Thursday, January 26, 2006

Advice About Landlords When Looking For Apartments

As Dave Chappelle said, "If your landlord is a crackhead, you got to have rent."

I gave a check to a woman who wanted me to rent a room in her house. After being denied 5 or 6 places because I was an alleged male and thus allegedly filthy, I was getting desperate for an apartment. I also only had one week to move as the parental units had decided it was high time to sell their house. The morning of our appointment she calls me and asks for twenty more minutes before I come over. Ok. No problem, early mornings are rough. But it is a Wednesday, maybe she just needs to call work to tell them she might be late, I think to myself. After waiting outside, I see the place and it is a room in her house. The room has not yet been vacated, but whoever was currently residing in it was actually filthy. The closet is full of open and half empty bottles of gatorade and other sports drinks. The mattress has no sheets and looks like it was rescued from a condemned, defunct homeless shelter. The floor is stained and the room reeks. The hardwood floor has been damaged by what I hoped was only sports drinks. It is about ten feet by ten feet. I ask how much and she replies with $450. She says that she would be willing to cut breaks on the rent if I can fix certain ailments around the house like the leaky bathroom window, the rotten grout in the bathroom tile, and the damaged floors. Warning! I ignore this with some mumbled non-committals. I ask if that includes utilities and she says no. There is no central air and she says that everything is divided by fourths, including cable (she has the only box in the basement), high speed internet, and all utilities. I think this is preposterous given the amount of appliances I saw plugged into her outlets in the basement, but I am desperate and she says that in the summer it typically only comes to $75 each. In the winter she claims that it typically runs up to $150 each. I ask if she publishes the utility bills. She says no. Warning!

A little bit about this landlady. She is 30 something and has been smoking cigarettes too long. She seems vehemently liberal which is a plus, but then she admits to not having had a job ever since her parents bought her this house. Warning! We sit down to talk turkey and she details a bare bones lease agreement. I get out my checkbook. I ask her about the garden and she talks about her projects that she pretends to work on. I garden and I can tell that she hasn't been out doing a damn thing for at least a month, given the amount of weeds growing out back. Warning! I ask her about parties as I think, it won't be that bad. I can still bike to work and I'll be near the Metro and stuff. She says that during the summer, yeah she likes to throw some parties. I ask her about drug use and clarify that if I see anything worse than weed, including LSD, than I will have moved out before her hangover clears up the next day. She responds with a declaration of how she doesn't like to infringe on anyone else's good time but there are limits. I restate my position and say that if I see any coke, I will be gone and to hell with the lease. She says, almost direct quote, 'oh yeah, man, I have had my own problems with coke and I totally understand your position.' What? Warning! 'I mean, I get some coke in me and I can't stop. I know this guy who always has some and when we get together, I always find myself three or four months down the road totally strung out and hurt.' Warning! Now, I am a person who understands that problems take time, but I am not a dipshit. I also understand the difference in acknowledging a problem and getting help with said problem. This was not the case with her. I handed her the check I had finished writing as she spoke. I made my pleasantries and then left. The next day I called her to tell her I was not going to rent the place and put a stop payment on that check. I just saw her listing on craigslist. She needs two new roommates and the rent is now $600 for the same shitty rooms I saw.

She passes herself off as a roommate instead of the owner. She has a periodic coke problem. The house is falling apart and the rooms are tiny for the money. Some people just want too much.

21 comments:

Adorable Girlfriend said...

This is exactly why I own my properties and have decided to no longer consider renting to people on Craig's List. It works both ways from the owner's perspective too. (And I don't discriminate against males, just crack addict deadbeats who are going to ruin my property).

teh l4m3 said...

Ha ha ha... You should have been trying to work the roommate/rental market in S.F. back in 1999/2000/2001.

Hellish.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Has it much changed in SF?

Chuckles said...

Ag, you own property? Are you forty?

Christ, I am so behind the times. All I own is my computer, some secondhand furniture and several thousand dollars worth of warhammer minis. And I live in a basement. I am such a dork.

At least, I pay rent on the basement and it isn't my parents. The only saving grace of my existence. Well, maybe not the only.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Chuck, I lived way below my means, I made money on the side and used property to leverage to the next step. Don't worry, I have debt and I live very frugal. So, it's not like my dad is Bill Gates or anything.

In fact, UC yells at me for my below means living sometimes. You're not behind the times, you just don't need all that material shit. Who really does? It's a big noose once you get into the game.

Chuckles said...

Are you saying I don't have game?

Adorable Girlfriend said...

You got game, baby. You got it alright.

Adorable Girlfriend said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chuckles said...

You bet I do, babe.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Don't be coy or anything.

Chuckles said...

Shit, I am so coy, I sleep in a pond.

Lindsey said...

rent is outrageous and the people around you are fucking insane. That's why I'll be looking into buying a house next year.

teh l4m3 said...

I'm going to live in a giant barrel by the side of the road, just like that Diogenes guy.

Chuckles said...

I want to live in a barrel on the placid Niagra river. So peaceful...

Adorable Girlfriend said...

On the Canadian side or the US side.

:)

Chuckles said...

Having looked at the river, I now realize that neither would be a good place to live. I also feel that anyone who is willing to emigrate after one election is a worthless non-believer in the process. I just think that is so childish. Sure, people can vote with their feet, but in our society we have developed a system that should be able to handle dissent. Look at the Constitution. If other people change it, we can also change it. The spectrum of our society has not yet been wedged into a fascist state. It will swing back with hard work and activism, not by running away to Canada and leaving the work to somebody else.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but a response to your comment about fascism -what do you think about the Walmart Bill that passed in MA?

Canuck

Chuckles said...

Don't you mean MD?

Anonymous said...

Yes, my bad. It was Maryland -not Massachusetts. What is your take on that?

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Canuck, why don't you set up a blog where you can ask such important questions and folks can drop by and discuss.

It would be nice to be able to engage each other in a forum about issues that you are concerned with.

Chuckles said...

I agree with my Super Not-So Secret Sexy Attack Chica. Set up your own blog and we can discuss there as well.