Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm in the Wrong Business

So, within a few hours of finding out yesterday afternoon that we are moving a-goddamn-gain for the 3rd time in 6 months, I found at least one promising place to check out as a possibility to call home. Trouble is, even after just a month, we are spoiled and can't really imagine having to go back to the whole apartment living thing (especially not in the Tulsa area where it's... just different), and, frankly, I'm a little out of my league since I don't know the nuances of renting non-apartment type housing since we've only done it just this once and without an application process since it was friends (yes, we still did a formal lease, and that in and of itself was... just interesting).

I emailed about the property last night, we went to see it today, and we were really happy with it. I went to give the landlord the application and $25 fee, and we discussed again the idea that while he wants someone to rent it immediately (or sooner), we realistically would be looking more at next Friday (yes, a week and a half to pack, yikes), if that would work. What I didn't expect was that there may be other applicants who also have paid their $25 application fees and that he'd be considering "the whole picture" when reviewing the application(s), including as one factor who can take it soonest. He did mention someone wanting even later than us, but I'm not really sure if there are a bunch of applicants or just that one. See, with apartments, by the time I'd paid the application fee, I knew that there was at least one unit available or likely would be if applying in advance. With non-apartment-only-one-available kind of house type rentals, that's not the case. He also said that the places like this usually are shown about 3-5 times a day.

Yes, I'm sure in huge big cities where people scan the obits to find vacancies left by the deceased (is that real or just urban legend?), stuff like this goes on all day every day, even for apartments, and that people pay others to find them apartments on top of fees for something they may not even get, but this is all new to me. Apartment renting is just different. I'm pretty sure that this is totally legit, but it just struck me different and made me wonder...

Y'all know I avoid math, and I know legally this surely couldn't be done, but I couldn't help but wonder, if you just sat around taking $25 application fees all day from 3 people a day for 31 days in the longer months, when would the train reach the station that would be $2325 per month, much more than the $300-$1500 or whatever amount you might otherwise get if you actually rented it. That would be kind of brilliant. Illegal, likely for someone to catch on pretty damn quick, but brilliant and fun to think about to distract me from the daunting task of packing up all of our crap. Again. By next Friday. Or sooner.


  1. That sounds just a bit fishy to me. And, truthfully, I'm not sure it's legal - unless, of course, he has stated a willingness to refund the application fee to those who do not wind up with the apartment/house/unit.

  2. yikes, interesting view you got. that would be cool way to make money without getting tenants in who can bugger the place up. or where you could live yourself... eeeergh, why is life so confusing and suspect these days.

  3. yes people do that (read obits). i didn't, but when i was finding an apartment in NYC it was literally cut-throat. Awful. It was pretty amazing that I didn't go homeless at some point during my time there, it's that bad.

    Anyhoo, MAN! Moving again??!!!!

    That really sucks. I mean, really. I'm sorry. That is interesting about the fee! I wonder if you could just ask, "what would it take to get me into that house today?"

    and see what he says.

  4. I've rented in over a dozen places but I've never heard of that. I can see why you're skeptical of the legality of this.
    Sadly, this is what preschools do to families applying for a open spot (and it's non-refundable).

    As Lou mentioned, hopefully, if applicants do not wind up receiving an apartment, hopefully they refund that fee.

  5. how frustrating you have to move again--i'd be so over it!

  6. I'm so sorry that you guys have to move again. That really bums me out (although I'm sure, not as much as it bums you out!)

    Hopefully you find a good place. (Maybe better than where you are now!!)

    As for this situation? Fishy!! Definitely fishy! (Although a good scam, if it really is one... I wish I'd thought of it, except I'm too nice to really do it.)

  7. Sheet, I know what biz to go in now! Sit back and cha-ching!

  8. Yeah, things that make ya go hmmmmm.......

    It sounds very suspect. And it wouldn't shock me one bit to find that place is never rented, but he just keeps on collecting app fees every month. There are all sorts out there, and a good many are more crooked than the day is long - at least it often seems that way. :-(


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