Thursday, March 31, 2011

Apartment Shopping (not for me for once!)

Why is it that when you or a friend need to find a place to live that you end up searching through 50 cockroach dens before you find one that even barely covers your needs? Why do landlords think that tiny and smelling of urine counts as "Charming?" When the ad says "small two-bedroom apartment" they really mean "midget ready crack den!" Now I admit, my landlord is pretty awesome. He's in his 90s, spry, and quite the womanizer, according to the fact that he's been married 5 times. Somehow he always outlives them. I like to think they have heart attacks due to his still very virile Anyway, we went through 5 AWFUL landlords before landing in our little cottage of wonders.

Our first landlord was a small town low income money grubber. I think our apartment was smaller than the bedroom I grew up in. It didn't help that in my pointless grabs for things to love me I got 5 cats. This apartment is also where the "oil incident" happened. Our neighbors became close with us, mostly because both of us could hear nearly every conversation held in either apartment. We finally decided to move to a bigger town for more job opportunities.

It was at this second apartment we met our first "slum-lord." Now mind you $325 a month was great for a spacious wood floored apartment. Once you counted in the roaches, the broken steps, the crack dealers on one side and the meth addicts on the other...well the rose had lost its bloom. Suddenly the landlord started not getting the rent money...(it must have been "lost in the mail") and he claimed we owed him over a thousand dollars. We got out of there...didn't even get our security deposit back. He claimed we broke a lightbulb, and charged us $2500. He never took us to court because he knew we had all the receipts from the money orders, and he had squat. He was a total dink. Later we found out that the cops raided the apartment next door (the crack dealer) and the one downstairs and found a working meth lab directly under our apartment. He sold the lot to another landlord and disappeared. I miss the balcony though. That was the best place in the apartment. Too bad it always smelled like rotting feces because of the dog next door...

We learned our lesson from that one. Or so we thought. We moved to another town, closer to a local metropolis, and had a really nice apartment. This landlord was invisible. Mr. Kat Lady said he met him, but I never saw him in over 9 months of living there. We met some really nice construction workers next door from Louisiana. That summer, while they lived there, Hurricane Katrina happened. We shared chili with them and learned their stories. Mr. Kat Lady, born in New Orleans, was able to reconnect with his home state. I was just happy with the built in dishwasher. (my first and unfortunately last)

Not to long after that, we made the biggest bone headed mistake of our life together. We found a (looked legit) job offer at a hotel in Alaska. Within two weeks we were on a plane headed to Anchorage. To make a long story short, we lived in the hotel and this landlord is now in the capable hands of the FBI. Can't say too much about it as he's still in the trial process. Let me just say that "Big Timber Hotel" was an accurate name.

Tails between our legs, we returned to the Land of Oz, and within a month or so found a great basement apartment. Two days before Christmas we were informed that we had to move. Serious foundation problems were causing the other side of the building to flood and sink. The only place to live was a broken down trailer in a small park in the "ghetto-y" part of town. That's when the landlord starting getting hinky. We paid rent and water to them, and they consistently "lost" our payments. They would shut off the water, claiming we hadn't paid them. They were awful. In an ice storm in January, a tree right next to the trailer broke and went through the roof. They nailed a piece of tin over it and called it good. We were done. That's when we began looking for our current place.

A funny story about the current place is that my aunt, my mom, and I all saw the house for rent and every one of us called about it. The landlord never had a chance. Mom had us in this house in less than a week. For once her annoying litanies paid off. Now we're looking at land contracting for the house and making it a bit bigger and better laid out...I'm sure there will be many adventures to share about

Our current landlord is pretty awesome. When Mr. Kat Lady's hours got cut, he lowered our rent. He lets us have our 3 cats, and is quite the gentleman. Now I'm hoping we can help my friend find a similar diamond in the rough. We'll see...I expect to smell a lot of urine tomorrow.

Love and Laughter
-Kat Lady


  1. Wow, now those are some nasty apartments. Glad you finally found somethng that works.

  2. Yeah, no

    You gotta wade through the oyster before you find the pearl. :)