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Nightmare on Route 27: Summer Rental Horrors

[Illustrations courtesy Arthur E. Giron via NYT]
Renting a house this summer? The Times would like to either warn you of what's to come or make you feel incredibly happy your house didn't come with mouse droppings in the drawers. Paired with some undeniably disturbing illustrations, today's Home & Garden section features a collection of bizarre anecdotes about summer rental horrors. The East End played home to two of the more benign stories, one about foreclosure and the other, mold, but they served to be entertaining nonetheless...

A Hampton Bays rental three years ago seemed to foreshadow the Hamptons real estate doom. A $20,000 waterfront home was rented without anyone knowing that the house was in foreclosure, and on move-in day, the mortgage holder called to say that a 'considerable amount of security' would be needed if the renters wanted to stay. The solution, since said renters didn't believe they'd ever see their money returned, was to take a valuable grandfather clock 'hostage'. A standoff ensued. In the end, the security and clock were both returned to their rightful owners, 'but it was very emotional on all sides.'

Two summers ago in Bridgehampton, a renter pulls up to her cottage only to smell mold from the driveway. Armed with a bottle of Fantastik and Jo Malone candles, she scrubs tirelessly away, missing a dinner party in the process. The horror. Encountering the cottage's owner the next day, our renter throws a fit and gets to stay in the main house for the rest of the summer while the owner slums it in the moldy shack. Some fit.
· Summer Rental Nightmares [NYT]