Thursday, April 5, 2007

A few lessons for those computer savvy landlords

Though I have found myself a lovely little apartment, my compulsion to check Craigslist several times a day hasn't abated.

I guess when ads are free, anonymous, and available to anyone who has access to a computer, you are really bound to get a real mix in terms of quality.

However, really, if you are looking to rent out your apartment to some decent tenants, there are perhaps a few things you should learn.

#1- Spell check. Fine, I realize not everyone has English as their first language or even is naturally talented in the art of putting together letters in the correct order. However, it really seems to me that anyone who knows how to use Craigslist should also have the knowledge of pasting your ad into word and running a spellcheck. After all, it's what high school kids rely on to make their papers presentable (and I totally adore the thesaurus function- saved my ass in first year lit).

#2- Reasonable price, or putting a price in the first place. Yes, I know this city is overpriced. However, I never, never, never will pay $1000 a month for 350 a square foot apartment in the "right" area of town. And, if you can't be bothered to put an actual price in the ad, I'm not calling, because I'm thinking you're going to pull a used car salesman role on my ass and start negotiating the price depending on how confident and knowledgeable I sound.

#3- Descriptions. "Nice one-bedroom in *city*". Seriously, you are going to have to answer a million times over where the place is, what its close to, etc, etc. Why not just save us both a little time and add a sentence or two of description?

#4- Reasonable times. Here's an idea... if you want to rent your suite to employed individuals, you might want to provide more than a half an hour at noon on Thursday as a viewing time, especially when you provide no contact information.

#5- Ridiculous claims. The one that inspired this post was an ad proclaiming "ITS LIKE LIVING IN A HOTEL", and then goes on to list such amazing features as "private mailbox". Wow! Such luxury!

#6- Ridiculous expectations. My favourite is those who have all these qualifications about what they want in a tenant. For instance, "one person only" for a place well over $1000 a month. If I can afford that much on my own, I'm gonna' buy!
Even better (I think I already used this anecdote in a reply to a comment) is the family's renting a room who want single, mature professionals. If I have a great career in my 30s or 40s, please shoot me if I have to rent a single room from some suburban family. I'd much rather fulfil my cat lady destiny in peace.

And, in categories all by themselves:
People looking for roommates to share a bachelor suite with them (perhaps looking to relive their dorm days?). Bonus points when they request someone of the opposite sex (I actually saw this!)

My favourite was one I saw a few months ago, in which the ad outlined some convaluted deal in which the lucky tenant could first sleep on the living room couch for a month or two until the roommates decided they trusted them, at which point they could share a bedroom with one of them (or take over her room when she went on holidays).

What a relief to be able to avoid these people for a few more years!


iFreud said...

I thought I was the only one who was sure I would end up a catlady!

At least when we have all our cats in tow, we will have something to blog about. And then we can write nefarious ads in Craiglist to would-be renters, sans the cat-litter expectations in the lease of course.

Indiana James said...

The scary thing is that there are always people that will respond to those ads and then wonder to themselves how it is that they got into such a predicament. Ooh ooh ooh, I can take over a room after sleeping on a couch!!! Sounds like a deal to me.

Princess Pointful said...

iFreud- Well, considering how everyone else has determined I have a life of spinsterhood coming up, I figured cat lady was the natural next step.

But I had to respond because you used the word nefarious! Oddly enough, I was watching a film yesterday which used the word, and I actually changed my facebook tagline to say something about using the word nefarious more often.

Indy J- It's true... people don't do this stuff without having been reinforced in the past. I just saw a 450sq ft bachelor suite one of the cheaper but still "hip" areas of town for $1500!

LMizzle said...


I like the one that said that they had a mailbox! That's like when you look at a sign for a hotel and it says, "Clean rooms, cable tv!"

LMizzle said...

Okay, I just looked at the posting that said it was like "LIVING IN A HOTEL" and that apartment really isn't that great.

