The Landlord

2011 January 20
by Jennifer

We all remember the saga that took place in the downstairs apartment: I covertly chronicled the fighting, the ultimatums and the subsequent engagement. When former tenant Chuck moved out and in with his fiancé, our landlord put up a “for lease” sign in the front yard. Interestingly enough, he advertised the space downstairs as a terrace level (euphemism for basement) three bedroom apartment (it has two) and he was asking 50% more than what we pay for the more spacious and unquestionably better upstairs apartment. If you ask me, I have seen plenty of other apartments that would be worth the same price as what he is asking for the downstairs apartment. I’m not sure how many people would want to buy a property that expensive when they could decide to look for better-priced apartments somewhere similar to instead. Some of the ones that I came across were really spacious too, and I was even tempted to rent one for myself, but I have no plans in my future to move just yet.

Many people inquired about the space and I listened to The Landlord giving tours of several of his rental properties to perspective renters. He told them about the nice, young couple who lives upstairs. “They are out of town a lot,” he would tell them. (Not entirely true)

I envisioned the next tenant, someone as responsible and as low-impact as Chuck with a less volatile relationship. Or better yet, someone I would want to be friends with. Maybe a nice artsy and stylish girl who would share my love for red wine and good music. She would teach me how to paint and braid my hair like Lauren Conrad and I would teach her how to layer different cereals for maximum pleasure and minimal milk absorption. We would be BFFs and our stomachs would hurt because we would laugh so much when we were together. And how perfect!? We would be the exact same size and she would get really excited when I would ask to borrow her clothes. In fact, she would insist that what was hers was mine. Although on saying that, she sounds like the sort of person that would decide to have a look at these apartments for rent in New York City instead. Who could blame her? It would be good to have someone like her move into the vacant apartment.

Two months passed and the sign was still up.

Then it went down.

And The Landlord moved in.

Not the best friend downstairs, clothes and cereal sharing scenario I had envisioned. Not even close.

I don’t even know where to begin to give you a mental image of our landlord/ new basement dweller. I’ll start by saying that I would gouge my eye out if we were stuck in an elevator together. He wouldn’t stop talking and pressing buttons and playing with the mini fire hydrant.

Visual: late 40s, face scruff, always sweaty, his car looks like he could be on Hoarders. Allegedly, he is a real estate agent.

I am sure you know someone like him.

He is the type that

  • … will always, ALWAYS try to fix it himself so that he doesn’t have to hire a professional. He could make life so much easier for himself! I bet he doesn’t even use the software shown at to help him manage his properties more efficiently.
  • …makes questionable line calls when playing tennis
  • …pretends not to see you as you are trying to merge lanes
  • …tips 8%
  • …rigs the deck of cards when you leave the room
  • …would sue FedEx if he got a paper cut opening a mailing envelope
  • …figures out how to wire his TV to get Skinamax Cinemax for free

Simply stated, he a Motel 6 of a man.

In My Man’s words, “he means well.” Meaning, perhaps, that his questionable integrity and inconsistent hygiene might not be on purpose? (My Man is fortunately a lot nicer than I am.)

But to be fair, The Landlord is fairly harmless.

Last year at this time, The Landlord was in the final stages of a divorce. He sent us a series of emails around the time that assets were being evaluated and divided. Those assets happen to include our rental house. Here is an excerpt from an email he sent us in preparation for the appraiser’s visit:

“The ideal time to let the appraiser in is around 9:15 or so. PLEASE do NOT pick or clean up…ideally leave all lights off…dirty dishes ..messy bed… ..appreciate it. Leave out the mean dog….light a cigarette…. Thanks!”

Let it be known that this email was the third in a series with the same “do NOT clean up” message. An interesting request from a landlord, to be sure. I don’t know much about real estate, but I’m not sure if an unmade bed and a dark house lowers property value.

Ill keep you posted on what kind of housemate he is. Maybe I’ll be surprised. At least he means well.

In the meantime, the house hunt continues…with a renewed sense of urgency.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011

    …a Motel 6 of a man.

    Kennedy and I were reading this last night and laughed out loud a lot.

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