Through My Lens

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Landlord From Hell

So, do you want to know about our latest adventure with trying to move to Nashville? I'll tell you.

I have been researching places to live on the internet and our wonderful friends down there have been assisting us. I found a good-sized place that was close to school for a price we could afford. I called the landlord on Thursday and spoke to him about it. He was really outgoing and talkative and tried to sell this place to me. Ok, I said, I'd talk to Huz and get back to him.

Our friends stopped by that night and took pictures of the upstairs unit where other tenants live and were kind enough to let them in since the landlord never called them back that day to see the downstairs unit. The pictures showed me that the place was okay - not great - but at least the place had hardwood floors and was big enough for our stuff.

The landlord called me back the next morning all anxious and basically demanding a decision from me because he supposedly had all these other people lined up to rent the place. He went off about how, because he's Unitarian, his word is important so he was doing me the honor of holding it overnight (it wasn't even on the market yet, or so he told me the day before, so why are there people lined up to rent it?). I had red flags coming up in my mind about the guy at this point. I asked him about the walls because in the pictures I could tell they weren't newly painted. In fact, they looked downright dingy. He said that, oh no, not for this cheap rent (which isn't cheap by a long shot) was he going to paint the walls after each tenant leaves. Ok. I should have just said forget it at this point. Who doesn't paint the walls after each tenant leaves? No place I've ever rented (except a sub-let we had, but the management bought the paint for us to do it ourselves - this guy wasn't even offering that). I began to wonder if the place was even going to be cleaned before we moved in. I asked him how old the kitchen appliances were since I had no picture of them. His response was, well, they aren't rusted out or anything. Okaaaaay. He then began to talk down to me, saying, "You don't appreciate the size and location of this place for this cheap rent!" and "You don't appreciate the fact that it has new thermal windows!" Blah, Blah, Blah.

I am so mad at myself that I didn't say what I felt, which was, "I don't appreciate how patronizing you are being. I'm not a twelve-year-old child, buddy. You can rent this piece of shit to one of the people lined up to rent it!" But, I didn't. I got pressured into making a decision to rent it because I was so stressed out and anxious to have a place lined up, that I waffled and gave in. Then, he wanted me to overnight the stupid rent check (more red flags). So, I did. It cost me $14 to do it too. Why I had to overnight it, I don't know, because he was out of town on Saturday and didn't get the check from the post office until Monday.

He called me on Monday because I had left him a message with a few questions. My first one was why did he tell me the washer/dryer hookups were electric when the gas company is telling me they are gas? We had just sold our gas dryer on Sunday because I was told we couldn't use it there. He just said he wasn't sure and would have to have the maintenance man check.

Oh, I forgot to mention that every single time I talked to this guy he would completely bash the current tenants. He would say (3 times total) that the people leaving the downstairs unit must have marriage problems because even though the woman looks like she just walked out of Glamour (he said Vogue the second time) magazine, their apartment is a total mess. He told me that they had 25 empty rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom trash can, etc. etc. OMG. I have so many problems with this: 1. Why are you trashing your tenants? This is not professional and I don't want you to turn around and trash me after I move out next year. 2. Why are you in their apartment in the first place? 3. Who the hell cares what the inside of somebody's apartment looks like? I don't think I've ever signed a lease that said I had to dust and vacuum every week or my lease is forfeited. 4. Why does a messy apartment mean they have marriage problems!? Needless to say, I had more red flags.

So by this point on Monday, he had my check in his hand. Crap. I started to dread moving there and dealing with this man, so I decided to look up the current tenant's phone number and hear from them first-hand what this guy was like to rent from. He (the husband of the Glamour/Vogue magazine woman) called me back and said he hated to tell me, but this guy was the worst landlord he's ever had and he couldn't wait to get out of that apartment. He said that one night the landlord came banging on his door after 9p.m. to yell at him for how much water he was using. The husband stepped out into the hallway so as not to alarm his wife with the shouting landlord and basically it ended with the landlord walking away and yelling over his shoulder, "Put it in writing!"

After hearing this confirmation that the guy was horrible, I quickly called Huz at work and told him the news. We agreed that we did not want to deal with this in our first year of transition to a new state, so I called the bank and had the check cancelled. They said that they only guaranteed cancellation after 24 hours of the request. So, I anxiously waited an entire day and night to see if he had already cashed it before it could be stopped. I found out this morning that it was successfully stopped. PHEW! But, we haven't told wacko landlord yet. I'm letting Huz have that priviledge because he hasn't had the pleasure of talking to this guy yet. I'm sure it's going to be an ugly phone conversation, but thankfully he's 500 miles away from us!!

I'm flying down to Nashville next week to find us a place. No more of this trying to save a buck stuff - it just isn't working!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:23 AM

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