My Journey To Lease Renewal, a Timeline

My landlord was not always my enemy. I have had plenty of wonderful landlords, and landlords I haven't thought twice about. In fact I think my landlord is a good guy deep down, he is just very interested in money and very distrustful of his tenants, in a way that antagonizes us and has pitted us all against him. The process of renewing our lease is just the latest struggle with him, but I feel we've emerged relatively victorious. Here's how it happened.

WWYD: I Paid My Rent, I Swear

Today on "WWYD," paying your rent, but still seeing the money in your account.

My First Apartment: A Tale of Robbery, Arson, and ‘Living Like the Dolphin’

My two friends and I went looking for an apartment in the lovely, brownstone-and-park-filled Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood, one neighborhood away from campus, so it would be clear to exactly nobody that we were not much-loathed English-speaking McGill students. The ground-floor apartment we'd found on the McGill website's classified ads was big but shabby, with a bright blue door and cheap, Soviet-looking wall-to-wall carpeting in a shade somehow dirty brown, dirty gray, and dirty blue, all at once.

How to Get Your Security Deposit Back: Clean Your Filthy Apartment

Having evaluated the cleanliness of many an apartment and done the dirty work required to get it into shape for a new resident I know how to ensure nothing gets overlooked.

Rental Payment History

I'm not sure if there's a lesson here besides: Make sure you have easy access to copies of major payments you've made somewhere. Thankfully, Chase had electronic copies of two years' worth of checks online.

Landlords of Wall Street

While renting out houses has typically been the province of mom-and-pop landlords, it should come as no surprise that Wall Street wants in. For years, a glut of foreclosures has suppressed home prices even as tighter lending standards and a sluggish economy have kept many buyers away. Banks, meanwhile, still sit on huge “shadow” inventories of foreclosed and abandoned properties, which means fewer places for people to live. The result of all this is a red-hot rental market—primed for speculation.

MJ’s Josh Harkinson reports that some of the folks who created the subprime mortgage debacle are now scheming to be all of our landlords, whichhhhhhhhhh … will probably not end well, for us. It might end well for them. Things don’t seem to not end well for them.

Initially Nice But Later Incompetent And/Or Crooked Landlords

Any elisions in this timeline represent long stretches without unpleasant interactions with landlords, and uneventful tenancies make boring stories. I rented many apartments throughout Iowa City and Chicago before my first full-scale landlord-induced meltdown, which set into motion a series of motifs I'd revisit over the next eight years.

How I Negotiated My Rent in San Francisco

I called my brother and told him I was thinking about living alone. "Really?" he responded. "I mean, I would never want to live alone, but I guess some people like it."

How The American Male In Brooklyn Pays Rent

An American male in Brooklyn walks down the street. He receives a phone call from his landlord; he does not pick up. Moments later, as he is listening to the voice message, he grimaces. His companion raises her eyebrows. He continues listening and grimacing, and then he hangs up. The rent checks were all rejected, he says, so I have to go deal with that. They all bounced, that's crazy, she says. No, he says, rejected because my handwriting is illegible. Oh, she says. There is a beat. They keep walking.