Also, who the hell tries to rent for like $4,000 a month?! Agh!

Ant said...

Craigslist continues to astound me - such are the unedited joys of this great thing called t'Internet...

Private mailbox? Wow.

Airam said...

I came across your blog through Eve.

The last one where the the person could only sleep on the couch before being fully admitted into the apartment (and still having to share a bedroom) is classic!!! I'd be curious to know if they got any responses to that one.

Eve said...


Don't forget the yellers, or those jerks who put their ads in all caps.

Princess Pointful said...

Lmizzle- It's amazing what is considered luxury in this city. I seriously have no idea who doesn't buy when they can afford $4000. A few months is a down payment!

Ant- Yeah, I think we all have to keep in mind that just because it shows up online doesn't mean it has a stitch of merit to it. It just somehow feels more authentic than an ad stuck to a telephone pole!

Airam- Thanks for dropping by! I really like your blog... I can sympathize with the sadistic sandals. I would be really interested as to their responses, too.

Eve- No doubt! They also need to be avoided like the plague!

eric1313 said...


They actually requested a roommate of the opposite sex?

A guest that is a room mate.

Hells yeah you're way better off not dealing with any of those people. The couch deal, especially. Unless the two to three months of the couch are for virtually free. Then perhaps that could work.

Sounds like it would be a permanent couch bound roommate. I'm sure they got a fine non-criminal, non-social outcast, non-alcoholic, non-disturbed individual of impeccable manners and high self-esteem and sterling hygiene and whatnot to sign on with that deal.

But now I feel bad for pegging you as a predetermined cat lady earlier! Yikes! You already knew that. Not that there's anything wrong with cats. Or cat ladies, either.

Well, here's wishing you luck on your first solo mission at the forensic psych clinic. Hoping that a sweet dream is in progress.

eric1313 said...

I hope the irritation of yesterday's events are out of your mind tonight. I can only imagine that you are sleeping as we speak. Or as I speak. That sounds more like it.

Anyway, I thought that your main post was something that would make an excellent novel idea--but I didn't want to leave a novel sized response up front!

The differences that you outline between him and you, about the creepiness you feel, and whatever it is going on in the parts of his life that he's not narrating. These are the things of a great novel! Each chapter being many things: some are a letter written by one of you, then there can be chapters of third person perspective describing what is actually happening (this can be fictitious as hell) in the lives of the persons writing the letters.

And from there you can then layer in something else; that everything accept the written letters are written by another another person, in perhaps letter form themselves, but basically they too would be something written by one to another. And there can be lots of reasons for that, like a person perhaps trying to justify something to somebody, or they are being manipulative--the unreliable narrator can be legendary. This can cast doubt on all of it--especially if that person is trying to hide things. Then you can have all of this being told by one more voice--say, an investigator of some kind. A shrink doing a case study, perhaps, and everything we wrote is in her journal. She could be investigating a disapearance, or something worse, like the death of writers one and two. I would say cop, too, but the background needs to be covered in the right details that somebody would naturally know. The details are the most important thing. Not all of them, just one good detail here and there, something that sounds convincing. That's the most important thing in fiction writing.

But that part could be made so by your knowledge of the field. You could ask pose all the right questions.

Your post made me think about it. I always want to write a novel, but I don't believe in tormenting myself if I can't think of anything to write. But sometimes the ideas come to you. I want to get to where I can visualize an entire novel, and see if that can help me kick into gear. So writing about it can only help. You could write it. It was your idea. I just look for ideas that would be good sources of material all the time. Sharp senses are needed to do this!

Anyway, try to have a better day, please. And don't let that stuff get to you. If it keeps you awake, be constructive and write about it! Use that imagination--don't just let it bother you with vivid thoughts. Write it, call it fiction and treat it as such. Even if you don't write a novel, you can write fragments.

Anyway, thanks for listening. This is a big part of the process!

Peace out and I hope you enjoy the adventures thrown your way.