Picture it.

Me knocking on the apartment door of the tenant who gave notice with a potential new tenant standing behind me.

No answer at door so I use my key to unlock it, calling out the tenant’s name as I enter.

From the bedroom I hear, “Heeeeeeyyyyy.”

“Hi {insert name of tenant}. I emailed and texted you that I am showing your apartment today.”

“I’m sleeping. I didn’t get the messages.”

Please note: It is 2pm.

“Well, that’s unfortunate but I need to show her around. We won’t enter the bedroom.”

“Okay. Sorry about how messy the place is.”

Upon entering, the smell of the litter box burns my nose. The bathroom needs a Hazmat Team. The kitchen is groooooosssss despite all its retro charms (glass front cabinets, original ice box that is converted to a cabinet).  We make our way around the apartment and I try, desperately, to talk up the unit despite its eye sore conditions. Then I offer to show her my apartment since it has the same lay out so she can get a sense of the bedroom. Because he is still lying in bed with the door shut.

(It goes without saying that I find this incredibly rude. This is not the first time I have warned him that I am going to enter his apartment at a certain time and he has been home in bed, acting like he never got the message. I believe this is one of the side effects of being a pot head. And no, this is not the same pot head that the Smell Lady is always complaining about.)

She walks in my apartment and says, “Can I just move in here? It’s so well decorated and cute.”

Possibly my idea could backfire.

We talked for a good twenty minutes as my cats climbed all over her. She’s apparently very popular with cats. She ended up turning in an application which I attest more to my ability to chit chat rather than the actual apartment. It’s hard to see the potential of a place when it’s covered in grime and the smell of cat piss is burning your nostril hairs off.

I’m sympathetic to this tenant who is moving out. He’s experienced a sudden and tremendous loss and he’s clearly struggling to stay afloat emotionally and financially. But he’s also a grown up with responsibilities. Not paying rent on time, bouncing checks, and interfering with me showing his apartment are NOT helping me stay sympathetic. And I will bet you $25 that he will not clean that apartment upon move out. Actually, I should bet you $100 because that’s what I’ll get paid for cleaning it when he leaves it in a state of disgusting icky. That’s four hours at $25 an hour to make it presentable.

This being a neat freak with an attention to detail does come in handy sometimes.


18 thoughts on “Rentable

  1. There’s a lot to be said for a super or landlord who is easy to get along with and has some class in a classless situation; I’d probably rent from you, too. I commend you on keeping seemingly calm and graceful in a gnarly situation.

  2. Your gift of gab is … well, quite the gift, Sizzle. Seriously. Most people would look/smell that place and walk away. You were able to help her see the potential of that place. And clearly you left her with confidence that the place will be clean before she moves in. Nice job! Maybe you should be in sales … the commission-earning kind!

  3. Gross! I can’t believe you actually managed to get this woman to submit an application on that dump. I mean, I’m sure it won’t be a dump once you’ve worked your magic on it. But still!

  4. Sizz, I Commend you! Putting up with that kind of behavior requires someone very special. That said, I must advise you to bring up with the owners the woeful Inadequacy of compensation for cleaning out the apartment. $100.00 is FAR too low! You should suggest that they revise the agreement to include this passage or something similar:

    “The unit must be returned in the same condition as it was rented. All nail holes filled, sanded & painted , all extraneous holders & mounting brackets removed, the apartment must be empty of all furnishings/possessions & pets; clean & odor free. The unit is to be Inspected by the Super after the tenant has moved and a statement signed that the tenant has fulfilled the Obligations under this section. Unless other arrangements are made, all plants,furnishings & possessions remaining after the end date will be disposed of, donated or sold by the super without compensation to the tenant. The appropriate authorities will be notified if a living or dead animal is left in the unit. This may constitute an arrestable offense. Fair notice is given that irresponsible pet ownership will not be condoned.

    If the unit is not left in the condition as stated above, the cost of returning the apartment to a rentable condition will be taken from the tenant’s security deposit. If the deposit is insufficient to cover the costs, the tenant will face legal action to recover any and all such costs, including all legal fees associated with it’s recovery.”

    Sound Better?

  5. Irresponsibility is not awesome, no matter what you’re going through. He’s making more work for YOU, which he doesn’t even consider, because he’s not thinking of anyone but himself. Gah! Your patience is amazing. And I’m holding out hope that he cleans up after himself before he goes.

  6. That was the worst part about my job as a leasing agent oh so long ago. Having to show apartments with lazy, icky residents still there…oh I hated that. And that is a definitely a safe bet that said tenant will not clean the apartment on moving out. At.All.
    In fact, don’t be surprised if it’s in worse shape than when he lived there. I’ve had that happen…

  7. omg PLEASE pay someone else $100 to clean the apt. it’s making me faint thinking about having clean someone else’s horrifying mess like that. (so, uh, obviously i’d rather make someone ELSE do it. but for monies!)

  8. It sounds like your charm worked. Or maybe it was the cats? 🙂

    Either way, I don’t think it is ever acceptable for people to ignore their responsibilities… but they still do 😦

  9. Good luck getting the smell of cat and cat urine gone from the apartment. I am allergic to cats and my nose can smell any room immediately if there was a cat even one time in that room! Gack.

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