posted by t.j. peters
Economic strain affects us all, but perhaps no one more interestingly than landlords and building owners. Over the last week or so, I’ve been looking for a new place to reside here in L.A. During this time, I’ve noticed a trend—all landlords in the greater L.A. area are either suffering from, or in the developing stages of, a chronic ailment I’m referring to as RENTAL Disorder (Randomly Exhibited Neuroses Triggered [by] Apartment Listings). RENTAL takes on many forms, which include, but are not limited to, the following states of bat-shit-craziness.
The Desperate Landlord – This is probably the saddest, but fortunately the least frightening, form of RENTAL. This landlord typically has an average-sized, semi-attractive 1970s apartment building with anywhere between fifty and seventy percent vacancy. As a result, he’s lowered the rent by $400, waived the security deposit, sacrificed his first born son to the Craigslist gods, and pledged to perform explicit, demeaning sexual acts on the new tenant if so much as a leaky faucet should arise. He’s also a certified electrician.
The Given Up on All Standards Landlord – This strain of RENTAL is more confusing than anything. In this case, the landlord will simply take whatever she can get, much like the lonely pervert whose mantra is “any snatch will do”. Do you have bad credit? Have you been evicted from an apartment for failure to pay rent? Have you been evicted from an apartment for systematically murdering all the other tenants in the building? Do you have just so-so credit and a history of breaking and entering? If so (or not. . . whatever’s cool) then move into this landlord’s place whenever you feel like it, or something. See if she fucking cares. . .
Frantic, Possibly Psychotic Landlord – Long-standing RENTAL has driven this landlord to the brink of insanity. She speaks with the speed of an auctioneer and punctuates her thoughts with brief, non-sequitur asides that often touch on a racial stereotype. Rent’s due after the new moon and not a moment later. No dogs or beasts allowed and I won’t budge a budget on that one. . .Chinese making donuts. . . Fresh paint and new carpet make it mine! Her rent is set five times higher than it should, the security deposit is equal to a down payment on a house, and she’s sprayed in nearly every room to mark her territory. The bottom line: no one is getting this apartment.
For now, I search on in the hope of finding a landlord who has not yet developed this severely debilitating mental disorder. Unfortunately, unless we find a cure, I may become homeless, which oddly enough is another condition that can lead to RENTAL.
My name is t.j. and I blogged this for Ben.