Very soon, I need to move to a new house. It's been tough finding places I like in my price range. There just aren't that many houses for rent in the interesting areas of town, and the ones that do exist seem to go to other people before I can even get a call-back from the realtors. After a few hours of driving around and looking around today though, I found a place that looks perfect. Only one problem: I think the landlord might be a raving lunatic.
When I called to set up a tour of the property, I had barely gotten the words out of my mouth when she blurted, "Are you college girls or a single family?!" I explained that we were neither-- a group of four working, post-college roommates. She was silent for a few awkward moments, so I prompted her to, y'know, give me information about the house. This seemed to annoy her, but I didn't care much because it sounded amazing: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, nice hardwood floors, 2700 square feet, washer/dryer, great location. Best of all, the rent was only $1250, and she was willing to lower the rent for tenants who "won't throw wild parties".
So I decided to set up an appointment to see the house, which was obviously a mistake because Possibly Crazy Landlady made it as difficult as she possibly could have without physically sneaking over to my house, letting the air our of my tires, and then slicing my calve muscles with a sharp knife for extra insurance:
Me: I would love to see the house. When is convenient for you?
PCL: Weeeeeell, people are living there right now, so I don't think Sunday would be good. No, no. I can show it to you Monday.
Me: Monday sounds great-- how about 2 o'clock?
PCL: Can't you just come at six?
Me: No, I'm sorry. I have to work at four. How about Tuesday at six?
PCL: (sounding very annoyed) I haaaaaaave choir practice. That isn't a good time!
At this point, the tour date is moving so far into the future that it's getting difficult for me to keep track of. I work nights, and it sounded like she wasn't interested in showing it during the day. So I suggested that one of my roommates could come see the house instead on Monday at six, her original suggestion.
Me: One of my roommates could come look at the house tomorrow...
PCL: I told you. People live there. Sunday is no good!
Me: I'm sorry, I meant to say Monday.
PCL: Well that's no good! How will you know you like if you don't all see it? (condescension practically dripping from her voice at this point) No, I don't want to have to show the house more than once, so you'd better do it when you can come.
Never mind that it would be almost impossible to find a time when ALL FOUR potential tenants could tour the house, especially at a time that was acceptable to a landlady who was proving exceptionally difficult to schedule with.
Me: Well, how about Wednesday?
Me: Two o'clock?
PCL: Can't you come any later??
Me: I work at four, but I could come at three or three-thirty?
PCL: Three o'clock then. But, call me before you come just in case there is a problem. Or, I'll call them and call you right back. But, if I don't call back, call me on Wednesday before three.
What a fruitcake!! Could she have made it any more difficult? A friend's mother has warned us in the past about a crazy landlady in Raleigh who used to come into her rental house all the time while she was gone and make up excuses later when asked about it. After that phone conversation, it seems likely that she's the same woman. Hopefully I'll find out if it's her on Wednesday, when she realizes that I am touring the house alone and not bringing any of my roommates.
When I was in school, my friend Alia had a crazy landlord. I was inside her house alone, waiting for her to arrive, when the landlord just opened the door and walked right in. I screamed, and he started interrogating me about why Alia wasn't answering her phone. Somehow I ended up giving him my phone number, and he would call me all the time to ask where Alia was or to remind her that rent was due next week. As if people who've been renting homes for years and years need to be reminded a week in advance! Or like it's even remotely acceptable to call someone who is not your tenant to do so! I think he also found her parent's phone numbers at one point and called them!
I wonder if tenants have the right to keep the landlord out of the house when they are not home within reason? Because Crazy Landlady is not something I want to deal with. I hope this woman was just having a bad day and is not, in fact, the landlady of our worst nightmares. Because I think I really want that house.