My ad is up, I’m getting inquiries. I never realized that there were so many, er, interesting people in the world.


Hi, I’m interested in seeing the duplex that you have for rent. It would just be me, along with my boa constrictor, two tarantulas, parakeet, three cats, a ferret, five rats, and a miniature pug. Oh, and a termite farm. We’re very quiet and clean. When could I come to see the apartment? (Sorry, it sounds like you exceed my pet-to-person ratio. But thank you for your interest. Would you also like the number for animal control?)

Hi, I’m interested in your duplex unit, for a move-in date of September 1st. (Oh, sure. It’s listed for June, but that would be fine. I’ll just hold it for you for three months and lose $3000 worth of rental income.)

I think that your apartment seems kind of small for a three bedroom, but I’d be interested in renting it for $200 less, as a two bedroom. Oh, and we don’t want to rent it until July, not June. (Well, sure. Let me just remove one of the bedrooms for you. Anything else you’d like to see go, while the demolition crew is out?)

Can I ask why you don’t allow dogs? (Nope. I am just all-around anti-dog.)

Hi, I’m interested in renting your 3-bedroom apartment. It’d be just me, my four kids, my boyfriend, my cousin, and my nephew’s sister-in-law. I also have another son who’s in town once every few weeks. (I have no punchline here. This kind of thing makes me feel bad, because you know these people aren’t doing well financially if this is their living situation. However, given the size of my apartment, and with only one water heater for the whole duplex, I have a limit of three occupants.)

Hi, I saw your ad on Craig’s list, and am interested in seeing the apartment, but I have a few questions first — Is it hardwood or carpet? (the ad states “newly refinished hardwood floors”) Where is the duplex located (I have links to both mapquest and google maps on the ad) Any updates? (What kind of updates? Cosmetic updates? Electrical updates? News updates?) Can I have a dog? (DID YOU EVEN READ THE AD???? HOW DID YOU FIND MY PHONE NUMBER?!?!!!)

Of course, I didn’t actually say all of these things to the people who called, but I would have liked to.

LESSONS LEARNED:
When I first started looking for renters, my assumption was that they would all be similar to me. Twenty-something professionals with roommates. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Some of them were, but there’s a wide range of people out there looking for apartments, especially in a neighborhood as diverse (and transitional) as mine. And if I specifically rent only to people demographically similar to me, I could open myself up for a discrimination lawsuit. Fair housing laws still apply, even in an owner-occupied situation.


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