Truth be told, I should have left Baltimore in January of 2012 after being unceremoniously dropped from my year long stint at The Baltimore Guardian. The problem besides where would I go was: how do I convince my future landlord to let me rent there without a paystub as I can recall being on the receiving end of an impromptu lecture at the time from my landlord here in Baltimore:
“In order to live here, you MUST have a verifiable income – a paystub – before I can rent to you,” he said condescendingly, though I have no clue what brought this on. “Otherwise, how would I know if you can pay rent or not? If you cannot pay me rent, then I cannot rent to you, it is that simple. I will lose money and waste my time having to evict you, and I do not want to do that.”
Explaining the concept of rent to a leasee – who has been leasing from you for three years – is bad enough, but he wasn’t finished yet. Now, he was about to make the reason I should have left in 2012 abundantly clear…
“Also, I was looking at my list of rents and I realized that I failed to raise your rent in the last two years. Since I am a nice guy (who dropped my “free cable TV” less than three months into my lease and then laughed in my face when I complained about this), I will only make you pay the second years increase – retroactively – meaning you will give me a new check for this month at the new price PLUS a check for the difference between what you paid me over the last year and what you SHOULD have paid me – see I am nothing if not fair.”
I told him that wasn’t fair.
“Well, I suppose I could call the sheriff’s office and have them come and toss all of your possessions in the middle of the street. Does that sound more ‘fair’ to you?”
He was bluffing, but as he just finished lecturing me about being able to prove payment abilities I was over a rail and somehow he knew it (as I rather doubt he reads this blog).
“Besides,” he added trying to sound like he was on my side. “You are not ‘losing’ money; you are repaying me the money I saved you by neglecting to charge it to you last year.”
Yes, I’m still here (though the property was bought out and my landlord from above was fired), but my rent continued its upwards trajectory. This new landlord used a different system than then the previous one did, leading to a chilly confrontation with her standing in my doorway flanked by her maintenance guys demanding I “straighten out” a banking error that I couldn’t solve over the phone because I knew nothing about it until she shoved the phone in my face and told me to “dial.”
Again, this wasn’t my fault, but somehow it was my problem. How these things happen to me, I have no idea. In fact, if you’ve been reading this blog over the past five years, you probably noticed that more of my posts from the past two year focus on that question rather than say finding new museums or exploring new neighborhoods. Frankly, I have a problem with that.
This blog is called “The ADVENTURES of Twiggar” (after my short lived column at Ignore magazine) and yet I’m not doing any actual “adventuring” – clearly, there is something wrong with this picture!
But there won’t be much longer…