Who Sublet My Apartment Left It Disgusting, But Offered To Send A Maid. Do I Take Her Up On It?

I realize my idea of clean is different from a lot of people. I also realize that clean, like pretty and witty, is also subjective. But when I came home the other night from my travels after letting a graduate student stay here for a month while she was in between places, my apartment was disgusting.

Since living in my own apartment, I have made travelling a mandatory part of my life. Not only is it necessary to heal a broken heart, but sometimes the best part about leaving New York City is the excitement that comes with returning to it. In the past, I have never had any trouble with a subletter. Whether I handed over my place to someone for a month or more, or did an apartment swap, everything went smoothly and I returned to a place that was just as clean as I left it, if not more so.

But upon my arrival home the other night I literally walked into a sty. There was food all over the counter and stove top (sticky something or other that looked like some sort of syrup), the fridge was reeking with a rotting something, wads of long dark curly hair were everywhere, mildew towels piled in the bathroom made the whole place stink, and based on the dark footprints all over the floors, I’m quite certain she never once bathed. The most ironic part was that she emailed me a couple days ago to tell me that she left the place in “mint” condition, and if I didn’t agree, she would send a maid. Mint condition, but she’d send a maid? How does that make any sense?

So true to my OCD cleaning ways, I stayed up until 4am cleaning. But should I take her up on the offer anyway as some sort of payback for how vile she left my home? I may be OCD, but I still think a professional maid could kick my ass in the cleaning department.


Photo: GalacticBinder

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    • Renee

      I would have taken pictures of the mess she left for evidence. And I would absolutely take her up on the maid offer.

    • Amy

      Why are you even thinking twice about this? Of course you should get a maid! That’s just gross and extremely rude of her…

    • Caroline

      Yes!!! Just get the maid’s phone number first and confirm yourself that she’s been paid before she starts working. Though I assume she’s not actually going to follow through with the offer, it’s worth a shot.

      I rented to a slob once – I feel your pain :(

    • Jenny

      She obviously knew she left a huge mess, otherwise she wouldn’t have felt the need to say she would send a maid.

      I say accept the maid, even if only just to punish the slovenly renter.

      If your place is already clean, sit and drink tea with the maid. Do pilates with the maid. Develop an elaborate game of hide and seek that involves ping pong balls and 9 volt batteries with the maid. Anything, as long as she still charges the renter the full rate.

    • Lastango

      I’d say get the maid in. But I’d talk to the maid first to make sure she’s actually a professional, and I would also follow Caroline’s wise advice and make sure she’s been paid. And if most of your place is clean, perhaps she could do something that still needs work, like maybe the windows, the oven, the taxes you didn’t file for last year, etc.

      Grad students. Blah. They can be so entitled, especially from some faculties. When that gang gets their PhD they’re insufferable.

      • Eagle Eye

        I will comment later on, but I just want to defend my people! My boyfriend and I are both PhD students and our house is very clean! I promise! I just dusted/ swept and wiped down the counter tops this afternoon!

        Also, Science PhD’s (my boyfriend) aren’t entitled, they get shit on too often for too little money

        Although, Art History PhDs (me) might be a different story… :-)

    • Eagle Eye

      Ugh, I’m so sorry that sucks, I have no ability to handle gross, messy sure, but not gross. Take the maid, call her ahead, like Caroline and Lastrango mentioned and make sure that she’s prepaid and then either just hang out for the allotted amount of time, or have her do all of those cleaning things we usually don’t bother with on a day to day clean (i.e. dealing with the dust under the radiators)

    • Danielle

      Was there no security deposit? Because if there was I would just keep it instead of getting the maid.

      • Amanda Chatel

        No security deposit… I never had an issue, so I didn’t ask for one.

        On top of the mess, she called me a few days after she moved in to complain that the internet wasn’t working so she wanted to be refunded $100… which is very interesting because I share internet with my neighbors and they didn’t have an issue at all. I guess after years of subleting, I was bound to have a negative experience at one point.

    • katy

      yes. take the maid. she’s feeling guilty, so why not? Maybe you & the maid can swap cleaning techniques!

    • Trish

      Just tell her to give you the money that would have gone to a maid cleaning, since you already cleaned everything. Then you can treat yourself to something!

    • Jenn


    • Kristina

      Chatel, (clearly me reading all of your articles means we are bffls, no questions), please tell her to give you the money a maid would get, as you are probably better than a maid and then you can go get something nice. I hope you already did this because I am six days behind on my google reader but I NEED TO COMMENT because I care. And we all saw your struggle with that pizza box and dirty dish experiment. You deserve the maid money.

      • Amanda Chatel

        Obviously, we’re SO bffs… I mean, I’ve been waiting for you to respond to this all week, Kristina!

        But what you’re saying is I have permission to spend the money on new shoes, right?

      • Kristina

        Yes. I amend my first post accordingly:

        Chatel, get thee some fancy shoes in which to waltz around your now-clean apartment.